Erpe-Mere

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Erpe-Mere
Municipality of Belgium
Localisation of the 8 part-municipalities in Erpe-Mere
Localisation of the 8 part-municipalities in Erpe-Mere
Flag of Erpe-Mere
Flag
Coat of arms of Erpe-Mere
Coat of arms
Erpe-Mere is located in Belgium
Erpe-Mere
Erpe-Mere
Location in Belgium
Coordinates: 50°55′N 03°57′E / 50.917°N 3.950°E / 50.917; 3.950Coordinates: 50°55′N 03°57′E / 50.917°N 3.950°E / 50.917; 3.950
Country Belgium
Community Flemish Community
Region Flemish Region
Province East Flanders
Arrondissement Aalst
Government
 • Mayor Hugo De Waele (CD&V)
 • Governing party/ies CD&V, N-VA
Area
 • Total 34.03 km2 (13.14 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2013)[1]
 • Total 19,475
 • Density 570/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
Postal codes 9420 Aaigem
9420 Bambrugge
9420 Burst
9420 Erondegem
9420 Erpe
9420 Mere
9420 Ottergem
9420 Vlekkem
Area codes 053
Website www.erpe-mere.be

Erpe-Mere (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌ(ʔ)ɛrpə ˈmeːrə]) is a municipality located in the Belgian province of East Flanders in the Denderstreek. The municipality comprises the towns of Aaigem, Bambrugge, Burst, Erondegem, Erpe, Mere, Ottergem and Vlekkem. There is also a hamlet in Bambrugge: Egem. Erpe-Mere is crossed by 2 brooks, the Molenbeek and the Molenbeek-Ter Erpenbeek. On January 1, 2010 Erpe-Mere had a total population of 19,280. The total area is 34.03 km² which gives a population density of 567 inhabitants per km². The current mayor of Erpe-Mere is Hugo De Waele, from the CD&V (Christian Democratic) party.

History[edit]

The municipality was formed in 1975 by the merger of the eight sub-municipalities of today, but the sub-communities Erpe and Mere initially disagreed on the new name for the merged municipality. While Erpe had the largest area, Mere was central in the entire area and had more inhabitants. As a compromise they choose the double name Erpe-Mere.

Geography[edit]

The municipality is bordered to the north by Lede, in the east by Aalst and Haaltert, in the south by Herzele and in the west by Sint-Lievens-Houtem. Erpe-Mere is located north of the foothills of the Flemish Ardennes, in the region Denderstreek. The area north of the N9 (Aalst-Ghent) is between 10 to 30 meters high, the area between the N9 and E40 (Brussels-Ghent) is between 25 to 50 meters high and the area south of it has hills peaks up to 80 meters. The most famous of them is the Gotegemberg in Mere, not for his height of 68 meters, but for its slope of 18% making it a popular challenge for cyclists.

The territory is traversed by two brooks that both bear the name Molenbeek. The Molenbeek from the Upper Scheldt crosses Burst, Bambrugge, Ottergem, Vlekkem and Erondegem before it flows into the Scheldt. The Molenbeek-Ter Erpenbeek flows into the Dender.

The Romans knew early there was white natural stone called Vlaamse Arduin or Lediaanse Steen in Steenberg of Bambrugge. This white natural stone was suitable as a foundation for the masonry of Roman villas and as building material for columns and capitals of the Roman temples. From about the 11th or 12th century there was already extracted white sandstone in Bambrugge (Steenberg). The common types of white natural stone in Brabant in the 16th to 17th Century were extracted in Steenberg. Extraction continued until after World War II. Today it's the administrative center of Erpe-Mere.

There is a 205 hectare nature reserve called Den Dotter in the sub-municipalities of Aaigem (municipality Erpe-Mere) and Heldergem (municipality Haaltert).

Traffic[edit]

Erpe-Mere has an exit to the A10 / E40 and a regional railway station on the railway line Kortrijk - Oudenaarde - Zottegem - Erpe - Mere - Aalst - Brussels. Also the N9 (Gentsesteenweg), the N442 (Leedsesteenweg) and the N46 (Oudenaardsesteenweg) cross the municipality.

