Duchy of Brabant

Duchy of Brabant

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The Duchy of Brabant was a historical region in the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

. Its territory consisted essentially of the three modern-day Belgian
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 provinces of Flemish Brabant
Flemish Brabant
Flemish Brabant is a province of Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium. It borders on the Belgian provinces of Antwerp, Limburg, Liège, Walloon Brabant, Hainaut and East Flanders. Flemish Brabant also completely surrounds the Brussels-Capital Region. Its capital is Leuven...

, Walloon Brabant
Walloon Brabant
Walloon Brabant is a province of Wallonia in Belgium. It borders on the province of Flemish Brabant and the provinces of Liège, Namur and Hainaut . Its capital is Wavre...

 and Antwerp
Antwerp (province)
Antwerp is the northernmost province both of the Flemish Region, also called Flanders, and of Belgium. It borders on the Netherlands and the Belgian provinces of Limburg, Flemish Brabant and East Flanders. Its capital is Antwerp which comprises the Port of Antwerp...

, the Brussels-Capital Region and most of the present-day Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 province of North Brabant
North Brabant
North Brabant , sometimes called Brabant, is a province of the Netherlands, located in the south of the country, bordered by Belgium in the south, the Meuse River in the north, Limburg in the east and Zeeland in the west.- History :...

.

The Flag of Belgium is based on the colors of Brabant's coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

: black, yellow, and red.

In Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 times, the territory was situated in the Roman provinces of Belgica and Germania Inferior
Germania Inferior
Germania Inferior was a Roman province located on the left bank of the Rhine, in today's Luxembourg, southern Netherlands, parts of Belgium, and North Rhine-Westphalia left of the Rhine....

 and inhabited by the Belgae
Belgae
The Belgae were a group of tribes living in northern Gaul, on the west bank of the Rhine, in the 3rd century BC, and later also in Britain, and possibly even Ireland...

, who were of both Celtic and Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 origin. At the end of the Roman period they were conquered by the Germanic Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

.

The region's name is first recorded as the Carolingian shire pagus Bracbatensis, located between the rivers Scheldt
Scheldt
The Scheldt is a 350 km long river in northern France, western Belgium and the southwestern part of the Netherlands...

 and Dijle
Dijle
Dyle or Dijle or historically the River Dyle in English, is a river in central Belgium, left tributary of the Rupel. It is long. It flows through the Belgian provinces of Walloon Brabant, Flemish Brabant and Antwerp...

, from bracha "new" and bant "region".

It formed the heart of the Low Countries until it was dismembered after the Dutch revolt
Dutch Revolt
The Dutch Revolt or the Revolt of the Netherlands This article adopts 1568 as the starting date of the war, as this was the year of the first battles between armies. However, since there is a long period of Protestant vs...

. Its most important cities were Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, Antwerp, Leuven
Leuven
Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region, Belgium...

, Breda, 's-Hertogenbosch, Lier
Lier, Belgium
Lier is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises the city of Lier proper and the village of Koningshooikt. On January 1, 2010 Lier had a total population of 33,930. The total area is 49.70 km² which gives a population density of 669 inhabitants per...

 and Mechelen
Mechelen
Mechelen Footnote: Mechelen became known in English as 'Mechlin' from which the adjective 'Mechlinian' is derived...

.

History


The Landgraviate of Brabant was established as a feudal
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 imperial fief within Lower Lotharingia
Lower Lorraine
The Duchy of Lower Lorraine or Lower Lotharingia , established in 959 was a stem duchy of the medieval German kingdom, which encompassed part of modern-day Belgium, the Netherlands, the northern part of the German Rhineland and a part of northern France east of the Schelde river.It was created out...

