The city Charleroi in the belgian province of Hennegau gets called "the most ugly city of Europe if not the world". It seems like this city would not be your first choice for a daytrip while you´re staying in Belgium. But I have been there and I can promise, it´s not as bad as you might think. There are many cities in this world, that can definetely compete with Charleroi in this competition.
The city is very industrial and at the moment in a big change. The whole city is under construction and should be reborn within new beauty in some years. But I can understand, why people feel a little bit depressed when they visit the city. When the sky is grey, the streets are almost empty, all shops closed - the city seems quite deserted.
I was visiting the Museum of Photography (musée de la photographie) there and here comes a quality, that Charleroi really gives to the people who visit. The city is so photographic, pictures really transport the feeling you get when you are there. The photographer Stephan Vanfleteren captured the city and the people who live there in his pictures. His work is the actual exposition of the museum and some pictures are really strong and touch the observer.