Charleroi and its architectural heritage
In the Place Charles II, you can admire Charleroi's city hall and its UNESCO listed belfry. This imposing edifice successfully blends Classicism and Art Deco. 250 steps take you to the top of the 70-metre-high belfry.
Art Nouveau first appeared at the end of the 19th century, followed by Art Deco, along with the emergence of a more wealthy class, grown rich thanks to the flourishing iron, glass and coal industry. The industrialists had comfortable buildings built for them which reflected their economic success and Art Nouveau fulfilled their expectations.
The Maison Lafleur and the Maison Dorée, typical examples of Art Nouveau, are now listed buildings.
Still in the Place Charles II, the Saint-Christophe Basilica can be seen towering overhead. The mixtures of styles is due to the fact that it was built in different periods.
The original Church of Saint-Christophe was demolished in the 17th century during consolidation works. Louis XIV had a "royal chapel" built for his garrisons. It wasn't until 1772 that the church reclaimed its former name.
The copper dome is a relatively recent addition which was only built after the Second World War. In 1957, an enormous mosaic was installed behind the chancel. This Belgian project was carried out by Venetians and recalls the brilliance of Byzantine artists.