|Municipality of Belgium|
|• Mayor||Ignace De Baerdemaecker (VLD)|
|• Governing party/ies||VLD, SP.A, VU&ID|
|• Total||32.07 km2 (12.38 sq mi)|
|Population (1 January 2012)|
|• Density||380/km2 (990/sq mi)|
Laarne (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈl̪äːrn̪ə]) is a municipality located in the Belgian province of East Flanders. The municipality comprises the towns of Kalken and Laarne proper. On January 1, 2006 Laarne had a total population of 11,736. The total area is 32.07 km² which gives a population density of 366 inhabitants per km². The current mayor of Laarne is Ignace De Baerdemaecker, from the VLD (Liberal) party.
The village lies to the east of Ghent, near a former course of the River Scheldt and is notable for its castle. This dates from the twelfth and later centuries, notably, the seventeenth and has been sympathetically restored and re-furnished.
The name arises from the Germanic hlaeri which signifies terrain seen as wooded and marshy. It is possible to speculate that the village originated in serving the castle, which in turn, guarded the river approach to Ghent from the sea. In the twelfth century, that was less remote from the city than it is today. In 1040, Laarne was mentioned as Laren.
The lordship passed by inheritance through the families of Schoutheete, van Vilsteren and others, finally to the counts of Ribaucourt. The castle is now owned by the Vereniging van Historische Woonsteden van België (the Union of Historic Homesteads of Belgium).
- Population per municipality on 1 January 2012 (XLS; 214 KB)