Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium, although there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language and history. It is one of the communities and language areas of Belgium, the demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming, while the corresponding adjective is Flemish. The official capital of Flanders is Brussels, although Brussels itself has an independent regional government, in historical contexts, Flanders originally refers to the County of Flanders, which around AD1000 stretched from the Strait of Dover to the Scheldt estuary. In accordance with late 20th century Belgian state reforms the area was made two political entities, the Flemish Community and the Flemish Region. These entities were merged, although geographically the Flemish Community, which has a cultural mandate, covers Brussels. Flanders has figured prominently in European history, as a consequence, a very sophisticated culture developed, with impressive achievements in the arts and architecture, rivaling those of northern Italy.
Belgium was one of the centres of the 19th century industrial revolution, Flanders is generally flat, and has a small section of coast on the North Sea. Much of Flanders is agriculturally fertile and densely populated, with a density of almost 500 people per square kilometer. It touches France to the west near the coast, and borders the Netherlands to the north and east, the Brussels Capital Region is an enclave within the Flemish Region. Flanders has exclaves of its own, Voeren in the east is between Wallonia and the Netherlands and Baarle-Hertog in the consists of 22 exclaves surrounded by the Netherlands. It comprises 6.5 million Belgians who consider Dutch to be their mother tongue, the political subdivisions of Belgium, the Flemish Region and the Flemish Community. The first does not comprise Brussels, whereas the latter does comprise the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Brussels, the political institutions that govern both subdivisions, the operative body Flemish Government and the legislative organ Flemish Parliament.
The two westernmost provinces of the Flemish Region, West Flanders and East Flanders, forming the central portion of the historic County of Flanders, a feudal territory that existed from the 8th century until its absorption by the French First Republic. Until the 1600s, this county extended over parts of France, one of the regions conquered by the French in Flanders, namely French Flanders in the Nord department. French Flanders can be divided into two regions, Walloon Flanders and Maritime Flanders. The first region was predominantly French-speaking already in the 1600s, the latter became so in the 20th century, the city of Lille identifies itself as Flemish, and this is reflected, for instance, in the name of its local railway station TGV Lille Flandres. The region conquered by the Dutch Republic in Flanders, now part of the Dutch province of Zeeland, the significance of the County of Flanders and its counts eroded through time, but the designation remained in a very broad sense. In the Early modern period, the term Flanders was associated with the part of the Low Countries
Ciney is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Namur. On January 1,2006, Ciney had a population of 14,958. The total area is 147.56 km² which gives a density of 101 inhabitants per km². Several beers from the city are now brewed by Alken-Maes and still bear the name, Ciney Blonde, Ciney Brown and those beers were first brewed in 1978. The city was damaged by a storm on 14 July 2010. The bell tower, the symbol and Cineys beer symbol. Reconstruction took more than a year and cost some million euros, Ciney has 2 catholic secondary schools and 2 secondary state schools. The Technobel Competence center, a technology and communications training centre, is located in Ciney. List of protected sites in Ciney Skanifest, a music festival Media related to Ciney at Wikimedia Commons
The Hesbaye, or Haspengouw is a geophysical region in Belgium, mainly defining the southern part of the province of Limburg. Other parts are found in neighbouring provinces, northwestern Liège, southeastern Flemish Brabant. Geographically, Hesbaye borders on two regions of rolling hills, to the west Hageland, to the south, on the other side of the river Meuse. To the north it borders on the flat sandy Campine region, to the south and east it borders on the valley of the Meuse. The northern Humid part has a water table and many springs, it is by far the main fruit growing area of Belgium. The southern Dry division is more fertile and the ground water sinks more easily, in this region sugar beet, flax, rapeseed. From the seventh century Hesbaye was an important fief in the marches of the Merovingian kingdom of Austrasia. It lay in that region where the western foreland of the Eifel meets the south-western fringe of silva carbonaria, hesbines was perhaps set apart for Lambertus, son of Guerin, count of Poitiers.
It was mentioned in the division of territories between Charles the Bald and Louis the German in 870 in the Treaty of Meerssen, in 1040, the Emperor Henry III gave the fief to the prince-bishop Nithard of Liège who integrated it with the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. Known counts of Hesbaye are Ingerman and his consanguine Robert, grandfather of Robert the Strong, who founded the dynasty of the dukes of Brabant and the kings of France, known as Capetians. The fortunes of the line of Counts of Hesbaye were cemented when Ermengarde of Hesbaye, daughter of Ingerman, married Louis the Pious, today Hesbaye continues to be rural, with many small villages. Hesbaye liégeoise Rolf Badenhausen, Merovingians by the Svava, identifying Didrek of the Old Swedish Thidrekssaga with Theuderich, son of Clovis, includes Geographic glossary of placenames
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.
Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Belgium is a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings, a gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Eighty Years War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands.
The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie
Dinant is a Walloon city and municipality located on the River Meuse in the Belgian province of Namur. It is around 90 kilometres south-east of Brussels,30 kilometres south-east of Charleroi,30 kilometres south of Namur and 20 kilometres north of Givet. The municipality includes the old communes of Anseremme, Bouvignes-sur-Meuse, Dréhance, Falmignoul, Foy-Notre-Dame, Lisogne, Dinant is positioned in the Upper Meuse valley at a point where the river cuts deeply into the western Condroz plateau. During the 19th century the former Île des Batteurs to the south was attached directly to the town when a branch of the river was filled in, Dinant has been enriched by the agricultural opportunities presented by the fertility of the land on the plateau that overlooks it. The name Dinant comes from the Celtic Divo-Nanto, meaning Sacred Valley or Divine Valley, the Dinant area was already populated in Neolithic and Roman times. In 870, Charles the Bald gave part of Dinant to be administered by the Count of Namur, the part by the bishop of Tongeren.
