From the minecart tracks over the rough finish of the pillars and floors to the omnipresent art deco elements: when you enter Thor Central, you immediately get a taste of the history of the building. Generations of miners have worked here, digging up millions of tonnes of coal, providing energy to both households and industry. Today, science and technology companies in the Thor Park are digging for new kinds of energy: they are at the forefront of research into new, sustainable forms of power generation. Thor Central is at the heart of this exciting site, and is guaranteed to offer your attendees the two requisites for every successful congress or meeting: creativity and energy - quite fittingly for a place that’s named after the Norse god of lightning and thunder.
Meeting place with history
In 1901 rich coal seams were discovered in Limburg, the easternmost province of Flanders. In Waterschei, a part of the city of Genk, the drilling started in 1909. However, it would take until 1924 before the first coal was brought to the surface. Most of the mine buildings, including Thor Central, date back to the 1910s and the 1920s. The mines brought employment and wealth to a rural, sparsely populated region, and also attracted a lot of labourers from abroad. So when they shut down at the end of the 1980s, Genk had become a fully-fledged, cosmopolitan city, with over 100 nationalities. The old mining structures were partly repurposed.
A one-of-a-kind venue off the beaten track
Today, the mining site of Waterschei has become Thor Park, a R&D hub for energy-driven technology and a centre for education and training. It also offers infrastructure and services for businesses and is a gateway to the Hoge Kempen, Belgium’s only national park. If you are looking for an industrial-type venue for your next meeting or congress, Thor Central really has it all: you will be welcomed in a characterful building that is linked to an exciting mining history, yet you’re surrounded by green – if the weather allows, you can even hold your meetings outside. And of course the city of Genk has a lot to offer - one of the places where you can enjoy its cosmopolitan vibe is the Vennestraat, the ‘Street of Senses’ which offers cuisine from all over the world. A one-of-a-kind venue off the beaten track, but offering high-quality catering, services, and facilities: that’s Thor Central for you!