The four boat-lifts on the Canal du Centre, along with their environs, La Louviere and Le Roeulx, represents a remarkably well-preserved piece of late-19th-century industrial landscape in Belgium. The four lifts on Canal du Centre are the remainder of the original eight that were built in the late 19th and early 20th century. Along with the canal and its associated structures, the four lifts were inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites during the 22th session of the World Heritage Committee which met in Kyoto, Japan, on 30 November to 5 December, 1998.
The four boat lifts were celebrated as representing the apogee of the use of engineering technology in the building of canals.
Photos of Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre
Safety lock on the Canal du Centre, Belgium
Author: Karel Roose (public domain)
Houdeng-Aimeries boat life, Belgium
Author: LimoWreck (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)
Houdeng-Goegnies boat lift, Belgium
Author: Jean-Pol Grandmont (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5)
What to See in Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre
The four boat-lifts are locatged near the towns of La Louvière. They enable boats to travel the 7-km stretch of the Canal du Centre, which connects the Meuse river basin to the Schelt river basin. These two basins have a difference in height of 66.2 meters. The first of the boat lifts, with a height of 15.4 meters, was opened at Houdeng-Goegnies in 1988. The three other lifts were opened in 1917. They each have a rise of 16.93 meters.
The boat lifts as a pair of caissons. As one is filled with water and rises, the other discharges water and descends. They were designed by the British company of Clack, Stansfield & Clack.
World Heritage Site Inscription Details
Location: N 50 28 51.996 E 4 8 13.992
Inscription Year: 1998
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: III, IV
View Lifts on the Canal du Centre in a larger map
Visiting Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre
Your base for visiting this World Heritage Site is Brussels. Get your accommodation at any of the hotels in Brussels with online booking facility, and thereafter you can make your arrangement with a local travel agent for a tour of the Canal du Centre, and plan to go there on your own.
The Canal du Centre is nearest to La Louvière. It is about 30 minutes by train from Brussels. If you are driving, take the E19 southbound from Brussels.
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