You are in: Europe -> Belgium -> The Four Lifts on th... , and traditional search or Image Gallery will yield results of this site only
The Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre and their Environs, La Louvière and Le Roeulx (Hainault)
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 19th-20th c.
Date of Inscription: 1998
Location: Europe, Belgium, Province of Hainaut, Wallonia Region
Image Gallery
Up to 75 images are shown here. Click on each for more details or on Image Gallery for more images.
Description: The short historic stretch of the Canal du Centre boasts the highest quality industrial monuments: the four hydraulic boat-lifts. The lifts, together with the actual canal and its associated structures, constitute a surprisingly well-preserved and complete late-19th-century industrial landscape. There had been eight hydraulic boat-lifts built in the late 19th and early of the 20th century, but the world’s only survivors still in their original working condition are the four lifts found on the Canal du Centre. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available. For 360 degree imaging of this site, click here.
  The lifts on the old Canal du Centre are a series of four hydraulic boat lifts near the town of La Louvière in the Belgian province of Hainaut. Along a particular 7km stretch of the Canal du Centre, which connects the river basins of the Meuse and the Scheldt, the water level rises by 66.2 meters. To overcome this difference, the 15.4-meter lift at Houdeng-Goegnies was opened in 1888, and the other three lifts, each with a 16.93m rise, opened in 1917. The elevators are double, consisting of two vertically mobile tanks or caissons, each supported in the center by an iron column. The two columns are hydraulically linked in such a way that one caisson rises as the other descends, the weight of one counterbalancing the weight of the other. These fine industrial monuments were designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1998. Of the eight hydraulic lift locks built in the late 19th and early 20th century, the four of the Canal du Centre are the only ones still functioning in their original form. Since 2002, operation of the lifts has been limited to recreational use. Commercial traffic now bypasses the old lifts and is handled by the enormous Strépy-Thieu boat lift, whose rise of 73m was the highest in the world upon completion. Following an accident in January 2002, in which a malfunctioning elevator began rising as a motor barge was exiting, lift no. 1 was taken out of service. During the repair work, which began in 2005, a thorough restoration was undertaken. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. For 360 degree imaging of this site, click here.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
World Map