. As such, it was an integral part of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

. After the death of the preceding count of Brabant, Count Palatine Herman II of Lotharingia
Hermann II, Count Palatine
Hermann II , Count Palatine of Lotharingia from 1064 when reaching majority, until 1085. He was count in the Ruhrgau and the Zulpichgau, as well as count of Brabant...

 in 1085, the imperial fief was assigned to count Henry III of Leuven
Henry III of Leuven
Henry III of Leuven was count of Leuven from 1078 to 1095.He was allied by marriage to most of the nearby lords: he was brother in law of Baldwin II of Hainaut, and son-in-law of Robert I of Flanders. The bishop of Liège, Henri I of Verdun, was peace-loving. Henry was able to concentrate on the...

.

The Duchy of Brabant was formally established in 1183-1184 and the hereditary title of Duke of Brabant
Duke of Brabant
The Duchy of Brabant was formally erected in 1183/1184. The title "Duke of Brabant" was created by the German Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in favor of Henry I, son of Godfrey III of Leuven . The Duchy of Brabant was a feudal elevation of the since 1085/1086 existing title of Landgrave of Brabant...

 was created by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa
Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick I Barbarossa was a German Holy Roman Emperor. He was elected King of Germany at Frankfurt on 4 March 1152 and crowned in Aachen on 9 March, crowned King of Italy in Pavia in 1155, and finally crowned Roman Emperor by Pope Adrian IV, on 18 June 1155, and two years later in 1157 the term...

 in favour of Henry I of Brabant
Henry I, Duke of Brabant
Henry I of Brabant , named "The Courageous" Duke of Brabant and Duke of Lower Lotharingia until his death.-Biography:...

, son of Godfrey III of Leuven. Although the original county was quite small and limited to the territory between the rivers Dender
Dender
The Dendre or Dender is a 65 km long river in Belgium, right tributary of the river Scheldt. The confluence of both rivers is in the Belgian town Dendermonde....

 and Zenne
Zenne
The Zenne or Senne is a small river that flows through Brussels, left tributary of the Dijle/Dyle. Its source is in the municipality of Soignies. It is an indirect tributary of the Scheldt, through the Dijle and the Rupel...

, situated to the west of Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, from the 13th century on its name was applied to the entire territory under control of the dukes.

In 1190, after the death of Godfrey III, Henry I also became Duke of Lower Lotharingia. By that time the title had lost most of its territorial authority. According to protocol, all his successors were thereafter called Dukes of Brabant and Lower Lotharingia (often called Duke of Lothier
Duke of Lothier
Lothier refers to the territory within the Duchy of Lower Lotharingia, governed by the Dukes of Brabant and their successors after 1190 until the end of the Ancien Régime in 1796....

).

After the Battle of Worringen
Battle of Worringen
The Battle of Worringen was fought on June 5, 1288, near the town of Worringen , which is now the northernmost borough of Cologne...

 in 1288, the dukes of Brabant also acquired the Duchy of Limburg
Duchy of Limburg
The Duchy of Limburg, situated in the Low Countries between the river Meuse and the city of Aachen, was a state of the Holy Roman Empire. Its territory is now divided between the Belgian provinces of Liège and Limburg , the Dutch province of Limburg , and a small part of North Rhine-Westphalia in...

 and the lands of Overmaas (trans-Meuse). In 1354 the Joyous Entry
Joyous Entry of 1356
The Joyous Entry of 1356 into Brussels is the charter of liberties granted to the Duchy of Brabant following the death in 1355 of Duke John III, by his daughter Joanna, the new Duchess, and her husband Wenceslaus, Duke of Luxembourg...

, or charter of liberty was granted to the citizens of Brabant by John III
John III, Duke of Brabant
Jan III van Brabant , also called John III, the Triumphant , was Duke of Brabant, Lothier, and Limburg...

.

Burgundian and Habsburg Netherlands



In 1430 the Duchies of Lower Lotharingia, Brabant and Limburg were inherited by Philip the Good of Burgundy
Duchy of Burgundy
The Duchy of Burgundy , was heir to an ancient and prestigious reputation and a large division of the lands of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy and in its own right was one of the geographically larger ducal territories in the emergence of Early Modern Europe from Medieval Europe.Even in that...

 and became part of the Burgundian Netherlands
Burgundian Netherlands
In the history of the Low Countries, the Burgundian Netherlands refers to a number of Imperial and French fiefs ruled in personal union by the House of Valois-Burgundy and their Habsburg heirs in the period from 1384 to 1482...

