La Louvière, city of 80 000 residents, also called “La Cité des Loups” (The City of Wolves) is located in the heart of the Hainaut province, 50 km from Brussels. The city of La Louvière benefits from a central location at the heart of Wallonia, not far from the borders of France, Germany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands.
Bolstered by its industrial past, La Louvière is henceforth focused on the future. A land of surrealism and cultural abundance, this capital of the Central Region can be proud of its heritage of international renown. In fact, the town has a wealth of heritage sites which are officially recognised by UNESCO. The Canal of the historic centre and its boat lifts, and the mining site of Bois-du-Luc. However, its cultural heritage has not been abandoned since La Louvière can boast about having no fewer than 6 museum institutions in its vicinity.
Crossed by numerous canals, La Louvière offers a pastoral charm and delights those who enjoy walks along the banks or taking a ride on a barge.
The "City of Wolves" is also a land of folklore, brought to life throughout the year by various events. Thus, the carnival, the urban opera, “Décrocher la lune” (Unhook the moon) or the “Week-end au bord de l'eau” (Weekend at the water’s edge) are all occasions which bring the citizens together to underscore their attachment to La Louvière.
Lastly, after major work of urban renewal, La Louvière also has infrastructures for lively economic and commercial activity.
Top things to do
in La Louvière
Four museums are located in the city centre of La Louvière: Kéramis ceramics centre, Musée Ianchelevici, Centre Daily Bul & C° and the Centre of engraving and printed images.
A few kilometres from there, the Museum of Mining and Sustainable Development of Bois-du-Luc invites you to discover all the nuts and bolts of coal-mines of exceptional longevity, the daily existence, the struggles and experiences of workers from around the world.
You can also discover the Centre of interpretation on immigration at the Cantine des Italiens, along the historic canal.
Canal of the historic centre and its boat lifts
The Canal of the historic centre is the first Belgian site to have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, before the Grand-Place of Brussels and the béguinages flamands (Flemish convents) in 1998. Allow yourself to be seduced by the centenary charm of the 4 hydraulic lifts which make the city so unique. They allow boats to change altitude by around 17 metres thanks to a single source of energy: water!
Mining site of Bois-du-Luc
Included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 2012, the mining site of Bois-du-Luc bears exceptional witness to the industrial era. Preserved in its original state, it remains astoundingly authentic. A visit to Bois-du-Luc means immersing yourself in a laborious period that was rich from the standpoint of technological innovation, and which made Belgium the second global power of the 19th century.
Stemming from an old tradition dating back 150 years, the Laetare (Carnival) takes place in the Cité des Loups. On the third Thursday during Lent, the city wakes up to the sound of drums and the tapping of Gilles clogs. Three days of festivities and communion begin, marked by traditional events such as ramassage (collecting of participants), rondeau (circle dance) and parades.
Created in 2000, the urban opera “Décrocher la lune” (Unhook the moon) is an event which brings together numerous cultural actors and citizens, in a real dynamic of training and exchange through several disciplines of street art.
If you like outings on foot, bicycle or by boat, La Louvière will more than satisfy you! With a large choice of circuits to be discovered, its canal and marked paths, all that remains is for you to allow yourself to be guided to discover the city’s oddities or to simply enjoy the pastoral routes.