Most abandoned structures aren’t massive. They’re your everyday home, warehouse, school building, etc. Not this cooling tower though.

Between the stairs and the pipe running over the river, look for the wild strawberry bushes.

Built in 1921, it was the largest coal burning power plant in Belgium. After nearly 90 years of use, it was shut down in 2007. At the time, it was reported that the plant was responsible for 10% of total CO2 emissions in Belgium.

Finding the structure wasn’t hard. It’s located a short drive off the R3 in southwestern Charleroi. When we arrived, the gate was wide open and there were families fishing in the river only 20m from the stairs leading into the tower.

On our way into the tower, we met another explorer exiting the structure. He assured me that there was no entrance fee.


We spent about 20 minutes walking about the main level. Afterwards, we went underneath where the water would have been circulated.

Across the river is another impressive abandoned building. It is gated and well marked as being under video surveillance. With a local or French speaking adventure, I would have been interested in investigating the other structure. Without being able to speak French though, I though it probably wasn’t a good idea.