.

In 1477 the title fell to the House of Habsburg by dowry of Mary of Burgundy
Mary of Burgundy
Mary of Burgundy ruled the Burgundian territories in Low Countries and was suo jure Duchess of Burgundy from 1477 until her death...

. At that time the Duchy of Brabant extended from Luttre
Luttre
Luttre is a small village in Wallonia, Belgium, about 50 km south of Brussels along the Charleroi-Brussels Canal, railway line and motorway. Its name means crystal clear water...

, south of Nivelles
Nivelles
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....

 to 's Hertogenbosch, with Leuven
Leuven
Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region, Belgium...

 as the capital city. The subsequent history of Brabant is part of the history of the Habsburg Seventeen Provinces
Seventeen Provinces
The Seventeen Provinces were a personal union of states in the Low Countries in the 15th century and 16th century, roughly covering the current Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, a good part of the North of France , and a small part of Western Germany.The Seventeen Provinces were originally held by...

.

Eighty Years War and division of Brabant


The Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) brought the northern parts (essentially the present Dutch province of North Brabant
North Brabant
North Brabant , sometimes called Brabant, is a province of the Netherlands, located in the south of the country, bordered by Belgium in the south, the Meuse River in the north, Limburg in the east and Zeeland in the west.- History :...

) under military control of the northern insurgents. After the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, the United Provinces' independence was confirmed and northern Brabant was formally ceded to the United Provinces as Staats-Brabant, a federally governed territory.

The southern part remained in Spanish Habsburg hands as a part of the Southern Netherlands
Southern Netherlands
Southern Netherlands were a part of the Low Countries controlled by Spain , Austria and annexed by France...

. It was transferred to the Austrian branch of the Habsburgs in 1714. During the French occupation of the Southern Netherlands in 1795 the duchy of Brabant was dissolved. The territory was reorganised in the départements
The 130 départements
This is a list of the 130 departments , the conventional name for the administrative subdivisions of the First French Empire at the height of its territorial extent, circa 1811....

of Deux-Nèthes
Deux-Nèthes
Deux-Nèthes is the name of a département of the First French Empire in present Belgium and the Netherlands. It is named after two branches of the river Nete. The southern part of its territory corresponds more or less with the present Belgian province Antwerp....

 (present province of Antwerp
Antwerp (province)
Antwerp is the northernmost province both of the Flemish Region, also called Flanders, and of Belgium. It borders on the Netherlands and the Belgian provinces of Limburg, Flemish Brabant and East Flanders. Its capital is Antwerp which comprises the Port of Antwerp...

) and Dyle
Dyle (département)
Dyle is a département of the First French Empire in present Belgium. It was named after the river Dijle, which flows through the département. Its territory corresponds more or less with that of the Belgian provinces Walloon Brabant, Flemish Brabant and Brussels-Capital Region...

 (the later province of Brabant
Province of Brabant
Brabant was a province of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands from 1815 until 1830 and a province of Belgium from 1830 until 1995, when it was split into the Dutch-speaking Flemish Brabant, the French-speaking Walloon Brabant and the bilingual Brussels-Capital Region.-United Kingdom of the...

).

Cities of Brabant


The Duchy of Brabant was historically divided in four parts each with their own capital. The four capitals are Leuven, Brussels, Antwerp and 's Hertogenbosch. Before 's Hertogenbosch was founded Tienen formed the fourth capital.

The unwalled cities did not have the right to construct walls. Trade was allowed in these areas and usually this right resulted in a larger population and the development of major villages and later cities. The unwalled cities had also the right to hold markets which they held on large market squares. This distinguishes them from surrounding villages who were not allowed to hold markets and did not possess market squares. Being unwalled also meant that some of these places suffered heavily in war and during the Dutch Revolt
Dutch Revolt
The Dutch Revolt or the Revolt of the Netherlands This article adopts 1568 as the starting date of the war, as this was the year of the first battles between armies. However, since there is a long period of Protestant vs...

