"De Viron Castle, serving as town hall
|• Mayor||Willy Segers
|• Governing party/ies||LvB-"Open Vld,
|• Total||41.18 km2 (15.90 sq mi)|
|Population (1 January 2016)|
|• Density||1,000/km2 (2,600/sq mi)|
Dilbeek (Dutch pronunciation: "[ˈdɪlbeːk]) is a "municipality in the "province of "Flemish Brabant, in "Flanders, one of the three regions of "Belgium. The municipality comprises the villages of Dilbeek proper, "Groot-Bijgaarden, "Itterbeek (with "Sint-Anna-Pede), "Schepdaal (with "Sint-Gertrudis-Pede), "Sint-Martens-Bodegem, and "Sint-Ulriks-Kapelle. Dilbeek is located just outside the "Brussels-Capital Region, in the "Pajottenland, hence the local name Poort van het Pajottenland (Gate to the Pajottenland). Even though Dilbeek is located in the "Dutch language area of Belgium, there is a French-speaking minority represented by 4 members (5 in 2000) on the 33-seat local council. It is a mostly residential community with largely preserved rural areas and some industrial zones.
The life of "Saint Alena, the 7th-century martyr daughter of a lord of Dilbeek, was set in Dilbeek and "Forest (Vorst). The historical facts of her life, however, are disputed. In "Carolingian times, Dilbeek and its neighbouring villages were part of the "pagus Bracbatensis. This territory, ruled by the Lords of Aa in "Anderlecht, was integrated into the "Landgraviate of Brabant by the counts of "Leuven around 1085. The first mention of the name Dedelbeccha dates from 1075, while the name Bigardis, later transformed into Groot-Bijgaarden (in French Grand Bigard), dates from 1110. Bigardis was originally a dependency of the Abbey of Saint Bavo in "Ghent, but by 1125, nuns under the leadership of Saint Wivina had founded a religious community there. Around 1183, the landgraviate became the "Duchy of Brabant, within which Dilbeek remained as an independent parish until the "French Revolution.
The area's parishes belonged to the "see of Cambrai until 1559, when they were placed under the administration of the "Archbishop of Mechelen. Also in the 16th century, Dilbeek, Itterbeek and Sint-Martens-Bodegem were placed under the local rule of the Lords of "Gaasbeek. The following decades were marked by the wars that opposed "Catholics and "Protestants, which resulted in the ruin of the Abbey of Groot-Bijgaarden. The final dismantlement and sale of the buildings took place during the French regime in the 1790s.