Le Grand-Hornu Belgium Borinage

World Cultural Heritage UNESCO
Borinage, Belgium

Le Grand-Hornu
I like to take pictures of old industrial buildings. Faded glory… Anyone looking for it has come to the right place in the Borinage of southern Belgium with all its dilapidated coal mines, blast furnaces and railway lines. It is a fantastic area to explore. Fortunately, it is also being restored. A magnificent example is ‘Le Grand-Hornu’, a former mining complex near Bergen (Mons). A place where the photographer feels at home as can be seen in JCW Magazine!

A Roman stadium for chariot racing?
A former coal mine as a showpiece of the Belgian industrial heritage. Here are rows of miner’s houses around an oval factory building. It looks like some Roman stadium for chariot racing. ‘Le Grand-Hornu’, where history and architecture go hand in hand, has been given a striking new purpose. This old mining complex has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and a top location for international exhibitions of contemporary art

and design. After a thorough restoration, the “Museum of Contemporary Art” is housed.

Henri De Gorge
Le Grand-Hornu introduces visitors to its founder Henri De Gorge, a major industrialist and a true visionary. As early as 1810, this man dreams of building an ideal residential complex in the town of Hornu. Where workers enjoy an unprecedented level of comfort at the time. He has 450 spacious homes built, each with hot water and a garden. This is followed by a school, a library, a dance hall, shops and an outpatient clinic. Henri De Gorge has innovated for a lifetime. He invented new mining techniques and worked with ultramodern steam engines. (Source: website)

The complete photo report
The beautiful pictures that I made at Le Grand-Hornu can be seen in the March 2021 Issue of JCW Magazine.

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