In the 11th century, the emperor Henry IV granted several rights over Dinant to the Prince-Bishop of Liège, including market, from that time on, the city became one of the 23 ‘‘bonnes villes’’ of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The first stone bridge on the Meuse and major repair to the castle, the citys economic rival was Bouvignes, downriver on the opposite shore of the Meuse. Henri Pirenne gained his doctorate in 1883 with a thesis on medieval Dinant, in the 16th- and 17th-century wars between France and Spain, Dinant suffered destruction and epidemics, despite its neutrality. In 1675, the French army under Marshal François de Créquy occupied the city, Dinant was briefly taken by the Austrians at the end of the 18th century. The whole Bishopric of Liège was ceded to France in 1795, the dinanderies fell out of fashion and the economy of the city now rested on leather tanning and the manufacture of playing cards. The famous couques de Dinant appeared at that time, the city suffered devastation again at the beginning of the First World War.
On the 15 August 1914, French and German troops fought for the town in the Battle of Dinant, on 23 August,674 inhabitants were summarily executed by Saxon troops of the German Army — the biggest massacre committed by the Germans in 1914. Within a month, some five thousand Belgian and French civilians were killed by the Germans at numerous similar occasions, the citys landmark is the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame de Dinant. It was rebuilt in Gothic style on its old foundations after falling rocks from the adjacent cliff partially destroyed the former Romanesque style church in 1227. Several stages for a pair of towers on the west end were completed before the project was abandoned in favour of the present central tower with an onion dome. Above the church rises the vertical flank of the rocher surmounted by the fortified Citadel of Dinant that was first built in the 11th century to control the Meuse valley, the Prince-Bishops of Liège rebuilt and enlarged it in 1530, the French destroyed it in 1703.
Its present aspect, with the stairs, is due to rebuilding in 1821
Durbuy is a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Luxembourg. On 1 January 2007 the municipality had 10,633 inhabitants, the total area is 156.61 km², giving a population density of 67.9 inhabitants per km². The municipality consists of the following sub-municipalities, Durbuy proper, Bende, Borlon, Heyd, Septon, Villers-Sainte-Gertrude, in medieval times Durbuy was an important centre of commerce and industry. In 1331, the town was elevated to the rank of city by John I, Count of Luxemburg, in 1628 Anthonie II Schetz obtains the Seigneurie of Durbuy, by permision of Felipe IV of Spain. One of the connected to the city was the son of Lancelot II, Charles Hubert Augustin Schetz. In 1756 the decendants of the House of Schetz obtain the Castle, since the House of Ursel resides in the Castle. The current castle was built in 1880, the Ourthe river flows through the municipality. Tourism and recreation are its main activities nowadays
The Ardennes is a region of extensive forests, rough terrain, rolling hills and ridges formed by the geological features of the Ardennes mountain range and the Moselle and Meuse River basins. Geologically, the range is a extension of the Eifel. The eastern part of the Ardennes forms the northernmost third of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, called Oesling, the greater region maintained an industrial eminence into the 20th century after coal replaced charcoal in metallurgy. The region is typified by steep-sided valleys carved by swift-flowing rivers and its most populous cities are Verviers in Belgium and Charleville-Mézières in France, both exceeding 50,000 inhabitants. The Ardennes is otherwise relatively sparsely populated, with few of the cities exceeding 10,000 inhabitants with a few exceptions like Eupen or Bastogne. The Eifel range in Germany adjoins the Ardennes and is part of the geological formation. N. B. the Belgian Province of Luxembourg in the above list is not to be confused with the known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
The Ardennes is an old mountain formed during the Hercynian orogeny, in France similar formations are the Armorican Massif, the Massif Central, the low interior of such old mountains often contain coal, plus iron and other metals in the sub-soil. This geologic fact explains the greatest part of the geography of Wallonia, the region was uplifted by a mantle plume during the last few hundred thousand years, as measured from the present elevation of old river terraces. This geological region is important in the history of Wallonia because this old mountain is at the origin of the economy, the history, Wallonia presents a wide range of rocks of various ages. Some geological stages internationally recognized were defined from rock sites located in Wallonia, except for the Tournaisian, all these rocks are within the Ardennes geological area. Before the 19th century industrialization, the first furnaces in the four Walloon provinces and in the French Ardennes used charcoal for fuel and this industry was in the extreme south of the present-day Belgian province of Luxembourg, in the region called Gaume.
Wallonia became the industrial power area of the world in proportion to its territory. The rugged terrain of the Ardennes limits the scope for agriculture, the region is rich in timber and minerals, and Liège and Namur are both major industrial centres. The extensive forests have an abundant population of wild game, the scenic beauty of the region and its wide variety of outdoor activities, including hunting, cycling and canoeing, make it a popular tourist destination. The region took its name from the ancient Silva, a vast forest in Roman times called Arduenna Silva, the modern Ardennes covers a much smaller area. The Song of Roland describes Charlemagne as having a nightmare the night before the Battle of Roncevaux Pass of 778 and this nightmare took place in the Ardennes forest, where his most important battles occurred. Another song about Charlemagne, the Old French 12th-century chanson de geste Quatre Fils Aymon, mentions many of Wallonias rivers and other places