Wevelgem

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Wevelgem
Municipality of Belgium
Flag of Wevelgem
Flag
Coat of arms of Wevelgem
Coat of arms
Wevelgem is located in Belgium
Wevelgem
Wevelgem
Location in Belgium
Coordinates: 50°48′N 03°10′E / 50.800°N 3.167°E / 50.800; 3.167Coordinates: 50°48′N 03°10′E / 50.800°N 3.167°E / 50.800; 3.167
Country Belgium
Community Flemish Community
Region Flemish Region
Province West Flanders
Arrondissement Kortrijk
Government
 • Mayor Jan Seynhaeve (CD&V)
 • Governing party/ies CD&V, independent
Area
 • Total 38.76 km2 (14.97 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2012)[1]
 • Total 31,076
 • Density 800/km2 (2,100/sq mi)
Postal codes 8560
Area codes 056
Website www.wevelgem.be

Wevelgem is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the towns of Gullegem, Moorsele and Wevelgem proper. On January 1, 2006 Wevelgem had a total population of 31,020. The total area is 38.76 km² which gives a population density of 800 inhabitants per km².

You can reach Wevelgem by car (E403 - A19 - R8 ), by boat (De Leie), by air (Kortrijk-Wevelgem International Airport) or by train.

Wevelgem is known for the annual Gent–Wevelgem bicycle road race which finishes in the town.

History[edit]

The earliest known mention dates from 1197.

In the old days, the river De Leie used to be very important for Wevelgem. The people used the river to soak flax, before they processed it in one of the many flax factories in Wevelgem. That is also the reason De Leie got the nickname The Golden River, referring to the color of the flax. Because you could earn lots of money with flax, many people came to Wevelgem and stayed there for many generations. Nowadays, the cultivation of flax is not so important, but there are still some factories where they process flax.

During the First World War, the Germans constructed an airport. The airport still exists and is now used for private purposes. Also remaining is the German Military cemetery, which is also partly situated in Menen. There are 47,864 soldiers buried there, who all died during WW1. This makes the cemetery the biggest German cemetery in Belgium. Across the cemetery, there used to be a (fake) airport, with wooden planes to mislead the enemy; there are still remains of the airport consisting of a big bunker and a small bunker near the railroad. The bridge that connects Lauwe to Wevelgem was destroyed during the Second World War and was rebuilt later.

Notable people[edit]

Gallery[edit]

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External links[edit]