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Europe > Benelux > Belgium > Wallonia > Hainaut > Spiennes

Spiennes

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In the Neolithic Flint Mines

Spiennes is a village in Wallonia.

This small village contains one of the more obscure entries on the UNESCO World Heritage List in the shape of the Neo-lithic Flint Mines

Get in[edit]

Spiennes is situated abou 5km south of Mons which has a train station and more links to the rest of the region.

  • The best option to get to Spiennes is to have your own transport/ taxi.

If you have your own transport here [dead link] is a very useful map on the location of the Neolithic Flint Mines

  • With public transport: on Sunday take the bus line 134 in the direction MONS-GIVRY-ERQUELINNES-BEAUMONT. Get off in Spiennes.

Get around[edit]

Spiennes Viaduct

Spiennes is very small and easily covered on foot.

The mines are not a large tourist attraction and there are only a few signs. They are located in farm land to the West of the village. The only noticeable landmark to head for are the blue containers in the field where you can park. The visitors center is just next to these.

See[edit]

  • 1 Silex's, Rue du Point du Jour, +32 65 40 53 25, . A WV-Unesco-icon-small.svg UNESCO World Heritage site since 2000, the Spiennes archaeological site is one of the oldest and largest centres for the extraction of flint in Europe. Dotted with thousands of mine shafts, the site extends over 250 acres at a distance of four miles from the city of Mons. Digging mine shafts to as much as 16 metres in depth, Neolithic man invented techniques to extract large slabs of flint, in some cases weighing hundreds of kilos. He also developed techniques for cutting the flint, which are now recognised as early evidence of human ingenuity. In the midst of beautiful greenery, the SILEX'S interpretive centre at the Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes allows visitors to understand all facets of this internationally renowned archaeological site. Visitors have the possibility to go on educational walks at surface level, visit the semi-permanent exhibition, and descend into a real Neolithic flint mine. Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes (Q677879) on Wikidata Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes on Wikipedia

Neolithic Flint Mines The mines are perhaps the only real reason to divert to Spiennes they cover more than 100 ha, are the largest and earliest concentration of ancient mines in Europe. They were actively used from 4400 - 2000 years B.C.

Practicalities

Cross section drawing of the mines

Without appointment: From March to November, on the first Sunday of each month, from 10 to 16 o’clock.

Groups from 10 persons : All the year round, by appointment only, tel: +32 65 35-34-78 or e-mail reservations@minesdespiennes.org. If you want to have a visit in English, send a short e-mail to the same address listed above.

Costs: Adults €2.5, Children (must be at least 12 years old and accompanied by an adult) €1.25.

The temperature in the mines is constant : from 8° to 10°C. So wear appropriate clothes. Rain-wear would be useful, as would walking or sports shoes, and a pair of trousers.

The tours are run by volunteers and facilities are very basic. The visit includes a descent in the mines, by means of a vertical ladder which is 8 meters high. If you are uncomfortable with an unassisted climb of 8 meters or are claustrophobic then a visit would need extra consideration. However the welcome is very warm and you will receive a more thorough experience than at many other tourist sites.

Do[edit]

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Mons is the nearest place that has hotels.

Go next[edit]


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