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.