Diest

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For the surname, see van Diest. For the belief, see deism.
Diest
Municipality of Belgium
Diest City Hall
Diest City Hall
Flag of Diest
Flag
Coat of arms of Diest
Coat of arms
Diest is located in Belgium
Diest
Diest
Location in Belgium
Coordinates: 50°59′N 05°03′E / 50.983°N 5.050°E / 50.983; 5.050Coordinates: 50°59′N 05°03′E / 50.983°N 5.050°E / 50.983; 5.050
Country Belgium
Community Flemish Community
Region Flemish Region
Province Flemish Brabant
Arrondissement Leuven
Government
 • Mayor Jan Laurys (DDS)
 • Governing party/ies DDS, VLD
Area
 • Total 58.20 km2 (22.47 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2012)[1]
 • Total 23,259
 • Density 400/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
Postal codes 3290, 3293, 3294
Area codes 013 - 011
Website www.diest.be

Diest (Dutch pronunciation: [d̪iːs̪t̪]) is a city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant. Situated in the northeast of the Hageland region, Diest neighbours the provinces of Antwerp to its North, and Limburg to the East and is situated around 60 km from Brussels. The municipality comprises the city of Diest proper and the towns of Deurne, Kaggevinne, Molenstede, Schaffen and Webbekom. As of January 1, 2006, Diest had a total population of 22,845. The total area is 58.20 km² which gives a population density of 393 inhabitants per km².

History[edit]

Between 1499 and 1795 the town was controlled by the House of Nassau (as were Breda in the Netherlands, Dillenburg in Germany and Orange in France) which was also the family of the Princes of Orange who at the end of the Napoleonic Wars became in 1815 the kings and queens of the Netherlands after the termination of the Dutch republic at the hands of revolutionary forces in 1795. The most famous representative of the House of Orange was William I of Orange-Nassau. Also known as William the Silent (1533-1584), who led the revolt of the United Provinces against Spain.

Diest is surrounded by high ramparts, which are partially preserved.

Sightseeing[edit]

Grote Markt

The market place of Diest is surrounded by picturesque houses from the 16th to 18th Century. The town hall is also located here, in the basement of the city museum. Exhibits in the museum include the armour of Philip of Orange and a portrait of René of Orange-Nassau and his wife Anna of Lorraine.

St. Sulpitiuskerk

The church of St. Sulpitius is also located on the Grote Markt. It was built in 1417-1534 from brown sandstone, typical of this period. The grave of Philip of Orange can be found here. After the death of his father William I of Orange-Nassau, he became Lord of the city.

Town Centre

The house "Hof van Nassau" in the centre is worth a visit, along with Gothic church of Our Lady (built 1253-1288) which has an award-winning pulpit. In the Sint Jan Berchmansstraat you can visit the "Gulden Maan" , the house where St. John Berchmans was born.

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Diest is twinned with:

Personalities[edit]

Images[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]