Binche, the old city and its surrounding wall
|• Mayor||Laurent Devin (PS)|
|• Governing party/ies||PS, MR|
|• Total||60.66 km2 (23.42 sq mi)|
|• Density||550/km2 (1,400/sq mi)|
7130, 7131, 7133, 7134
Binche (French pronunciation: [bɛ̃ʃ] ; Walloon : Bince) is a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut. On January 1, 2006, Binche had a total population of 32,409. The total area is 60.66 km² which gives a population density of 534 inhabitants per km². Since 1977, the municipality of Binche has gathered the town of Binche itself with seven old municipalities : Bray, Buvrinnes, Epinois, Leval-Trahegnies, Péronnes-lez-Binche, Ressaix and Waudrez.
Walloon is a Romance language that is spoken in much of Wallonia in Belgium, in some villages of Northern France and in the northeast part of Wisconsin until the mid 20th century and in some parts of Canada. It belongs to the langue d'oïl language family, whose most prominent member is the French language. The historical background of its formation was the territorial extension since 980 of the Principality of Liège to the south and west.
Wallonia is a region of Belgium. As the southern portion of the country, Wallonia is primarily French-speaking, and accounts for 55% of Belgium's territory and a third of its population. The Walloon Region was not merged with the French Community of Belgium, which is the political entity responsible for matters related mainly to culture and education, because the French Community of Belgium encompasses both Wallonia and the majority French-Speaking Brussels-Capital Region.
A municipality is usually a single administrative division having corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordinate. It is to be distinguished (usually) from the county, which may encompass rural territory or numerous small communities such as towns, villages and hamlets.
The motto of the city is " Plus Oultre " (meaning "Further" in Old French), which was the motto of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who in 1545 gave the medieval Castle of Binche to his sister, Queen Mary of Hungary. She lavished attention on Binche, which she had rebuilt into Binche Palace under the direction of an architect-sculptor Jacques du Broeucq, remembered today as the first master of Giambologna. The château, intended to rival Fontainebleau, was destroyed by the soldiers of Henry II of France in 1554.
Charles V was Holy Roman Emperor from 1519, King of Spain from 1516, and Prince of the Habsburg Netherlands as Duke of Burgundy from 1506. Head of the rising House of Habsburg during the first half of the 16th century, his dominions in Europe included the Holy Roman Empire extending from Germany to northern Italy with direct rule over the Low Countries and Austria, and a unified Spain with its southern Italian kingdoms of Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia. Furthermore, his reign encompassed both the long-lasting Spanish and short-lived German colonizations of the Americas. The personal union of the European and American territories of Charles V, spanning over nearly 4 million square kilometres, was the first collection of realms labelled "the empire on which the sun never sets".
Mary of Austria, also known as Mary of Hungary, was queen consort of Hungary and Bohemia as the wife of King Louis II, and was later Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands.
Binche Palace is located in Binche in the Belgian province of Hainaut. The medieval castle and subsequent Renaissance palace served as residence for the counts of Hainaut, the dukes of Burgundy and the Habsburg rulers of the Netherlands. The most famous resident has been Mary of Hungary, governor of the Netherlands. It was one of the first renaissance palaces in the Low Countries and was intended to rival the French palace of Fontainebleau. The palace was destroyed by soldiers of king Henry II of France. Today, only some medieval walls and fundaments remain of the castle and palace.
In 2003, the Carnival of Binche was proclaimed one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
The carnival of Binche is an event that takes place each year in the Belgian town of Binche during the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday. The carnival is the best known of several that take place in Wallonia, Belgium at the same time and has been proclaimed as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity listed by UNESCO. Its history dates back to approximately the 14th century.
The Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity was made by the Director-General of UNESCO starting in 2001 to raise awareness of intangible cultural heritage and encourage local communities to protect them and the local people who sustain these forms of cultural expressions. Several manifestations of intangible heritage around the world were awarded the title of Masterpieces to recognize the value of the non-material component of culture, as well as entail the commitment of states to promote and safeguard the Masterpieces. Further proclamations occurred biennially.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration in education, sciences, and culture in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter. It is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.