.

Walled cities

  • Leuven
    Leuven
    Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region, Belgium...

    : the capital city of the original region from where Brabant expanded. It has been a university town since 1425.
  • Tienen: east of Leuven. Historically, it was, along with Lier, Diest and Tienen, one of the bigger cities after the four regional city capitals.
  • Zoutleeuw
    Zoutleeuw
    Zoutleeuw is a municipality and city in the Hageland, in the extreme east of the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant. On 1 January 2006 the municipality had 7,947 inhabitants...

    : east of Tienen. It lies near the boarder of Brabant. In its day, it was a wealthy merchant town. It was also the biggest garrison site near the border with Liege. A swamp separates Zoutleeuw from Liège.
  • Landen
    Landen
    Landen is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant. The municipality comprises the city of Landen proper and the towns of Attenhoven, Eliksem, Ezemaal, Laar, Neerlanden, Neerwinden, Overwinden, Rumsdorp, Waasmont, Walsbets, Walshoutem, Wange and Wezeren. On January 1, 2006...

    : south east of Zoutleeuw; a small garrison town. But many known people lived to the near south-west of it: Pepin of Landen, St. Gertrude, St. Bavo
    Saint Bavo
    Saint Bavo of Ghent is a Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox saint.-Life:Bavo was born near Liège, Belgium, to a Frankish noble family that gave him the name Allowin...

    , St. Ida and St. Begga.
  • Hannut
    Hannut
    Hannut is a municipality of Belgium. It lies in the country's Walloon Region and Province of Liege. On January 1, 2006 Hannut had a total population of 14,291...

    : south of Landen. like Landen, it was a small garrison town.
  • Aarschot
    Aarschot
    Aarschot is a city and municipality in the province of Flemish Brabant, in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium. The municipality comprises the city of Aarschot proper and the towns of Gelrode, Langdorp and Rillaar. On January 1, 2006 Aarschot had a total population of 27,864...

    : north east of Leuven. It was once the capital of the Duchy of Aarschot. It is famous for its fine architecture in the "Demer" gothic
    Gothic architecture
    Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

    style, which uses a local type of red stone for its churches and other important buildings.
  • Scherpenheuvel: east of Aarschot. It was, and is, the only baroque
    Baroque
    The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

     town in the Netherlands. As such, it is still an important place of pilgrimage.
  • Zichem: north of Scherpenheuvel. The city was destroyed during the Dutch Revolt, which left it with a 'rural undeveloped character' ever since. The church and the Maagdentoren (tower of the Virgin) in local red stone are impressive buildings from Zichem's past. Zichem was once part of the Barony of Diest.
  • Diest
    Diest
    Diest is a city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant. Situated in the northeast of the Hageland region, Diest neighbours the provinces of Antwerp to its North, and Limburg to the East and is situated around 60km from Brussels. The municipality comprises the city of...

    : east of Scherpenheuvel. It was one of Brabant's biggest cities, after the four capitals, and was an important brewery town. The city still counts numerous monuments of its past as attractions today. Like Zichem and Breda it is a Nassau
    House of Orange-Nassau
    The House of Orange-Nassau , a branch of the European House of Nassau, has played a central role in the political life of the Netherlands — and at times in Europe — since William I of Orange organized the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule, which after the Eighty Years' War...

     city. Diest was also the capital of the Barony of Diest, and its lands.
  • Halen
    Halen
    Halen is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg, to the east of Hasselt. On January 1, 2006 Halen had a total population of 8,624. The total area is 36.29 km² which gives a population density of 238 inhabitants per km²....

    : A small garrison city where the "Battle of the Iron Helmets" took place during World War I: a victory for the Royal Belgian Cavalry.
  • Jodoigne
    Jodoigne
    Jodoigne is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant. On January 1, 2006 Jodoigne had a total population of 12,440...

