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Belgian mines added to Unesco World Heritage list

Belgian mines added to Unesco World Heritage list
5 Jul 2012

History buffs planning a trip to Belgium this year can visit four locations that were recently added to the Unesco World Heritage list.

The sites - Grand-Hornu in Mons, Bois-du-Luc in La Louviere, Bois du Cazier in Charleroi and Blegny-Mine near Liege - are coal mines that collectively form a 170km strip across Belgium from east to west.

In use since the middle ages, the mines employed techniques from Great Britain and the rest of Europe, meaning they now serve as a representation of the industrial revolution on the continent.

They prompted mass migration to Wallonia from north Belgium and other nations such as Poland, Italy, Spain and Turkey, helping to develop the coal mining industry in the region.

This part of the country is home to four other Unesco World Heritage sites - the boat lifts on the Canal du Centre, the belfries of Wallonia, Notre-Dame cathedral in Tournai and the Neolithic flint mines at Spiennes.

Holidaymakers can reach Belgium by catching flights to Brussels.

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