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Coal mine Loos-en-Gohelle

Coal mine Loos-en-Gohelle

Concrete giant in Loos-en-Gohelle

On the border of the French town of Lens stands this 66-meter-high colossus made of reinforced concrete: the extraction tower of Fosse n° 11-19, a French coal mine that closed 30 years ago.

Reinforced concrete

The tower, constructed from approximately 10,000 tons of reinforced concrete, was built in 1960.  Cement was injected as a foundation up to 25 meters underground to build the colossus,

The extraction machines are at the very top of the tower. They could lift 13,500 kilograms of coal out of the shaft at 18 meters per second.


The Saint-Pierre coal mine opened at the end of the 19th century. The mine merged with the Groupe de Lens-Liévin in 1952, after which one coal mine after another was closed down. On January 31, 1986, the curtain fell on pit numbers 11 and 19.

First World War

During the Great War, the mine was heavily destroyed by the Germans, but was subsequently rebuilt: the 45-meter-high metal shaft above pit no. 11 dates from 1925.

Slag heaps 

The nearby slag heaps 74 and 74A are the highest in Europe (at 182 and 184 meters). Like the mine relics, they are on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

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