Located in the province of Hainaut, Charleroi is today the first Walloon metropolis and the third largest city in Belgium.
Originally, Charnoy (place planted with charms), is a small village whose the situation of domination on the Sambre attracts the attention of the Marquis de Castel Rodrigo, governor of the Netherlands for the young King of Spain, Charles II. He decides to establish a fortress, and on September 3 1666, he baptizes the place of the name of the king: Charles II. This is how Charnoy becomes "Charleroy".
The industrial revolution of the 19th century, the boom of the production of coal, steel and glass transform Charleroi into one of the industrial basins the most prosperous in Europe. So after being fortress then industrial city, Charleroi is today a metropolis in full economic and environmental reconversion and cultural. Economic reconversion took place especially in aeronautics, special steels, mechanical constructions, centers research in biology and molecular medicine, telecommunications, informatics, printing and services.