The Grote Markt
|• Mayor||Dirk Pieters ("CD&V)|
|• Governing party/ies||"CD&V, "SP-A, "VLD|
|• Total||44.40 km2 (17.14 sq mi)|
|Population (1 January 2017)|
|• Density||870/km2 (2,300/sq mi)|
|"Postal codes||1500, 1501, 1502|
Halle (Dutch pronunciation: "[ˈɦɑlə], "French: Hal) is a city and "municipality of "Belgium, in the district (arrondissement) "Halle-Vilvoorde of the province "Flemish Brabant. It is located on the "Brussels-Charleroi Canal and on the Flemish side of the language border that separates "Flanders and "Wallonia. Halle lies on the border between the Flemish plains to the North (thick loam) and the undulating Brabant lands to the South (thinner loam). The city also borders on the "Pajottenland to the west. The official language of Halle is "Dutch.
The municipality Halle comprises the city of Halle proper and the towns of "Buizingen and "Lembeek. The neighboring towns are: "Pepingen, "Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, "Beersel, "Braine-l'Alleud, "Braine-le-Château, and "Tubize. The population of Halle has increased from 32,758 inhabitants in 1991 to 34,882 on January 1, 2006. The "mayor is Dirk Pieters of the "CD&V.
Borders have always played an important role in the history of Halle. Already in the prehistoric era, before the "Roman conquests, a tribe of "Nervii – either a Germanized "Celtic people or a celticized "Germanic people – lived in this region. In the 7th century, Saint "Waltrude, the daughter of an important "Merovingian personality, gave some of her inherited land around Halle to the chapter of the abbey which she had just founded in "Mons. From that time on and until the French Revolution, the region around Halle would depend to various degrees on the "County of Hainaut. In the 8th century, "Hubertus, archbishop of "Tongeren, founded a church dedicated to the "Blessed Virgin Mary, which may have been the start of the devotion that still continues today.
The town must have grown quickly since "Jeanne, Countess of Flanders and Hainaut, already granted it its freedom charters in 1225. The miraculous statue of the Virgin arrived in Halle in 1267 as a wedding gift to "John II, Count of Holland and of Hainaut. The cult of Mary attracted important visitors such as "Edward I of England and "Ludwig the Bavarian, making Halle an important frontier town between "Hainaut and "Brabant. A much bigger church was now needed, that was completed in the 15th century. The death of "Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in Halle in 1404 was actually a benefit to the city as all subsequent ruling "Dukes of Burgundy were to pay a visit here. Even "Louis XI of France decided to bury his stillborn son in the Halle church in 1460.
After the death of "Mary of Burgundy, "Flanders and Brabant revolted against her husband "Maximilian, while Hainaut, and therefore Halle, remained loyal to the emperor. Two attempts by a "Brussels army to conquer Halle in 1489 failed. In the 16th century, Brussels and Halle were fighting again, this time over religion, as Calvinistic Brabant tried to overtake Catholic Hainaut. Again, two attempts failed, leading to an increased devotion to the city's miraculous statue. In 1621, with the support of the archdukes "Albert and "Isabella, the "Jesuits brought educational institutions and their religious influence to the city.
Halle and the surrounding area were used by "Philip IV of Spain as a warrant against a loan, leading to the cessation of the city to the Duke of "Arenberg in 1648. "Louis XIV's wars at the end of the century resulted in heavy losses, but the 18th century saw a resurgence in devotional and economic prosperity. The "French Revolution brought the usual religious curtailments to religious life; however, the pilgrimage site and the statue were spared confiscation thanks to the initiative of the inhabitants. The religious services were completely restored under "Napoleon, and the tradition of princely visits to the church of Halle continues until this day.
Today, Halle is a regional services and care center, offering trade, educational establishments, general hospital, and public services (61% of the active population works in the services sector).
The "February 2010 train collision in Buizingen killed around 18 people.
The flag of Halle was adopted on October 1, 1991 and is quartered as saltire (argent and azure). Its proportions are 2:3. If you cut the flag in two vertically and flip both sides, you get a blue lozenge, hinting at "Bavaria.
On the municipal coat of arms, the first quarter shows an argent-coloured virgin with child on an azure background. The fourth quarter is the coat of arms of the "Wittelsbach family. The second and third quarters are the coat of arms of "Hainaut, accentuating Halle's position right on the language border.
Halle is "twinned with:
|"Czech Republic: "Kadaň||""|
|"France: "Mouvaux, near "Lille||""|
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