City status in Belgium

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City status in Belgium is granted to a select group of municipalities by a royal decree or by an act of law.

History[edit]

During the Middle Ages, towns had defined privileges over surrounding villages. As the nobility strengthened their power over regions in feudal Europe, they bestowed on towns the rights to organize annual fairs, levy tolls or build walls and other defense works. Under the French occupation of Belgian provinces, these privileges were abolished and replaced by an honorific title of city (Dutch: stad, French: ville). This was imposed upon the Belgian provinces by order of the French Convention Nationale on the 2 brumaire in the year II (23 October 1793). A number of towns lost their title of city.

At the time of Dutch rule and incorporation into the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815-1830), some towns recovered their city title. On 30 May 1825, a royal decree was published and included the list of the towns that were granted the title. Even with Belgian independence (1831-) this list was scarcely changed. After the merging of municipalities throughout Belgium in 1977, some towns had the opportunity to apply for the title of city. The request had to be based on historical facts such as having the title before the French occupation or during the Middle Ages or had to be based on the development of a high population in their urban centres. 44 towns were granted the title of city between 1982 and 1999.

List of cities in Belgium[edit]

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z
City Arrondissement Province Population Year of the Royal Order Communal Charter
Aalst (Alost) Aalst  East Flanders 77360 1825 1174
Aarschot (fr: Aerschot) Leuven  Flemish Brabant 27864 1825 1194
Andenne Namur  Namur 24407 1825
Antoing Tournai  Hainaut 7549 1825 1817 (titre)
Antwerp (nl: Antwerpen; fr: Anvers) Antwerp  Antwerp 461496 1825 1221
Arlon (nl:Aarlen; de: Arel) Arlon  Luxembourg 26367 1825
Ath (nl: Aat) Ath  Hainaut 26799 1825 1166
Bastogne(nl: Bastenaken) Bastogne  Luxembourg 14144 1825 1332
Beaumont Thuin  Hainaut 6698 1825
Beauraing Dinant  Namur 8344 1985
Beringen Hasselt  Limburg 41072 1985 1239
Bilzen Tongeren  Limburg 30057 1985 1386
Binche Thuin  Hainaut 32409 1825
Blankenberge Bruges  West Flanders 18175 1985
Borgloon (fr: Looz) Tongeren  Limburg 10152 1985 ± 1200
Bouillon Neufchâteau  Luxembourg 5455 1825
Braine-le-Comte (nl: 's-Gravenbrakel) Soignies  Hainaut 20305 1825
Bree Maaseik  Limburg 14503 1985 1386
Bruges (nl: Brugge) Bruges  West Flanders 117224 1825 1128
Brussels
(fr: Bruxelles; nl: Brussel; de: Brüssel)
Brussels-Capital 144784 1825 1229
Charleroi Charleroi  Hainaut 201300 1825
Châtelet Charleroi  Hainaut 35621 1825
Chièvres Ath  Hainaut 6198 1825
Chimay Thuin  Hainaut 9774 1825
Chiny Virton  Luxembourg 5013 1825
Ciney Dinant  Namur 14958 1985
Comines-Warneton (nl: Komen-Waasten) Mouscron  Hainaut 17562 1825 (Warneton)
Couvin Philippeville  Namur 13476 1985
Damme Bruges  West Flanders 10899 1985 1180
Deinze Ghent  East Flanders 28320 1825 1241
Dendermonde (fr: Termonde) Dendermonde  East Flanders 43347 1825 1233
Diest Leuven  Flemish Brabant 22740 1825 1229
Diksmuide (Dixmude) Diksmuide  West Flanders 15733 1825 12th
Dilsen-Stokkem Maaseik  Limburg 19106 1987 1244 (Stokkem)
Dinant Dinant  Namur 13012 1825
Durbuy Marche-en-Famenne  Luxembourg 10531 1825 1331
Eeklo Eeklo  East Flanders 19535 1825 1240
Enghien (nl: Edingen) Soignies  Hainaut 11980 1825
Eupen Verviers  Liège 18248 1808 1808 (title)
Fleurus Charleroi  Hainaut 22221 1982
Florenville Virton  Luxembourg 5449 1997
Fontaine-l'Évêque Charleroi  Hainaut 16687 1825
Fosses-la-Ville Namur  Namur 9311 1825
Geel Turnhout  Antwerp 35189 1985
Gembloux (nl: Gembloers) Namur  Namur 21964 1985
Genappe (nl: Genepiën) Nivelles  Walloon Brabant 14136 1985
Genk Hasselt  Limburg 64519 1999
Geraardsbergen (fr: Grammont) Aalst  East Flanders 31380 1825 1068
Ghent (nl: Gent, fr: Gand) Ghent  East Flanders 233120 1825 1178
Gistel Ostend  West Flanders 11125 1985 13th
Halen Hasselt  Limburg 8624 1985 1206
