Charleroi Travel Guide

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Charleroi is the third biggest city of Belgium, situated in Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium.

Charleroi is not like any other Belgian city - no Grand Places, and its very hilly, lots of slopes in the town. The atmosphere feels different too, slightly scarier, more oppressive, but not altogether unfriendly. In Harry Pearsons book A Tall Man In A Low Land, he visits Charleroi and comments that it was "like a scene from a Martin Scorses film - alas, not the Age Of Innocence". It's a special place. As the gateway of the Ardennes it of course has a lot more to offer besides this huge event. It has a lot of beautiful sights, shopping-streets, parks, many cultural activities and museums. Shopping is pretty good, there's Ville2, a shopping centre next to the stadium in the North town (Metro - Samaritains) which has a big cinema complex next to it, Carollywood, as well as restaurants and a big car park. There are lots of clothes shops on the steep Rue de la Montagne, which leads up to the Place Charles II, where you'll find the Cathedral and the Town Hall, plus huge spouting fountains that come up from the ground. Nearby in Chatelineau there is a shopping centre called Cora, and in nearby Gilly there are also lots of shops (Gilly is at the end of the Métro), and a good theatre, Le Temps Choisis.

Charleroi is also the cradle of the Belgian comic strip in the " Marcinelle School " style as illustrated by " Dupuis Publishers ". Amongst others you will meet Spirou and Fantasio, the Marsupilami, Lucky Luke, Boule et Bill, the Daltons ... in the centre of the city or when you use the underground. In Parc Astrid is a remarkable Lucky Luke statue.

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