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Wevelgem

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Wevelgem
Wevelgem town hall
Wevelgem town hall
Flag of Wevelgem
Coat of arms of Wevelgem
Location of Wevelgem
Map
Wevelgem is located in Belgium
Wevelgem
Wevelgem
Location in Belgium
Location of Wevelgem in West-Flanders
Coordinates: 50°48′N 03°10′E / 50.800°N 3.167°E / 50.800; 3.167
Country Belgium
CommunityFlemish Community
RegionFlemish Region
ProvinceWest Flanders
ArrondissementKortrijk
Government
 • MayorJan Seynhaeve (CD&V)
 • Governing party/iesCD&V
Area
 • Total39.14 km2 (15.11 sq mi)
Population
 (2018-01-01)[1]
 • Total31,412
 • Density800/km2 (2,100/sq mi)
Postal codes
8560
NIS code
34041
Area codes056
Websitewww.wevelgem.be

Wevelgem (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈʋeːvəlɣɛm]) is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the towns of Gullegem, Moorsele and Wevelgem proper. On January 1, 2006, Wevelgem had a total population of 31,020. The total area is 38.76 km² which gives a population density of 800 inhabitants per km².

Wevelgem is accessible by road (E403 – A19 – R8), by boat (De Leie), by air (Kortrijk-Wevelgem International Airport) or by train at Wevelgem railway station.

Wevelgem is known for the annual Gent–Wevelgem bicycle road race which finishes in the town.

History

The earliest known mention dates from 1197.[citation needed] Wevelgem was home to the Cistercian[2] Guldenberg Abbey in the 13th–14th centuries, which owned grain mills in various locations.[3] From c. 1278 to 1310, abbess Ida was in charge,[4] though Marc Brion lists it as an abbey for men.[2]

In the old days, the river De Leie was important for Wevelgem. The people used the river to soak flax, before they processed it in one of the many flax factories in Wevelgem. That is also the reason De Leie got the nickname The Golden River, referring to the colour of the flax. Because selling flax was lucrative, many people came to Wevelgem and stayed there for many generations. Nowadays, the cultivation of flax is less important, but some factories still process it.

During the First World War, the Germans constructed an airport. The airport still exists and is now used for private purposes. Also remaining is the German Military cemetery, which is also partly situated in Menen. There are 47,864 soldiers buried there, who all died during WW1. This makes the cemetery the biggest German cemetery in Belgium. Across the cemetery, there used to be a (fake) airport, with wooden planes to mislead the enemy; there are still remains of the airport consisting of a big bunker and a small bunker near the railway. The bridge that connects Lauwe to Wevelgem was destroyed during the Second World War and was rebuilt later.

Notable people

Gallery

References

  1. ^ "Wettelijke Bevolking per gemeente op 1 januari 2018". Statbel. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b Brion, Marc (2010). "Het archeologische onderzoek in Belgische Cistercienzerinnencontexten, een vergelijkende studie". Novi Monasterii. 10: 75–87. ISBN 9789038215600.
  3. ^ Kortrijk, Geschied- en Oudheidkundige Kring van. Handelingen. p. 231. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  4. ^ Warlop, E. (1976). The Flemish Nobility Before 1300: Historical study. v. 1, Text. v. 2, Notes. G. Desmet-Huysman. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
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Wevelgem
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