Europe's largest boat lift to celebrate 20th anniversary in September

Europe's largest boat lift to celebrate 20th anniversary in September
Credit: Belga

The giant boat lift of Strépy-Thieu, on the Canal du Centre, will celebrate its 20th anniversary as part of festivities to be organized on September 3 and 4, announced Sofico (the Walloon company for complementary financing of infrastructures) on Thursday.

Various activities have been announced, including guided tours behind the scenes of the enormous infrastructure, boat trips on the lift, a permanent exhibition retracing the life of the structure, entertainment for children and information stands, Belga News Agency reports.

Festivities will start the morning of Friday 2 September. Sofico and the SPW Mobilité Infrastructures have joined forces with Waterways of Hainaut and the Country Center Tourism Office to draw up the program.

Construction of the Strépy-Thieu boat lift began in 1982 and was officially inaugurated in 2002. It allows boats to navigate, in two independent ferries, a drop of 73.15 meters between the basin of the Scheldt and a divide reaching towards the Meuse basin.

From 1 April to the end of October, the Interpretation centre "Waterways of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" will offer self-guided tours that follow the history of Belgian inland navigation. The tour showcases shipbuilding, navigation techniques and future plans for the waterways. Tickets can be reserved on their website.


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