In the wake of the Industrial Revolution, the Charleroi region became one of the principal centres of economic activity in Belgium. It is this changing world which the Industry Museum tries to bring back to life. Standing in the rooms of the showers and baths, this area retraces the technical, social and economic history of the Walloon industrial basin of Haine-Sambre-et-Meuse with museum collections originally housed in the old “ Forges de la Providence” in Marchienne-au-Pont. A sheet-metal rolling mill from the mid-19th century, steam machines, dynamos and an electric tramway dating from 1904 feature in the visit. Recalling the original function of the site, the foremen’s cloakroom and reconstruction of the ‘room of hanged men’ (the changing room) and the lamp store complete the visit.
The Glass Museum art – history – technology welcomes you in its new setting. Completing the coal-iron-glass trilogy which made the fame and prosperity of the Charleroi region, it is housed in the old lamp store, with its extension, a contemporary structure of glass and steel. The collections are presented from an innovative angle: a backwards chronology invites the visitor on a completely new voyage, from the present day to the origins of glass. A special moment for publics of all sorts: the discovery of the technologies, the know-how of the glassmakers and gems from all periods. And to finish off the visit, a demonstration of glass-blowing with a blowtorch in the workshop. Glass, which is over a thousand years old, is magical and fascinating.
Under a serrated roof, between piping, hearths, pile-drivers and machine tools, a raw setting is home to various activities such as the work of the forge and the foundry as well as glass-blowing. Animated by craftsmen in an authentic atmosphere, these places are open to the public when there are demonstrations and training courses.