|• Mayor||Vincent Scourneau (MR-IC)|
|• Governing party/ies||MR-IC, PS|
|• Total||52.12 km2 (20.12 sq mi)|
|• Density||760/km2 (2,000/sq mi)|
1420, 1421, 1428
Braine-l'Alleud (Dutch: Eigenbrakel) is a Walloon municipality in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Brussels. The Braine-l'Alleud municipality includes the former municipalities of Braine-l'Alleud proper, Ophain-Bois-Seigneur-Isaac, and Lillois-Witterzée. It also includes the hamlet of Sart-Moulin, the inverted name of which inspired Hergé’s Moulinsart castle. The famous Lion of Waterloo where the eponymous battle took place is in the territory of Braine-l'Alleud. Bordering Flanders, the town is home to a minority of Dutch speakers.
Several archaeological finds point to prehistoric settlements in this area. The first historical mention of a parish on Braine-l'Alleud's current territory, then called Dudinsart, dates from 1131, date at which Godfrey I, Duke of Brabant ceded it to the Abbey of Gembloux. The Duke, however, still owned exempt land (or franchise) on this territory, as specified in a legal document by Henry I dated 1197. The name of the municipality changed to the current one, derived from “Braine”, former name of the stream that crosses its territory (now called the “Hain”), and “alleu”, a medieval French word designating exempt land. The latter name was added to the former to distinguish this community from two neighbouring ones also called Braine.
At the beginning, the franchise might not have been much more than a right to local administration. By 1489, however, the local lord enjoyed complete juridical power on its territory, which was still formally part of the fiefdom obtained from the Duke of Brabant.
Battle of Waterloo
- The Butte du Lion, erected on the site of the Battle of Waterloo, attracts thousands of visitors every year. A nearby visitor centre, a wax museum and a painted Waterloo Panorama also help retrace the events that led to Napoleon's defeat in 1815.
- Converted into a tourist information centre, the former house of Cardinal Mercier is a good starting point to explore the town.
- Braine-l'Alleud is also home to a (slightly) smaller version of the well-known Manneken Pis, with the name "El Gamin qui Piche" (the peeing kid).
Braine l'Alleud is home to RCS Braine football club, notable for training youngsters, including Belgium and Chelsea star Eden Hazard. The city also has a successful women's basketball club, BC Castors Braine.
- Both Ophain and Braine-l'Alleud host yearly carnivals featuring giant puppets like in most other Belgian towns.
- Johannes Tinctoris, Franco-Flemish musicologist and composer (c. 1435–1511), was born in the municipality.
- Désiré-Joseph Mercier, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and national hero (1851–1926)
- Paul-Henri Spaak, politician and statesman (1899–1972)
- Gaston Reiff, track-and-field athlete (1921–1992)
- Rail: Braine l'Alleud has its own railway station, part of the SNCB/NMBS network, served by the line number 124. See Braine-l'Alleud railway station.
- Bus: Société Régionale Wallonne du Transport (SRWT) (Walloon Regional Transport Company) operates under the name of "TEC Brabant Wallon".
It is served by the following 10 bus lines:
|Line 67||Braine-l'Alleud Barrière||Braine-l'Alleud Railway Station|
|Line 3 Rapido Bus||Waterloo||Braine-l'Alleud||Ottignies||Louvain-de-Neuve (LLN)|
- Taxi: Multiple taxi services exist and pick up and drop off around the town.
- Bicycle: Dedicated bicycle paths exist in the surroundings.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Braine-l'Alleud is twinned with:
- "Wettelijke Bevolking per gemeente op 1 januari 2018". Statbel. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
- "Sur les traces de... Eden Hazard, du jardin de Braine à Stamford Bridge". Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- Parc du Bourdon in Braine L'Alleud, DGCourse Review.
- "Office website including details in French about how to get to Braine-l'Alleud". Retrieved 19 December 2015.
- "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Archived from the original on 2013-11-27. Retrieved 2013-12-26.
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