    : south of Tienen. The city and the surrounding area is known for its white stone, which gives the whole countryside a picturesque character. Many battles have taken place in this region, and other parts of Walloon Brabant
    Walloon Brabant
    Walloon Brabant is a province of Wallonia in Belgium. It borders on the province of Flemish Brabant and the provinces of Liège, Namur and Hainaut . Its capital is Wavre...

    .
  • Gembloux
    Gembloux
    Gembloux is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Namur, on the axis Brussels-NamurOn 1 January 2006 the municipality had 21,964 inhabitants...

    : south of Jodoigne. Is known for the fine buildings of Gembloux Abbey.

Unwalled cities

  • Wavre
    Wavre
    Wavre is a town and municipality located in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant, of which it is the capital.Wavre is located in the Dyle valley. Most of its inhabitants speak French as mother tongue and are called "Wavriens" and "Wavriennes"...

    : west of Jodoigne and today the capital of Walloon Brabant
  • Dormaal: south of Zoutleeuw. Although it holds city rights
    Town privileges
    Town privileges or city rights were important features of European towns during most of the second millennium.Judicially, a town was distinguished from the surrounding land by means of a charter from the ruling monarch that defined its privileges and laws. Common privileges were related to trading...

     it never really developed into a city and could be considered a village.

Walled cities

  • Brussels: the capital city of this part of Brabant. Also former capital of the Seventeen Provinces
    Seventeen Provinces
    The Seventeen Provinces were a personal union of states in the Low Countries in the 15th century and 16th century, roughly covering the current Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, a good part of the North of France , and a small part of Western Germany.The Seventeen Provinces were originally held by...

    , and of the Southern part of the Seventeen Provinces; today it is the capital of the Kingdom of Belgium. Once known as the 'city of nobles' because of the presence of the Royal Court.
  • Vilvoorde
    Vilvoorde
    Vilvoorde is a Belgian municipality in the Flemish province of Flemish Brabant. The municipality comprises the city of Vilvoorde proper with its two outlying quarters of Koningslo and Houtem and the small town of Peutie...

    : north of Brussels. The first prison of Belgium was built here when the region was under Austrian rule.
  • Nivelles
    Nivelles
    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....

    : south of Brussels. Known for its beautiful church
    Collegiate Church of Saint Gertrude
    The Collegiate Church of Saint Gertrude is a historical building in Nivelles, Wallonia, Belgium consecrated in 1046 by Wazon, bishop of Liège in the presence of emperor Henry III...

     and as the birthplace of Saint Gertrude of Nivelles; who played an important role in the early history of Brussels and the local region.

Unwalled cities

  • Braine-l'Alleud
    Braine-l'Alleud
    Braine-l'Alleud is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant, about 20 kilometers south of Brussels. The Braine-l'Alleud municipality includes the former municipalities of Braine-l'Alleud proper, Ophain-Bois-Seigneur-Isaac, and Lillois-Witterzée. It also includes...

    : south of Brussels. The famous Battle of Waterloo
    Battle of Waterloo
    The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

    , where the Duke of Wellington of Great Britain defeated Emperor Napoleon I of France, took place near this small city. The church functioned as a hospital at the time for the many casualties of the conflict.
  • Genappe
    Genappe
    Genappe is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant. On 1 January 2006 Genappe had a total population of 14,136...

    : east of Nivelles; a small city with a charming old town centre developed around a market square.
  • La Hulpe
    La Hulpe
    La Hulpe is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant. On January 1, 2006 La Hulpe had a total population of 7,224...

    : north east of Braine Alleud. Could be considered a village, although it was allowed to hold markets and held justice in its own small domain. It has become more wellknown lately as the residence of Solvay
    Solvay
    Solvay may refer to* Solvay , an international chemicals and plastics company* the Solvay process* Ernest Solvay, its inventor* Solvay Conference* the Solvay Business School* Solvay, New York* Solvay Hut, on the Matterhorn...

