Geraardsbergen

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Geraardsbergen
Municipality of Belgium
Town hall, museum and Marbol fountein.
Town hall, museum and Marbol fountein.
Coat of arms of Geraardsbergen
Coat of arms
Geraardsbergen is located in Belgium
Geraardsbergen
Geraardsbergen
Location in Belgium
Coordinates: 50°46′N 03°52′E / 50.767°N 3.867°E / 50.767; 3.867Coordinates: 50°46′N 03°52′E / 50.767°N 3.867°E / 50.767; 3.867
Country Belgium
Community Flemish Community
Region Flemish Region
Province East Flanders
Arrondissement Aalst
Government
 • Mayor Guido De Padt (Open VLD)
 • Governing party/ies CD&V, Open VLD
Area
 • Total 79.71 km2 (30.78 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2012)[1]
 • Total 32,629
 • Density 410/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Postal codes 9500, 9506
Area codes 054
Website www.geraardsbergen.be
Geraardsbergen in 1649

Geraardsbergen (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɣ̟eːräːrd̪z̪bɛrɣ̟ə(n̪)], French: Grammont) is a city and municipality located in the Denderstreek and in the Flemish Ardennes, the hilly southern part of the Belgian province of East Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Geraardsbergen proper and the following towns:

Goeferdinge, Grimminge, Idegem, Moerbeke, Nederboelare, Nieuwenhove, Onkerzele, Ophasselt, Overboelare, Schendelbeke, Smeerebbe-Vloerzegem, Viane, Waarbeke, Zandbergen and Zarlardinge.

On January 1, 2006 Geraardsbergen had a total population of 31,380. The total area is 79.71 km² which gives a population density of 394 inhabitants per km².

The current mayor of Geraardsbergen is Guido De Padt, from the Open VLD (liberal) party.

History[edit]

Geraardsbergen is one of the oldest cities in Belgium. It came into existence close to the settlement of Hunnegem. In 1068, Geraardsbergen was one of the first communities in Western Europe to be granted the city status.[2]

Geraardsbergen was destroyed in 1381 by Walter IV of Enghien and his troops. The legend goes that during the siege the people of Geraardsbergen threw some of their food which was left over the city wall. By this they wanted to show that they had enough food to survive a siege for a long time. This bravado notwithstanding, the city was still captured by Enghien's troops. This event lives further in the city. Every year during carnaval the city organizes on top of the Oudenberg (111m) the 'krakelingenworp' to celebrate this historical event.[3]

On 29 May 1815, shortly before the battle of Waterloo, Wellington and Blücher reviewed the Allied cavalry here. Some 6,000 troops were paraded in meadows on the banks of the Dender between Geraardsbergen and Jedeghem.[4]

Places of interest[edit]

Mattentaart[edit]

Geraardsbergen is known for the mattentaart (nl), a type of sweet pastry. This is made with matten paste or cheese curd.[5]

The mattentaart was granted Protected Geographical Indication status by the European Union in 2006, indicating they can only be made in Geraardsbergen or in the nearby municipality of Lierde.[5][6]

Famous people[edit]

William of Moerbeke, first translator of Aristotle's works into Latin

References[edit]

  1. ^ Population per municipality on 1 January 2012 (XLS; 214 KB)
  2. ^ www.geraardsbergen.be, Geschiedenis van de stad Geraardsbergen (History of the City of Geraardsbergen). Retrieved 2010-03-22.
  3. ^ www.geraardsbergen.be, Krakelingen & Tonnekensbrand. Retrieved 2010-03-22.
  4. ^ Cavalié Mercer, Journal of the Waterloo Campaign Kept throughout the Campaign of 1815, Da Capo Press, 1995
  5. ^ a b "Summary, Council Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92 'Geraardsbergse Mattentaart'". Official Journal of the European Union. 2006-01-06. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  6. ^ "Mattentaart". Retrieved 2009-03-04. 

External links[edit]