Blegny Mine (Wallonia - Belgium)

After visiting two of the four coal mines listed under UNESCO in Mons (Grand Hornu & Bois du Luc), my next stop was Liège, close to which is the next site - Blegny Mine. Just like the other 2 mines aren't really located in the city but in the outskirts, this too is located a bit out and requires a bit of traveling. This mine is super special because this is the only one in which you get to go down into the mine!!!


To begin with, it was raining cats & dogs when I landed in Liège. I was doubtful about getting anything at all done on day 1. Somehow I managed and by day 2 it was cold and day 3, sunny!!! It was 3 seasons in the 3 days.

First stop was the screening of a small movie about the mines. Next, just like Silex's, here too, the protection of the visitor is of utmost importance. We were handed over some jackets and hard hats. For Atyudarini? Well, I was provided a large jacket that fitted both me and my Atyu in the babycarrier. Next, we were off to the lift through which the coal workers would have originally descended into the mines. 

Our guide, Mr. Louis Jan de Weyer, who accompanied us, is a retired coalmine worker and a very humorous man..... well, a bit scarily humorous at times. He said with a very stern face, that we'd be going down in that lift in the same speed as how they went in the hey days. I was...... well, I almost decided not to go, coz I was wearing Atyu, and send only Mr.V. Then, looking at my flabbergasted face, Mr.Louis started laughing so hard! Yeah, he was joking. We were going down only in one fourth speed of how they descended. That's Atyu & I flanked by Mr.Louis, our guide and Mr.Michael, of Liege Tourism. 

Today, a visit to 2 of the galleries at 30m and 60m depth is possible. The descent by lift is till 30m and then series of stairs takes you to 60m. The temperature underground is maintained at 16 deg C. At the first stop at 30m, is the initial exposure to how life was down there! I was there, walking in a tunnel, made in 16th C CE, held together by an iron structure through which I could see the gravel and rocks that made the ground, it was cold and a bit damp..... To think about it, it is not really a very comfortable place to be in!!! A bit of claustrophobia did peak its head, but I managed. If you're very claustrophobic, you may want to skip this completely.

This mine was active from 1799 to 1887 and then again from 1919 to 1975 when all the coal mines in Belgium were shut down. Since 2012, this mine along with 3 other mines including Grand Hornu and Bois du Luc were brought under the wings of UNESCO.

Today, in the pit, in display are the various tools used by the miners as well as the wagons. Also, are some life sized statues of coal workers in the positions that they may have worked in, to give a very clear idea of how life would have been there. Here the coal vein is in a 50 deg angle, which makes the entire process of digging, a bit tricky as the worker has to position himself in a slanted way and do his work!!! Today, the various stages are actually, the points between the diagonal veins. Ofcourse, prior to the existence of rails, horse carriages were used and the horse practically lived in here, just like Grand Hornu and Bois du Luc. 

The coal was then brought up which went through the process of cleaning and sorting (a process which involved a lot of women). While the smaller pieces were used for household purposes, the larger chunks were sold for industrial purposes. 
Hoping to visit Charleroi soon on a day trip to see the 4th of the UNESCO Coal Mines. I'd say, if you're visiting Belgium and if you had time to visit only 1 coal mine, let it be Blegny. This is the only place where you'll get the 'experience' it! 


To Stay:
Hotels & B&Bs at all price points are available in Liege City Centre. 
Looking for heritage hotels near me, I came across a few old mansions converted to hotels
Here’s my review of Hotel Neuvice, one such renovated old building, where I stayed.

To Get There:
On Google Maps: Blegny Mine
To reach LiègeRefer to my earlier post
To Blegny Mine: From Gare Leopold: 17 km
Bus no:67 goes directly but its frequency is only once every hour with 50 mins travel time.


Entry Ticket & Timings:
€12.50; 
Open during weekends & public holidays only in winter, weekdays only in summer and all days in spring break & autumn break.
Tour timings in Summer: 12.30, 13.00, 14.30, 15.00 and 16.30
Tour timings otherwise: 11.00, 11.30, 13.30, 14.00, 15.30 and 16.00
Ticket can be bought at the entrance of the site 



P.S: I was invited by Liège Tourisme and Wallonia Tourism to experience the city for review purposes, however the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

14 comments:

  1. OMG Your travel is always unique! I mean you are the first blogger I read online that visited a coal mine. You rock!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I’m always looking for UNESCO heritage sites to add to my list. Never realized they had mines on it! And that you for the tips on where to stay and get there - makes planning so much easier!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'll be honest; I'm quite claustrophobic so I don't think this is for me. The coal mine tour looks interesting, and it's nice you had a fun tour guide. Nice to see the baby going on their first travels too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So this is pretty cool and even in my own country! haha. I looked it up and it's only 1,5 hour drive of my house! I had never heard of this mine but would love to explore it now :)
    Thanks for this tip!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, that sounds pretty cool! I have never been to a coal mine. Unfortunately, the one time I planned to do it in Austria, it was closed due to bad weather and I could not make it. However, it does seem like I missed out on a unique experience. Loved reading about yours :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This mine series has been the most unique posts about traveling in Europe. It is amazing how well preserved these places are. Also, a good thing that UNESCO has kept them preserved and protected.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've been to a number of mines, including slate and coal ones, it's so eye-opening to try and imagine the hard lives of the miners who worked these places day in and day out. Fascinating places to visit the ones that are now tourist attractions.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is very interesting. I have never been to a coal mine but have always been fascinating for me. Would love to visit this place too.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Industrial heritage sites in Belgium. Never thought there would be so many. i am often in the area around Dusseldorf, where I find many of those as well.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow, of all the places I find this visit to mines so intriguing and interesting. I am sure it must have been a very different experience. Wish to do it someday

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hey, do you know if this is also haunted? Just like in horror movies with tunnels are one of the scary places... but actually exciting as well.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is incredible! I would love to visit here! It's crazy to think the same location was used in 1799 to 1887 and then again from 1919 to 1975! It would be so interesting to compare the types of conversations that took place in the exact same location during those different dates!

    ReplyDelete
  13. It seems like you had a nice day :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting...! Why not leave a comment.? And tell your friends..!!!
By commenting you accept to our GDPR Policy.

popstrap.com