Charleroi is a city in Belgium located in the Hainaut province, which belongs to the Walloon part of the country. Charleroi is located on the Sambre River, 50 km south of Brussels. The city is home to 203 thousand people. Charleroi is one of the five largest cities in Belgium.
Watch camera online in Charleroi
Charleroi was founded by the Spaniards in 1666 as a fortress of Charnoy, later renamed in honor of the young king Charles II. Already at the beginning of the 18th century, Charleroi became an important industrial center. Then, three industries began to develop here, which determined the urban economy until the second half of the 20th century - coal mining, steel production and glass production. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Brussels-Charleroi Canal was dug, which connected the industrial region of Charleroi not only with the capital, but also with Antwerp and access to the sea through the Brussels-Villebrook Canal.
After World War II, the traditional sectors of the city's economy began to decline, leading to a general crisis in the city. The Bois du Cazier disaster in 1956 (275 dead) demonstrated the general obsolescence of the Charleroi coal industry. In the sixties, the closure of mines began, and by the end of the 20th century, steel production began to close.
A new impetus to the development of the city at the end of the 20th century was given by its airport, officially known as Brussels-Charleroi. Although the airfield at this site has existed since 1919, the airport's "rebirth" took place in 1997, when it became one of the most important hubs of the budget airline Ryanair.
The city's football stadium was one of the arenas that hosted the 2000 European Football Championship.
Economy and transport
Steelworkers have traditionally made the largest contribution to the welfare of Charleroi, but the industry has been undergoing major structural changes lately. In addition, the city is an aviation (Brussels-Charleroi airport) and a railway junction with an important transshipment station. Through the Charleroi-Brussels canal, the city is connected to the Flemish waterways.
Since 1976, the city has a light metro system (partly underground high-speed tram, metro tram).