The hydraulic boat lifts of the Canal du Centre

  • Historic Canal du Centre, hydraulic boatlift
  • Historic Canal du Centre, hydraulic boatlift
  • Historic Canal du Centre, hydraulic boatlift
  • Classification officielle d'une attraction en Wallonie : 4 soleils
  • Water attraction
  • Industrial heritage
  • River cruises

Situated in the province of Hainaut, these 4 hydraulic lifts, built at the beginning of the XIXth century, are standing monuments to the Belgian Industrial revolution. These timeless masterpieces, listed by UNESCO, can be visited.

Creating a network of inland waterways in Belgium meant building a new section for the Canal du Centre, including the largest boat lift ever built and a 73.15 metres drop. Impressive to say the least!

There is much to discover during this visit:

  • an impressive machine room,
  • a movie explaining how the lift works,
  • a panorama over the whole construction and the region,
  • an exhibition presenting the fossils found during the project
  • an exhibition on inland waterways (past and present)
  • animated scale models
  • interactive games

A cruise on the canal and a visit of Strépy

This cruise, complete with historical commentary, takes you through the locks, boat lifts and swing bridges. A little train will drive you along the towpath, all the way at lift number 3 where you can visit the impressive machine room.

Electric boat rental

From the Cantine des Italiens, why not rent an electric boat and cruise peacefully along the historic canal, enjoying the soothing atmosphere? Bring your own picnic or treat yourself to a meal at the restaurant there.

Nearby is an Interpretative Centre on immigration, well worth a visit.

Bike rental

The regional industry has left the region with a network of towpaths, now used as tranquil foot- and cycle-paths. They are the perfect way to discover the boat lifts and many gems of the province of Hainaut


Boat cruises are sadly not accessible to persons with reduced mobility.

Do check the Access-i certified activities and attractions in Wallonia.





More information


Minimum duration1:00
Maximum duration2:30



  • Bike hire


  • Cafe
  • Shop
  • Car parking
  • Cycle rack
  • Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Barbecue/picnic area


    Pets not allowed


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    German - EN - FR - NL
    The information provided is an indication only. We advise you to inquire directly with the organisers of the event that interests you before you leave.