The coal mine of Beringen - this is where we will meet
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On 23 February 1907, the SA Charbonnages de Beeringen was founded, its first industrial buildings following in 1909. It marked the beginning of a systematic expansion of this mining settlement. In 1989, the Beringen mine closed and today, the site is a mostly preserved and protected monument.
An entirely aboveground infrastructure was built for the mine, a prestigious plan d’ensemble: the creation of a new city. Furthermore, the remote location caused the mining society to build all relevant techniques itself: a power plant, workshops, locomotive warehouses, sawmills, brickworks… The architecture of the mine buildings are reminiscent of French industrial style.
In 1993-1994, the Flemish government declared the entire coalmine a protected monument. Their vision: to preserve one of the 7 great coalmines in Limburg in the largest possible capacity, so as to maintain a representative image of this industry.
With its surface area of over 30 hectares, the coalmine itself is one of the largest industrial-archaeological sites in Europe. It is also the only coalmine in the Benelux to be so fully preserved.
Moreover, the coalmine itself is part of a much larger “plan d’ensemble”, with “garden cities”, social facilities (schools, hospitals, prayer houses, sporting infrastructure…), transport infrastructure (the canal, railroads, main roads…). This plan d’ensemble has been remarkably well-preserved, is still in use and is embraced by the local populace and city administration as a special part of social capital.
At the coal mine of Beringen one of the largest and most complete coal preparation plant is still existing
More information on the campaign to save the building can be found on the website of the Flemish Association for Industrial Archaeology, including a link to the European petition campaign