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Charleroi wapen.svg Drapeau ville be Charleroi.svg
Charleroi (Hainaut)
State : BelgiumBelgium Belgium
Region : Wallonia
Province : Hainaut
District : Charleroi
Coordinates : 50 ° 25 '  N , 4 ° 27'  E Coordinates: 50 ° 25 '  N , 4 ° 27'  E
Area : 102.08 km²
Residents: 202.267 (Jan. 1, 2019)
Population density: 1,981 inhabitants per km²
Post Code: 6000, 6001, 6010, 6020, 6030-6032, 6040-6044, 6060, 6061
Prefix: 071
Mayor: Paul Magnette ( PS )

Local government address :
Hôtel de Ville
Place Charles II 14-15
6000 Charleroi
lb le ls lh

Charleroi [ ʃaʁləʁwa ] ( Walloon Tchålerwè ) is a city in the province of Hainaut in the Walloon Region of Belgium and the capital of the arrondissement of the same name . With 202,267 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2019) Charleroi is the third largest municipality in Belgium and the largest municipality in Wallonia. The inhabitants of Charlerois are called Carolorégiens or Carolos for short .


Charleroi: districts and neighboring communities


Charleroi lies on both sides of the Sambre and is about 50 km south of Brussels . The city borders (clockwise, starting in the north) on the municipalities of Les Bons Villers (a), Fleurus (b), Châtelet (c), Gerpinnes (d), Ham-sur-Heure-Nalinnes (e), Montigny-le -Tilleul (f), Fontaine-l'Évêque (g), Courcelles (h) and Pont-à-Celles (i). Charleroi lies in a large coal basin. Coal is no longer mined today, but there are still numerous mine dumps around the city.

View of Charleroi
Town hall with belfry on Place Charles II (built 1936)
shopping street

City structure

As a result of the Belgian territorial reform in 1977, the original municipality of Charleroi with the surrounding municipalities of Couillet (VI), Dampremy (II), Gilly (IV), Gosselies (XIV), Goutroux (XI), Jumet (XIII), Lodelinsart (III) , Marchienne-au-Pont (IX), Marcinelle (VII), Monceau-sur-Sambre (X), Montignies-sur-Sambre (V), Mont-sur-Marchienne (VIII), Ransart (XV) and Roux (XII ) amalgamated to today's large community.


Charleroi has a temperate maritime climate . On average, there are 200 rainy days per year in Charleroi.

Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Charleroi
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Temperature ( ° C ) 2 2 6th 8th 12 15th 17th 17th 14th 10 6th 3 O 9.4
Precipitation ( mm ) 67 53 52 52 62 70 76 75 70 72 71 73 Σ 793
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


The origins of Charleroi go back to the village Carnotus , first mentioned in writing in a document from Lobbes Abbey in 863 , which was subsequently named Karnoit (980) and Charnoy (1188) and which belonged to the county of Namur .

Charleroi with fortress ring (around 1775)

In 1659 the Peace of the Pyrenees led to a new border line between the Spanish Netherlands and France. Several Spanish fortresses fell to France as a result of the peace treaty, so that from a Spanish perspective there was now an unpaved gap between Mons in Hainaut and Namur on the Meuse and the defense in the direction of Brussels was interrupted. On September 3, 1666, the Governor of the Netherlands, Francisco de Moura acquired, on behalf of the then only five years of Spanish King Charles II. The basic rule of the village Charnoy, there to build a new fortress. Charnoy was renamed Charleroy in honor of the king . Even before the fortress could be completed, it fell to France without a fight in 1667 during the War of Devolution . On June 2, 1667, Louis XIV visited the facility, which was partially destroyed by the Spaniards when they withdrew, and ordered its reconstruction. Under the direction of Thomas de Choisy and Charles Chamois, the fortress - now a French border post - was completed in 1668. With the Peace of Nijmegen in 1678, Charleroi was restored to the Spanish Netherlands. The French occupation forces evacuated the city.

From 1794 to 1800 the city bore the "revolutionary name" Libre-sur-Sambre. In 1815, Napoleon moved north through Charleroi and temporarily maneuvered the Allies before he was defeated in the Battle of Waterloo . After the war ended in 1815, Charleroi became part of the Kingdom of the United Netherlands and in 1830 it became part of the newly founded Kingdom of Belgium.

In order to create more space for the expansion of the city, the old fortress ring was demolished from 1867 to 1875.

During the " Battle of the Frontiers " of the First World War , the French 5th Army suffered at Charleroi from 22 to 24 August 1914 Charles Lanrezac in the Battle of the Sambre by the German 2nd and 3rd Army under Karl von Bulow and Max von Hausen suffered a defeat and was forced to retreat.