Binche developed in the Middle Ages close to the Roman Road that connected in Bagacum, the capital of the Nervii, (now Bavay) to Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, (now Cologne). The road long influenced trade and communication through Binche.
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.
The Nervii were one of the most powerful Belgic tribes of northern Gaul at the time of its conquest by Rome. Their territory corresponds to the central part of modern Belgium, including Brussels, and stretched southwards into French Hainault. During their 1st century BC Roman military campaign, Julius Caesar's contacts among the Remi stated that the Nervii were the most warlike of the Belgae. In times of war, they were known to trek long distances to take part in battles. Being one of the distant northern Belgic tribes, with the Menapii to the west, and the Eburones to their east, they were considered by Caesar to be relatively uncorrupted by civilization.
Bavay is a commune in the Nord department in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France. The town was the seat of the former canton of Bavay.
The city was officially founded in the 12th century by Yolande of Gelders, widow of Duke Baldwin III from Hainaut. Their son Baldwin IV fortified the city, which served as a frontier fortress against France. In the 14th century, the city wall was extended to its present size.
Baldwin III (1088–1120) was count of Hainaut from 1098 to his death. He was son of Baldwin II, Count of Hainaut, and Ida of Louvain.
The County of Hainaut, sometimes given the spelling Hainault, was a historical lordship within the medieval Holy Roman Empire with its capital eventually established at Mons, and named after the river Haine, both now in Belgium. Besides Mons, it included the city of Valenciennes, now in France. It consisted of what is now the Belgian province of Hainaut and the eastern part of the French département of Nord.
Baldwin IV was count of Hainaut from 1120 to his death. He was the son of Baldwin III, Count of Hainaut, and Yolande de Wassenberg.
The city reached its peak in economic and power when Belgium was under Spanish rule. Binche was the residence of Mary of Hungary, governess of the Netherlands for her brother, Emperor Charles V. She had a magnificent palace built, designed by the architect Jacques Du Broeucq and which was to compete with that of Fontainebleau. Charles V visited Binche in 1549 on invitation from his sister and for this occasion she organized magnificent celebrations.
Fontainebleau is a commune in the metropolitan area of Paris, France. It is located 55.5 kilometres (34.5 mi) south-southeast of the centre of Paris. Fontainebleau is a sub-prefecture of the Seine-et-Marne department, and it is the seat of the arrondissement of Fontainebleau. The commune has the largest land area in the Île-de-France region; it is the only one to cover a larger area than Paris itself.
In 1554 the period of prosperity came to an end as the palace, the city and the surrounding area were plundered by the troops of King Henry II of France. Until the beginning of the 18th century, Hainaut was the site of repeated military conflicts between the kingdoms of France and Spain.
Only with the industrial revolution did prosperity increase again. There were coal mines, whose heaps still shape the landscape today. Added to this were brickyards, tanneries, glaziers, breweries, lime kilns and soap factories. Thousands of people worked at home as top lace makers, cobblers and tailors. The post office and the train station date back to this time.
The Seventeen Provinces were the Imperial states of the Habsburg Netherlands in the 16th century. They roughly covered the Low Countries, i.e. what is now the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and most of the French departments of Nord and Pas-de-Calais (Artois). Also within this area were semi-independent fiefdoms, mainly ecclesiastical ones, such as Liège, Cambrai and Stavelot-Malmedy.
Belgian culture involves both the aspects shared by all Belgians regardless of the language they speak and the differences between the main cultural communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish and the French-speaking Walloons. Most Belgians view their culture as an integral part of European culture. However, members of each of the two main linguistic groups generally make their cultural choices from within their own community, and then, when going beyond, the Flemish draw intensively from both the English-speaking culture and the Netherlands, whereas French-speakers focus on cultural life in France and elsewhere in the French-speaking world, and less outside.