    .
  • Overijse
    Overijse
    Overijse is a municipality in the province of Flemish Brabant, in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium. The municipality comprises the town of Overijse, and the communities of Eizer, Maleizen, Jezus-Eik, Tombeek and Terlanen. On December 31, 2008 Overijse had a total population of 24,410...

    : south west of Brussels. Historically more important, as it held its own trade market Béguinage
    Béguinage
    A béguinage or begijnhof is a collection of small buildings used by Beguines. These were various lay sisterhoods of the Roman Catholic Church, founded in the 13th century in the Low Countries, comprising religious women who sought to serve God without retiring from the world.-Description:A...

     and cloth hall; but the city never expanded beyond the large market square.
  • Tervuren
    Tervuren
    Tervuren is a municipality in the province of Flemish Brabant, in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium. The municipality comprises the villages of Duisburg, Tervuren, Vossem and Moorsel. On January 1, 2006, Tervuren had a total population of 20,636...

    : east of Brussels. Tervuren was the country residence of the Dukes of Brabant, and continued as such when the Habsbourgs took over. Stately homes of the old noble families characterise Tervuren. Also, the more recent Congo Museum is situated in the Park of Tervuren.
  • Duisburg
    Duisburg (Tervuren)
    -History:On the first of January 1977 Duisburg became part of the municipality of Tervuren as part of the fusion of the Belgian municipalities. Prior to this it was an independent municipality.-Culture:...

    : south east of Tervuren; was ruled by the Abbey of Coudenberg
    Coudenberg
    Coudenberg or Koudenberg is a small hill in Brussels where the Palace of Coudenberg was built.For nearly 700 years, the Castle and then the Palace of Coudenberg were the seat of government of the counts, dukes, archdukes, kings, emperors and governors who from the 11th century until its...

    . who never allowed it to develop into a city.
  • Merchtem
    Merchtem
    Merchtem is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant. The municipality comprises the villages of Brussegem and Hamme, the hamlet of Ossel and Peizegem, and Merchtem proper. On July 9, 2009 Merchtem had a total population of 15,298...

    : north west of Brussels. A rather small unwalled city, with pretentions, but it was larger than the towns of La Hulpe or Duisburg.
  • Asse
    Asse
    Asse is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant. The municipality comprises the towns of Asse proper, Bekkerzeel, Kobbegem, Mollem, Relegem and Zellik. On January 1, 2006 Asse had a total population of 29,191...

    : West of Brussels. Next to Genappe and Braine Alleud, it was one of the bigger unwalled cities of the Brussels quarter. Today it has an old hospital and market square.

Walled cities

  • Antwerp: the capital of this quarter. Also the Episcopal see
    Episcopal See
    An episcopal see is, in the original sense, the official seat of a bishop. This seat, which is also referred to as the bishop's cathedra, is placed in the bishop's principal church, which is therefore called the bishop's cathedral...

     for this part of Brabant, which included the Barony of Breda and the Margravite of Bergen op Zoom
    Bergen op Zoom
    Bergen op Zoom is a municipality and a city located in the south of the Netherlands.-History:Bergen op Zoom was granted city status probably in 1266. In 1287 the city and its surroundings became a lordship as it was separated from the lordship of Breda. The lordship was elevated to a margraviate...

    . Antwerp today is a city of business and trade with many fine merchant palaces still standing in the old town.
  • Lier
    Lier, Belgium
    Lier is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises the city of Lier proper and the village of Koningshooikt. On January 1, 2010 Lier had a total population of 33,930. The total area is 49.70 km² which gives a population density of 669 inhabitants per...

    : south east of Antwerp. Known as the wedding site of the parents of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
    Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
    Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

    , an event which led to many future political changes.
  • Herentals
    Herentals
    Herentals is a city and municipality located in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium, and in the Flemish province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises the city of Herentals proper and the towns of Morkhoven and Noorderwijk. On January 1, 2006 Herentals had a total population of 26,071...

