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Exhibition : History

"Soudain le chaos" (Suddenly chaos) exhibition in Charleroi

"Soudain le chaos" (Suddenly chaos) exhibition in Charleroi
© Expo Soudain le chaos
  • Opening periods
    • from Saturday 23 August 2014 to Sunday 14 December 2014
    • Address:
      Campus de Parentville,
      Rue de Villers 227
      6010 COUILLET (CHARLEROI)Belgium

    • MAPS: Google Maps

    Charleroi's archives tell you the story of the happenings in August 1914 and about the signing of the Treaty of Couillet, at an exhibition on display until 14/12/2014.

    The exhibition evokes a striking event in Charleroi and one that is little known during the First World War: the signing of the Treaty of Couillet.

    The treaty was signed by Emile Devreux, a burgomaster in Charleroi, and the Germans on 23 August 1914 to stop the bombings in the city. The city accepted the immense ransom requested by the invader, which resulted in famine throughout the population and placed the administrative supervision in German hands.

    Organised by the city of Charleroi, the exhibition will take place at Parentville Castle in Couillet, which is currently occupied by the Centre de Culture Scientifique de l'ULB (Centre of Scientific Culture at the Université de Libre de Bruxelles). In fact, it is the exact spot that the treaty was signed.

    The exhibition focuses on the period from when the German troops initially invaded to the signing of the Treaty of Couillet. It explores a local history describing Charleroi's industrial society plunging into the torment of battle. Many original archive documents of the city will also be on display throughout the exhibition. 

    Free entry.

    A forgotten monument

    Complete your visit by discovering the ruins of the "Den Kameraden" monument, on the spot where the Treaty of Couillet was signed, situated close to the Parentville Castle.

    To commemorate their victory in the Battle of Charleroi, the Germans erected an imposing stone monument, which was later destroyed on 11 November 1920 in memory of the Belgian soldiers lost at war.

    The ruins of this 200 tonne monument are currently concealed at the top of a wooded slope of the Sambre river.

    This monumental tour has appeared in several of the famous painter, René Magritte's works, in particular his "Empire of Lights" painting, which is displayed at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

    The Charleroi Tourist Office organises guided tours on 23/08, 30/08, 11/10, 11/11/14.

    For more information: +32 (0) 71/86 14 14.

    Find out more about our other events commemorating the First World War.


    • tel. : +32 (0) 71 60 03 00
    • website :

    PLUSTourist information on the town CHARLEROI



    We are not responsible for any changes in dates and/or programmes. Please contact the organiser prior to departure.