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2022-09-05 18:34:54

The most ugly city in Europe has become a new tourist center

The most ugly city in Europe has become a new tourist center

Travelers from all other of the world are accustomed to hearing about the countries of Europe only that they are very beautiful, and their architecture is deposited in memory for a lifetime. However, as in any country in the world, the EU countries have towns whose appearance can not be called attractive. In 2012, a newspaper printed in the Netherlands called a Belgian town called Charleroi the ugliest on the planet.


Charleroi is a city in Belgium, whose population is just over 200 thousand people. Previously, there were factories that provided money and work to citizens. After that, there was a crisis in Belgium, and the production industry in the city began to fall apart. Factories began to stop working, and the city was virtually left without income and funding from the state. In the part of the country where Charleroi is located, at one time neither freight nor passenger trains even went!

The Belgian city was known to everyone for the place where there are many abandoned plants and factories, unfinished residential complexes, decorated with graffiti. The stations were empty because no trains passed through it.

The humanitarian organization "Mapita" published a report according to which the last mayors of the city were forced to resign, because they were involved in corruption scandals and fraud. At one time, 5 metro lines were designed in the city, but none of them was completed. At abandoned stations underground, drug addicts arranged their shelters, vandals and graffiti artists operated.

Before the crisis and destruction, Charleroi looked very different: the steel and coal industries were actively developing in the city, and the whole of Europe was equal to the Belgian city in this area. Belgium laid the second longest railway on the continent, second only to Great Britain. In the 1990s, there was a shortage of coal and steel in the country, which led to the onset of the financial crisis and the fall of the city of Charleroi. How bad the city began to look was noticed in other countries, and it was then that the Dutch newspaper published its article.

How the city benefited from its title

The townspeople were not satisfied with the situation that happened to the city, and the insult of Dutch journalists added fuel to the fire. After that, other newspapers followed the example of the Dutch, calling Charleroi a depressive place where it is impossible to live.

However, critical articles and texts had the opposite effect - tourists, on the contrary, fell into the city. Local residents decided to take advantage of the situation and make money on the influx of tourists. An absurd kind of exotic tourism began to develop in the city, in which travelers were taken to the darkest and most unpleasant areas of the city. Visitors liked it, and they brought more and more money to the city budget.

The influx of finance made it possible to change the situation: the authorities began to lay new asphalt on the roads, build shopping centers, parks for recreation and cycling. In dangerous areas, an operation was carried out to "catch" criminals and drug addicts, as well as to improve disadvantaged neighborhoods. Abandoned factories have now become the main attractions of the city, as well as the darkest street of Charleroi - they are not specially restored to show numerous travelers from all over Europe.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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