    : east of Lier. A city located in a forested area.
  • Zandvliet
    Zandvliet
    Zandvliet is a Belgian town forming part of the Antwerp district of Berendrecht-Zandvliet-Lillo. The place dates back to 1135 when it was known as Santflit, meaning "a navigable passage through sand"....

    : north of Antwerp. A garrison city built to defend the Southern Netherlands.
  • Bergen op Zoom
    Bergen op Zoom
    Bergen op Zoom is a municipality and a city located in the south of the Netherlands.-History:Bergen op Zoom was granted city status probably in 1266. In 1287 the city and its surroundings became a lordship as it was separated from the lordship of Breda. The lordship was elevated to a margraviate...

    : north of Zandvliet. Old fortified port town.
  • Steenbergen
    Steenbergen
    Steenbergen can mean:*Steenbergen, a town and municipality in North Brabant, the Netherlands*Steenbergen , a hamlet in the south of Drenthe, the Netherlands*Steenbergen , a hamlet in the north of Drenthe, the Netherlands...

    : north of Bergen op Zoom; also an important port town.
  • Breda
    Breda
    Breda is a municipality and a city in the southern part of the Netherlands. The name Breda derived from brede Aa and refers to the confluence of the rivers Mark and Aa. As a fortified city, the city was of strategic military and political significance...

    : north east of Antwerp. One of the Nassau trade cities.

Unwalled cities

  • Turnhout: north of Herentals. The largest of the unwalled cities of Brabant.
  • Geel
    Geel
    Geel is a city located in the Belgian province of Antwerp which acquired the status of a city in the 1980s.It comprises Central-Geel which is constituted of 4 old parishes a/o towns : Sint-Amand, Sint-Dimpna, Holven and Elsum...

    : east of Herentals. Known for its early and present health care facilities.
  • Hoogstraten
    Hoogstraten
    Hoogstraten is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises the city of Hoogstraten proper and the towns of Meer, Meerle, Meersel-Dreef, Minderhout and Wortel,...

    : north east of Antwerp. Capital of the county of Hoogstraten.
  • Duffel
    Duffel
    Duffel is a municipality in the Belgian province of Antwerp.The municipality comprises only the town of Duffel proper. On January 1, 2006 Duffel had a total population of 16,019...

    : south of Antwerp. More illustrious in the past then it is today. An important barony of the later Middle Ages which was largely destroyed by wars. Its name has been remembered, and is now used as the common military name for a small clothes carrying bag.
  • Walem: part of the barony of Duffel; never became more than a village.
  • Arendonk
    Arendonk
    Arendonk is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises only the town of Arendonk proper. On January 1, 2006 Arendonk had a total population of 12,215. The total area is 55.38 km² which gives a population density of 221 inhabitants per...

    : east of Turnhout. Famous for training falcons and eagles for use in the Hunt.


Note: the city of Mechelen
Mechelen
Mechelen Footnote: Mechelen became known in English as 'Mechlin' from which the adjective 'Mechlinian' is derived...

 formed an independent state along with the Land of Heist-op-den-Berg
Heist-op-den-Berg
Heist-op-den-Berg is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises the villages of Booischot , Hallaar, Heist-op-den-Berg proper , Itegem, Schriek and Wiekevorst.-History:The 48-meter-high hill on which Heist would...

 and Gestel. Willemstad
Willemstad (North Brabant)
Willemstad is a city in the Dutch province of North Brabant. It is located in the municipality of Moerdijk. Its population as of 2002 was 2,329....

