S.A. Charbonnage du Hasard Cheratte

Cheratte, Belgium

Built: 1907

Abandoned: 1977

Visited: 2005 + 2007

This old coal mine named Charbonnage du Hasard Cheratte, was closed in 1977. It’s strange when you walk through the buildings,  everything is just the same as almost 25 years ago when the place was closed down. A newspaper from 1976 tells us the first photos of Mars are taken with the Viking I rocket, clothes hanging in the lockers. Hasard Cheratte was abandoned in just one day. The miners turning up for work could turn back, the gate was closed. Sometimes it feels that a miner could walk in to get his coat and hat from his locker. But the coat and hat haven’t been touched for over 25 years.


The main building is a typical Malakoff tower, build in 1907. This architecture style comes out of the 19th century and was named after a building in the Russian town Sebastopol. Many towers in the German Ruhrgebied have a similar Malakoff look, like it was an ancient castle with knights firing crossbows to the enemy. In fact it was a building full of showers for the miners. The Cheratte mine has four shafts. One in the main building and others in the surrounding area. The deepest shaft is 480 m. Puits Hognée, the shaft on the hill behind the mine, has been used to lift waste material to a spoil tip. The site was partly demolished and partly reconverted in 2018.

Photos S.A. Charbonnage du Hasard

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