Hasard Cheratte is a former coal mine in Belgium that once played host to many thousands of Dutch miners at the height of its productivity.
The location is situated at the foot of a mountain.
The front of the site is hermetically sealed with high fences and barbed wire and impossible to enter.
After a very steep descent at the back, the tower of the first building gets visible through the trees.
When you reach the base of the mountain, you enter at the rear side of the mega site.
The site is 351 hectares big which are located in different buildings.
Through a broken window we get into the laundry room.
The showers are mostly broken and beaten a lot of graffiti sprayed on the walls.
Here and there, there are still damaged clothing including boots and coats, probably left behind by the old miners.
At the top floor of this building you have a stunning view over the vast.
We made our way down, pass a lift which was probably intended for tools.
A small narrow elevator that has been disabled with two heavy steel beams.
Under the elevator in front of a gate there is a memorial site.
On the sign you can read something in France language.
I think they want us to tell you it’s a very bad idea to go in there.
The building across we find a space that completely hung full of meters.
There was even one meter left in place and to see the display, this was once a voltmeter.
The room on the right was probably a workshop.
There were left some old tools and old cans affected by rust.
At the front there was a kind of courtyard with some little fences.
It had compartments and according the shutters It seems that here the salaries were paid considering the big old safe which was left in one of the rooms.
In one of the other rooms was a huge board with numbers and little hooks. No idea where that ever has served.
We then went our way out. While walking, you tend to look at the huge tower in front of you but the large holes is in the ground makes it very dangerous. The holes in the concrete that used probably by pipes from the basement makes the area very dangerous. If you’re not careful you can fall 10 meters down the basement.
The steel staircase of the huge tower is still reasonably intact.
The tower is therefore safe to climb and at the top you have again a great view of the terrain and the small buildings.
The large flywheel of the elevator is still present. What a huge piece of steel it is.
We descend and explore the basement.
There is very little to see, however, we find many remnants of cables. Probably have been copper thieves stripping cables here. The last building we visit was probably a large workshop. There are still remains of small rail tracks and there are a few wooden benches.
The rooms largely overgrown with moss because of the leaks in the roof.
We take our last picture and decide to go back to the Netherlands. The climb up what we’ve done in about half an hour was the hardest of the whole trip. Unbelievable how hard is was the way up but this location was really worth it!
Alexander Bentlage, born and living in Netherlands is an internation author of Ascosi Lasciti. He is completely addicted to exploring old abandoned buildings and factories. His preference for industry and factories don’t prevent him from finding also beautiful frescoed places.