Hainaut, historically also known as Heynowes in English, is a province of Wallonia and Belgium.
Charleroi is a city and a municipality of Wallonia, located in the province of Hainaut, Belgium. By January 1, 2008, the total population of Charleroi was 201,593. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 1,462 square kilometres (564 sq mi) with a total population of 522,522 by January 1, 2008, ranking it as the 5th most populous in Belgium after Brussels, Antwerp, Liège, and Ghent. The inhabitants are called Carolorégiens or simply Carolos.
Mouscron is a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut, along the border with the French city of Tourcoing, which is part of the Lille metropolitan area. The Mouscron municipality also includes the old municipalities of Dottignies, Luingne, and Herseaux. In accordance with the national law, the municipality offers dual language services in French and Dutch. Kortrijk, in Flanders, is located just to the north of Mouscron.
La Louvière is a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut. La Louvière's municipality includes the old communes of Haine-Saint-Paul, Haine-Saint-Pierre, Saint-Vaast, Trivières, Boussoit, Houdeng-Aimeries, Houdeng-Gœgnies, Maurage, and Strépy-Bracquegnies. La Louvière is the capital of the Centre region, a former coal mining area in the sillon industriel, between the Borinage to the West and the Pays Noir to the East.
Soignies is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut.
Péruwelz is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut. On January 1, 2006, Péruwelz had a total population of 16,843. The total area is 60.56 km² which gives a population density of 278 inhabitants per km².
Tournai, known in Dutch as Doornik and historically as Dornick in English, is a Walloon municipality of Belgium, 85 kilometres southwest of Brussels on the river Scheldt. In the province of Hainaut, Tournai is part of Eurometropolis Lille–Kortrijk–Tournai, which had 2,155,161 residents in 2008.
Nivelles is a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant. The Nivelles municipality includes the old communes of Baulers, Bornival, Thines, and Monstreux.
Philippeville is a Walloon city and municipality located in Belgium in the province of Namur. The Philippeville municipality includes the old communes of Fagnolle, Franchimont, Jamagne, Jamiolle, Merlemont, Neuville, Omezée, Roly, Romedenne, Samart, Sart-en-Fagne, Sautour, Surice (Wallonia), Villers-en-Fagne, Villers-le-Gambon, and Vodecée.
Marche-en-Famenne is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Luxembourg. It is the unofficial capital of the Famenne region, sandwiched between the Condroz, former land of the Condrusi, to the north and the Ardennes to the south.
The Count of Flanders was the ruler or sub-ruler of the county of Flanders, beginning in the 9th century. The title was held for a time by the Holy Roman Emperor and the King of Spain. During the French Revolution in 1790, the county of Flanders was annexed to France and the peerage ceased to exist. In the 19th century, the title was appropriated by Belgium and granted twice to younger sons of the King of the Belgians. The most recent holder died in 1983.
Le Quesnoy is a commune and small town in the east of the Nord department of northern France; accordingly its historic province is French Hainaut. It had a keynote industry in shoemaking before the late 1940s, followed by a chemical factory and dairy, giving way to its weekly market, tourism, local commuting to elsewhere such as Valenciennes and local shops.
The Count of Hainaut was the ruler of the county of Hainaut, a historical region in the Low Countries. In English-language historical sources, the title is often given the archaic spelling Hainault.
Jacques du Broeucq (c.1505–c.1584) was a sculptor and architect from Southern Netherlands.
Rattachism or Reunionism (Réunionisme) is a minor political ideology which calls for the French-speaking Belgium or Wallonia to secede from the state of Belgium and become part of France. Brussels, which is majority French-speaking but enclave in Flanders, may be included within this ideology as may the six Flemish municipalities with language facilities for French-speakers. It can be considered a French-speaking equivalent of Orangism or Grootneerlandisme in Flanders.