Quaregnon, by mount and by cave
The slagheaps south of Quaregnon have, by the concurrence of good intentions, become genuine tourist sites.
Each slagheap has its walking areaIn Belgium, the slagheaps have become great walking areas. They boast an astonishing natural environment not seen elsewhere in the country, and afford great views of their surroundings. If you’re itching to test your climbing abilities, they’re particularly suitable for climbing in Quaregnon. Guided walks will take you on a discovery of these strange mounds. At Champ Pagnon, Quaregnon’s tourist information office, you will find very handy booklets to understand them. Rich in practical and historical annotations, these booklets will guide you over the heaps and give you all the information necessary to understand their history and their ecosystem. Thanks to marked cards, they’ll also help you find your way without the risk of getting lost!
The slagheaps of the south
Circuits of the southern heaps are marked at the start of the community centre “Plein Sud”, Place du Sud. On the programme: Seven climbs, depending on what you want. The Saint-Placide slagheap or Croix slagheap will take you to the summit at the foot of an 18 metre tall cross. To get there, follow the road Bout de là-Haut.
The Saint-Félix slagheap spans 5.7 acres of bumps transformed into a bike park. It also provides thrills to mountain bikers who can follow a 1.8km track or try their hand at the BMX circuit. In the same spirit, the Rieu du Coeur slagheap now leads to the waterfall park: 3.5 ha of land converted into a sports field, walking trails, a pond and even a waterfall. Focused on nature, the Trannoy slagheap displays a remarkable horde of trees which have grown here spontaneously including oak, black pine and, notably, a few cedars of Lebanon. Climbing up it will bring you to the highest point in Quaregnon. To complete your journey, one of the three heaps of the fief of Lambrechies will encourage a time of reflection as you walk past two mineshafts with a dramatic past. 57 minors died there on 15 and 17 May 1934, and the town commemorates them each year.
The Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes
A stone’s throw from the foot of the Croix heap is one of the most amazing places in Quaregnon. Unusually, it houses an exact replica of the Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes. This unique creation is the will of one man, the priest Charles Mahieu, who was well supported by loyal donors. Opened in 1903, it welcomes ramblers on a daily basis, whether regular churchgoers or not. You can gather there to light a candle in the heart of the cave, but also browse the 15 chapels representing “The 15 mysteries of the Rosary”. This creation will appear to some as the funding of the great coal mining leaders. They were all, with very few exceptions, practicing Catholics. A pilgrimage takes place every year on the second Sunday of September.