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|• Mayor||Piet Buyse (CD&V|
|• Governing party/ies||CD&V, N-VA|
|• Total||55.67 km2 (21.49 sq mi)|
|• Density||820/km2 (2,100/sq mi)|
Dendermonde (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌdɛndərˈmɔndə] (listen); French: Termonde, French pronunciation: [tɛʁmɔ̃d]) is a city in the Flemish province of East Flanders in Belgium. The municipality comprises the city of Dendermonde and the towns of Appels, Baasrode, Grembergen, Mespelare, Oudegem, Schoonaarde, and Sint-Gillis-bij-Dendermonde. Dendermonde is at the mouth of the river Dender, where it flows into the Scheldt. The town has a long-standing folkloric feud with Aalst, south along the same river, which dates from the Middle Ages.
Origins to the 15th century
Some interesting La Tène artifacts were found in Appels, proof that this region of the Scheldt was inhabited in prehistory. Grave sites from the 2nd and 6th century also attest to dense settlement in Gallo-Roman and Merovingian times. In 843, the Treaty of Verdun placed Dendermonde in Lotharingia. After the Norman invasions of 883, however, Baldwin II took over the region and incorporated it into the German part of the newly founded County of Flanders.
Otto II built a fort here in the 10th century, encouraging further settlements in the area. The town received its city charter in 1233 and grew quickly after that, thanks to a thriving cloth industry. Several cloisters, chapels and churches, and a fortified defensive wall were built as well. A cloth hall and belfry were erected on the market square in the mid 14th century. The town's prosperity, however, gave rise to severe competition with cities such as Ghent and to occasional attacks and plunders by neighbours. In 1384, the whole area came under the control of the Valois dukes of Burgundy.
16th to 20th century
The 16th century saw a decline in Dendermonde's fortunes. In 1572 Dendermonde was conquered by William the Silent. The same year however Spanish troops under Duke Alexander Farnese of Parma, took over the city, looted and mostly destroyed it. A decade later, the Spaniards built their own fortress between the Dender and the Scheldt. In 1667, it was France's turn, under Louis XIV, to advance on the city, but they were turned back when the defenders opened the dikes and flooded the countryside. The allied troops of the Netherlands and England, under the Duke of Marlborough, caused the heaviest damage in 1706. The city was then fortified by the Austrians against further French ambitions. After a last siege by Louis XV, the city could finally breathe to the point that the fortifications were dismantled a few decades later.
The second half of the 18th century was generally prosperous, with the advent of the Industrial Revolution and a local cotton industry. After 1800, the port facilities were modernized and the first railways were laid down, allowing other industries (oil, shoe, leather…) to move in.
The onset of World War I in September 1914 was disastrous for the city as more than half of its housing and the city archives were either bombed or burned down.
On August 19, 2006, 28 prisoners managed to escape Dendermonde prison. Seven of them were captured within hours. A few were later found in Italy and Russia. They managed to escape because the lock was old and rusty. They simply walked away, tied all their sheets together, climbed over the wall, jumped on a phone booth and ran away.
On 23 January 2009, a 20-year-old Flemish man named Kim De Gelder attacked a children's daycare centre in the village of Sint-Gillis-bij-Dendermonde, stabbing three people to death and wounding as many as twenty. One of the school teachers and two babies, aged 8 and 9 months, died in the attack. Italian singer Luciano Ligabue dedicated a song to the victims: Quando mi vieni a prendere? (Dendermonde 23/01/09), in his 2010 album, Arrivederci, Mostro!.
Places of interest
- The central market square (Grote Markt)
- The Town Hall which houses an exceptional art collection
- The Butcher's Hall (Dutch: Vleeshuismuseum), a museum with an archeological and historical collection. From the prehistory of the region to the 21st century
- The Church of Our Lady (Dutch: Onze Lieve-Vrouwekerk) with two paintings by Anthony van Dyck
- The béguinage is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998.
- The city hall and belfry have also been designated a World Heritage Site since 1999. The belfry houses a carillon and was formerly part of the Cloth Hall.
- Dendermonde has a Benedictine abbey, famous for its library containing an original manuscript of Hildegard of Bingen, called the 'Dendermonde Codex'.
- The Dendermonde-Puurs Steam Railway is a heritage railway, running 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) from Dendermonde to Puurs.
- Jazz Center Flanders, archive, documentation center and museum
Tournai font in the Onze Lieve-Vrouwekerk
Notable people from Dendermonde
- Vanessa Chinitor (born 1976), singer, born in Dendermonde
- Franz Courtens (1854–1943), painter, born in Dendermonde
- Laurens De Bock (born 1992), footballer
- Polydore de Keyser, Right Honourable Lord Mayor of London in 1887
- Alwin de Prins (born 1978), competitive swimmer
- Pierre-Jean De Smet (1801–1873), missionary among Native Americans
- Geert De Vlieger (born 1971), Belgian international soccer player
- Jan De Vos (1844–1923), mayor of Antwerp
- Philippe Geubels (born 1981), stand-up comedian
- Emmanuel Hiel, poet and prose writer (1834–1899)
- Kim Kay (pseudonym of Kim Van Hee) (born 1978), Belgian singer, born in Dendermonde
- Fernand Khnopff, painter (1858–1921)
- Clément Loret (1833–1909), organist and composer, naturalized French
- Caroline Maes (born 1982), tennis player
- Johannes Ockeghem (c. 1410–1497), composer, said to be born in Dendermonde
- Bob Straetman (born 1997), footballer
- Ivo Van Damme (1954–1976), middle distance runner
- James Oliver Van de Velde (1795–1855), bishop of Chicago and, later, of Mississippi
- Pat Van Den Hauwe (born 1960), Welsh international soccer player
- Michael Pauluzen Van der Voort (c. 1615–1690), early resident of New Amsterdam
- Annelies Verbeke (born 1976), author
- Frans Verhas (c. 1827 – c. 1897), painter
- Jan Verhas (1834–1886), painter
- Dirk Verhofstadt (born 1955), political scientist, born and raised in Dendermonde, brother of Guy Verhofstadt
- Guy Verhofstadt (born 1953), former Belgian prime minister, born and raised in Dendermonde, brother of Dirk Verhofstadt
- Remi Vermeiren (born 1940), businessman, born in Dendermonde
- Inverted Dendermonde, the most valuable Belgian stamp
- "Wettelijke Bevolking per gemeente op 1 januari 2018". Statbel. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 645. .
- "Five dead in knife attack at Belgian creche". Telegraph.co.uk. Jan 23, 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
- "Quando mi vieni a prendere? (Dendermonde 23/01/09)". Ligachannel (in Italian). April 26, 2010. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
- "Dendermonde Codex in doctoraatsthesis".
- Muziekcentrum Vlaanderen, Jazz Centrum Vlaanderen (in Dutch)
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