In 1977 the city of Charleroi merged with the surrounding communities, which increased the population almost tenfold.


The mining of near-surface coal deposits in the region around Charleroi can be proven as early as the Middle Ages . During the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, the city became a center of the Walloon coal and steel industry and an early center of the labor movement . In the 19th century, Charleroi also developed into an important location for the production of flat glass , which was initially mainly exported to Holland and the Dutch colonies. In 1863 Ernest Solvay and his brother Alfred Solvay opened the first factory here, which produced soda , an important raw material for the glass industry, among others, using the Solvay process he had developed .

Mining and heavy industry also attracted large numbers of foreign workers, mostly from Italy . On August 8, 1956, the most serious mining accident in Belgian history at the Bois du Cazier mine in the Marcinelle district 262 killed the majority of Italian miners.

Charleroi could not escape the decline of the Walloon steel industry that began in the late 1960s, and structural change began, which led to high unemployment that is still high today. In March 2012, Duferco announced that it would close the last remaining blast furnace in Charleroi. In the past few decades, however, the Charleroi economy has diversified increasingly , to which the establishment of the Université libre de Bruxelles and the opening of a technology park in Gosselies have contributed.



With connections to Brussels (- Antwerp ), Liège , Lille and Paris as well as regional routes to Couvin and Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Charleroi is one of the most important railway hubs in Belgium. Around 355 trains run daily from Charleroi-Sud main station , including those of the four lines of the Charleroi S-Bahn . However, the Monceau-sur-Sambre marshalling yard was closed in 2013.

Map of the Charleroi premetro network.png
Métro Léger Charleroi - LRV 7504 in Parc station.jpg

Route network: Métro Léger de Charleroi


The port of Charleroi is connected to the Flemish waterway network by the Charleroi-Brussels Canal .

Air traffic

Charleroi is home to Brussels-Charleroi Airport , which is a popular destination for low-cost airlines. The main airline is Ryanair .

Public transport

Local public transport is provided by the Charleroi tram and buses. The operator is TEC Charleroi .


  • Bois du Cazier coal mine , which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012 along with three other Walloon mines .
  • Belfry of Charleroi, part of the UNESCO World Heritage “Belfries in Belgium and France”.
  • Musée de la Photographie in Mont-sur-Marchienne, which is considered one of the most important photography museums in Europe.
  • The castle of Monceau-sur-Sambre, built in the 17th century on fortress ruins from the 14th century, in the middle of an English garden.
  • Glass museum showing glass production and handicrafts from antiquity to the present day.
  • Musée des Beaux Arts Charleroi


Sporting Charleroi belonged to the top Belgian football league from 1985 to 2011 . The club's home ground, the Stade du Pays de Charleroi , was also one of the venues for the 2000 European Football Championship . With ROC Charleroi, which is now called ROC Charleroi-Marchienne , another football club from Charleroi was represented in the country's top division. Spirou BC Charleroi , whose home ground RTL Spiroudome was the venue for the ULEB Cup Final Four between 2004 and 2007 and the Fed Cup Final in 2006 , is one of the most successful basketball clubs in Belgium. The basketball club is named after the cartoon character Spirou . The city is also home to the internationally successful table tennis club Royal Villette Charleroi .

Twin cities

Charleroi maintains town partnerships with the following municipalities:

sons and daughters of the town



Web links

Commons : Charleroi  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The use of the name "Karolingen" for this city in OpenStreetMap / German style is not legitimized by any historical evidence. In fact, "Carolingians" is the Dutch version of the Carolingian dynasty name . As a member of the House of Habsburg , the patron saint of the city, Charles II of Spain , was the last Spanish Habsburg (Casa de Austria), who of course also counted the Carolingians among his ancestors.
  2. Horst Lademacher : History of the Netherlands. Politics - Constitution - Economy . Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1983, ISBN 3-534-07082-8 , p. 153.
  3. Les fortifications de Vauban: Charleroi ( Memento from April 15, 2013 in the web archive ) (accessed on September 30, 2012)
  4. Eva Mendgen: Glass and crystal production in Hainaut ( Memento from February 18, 2013 in the web archive ), GR-Atlas (accessed on August 30, 2012)
  5. European Route of Industrial Heritage: Industrial History of Belgium (accessed on 23 August 2012)
  6. RTBF , March 28, 2012: "Le haut fourneau de Carsid à Charleroi ne sera pas relancé" (accessed on August 31, 2012)