Harchies Mine Museum

Harchies is a mining community west of Bernissart, with which it has been combined for local government purposes since 1976. The mining museum was created in the years 1988-89 by a local man, Jeannot Duquesney and displays all the paraphernalia of coal mining, pumps, ventilators, depth indicators and tipping trucks. Perhaps the most unusual exhibit is a cage that was used for conveying horses down the shaft of a local mine. There are also displays of the equipment used in mine offices, of fossils and mineral specimens, and of mining art, including works by Ernest Dubois (1863-1931). Visitors taking refreshment in the museum restaurant can admire a superb piece of stained glass from one of the surface buildings of the Hensie-Pommeroeul colliery.

The outstanding incident in the history of the local coal industry occurred in 1878 when miners uncovered 30 complete skeletons of iguanodons, which comprise one of the most important collections of its kind in Europe. The iguanodons are now in the Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels, but their discovery is commemorated in the small Musee de l’Iguanodon in the Ruellle des Medicins in Bernissart.

A few kilometres from the mining museum, you can visit the engine house of a Newcomen steam engine built in 1782 (La machine à feu). The ruinous building has been restored and the steam engine faithfully reconstructed inside.

Harchies Mine Museum
Musée de la Mine et de la Mémoire d’Harchies
Rue Marquais
7321 Bernissart
+32 (0) 69 - 772680