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For other uses, see Bouillon (disambiguation).
Flag of Bouillon
Coat of arms of Bouillon
Coat of arms
Bouillon is located in Belgium
Location in Belgium
Coordinates: 49°47.73′N 05°4.08′E / 49.79550°N 5.06800°E / 49.79550; 5.06800Coordinates: 49°47.73′N 05°4.08′E / 49.79550°N 5.06800°E / 49.79550; 5.06800
Country Belgium
Community French Community
Region Wallonia
Province Luxembourg
Arrondissement Neufchâteau
 • Mayor André Defat (CAP)
 • Governing party/ies CAP, PR
 • Total 149.09 km2 (57.56 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2013)[1]
 • Total 5,427
 • Density 36/km2 (94/sq mi)
Postal codes 6830, 6831, 6832, 6833, 6834,
6836, 6838
Area codes 061

Bouillon (French pronunciation: ​[bu.jɔ̃], written Bouyon in Walloon) a is a municipality in Belgium. It lies in the country's Walloon Region and Luxembourg Province.

The municipality, which covers 149.09 km², had 5,477 inhabitants, giving a population density of 36.7 inhabitants per km².


In the Middle Ages Bouillon was a lordship within the Duchy of Lower Lorraine and the principal seat of the Ardennes-Bouillon dynasty in the 10th and 11th century. In the 11th century they dominated the area, and held the ducal title along with many other titles in the region. Bouillon was the location of the ducal mint and the dominant urban concentration in the dukes' possession.[2]

Western part of Bouillon Castle (13th/19th centuries)

There is a common misconception that Bouillon was a County. While the lords of Bouillon often were counts and dukes, Bouillon itself was not a county. The fortification of Bouillon Castle was, along with the County of Verdun, the core of the possessions of the Ardennes-Bouillon dynasty, and their combined territory was a complex mixture of fiefs, allodial land and other hereditary rights throughout the area. An example of the latter is the Advocacy of the monastery of Saint-Hubert en Ardennes, which was granted to Godfrey II by the Bishop of Liège.[3]

The Semois river and the castle

The most famous of the Lords of Bouillon was Godfrey of Bouillon, a leader of the First Crusade and the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. He sold Bouillon Castle to the Bishopric of Liège. The bishops started to call themselves dukes of Bouillon, and the town emerged as the capital of a sovereign duchy by 1678, when it was captured from the bishopric by the French army and given to the La Tour d'Auvergne family. The duchy was prized for its strategic location as "the key to the Ardennes" (as Vauban called it) and hence to France itself. It remained a quasi-independent protectorate, like Orange and Monaco, until 1795, when the Republican Army annexed it to France.

After the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte, the city was given to the Netherlands in the 1815 Treaty of Paris. It has been part of Belgium since the Revolution of 1830.

Modern town[edit]

A view over Bouillon

Bouillon has a few schools, a lycée (middle school) and a gymnasium (high school), banks and a square place.

The town sits in a sharp bend of the river Semois (German: Sesbach, Walloon: Simwès, in France : Semoy) whose total length is 210 km. The surrounding area is largely forested.

Bouillon Castle still sits above the town centre, and is a popular tourist attraction.


Historical population[edit]

Year Population Area Density
2002 5,393 (2,649 males and 2,744 females) 148.94 km² 36.21/km²

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Population per municipality on 1 January 2013 (XLS; 607.5 KB)
  2. ^ Murray, p. 10.
  3. ^ Murray, p. 11.


  • Murray, Alan V. (2000). The Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. A Dynastic History 1099-1125. Prosopographica et Genealogica. ISBN 1-900934-03-5. 

External links[edit]