Genk had no fewer than three mines on its territory: Winterslag, Zwartberg, and Waterschei. Zwartberg was the first mine in Limburg that had to close. Since very little consideration was given to preserving the industrial heritage back in the 1960s, the colliery was as good as demolished. Nowadays LABIOMISTA is located on the former mine site.
Walking past art and lamas
LABIOMISTA - literally 'mix of life' is an area of 24 hectares on the former mining site. One half was left to nature, the other half serves as a living work of art with a sculpture garden, landscape art, and an animal park. Koen Vanmechelen's art is exhibited all over the park.
Did you know that on October 1st 1966 Zwartberg was the first of the seven Limburg mines to be closed? Industrial heritage was not a hot topic at the time so the whole plant was mercilessly razed to the ground. However, to commemorate it a mine monument was placed on the concrete slab which covers Shaft II. It features five mineworkers standing on and around the symbolic headframes. They embody the men who came to work in the mine from every corner of Belgium and Europe. Their descendants made the Zwartberg district their home and still live there today.