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The Blue Stone

The Blue Stone
In Soignies, we have lived for hundreds of years to in the shadow of the Blue Stone. Here, industry, heritage, culture: everything revolves around this stone also called "small granite". Its formation dates back 345 million years! At that time, Soignies was located on the coast. The subtropical climate, clear, warm and shallow water, as well as its coral formation favorable to crinoids and the abundance of underwater fauna, make the region a favorable place for the formation of Blue Stone.

For more than 125 years, Blue Stone has been extracted from the various quarries that surround Soignies. The mineral has made the city internationally renowned, today the European Center of Blue Stone.

A must see
Regularly, the Communal Tourist Office organizes guided tours of active quarries. A unique industrial heritage to discover absolutely!

Info at +32 (0) 67 / 34.73.76

Good to know
Blue Stone is a compact limestone whose fossils are encased by microcrystalline calcite containing grains of carbon giving the rock its blue-black appearance. Its technical properties (low porosity, non-freezing, high resistance to compression) and its aesthetic diversity make it a material of choice in all areas of construction.

La Grande Carrière Wincqz - The Stone Pole
Installed on the classified site of the Grande Carrière Wincqz, the Stone Pole (Pôle de la pierre) is a training center for stone trades (from extraction to restoration, including cutting, engraving, sculpture) which combines tradition and transmission of know-how to recent technological innovation.
Completely restored, this site is of major heritage interest and bears witness to the past of this industry, whose development dates back to the middle of the 19th century.

Information :
Stone Pole
Rue Mademoiselle Hanicq, 30
7060 Soignies
Phone : +32 (0) 67 / 41.12.60
E-mail :

Good to know :
As a visionary director of the quarries, P.-J. Wincqz developed his company's headquarters from the middle of the 19th century by building prestigious buildings there equipped with cutting-edge technologies. La Grande Carrière presents a complete industrial complex including offices, a sawmill, a forge, a carpentry and a winch pavilion.

Also to discover:
The Municipal Tourist Office offers you a circuit, to discover on foot or by bike, on the trail of the Blue Stone.
Info : 067 / 34.73.76

The international meetings of Blue Stone sculptures:
Every 3 years, sculptors from all over the world meet in Soignies for the international meetings of monumental sculpture using Blue Stone (Pierre Bleue). Starting from blocks of stone weighing several tons, some of the most unusual works are born, under the astonished eyes of passers-by.

Information :

Visit of the Art Center museums
At the foot of the Collegiate Church of Saint-Vincent, the museums of the Art Center welcome you in a secular building which, in itself, is worth a detour.
Fan of authenticity? First, discover the old Bourdeaux pharmacy. It was in use until 1968, and since then time has stood still. In this authentic and unchanged pharmacy, vials, boxes and instruments will immerse you in the atmosphere of yesteryear.
One floor below, immerse yourself in the world of blue stone and its origins. A small charming museum, the Documentation Center of the Blue Stone houses a collection of minerals and fossils that allow visitors to get to know the natural material and its formation which dates back 350 million years. The stonemason's tools and the reconstruction of his lean-to recall the working conditions of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The magnificent garden hosts the works of sculptor craftsmen.

Free Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Communal Tourist Office on +32 (0) 67/34 73 76.