Belgium has a rich cultural heritage ripe for discovery by urban explorers. The following sites are the most significant and historically representative urban ruins in Belgium – and well worth a visit.
An example of medieval and neo-gothic architecture, the coal mine of Hasard de Cheratte is situated in Cheratte, a section of the town of Visé in the province of Liège. Its construction started in 1850, and it was one of the first electric-powered mines in Belgium. Closed in 1877 after an accident and re-opened 30 years later, it mined coal until 1977. Composed of four mine shafts and various towers of different heights and designs, Hasard de Cheratte is symbolic of Belgium and the forgotten coal mine economy of the past. Today, almost 40 years after it closed its doors, its industrial relics provide valuable insight into the end of an era.
The bourse of Antwerp was built in 1531, after continuous economic growth necessitated a substitute for the previous well-known major economic hub, Bruges. The entire complex burned down twice, in 1583 and in 1858. The first building was followed by an architectural design developed by Domien de Waghemakere, composed of a rectangular space with four galleries covered by high, imposing ceilings. The present construction is the 19th-century neo-gothic renovation. Its high ceilings and astonishingly detailed glass roof recall the glorious past of this famous international trading hub. Closed in 1997, when the Brussels Stock Exchange opened, it has been neglected for nearly two decades while awaiting the approval of future construction plans.
Fort de la Chartreuse was built between 1817 and 1823 to defend the city of Liège. It was abandoned as a fortification by the military in 1891. Germany used it as a prison between 1914 and 1918, and America used it as a military hospital between 1944 and 1945. The Belgian army left the site entirely in 1988. Strategically positioned, overlooking the valley of Meuse and hidden in a highly forested area, Fort de la Chartreuse makes for a very interesting historical visit. Even in complete decay, this military fort can still teach explorers about its rich historical past, as a landmark of Belgium’s history and cultural heritage.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.