Halle (fr: Hal) Halle-Vilvoorde  Flemish Brabant 34882 1825 1225
Hamont-Achel Maaseik  Limburg 13770 1985 14th (Hamont)
Hannut (nl: Hannuit) Waremme  Liège 14291 1985
Harelbeke Kortrijk  West Flanders 26172 1985 1153
Hasselt Hasselt  Limburg 70035 1825 1232
Herk-de-Stad (fr: Herck-la-Ville) Hasselt  Limburg 11795 1985 1386
Herentals Turnhout  Antwerp 26071 1985 1209
Herve Verviers  Liège 16772 1825
Hoogstraten Turnhout  Antwerp 18582 1985 1210
Houffalize Bastogne  Luxembourg 4749 1825
Huy (nl: Hoei) Huy  Liège 20071 1825 1066
Izegem Roeselare  West Flanders 26544 1825 1817 (title)
Kortrijk (fr: Courtrai) Kortrijk  West Flanders 73657 1825 1127
Jodoigne (nl: Geldenaken) Nivelles  Walloon Brabant 12440 1985
La Louvière Soignies  Hainaut 77210 1985
La Roche-en-Ardenne Marche-en-Famenne  Luxembourg 4267 1825
Landen Leuven  Flemish Brabant 14682 1985 1211
Le Rœulx Soignies  Hainaut 7977 1825
Lessines Soignies  Hainaut 17848 1825
Leuven (fr: Louvain, de: Löwen) Leuven  Flemish Brabant 90706 1825 1211
Leuze-en-Hainaut Tournai  Hainaut 13223 1825
Liège (nl: Luik) Liège  Liège 186805 1825
Lier (fr: Lierre) Mechelen  Antwerp 33272 1825 1212
Limbourg (nl, de: Limburg) Verviers  Liège 5616 1825
Lokeren Sint-Niklaas  East Flanders 37850 1825 1804 (title)
Lommel Maaseik  Limburg 31898 1990
Lo-Reninge Diksmuide  West Flanders 3306 1985
Maaseik Maaseik  Limburg 23631 1825 1244
Malmedy (de: Malmünde ) Verviers  Liège 11829 historical
Marche-en-Famenne Marche-en-Famenne  Luxembourg 16994 1825
Mechelen (fr: Malines; de: Mecheln) Mechelen  Antwerp 78268 1825 1301
Menen (fr: Menin) Kortrijk  West Flanders 32413 1825
Mesen (fr : Messines) Ypres  West Flanders 988 1985
Mons (nl, de: Bergen) Mons  Hainaut 91221 1825
Mortsel Antwerp  Antwerp 24427 1999
Mouscron (nl:Moeskroen) Mouscron  Hainaut 52825 1986
Namur (nl: Namen) Namur  Namur 107178 1825
Neufchâteau Neufchâteau  Luxembourg 6539 1825
Nieuwpoort (fr : Nieuport) Veurne  West Flanders 10855 1825
Ninove Aalst  East Flanders 35651 1825 12th
Nivelles (nl: Nijvel) Nivelles  Walloon Brabant 24290 1825
Ostend (nl: Oostende; fr, de Ostende) Ostend  West Flanders 68931 1825 1267
Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve Nivelles  Walloon Brabant 29521 1982
Oudenaarde (fr: Audenarde) Oudenaarde  East Flanders 28517 1825 1189
Oudenburg Ostend  West Flanders 8929 1985
Peer Maaseik  Limburg 15810 1985
Péruwelz Tournai  Hainaut 16843 1825
Philippeville Philippeville  Namur 8320 1825
Poperinge Ypres  West Flanders 19623 1825 1147
Rochefort Dinant  Namur 12038 1985
Roeselare (fr: Roulers) Roeselare  West Flanders 55775 1825 1250
Ronse (fr: Renaix) Oudenaarde  East Flanders 24158 1825
Saint-Ghislain Mons  Hainaut 22466 1825
Saint-Hubert Neufchâteau  Luxembourg 5718 1825
St. Vith (fr: Saint Vith) Verviers  Liège 9169 historical
Scherpenheuvel-Zichem (fr: Montaigu-Zichem) Leuven  Flemish Brabant 22064 1985 1605
Seraing Liège  Liège 60740 1999
Sint-Niklaas (fr: Saint-Nicolas) Sint-Niklaas  East Flanders 69725 1825
Sint-Truiden (fr: Saint-Trond) Hasselt  Limburg 38247 1825 8th
Soignies (nl: Zinnik) Soignies  Hainaut 25420 1825
Spa Verviers  Liège 10543 1825 1594
Stavelot Verviers  Liège 6671 1825
Thuin Thuin  Hainaut 14625 1825
Tielt Tielt  West Flanders 19269 1825
Tienen (fr: Tirlemont) Leuven  Flemish Brabant 31835 1825
Tongeren (fr: Tongres) Tongeren  Limburg 29687 1825
Torhout Bruges  West Flanders 19453 1825
Tournai (nl : Doornik) Tournai  Hainaut 67534 1825 1188
Turnhout Turnhout  Antwerp 39791 1825 1212
Verviers Verviers  Liège 53597 1825
Veurne (Furnes) Veurne  West Flanders 11843 1825
Vilvoorde (fr: Vilvorde) Halle-Vilvoorde  Flemish Brabant 37324 1985 1192
Virton Virton  Luxembourg 11165 1825
Visé (nl: Wezet ) Liège  Liège 16817 1825
Walcourt Philippeville  Namur 17516 1985
Waregem Kortrijk  West Flanders 35852 1999
Waremme (nl: Borgworm) Waremme  Liège 14050 1985
Wavre (nl: Waver) Nivelles  Walloon Brabant 32201 1825
Wervik (fr: Wervicq) Ypres  West Flanders 17607 1825
Ypres (nl: Ieper) Ypres  West Flanders 34897 1825 1174
Zottegem (fr: Sottegem) Aalst  East Flanders 24548 1985
Zoutleeuw (fr: Léau) Leuven  Flemish Brabant 7947 1985 1107

See also[edit]