Hainaut (Archaic English: Hainault, Heynalt, Heynowes; French: Hainaut, French pronunciation: [ɛno]; Dutch: Henegouwen, IPA: [ˈɦeːnəˌɣʌuwə(n)] ( listen); German: Hennegau; Walloon: Hinnot; Picard: Hénau) is a province of Belgium in the Walloon region.
To its south lies the French Nord department, while within Belgium it borders (clockwise from the North) on the Flemish provinces of West Flanders, East Flanders, Flemish Brabant and the Walloon provinces of Walloon Brabant and Namur.
Its capital is Mons (Dutch Bergen) and the most populous city is Charleroi, also the province's major urban, economic and cultural hub. The city is also the financial capital of Hainaut and one of the most important commercial centers in Belgium, being the fifth largest city in the country by population.
Historical map of the County of Hainaut, with in red the current French-Belgian border.
The province derives from the French Revolutionary Jemmape department, formed in 1795 from part of the medieval County of Hainaut, Tournai and the Tournaisis, a part of the county of Namur (Charleroi) and of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège (Thuin). (A large part of the historical county is now within France and sometimes referred to as French Hainaut.)
Hainaut province is divided into 7 administrative districts (arrondissements), subdivided into a total of 69 municipalities. It has an area of 3,800 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi).
The patron saint of the province Hainaut is Saint Waltrude.
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