Welcome on board - Bienvenue a bord - Welkom aan boord

the Grand Ascenseur de Strépy,down
the swing bridge and the museum
view on the Grand Ascenceur from the Ancienne Branche
Ronquieres in the lock going up
Ancienne Branche, inthe lock going up


The Belgian boat lifts and inclined plane at Ronquières

We have, with awe and pleasure, several times used the spectacular artefacts (as locks, elevators etc. are called) in the south of Belgium.
Very special is the roundtrip Ronquières – Strépy-Thieu – Ronquières (for more details and a description of our travels there in 2011 look at ourblog).

New techniques from last century, an inclined plane (1968) and a series of four elevators
(1888-1917) and a few bridges. The Canal du Centre, ancienne branche, the elevators and bridges are on the UN World Heritage List.click to enlarge

Going South from Brussels you first climb a 1500 metres incline at Ronquières, going up some sixty metres.
Since, from the opening, the use rapidly diminished it is called one of the "grands travaux inutiles".

Then down at the Grand ascenseur de Strépy-Thieu, a 21st century lift, built ten years ago, that replaced the 4 older ones and a lock, going down 73 meters. After that, cruising the Canal du Centre, ancienne branche, up again using the lock and the four elevators. During the rise you will enjoy a beautiful view of the lift at Strépy.

Not only are they beautiful artefacts, the route along them is beautiful too. The canal passes trough some picturesque villages, green banks and a museum where the story of the lifts is told.

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