During your stay in our hotel in Mons city centre it is worth visit the Canal du Centre Historique with its four boat lifts. The hydraulic boat lifts are part of the historic Canal du Centre and are industrial monuments of the highest quality. Together with the Canal du Centre itself and the associated structures they constitute a remarkably well preserved and complete example of a 19th century industrial landscape. There were eight boat lifts build at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. These four boat lifts are the only ones that still exist in their original working condition. The Canal du Centre is 27 kilometers between Mons and Seneffe.
The Canal du Centre was constructed to ensure the liaison between the Meuse and the Escaut basins. They were part of the opening up programma of Hainaut, a rich industrial region, especially known for its coal production. The region had very few natural navigable waterways for the coal export. The digging work began in 1884 and the opening took place in 1917. In the beginning of the project the architects were confronted with two problems. The large distance in the height over a short distance and the small quantity of the water that was available. To overcome these constrains the best solution was to use hydraulic boat lifts, developed by English engineers.
Over a distance of 7 kilometer, a series of four boat lifts that are unique, were built. Each of these boat lifts covers a change in height of 15 to 16 meters. The site also has three buildings housing the necessary hydraulic machinery for the good functioning of the boat lifts. Also it has two houses to accommodate the work staff. Also you will find various types of trees and species. The Canal du Centre can accommodate 300 ton boats and is currently used for leisure navigation.
In 2002 they build a new boat lift that replaces the four old boat lifts. This new lift has a total height of 73.15 meters and the two 112 x 12 meter high caissons can hold the heaviest boats. The new waterway is now open to boats up to 1350 tons. The equivalent of 1350 tons is 70 lorries. The traffic on the waterway increased since 2002 from 30.000 tons a month to 200.000 tons a month. Enjoy your stay in Hotel Congress Mons!