, Geertruidenberg
Geertruidenberg
Geertruidenberg is a city and municipality in the province North Brabant in the south of the Netherlands. The city, named after Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, received city rights in 1213 from the count of Holland. The fortified city prospered until the 15th century.Today, the municipality of...

 and Klundert
Klundert
Klundert is a city in the Dutch province of North Brabant. It is located close to the Hollands Diep, about 3 km northwest of Zevenbergen. It received city rights in 1357....

 were part of the County of Holland
County of Holland
The County of Holland was a county in the Holy Roman Empire and from 1482 part of the Habsburg Netherlands in what is now the Netherlands. It covered an area roughly corresponding to the current Dutch provinces of North-Holland and South-Holland, as well as the islands of Terschelling, Vlieland,...

; whose name in turn was later used to describe or label large areas of the Netherlands.

Walled cities

  • Bois-le-Duc ('s Hertogenbosch): regional capital city and Episcopal see
    Episcopal See
    An episcopal see is, in the original sense, the official seat of a bishop. This seat, which is also referred to as the bishop's cathedra, is placed in the bishop's principal church, which is therefore called the bishop's cathedral...

     of this part of Brabant.
  • Heusden
    Heusden
    Heusden is a municipality and a city in the South of the Netherlands. It is located between the cities Waalwijk and 's-Hertogenbosch.- Population centres :...

    : north west of 's Hertogenbosch. It was said to be an "untakeable city" (in the military battle meaning term), and it lies close to the boundaries of the old Counties of Holland and Guelders
    Guelders
    Guelders or Gueldres is the name of a historical county, later duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the Low Countries.-Geography:...

    .
  • Helmond
    Helmond
    Helmond is a municipality and a city in the province of North Brabant in the southern Netherlands.- Quarters and Neighbourhoods :*Quarter 11 Inner City**Neighbourhood 0 Centrum**Neighbourhood 2 Leonardus**Neighbourhood 3 Heipoort...

    : built as a military counterweight barrier to the counts of Guelders. It has a massive water fortress of historical interest.
  • Ravenstein
    Ravenstein, Netherlands
    Ravenstein is a city and a former municipality in the South of the Netherlands, in the province of North Brabant. The former municipality covered an area of 42.68 km²...

    : east of 's Hertogenbosch. Became part of the Duchy of Cleves
    Duchy of Cleves
    The Duchy of Cleves was a State of the Holy Roman Empire. It was situated in the northern Rhineland on both sides of the Lower Rhine, around its capital Cleves and the town of Wesel, bordering the lands of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster in the east and the Duchy of Brabant in the west...

     in 1396, along with Meghem (Megen
    Megen
    Megen or Meghem is a small city in the southern part of the Netherlands, in the province North Brabant, close to the river Maas. It is part of the Oss municipality. The number of inhabitants is approximately 1700....

    ) and Grave. A later Duke of Clives sent his sister, Anne of Cleves, to England to become one of the two surviving wives of King Henry VIII.
  • Meghem (now called Megen
    Megen
    Megen or Meghem is a small city in the southern part of the Netherlands, in the province North Brabant, close to the river Maas. It is part of the Oss municipality. The number of inhabitants is approximately 1700....

    ): north-west of Ravenstein.
  • Grave: south of Ravenstein: These three smaller garrison towns of the north-east side of Brabant, later became part of the Duchy of Cleves, as the Barony of Ravenstein.
  • Eindhoven: was granted city rights in 1232 shortly after starting out as one of the very first 'planned' new cities in Europe. Its magnificent walls were demolished in the Eighty Years War, and were never to be rebuilt.

See also

  • Dukes of Brabant
  • Dukes of Brabant family tree
    Dukes of Brabant family tree
    This is a family tree of the Dukes of Brabant from 1139 up to 1430. Godfrey I, count of Leuven, became Duke of Lower Lotharingia in 1106. Henry I became the first Duke of Brabant in 1183/1184.See also:*Duchy of Brabant*List of family trees...

  • War of Devolution
    War of Devolution
    The War of Devolution saw Louis XIV's French armies overrun the Habsburg-controlled Spanish Netherlands and the Franche-Comté, but forced to give most of it back by a Triple Alliance of England, Sweden, and the Dutch Republic in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.-Background:Louis's claims to the...

    (1667–1668)