Folks in Holland have named Charleroi, Belgium “The Ugliest City in the World.” Not to be daunted, some of Charlori’s town folk have embraced this less than pristine distinction. In a case of work with what you have instead of lamenting what you don’t, they are offering tourists “urban safaris.”
The tours take in all that makes Charleroi, a city surrounded by slag heaps, so darned depressing. You can climb on coal piles, see where renowned citizens who killed themselves or others once lived, and visit an abandoned factory. The first white female suicide bomber who blew herself up in Baghdad was from Charleroi, another detail presented on the tour.
These creative tactics seem to be working since the tours are booked through next month, according to this article in the Sydney Morning Herald. Maybe one day, if the economy picks up, there will be different tours that highlight the places in Charleroi that used to be ugly before gentrification set in and ruined it.