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Braine-l'Alleud

Braine-l'Alleud
Brinne-l'-Alou (Walloon)
Flag of Braine-l'Alleud
Coat of arms of Braine-l'Alleud
Location of Braine-l'Alleud
Map
Braine-l'Alleud is located in Belgium
Braine-l'Alleud
Braine-l'Alleud
Location in Belgium
The municipality of Braine-l'Alleud in Walloon Brabant
Coordinates: 50°41′N 04°22′E / 50.683°N 4.367°E / 50.683; 4.367
Country Belgium
CommunityFrench Community
RegionWallonia
ProvinceWalloon Brabant
ArrondissementNivelles
Government
 • MayorVincent Scourneau (MR)
 • Governing party/iesMR
Area
 • Total52.32 km2 (20.20 sq mi)
Population
 (2018-01-01)[1]
 • Total39,837
 • Density760/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
Postal codes
1420, 1421, 1428
NIS code
25014
Area codes02
Websitewww.braine-lalleud.be

Braine-l'Alleud (French pronunciation: [bʁɛn lalø] ; Dutch: Eigenbrakel [ˈɛi̯ɣə(n)ˌbraːkəl] ; Walloon: Brinne-l'-Alou) is a municipality of Wallonia, in the province of Walloon Brabant, Belgium, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Brussels.

The municipality consists of the following districts: Braine-l'Alleud (including the hamlet of Sart-Moulin), Lillois-Witterzée, and Ophain-Bois-Seigneur-Isaac. Bordering Flanders, the town is home to a minority of Dutch speakers.

The famous Lion of Waterloo, where the eponymous battle took place, is in the territory of Braine-l'Alleud.

History

Middle Ages

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(d)”, a medieval French word designating exempt land (English allod). 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

In 1815, part of the fighting that took place at the Battle of Waterloo actually occurred on the territory of Braine-l’Alleud. The town's church of Saint-Étienne became a field hospital.

Sights

  • The Lion's Mound, 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, named El Gamin qui piche ("The Peeing Kid" in Walloon).
  • The hamlet of Sart-Moulin is the inverted name of which inspired Hergé's Moulinsart castle.

Sport

Braine l'Alleud is home to RCS Braine football club, founded in 1913 and one of the oldest continuously existing clubs in the country.

The city also has a successful women's basketball club, BC Castors Braine.

The free-to-play, 18-hole Parc du Bourdon disc golf course is situated 1 kilometer from Braine L'Alleud train station.[2]

Folklore

  • Both Ophain and Braine-l'Alleud host yearly carnivals featuring giant puppets like in most other Belgian towns.

Famous inhabitants

Transportation

It is served by the following 10 bus lines:[3]

Line From Via Via To
Line 36 Braine-l'Alleud Wavre
Line 40 Uccle Alsemberg Braine-l'Alleud
Line 65 Braine-le-Comte Virginal B.S.I Braine-l'Alleud/Nivelles
Line 66 Braine-l'Alleud Nivelles
Line 67 Braine-l'Alleud Barrière Braine-l'Alleud Railway Station
Line 75 Braine-l'Alleud Waterloo
Line 114 Braine-l'Alleud Halle
Line 115 Braine-l'Alleud Tubize
Line 3 Rapido Bus Waterloo Braine-l'Alleud Ottignies Louvain-de-Neuve (LLN)
Line W Brussels Waterloo Braine-l'Alleud
  • Taxi: Multiple taxi services exist and pick up and drop off around the town.
  • Bicycle: Dedicated bicycle paths exist in the surroundings.

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Braine-l'Alleud is twinned with:

References

  1. ^ "Wettelijke Bevolking per gemeente op 1 januari 2018". Statbel. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  2. ^ Parc du Bourdon in Braine L'Alleud, DGCourse Review.
  3. ^ "Office website including details in French about how to get to Braine-l'Alleud". Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  4. ^ "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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Braine-l'Alleud
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