Canal du Centre

La Louviere lies at the centre of a region once dominated by coal mines, iron furnaces, and glassworks, where the outstanding monuments to the industrial past are four hydraulic lifts on the Canal du Centre, at Houdeng-Goegnies, Houdeng-Aimeries, Bracquegnies and Thieu, built between 1885 and 1917, which together raise boats of up to 300 tonnes to a height of 60m. Of the eight lifts of this kind in Europe these are the only ones left in their original condition. The lifts remain in working condition, but a new stretch of waterway is now open for 1350 tonne barges, and includes a 500 m long concrete aqueduct at Pont du Sart, and a spectacular 73 m vertical lift at Strepy-Thieu, which first raised vessels in 2001. There are interpretive facilities at the four hydraulic lifts and at Strepy-Thieu.

Canal du Centre
Companie du Canal du Centre
Ecluse No 1 rue des Peupliers 69
7058 Thieu
+32 (0) 65 - 360464