Water tower at Erpe

Landmarks[edit]

  • The water tower of the Tussengemeentelijke Maatschappij der Vlaanderen voor Watervoorziening.

Mills[edit]

Landmarks include the mills of the municipality, through which runs the Denderroute South and the Molenbeekroute. Due to the geography of the area, there are eleven water mills in Erpe-Mere, with Erpe-Mere having the most water mills in Belgium, seven of which are protected by law. One mill was largely demolished, but there are still remains of this mill and the mill house is still intact. Another mill was also converted into a house. On the Koudenberg, one of the highest hills of the community, there is a windmill that is protected by law. It was re-mounted on its base in 2006 after being restored in 2004 by a studio in Roeselare. The Kruiskoutermolen was restored in 2006 and is operational. It can be visited by appointment with the tourist service.

Place Name(s) Address Type Protected Info
Aaigem Engelsmolen
Molen te Dalhem
Molen te Dalme
Engelsmolen 1 Overshot watermill Monumentenschildje blauw wit.svg Yes It was originally a wheat mill, oil mill and a flax attrition mill
Later on it was only a wheat mill
Aaigem Ratmolen
Waterrat
Ratmolenstraat 42 Overshot watermill Monumentenschildje blauw wit.svg Yes It was originally a wheat mill and an oil mill
Later on it was only a wheat mill
Aaigem Zwingelmolen Aaigembergstraat 10 Overshot watermill Foutief.png No It was originally a flax attrition mill
Later on it became a chicory mill
The mill wheel has been removed
It has been renovated as a house
Bambrugge Egemmolen
Meuleken Tik Tak
Everdal 21 Overshot watermill Foutief.png No Wheat mill
The mill wheel has been removed
The mill house is used as a country cottage
Bambrugge Molens Van Sande
Kasteelmolen
Celindermolen
Prinsdaal 33 Overshot watermill Foutief.png No It was originally a wheat mill and a compulsion mill
Later on it was just a wheat mill
The mill wheel has been removed
It is now an industrial flour mill
Erpe Cottemmolen Molenstraat 36 Overshot watermill Monumentenschildje blauw wit.svg Yes It was originally a wheat mill and an oil mill
Later on it was only a wheat mill
Erpe Van Der Biestmolen Dorpsstraat 3 Overshot watermill Foutief.png No Wheat mill
Mere De Graevesmolen Bosstraat 25 Overshot watermill Monumentenschildje blauw wit.svg Yes Wheat mill and an oil mill
Mere Gotegemmolen Gotegemstraat 1 Overshot watermill Monumentenschildje blauw wit.svg Yes Wheat mill
Mere Kruiskoutermolen
Jezuïtenmolen
Molen Van Der Haegen
Schoolstraat Post windmill with open foot Monumentenschildje blauw wit.svg Yes Wheat mill
Mere Molen te Broeck
't Hof Schuurke
Wilgendries 6 Overshot watermill Monumentenschildje blauw wit.svg Yes Wheat mill
Ottergem De Watermeulen Ruststraat 10-12 Overshot watermill Monumentenschildje blauw wit.svg Yes It was originally a wheat mill and an oil mill
Later on it was only a wheat mill

Churches[edit]

Sports[edit]

Erpe-Mere once had seven football clubs that belonged to the Royal Belgian Football Association. There are still four left: KRC Bambrugge, KFC Olympic Burst, FC Mere and SK Aaigem. FC Edixvelde was absorbed by FC Mere. FC Oranja Erpe and KFC Olympia Erondegem merged into KVC Erperondegem that was some years later also absorbed by FC Mere.

Each year the Steenbergcross, the first international cyclo-cross race of the season, is held at Steenberg in Bambrugge. The national clubhouse of the motorcycle club Blue Angels in Belgium is located in Erpe.

Trivia[edit]

In the 1990s Walter Baele played the character Rosa Vermeulen, an older female inhabitant of Erpe-Mere, on the show Rosa on TV 1.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Erpe-Mere at Wikimedia Commons