The Lewarde Mining History Centre

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+33 (0)3 66 98 10 40 Local call rates

The Lewarde Mining History Centre is the largest mining museum in France. The collieries in the region wanted the old Delloye 13 site to be turned into a museum after it closed. It was opened to the public in 1984, became a listed historical monument in 2009 and a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2012. The centre retraces the mining industry and the extraction of 2 billion tons of coal over three centuries. The site is a symbol of the Nord-pas-de-Calais region attracting over 150,000 visitors per year.

New buildings (43,000 sq ft) were added in 2002 to provide better conditions for the growing number of visitors and extra space for exhibitions. New glass-partition buildings were subtly inserted between the red brick buildings, typical of the region and the industrial era. The current buildings (86,110 sq ft) are divided into 3 sections – the mining museum, the archive & documentary resource centre and the scientific energy culture centre. The mining museum offers a tour through the various installations and equipment typically used in the mines and shows how extraction methods and working conditions evolved between 1900 and 1950. The visit is highy authentic with reconstructed galleries identical to the originals and guided tours with retired miners or miners’ children who explain the harsh working conditions of the industrial era, describing the atmosphere, the noise, constant fear and danger the miners had to deal with.
The archive & documentary resource centre keeps all the colliery archives - photos, films, objects, books, recordings and testimonials. Some of the objects come from mining families who regularly give to the museum to perpetuate the memory of their forefathers. Visitors can learn more about the daily lives of miners and their families. Lastly, the scientific energy culture centre puts the importance of coal into historical context as well as the role of energy more globally, including all the different stakes our planet faces today.