Hasselt in Belgium

Tuesday, 18 October 2022 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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© Wout Rietman/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Wout Rietman/cc-by-sa-4.0

Hasselt is a Belgian city and municipality, and capital and largest city of the province of Limburg in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is known for its former branding as “the city of taste”, as well as its local distelleries of Hasselt jenever (gin), the Hasselt Jenever Festivities, Limburgish pie and the Hasselt speculaas. The municipality includes the original city of Hasselt, plus the boroughs of Sint-Lambrechts-Herk, Wimmertingen, Kermt, Spalbeek, Kuringen, Stokrooie, Stevoort and Runkst, as well as the hamlets and parishes of Kiewit, Godsheide and Rapertingen. On 01 July 2022 Hasselt had a total population of 80,260 (39,288 men and 40,972 women). Both the Demer river and the Albert Canal run through the municipality. Hasselt is located in between the Campine region, north of the Demer river, and the Hesbaye region, to the south. On a larger scale, it is also situated in the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion.

The centre is mostly car-free and contains a number of historical buildings. Among the oldest buildings in the town centre are the St. Quentin’s Cathedral (11th to 18th centuries) and the “Herkenrode Abbey refuge house” (1542). The Grand Place and the nearby streets are lined with restaurants brasseries, cafes and taverns. The Demerstraat and the Koning Albertstraat are the most important shopping streets. In the Kapelstraat and the Hoogstraat are expensive shops with the most famous brands. Another major religious building, besides the cathedral, is the Virga Jesse Basilica. The churches must cede domination of the skyline of the city to the modern twin towers of the “TT-wijk”, however. In 2003, the renovation of this complex, now including a shopping mall and a hotel, gave the centre a new boost. In 2004, Hasselt was the first city to receive the title “most sociable city of the region of Flanders“, and has since claimed the title of “Capital City of Taste”.

Old City Hall © Joachim Köhler/cc-by-sa-3.0 Villa Les Bergères © Sonuwe/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Wout Rietman/cc-by-sa-4.0 Augustijnenklooster © Paul Hermans/cc-by-sa-3.0 Kasteel van Mombeek © Sonuwe/cc-by-sa-3.0 Minderbroederskerk © Paul Hermans/cc-by-sa-4.0 New City Hall © Willy Leenders/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Augustijnenklooster © Paul Hermans/cc-by-sa-3.0
Hasselt was founded in approximately the 7th century on the Helbeek, a tributary of the Demer river. During the Middle Ages it became one of the free cities of the county of Loon (which had borders approximately the same as the current province of Limburg). It was first named in a document in 1165. In 1232 Arnold IV, Count of Loon gave the city the freedoms like those enjoyed in Liège. Even though the city of Borgloon was the original capital of Loon, Hasselt was to become the biggest city thanks to its favourable setting, and the proximity of the count’s castle at Herkenrode in Kuringen. In 1366 the county of Loon came under the direct rule of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège and remained so until the annexation by France in 1794.

During the First French Empire, after the French revolution, the city of Maastricht became the capital of the French Department of the Lower Meuse. This comprised not only the area of the modern province of Limburg in Belgium, but also what is now the province of Limburg in the Netherlands. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, all of what is now Belgium became part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. During this time, it was King William I who confusingly re-named the Lower Meuse department after the medieval Duchy of Limburg. That Duchy was in fact named after Limbourg on the Vesdre river, now in the Liège province of Belgium, which had never encompassed Hasselt or Maastricht. Belgium split from the Netherlands in 1830, but the status of Limburg was only resolved nine years later in 1839, with the division of Limburg into Belgian and Dutch parts. Hasselt became the provisional capital of the Belgian province of Limburg. In ecclesiastical terms Belgian Limburg became an independent entity from the Diocese of Liège only in 1967, and Hasselt became the seat of the new Diocese of Hasselt.

Read more on VisitLimburg.be – Hasselt, Pukkelpop Festival, Wikivoyage Hasselt and Wikipedia Hasselt (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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