The road from Theux is lined with industrial buildings. Shortly behind the sign telling you that you are entering Sprimont there is another smaller sign pointing the way to the Museum of Stone. The road leading to the museum opens out onto a large square covered in hewed stones, cranes and old machines. Two older glass-fronted buildings rise into the sky in the background. Is this a museum or do people still work here? It is the Sprimont Museum of Stone, housed in the former central power station of the quarry, which was built in 1905.
The foothills of the Ardennes, south-east of Liège are literally "loaded" – with stone. One of the most important centres of Belgian quarry stone processing still exists in Sprimont today. Here people still quarry for so-called "small granite", a grey-blue, marble-like limestone. Hewn blocks reveal beautiful veined patterns, and some of them even contain fossils. The stone is primarily used in the building industry; but sculptors also like working on it, as can be seen from the many artworks in the museum´s courtyard and the old power station. The central electric power station is a fine example of industrial architecture. Inside, the large control panel on the gable wall bears witness to the original significance of the building. In addition to artistic sculptures visitors can familiarise themselves with the history of the stone industry in Sprimont. Historic photos, tools and a replica of a simple wooden quarryman´s hut tell of the hard lives and arduous working conditions endured by the men, women, and children working in the quarries.
Groups who have booked in advance can still see demonstrations of stone-mason´s work, and certain machines in action. And on a few days in the year sculptors come here to demonstrate their skills. Furthermore, anyone wanting to explore the neighbourhood on foot can follow a signed path linking the different sites of the stone industry in Sprimont, and dotted with detailed information boards.