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Genappe (Municipality, Province of Walloon Brabant, Belgium)


Last modified: 2007-11-24 by ivan sache
Keywords: genappe | genepien | fleurs-de-lis: 2 (yellow) |
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[Flag of Genappe]

Municipal flag of Genappe, unconfirmed design (no iconographical source seen) - Image by Ivan Sache, 7 July 2007

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Presentation of Genappe and its villages

The municipality of Genappe (in Dutch, Genepiën; 14,277 inhabitants on 1 July 2007; 8,957 ha) is located 10 km east of Nivelles. The municipality of Genappe is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Genappe, Baisy-Thy, Bousval, Glabais, Houtain-le-Val, Loupoigne, Vieux-Genappe and Ways.

Genappe developed at the end of the XIIth century around a fortress built by the Dukes of Brabant on the right bank of the river Dyle. A chart was granted to the town of Nova Genappia in 1211, later known simply Genappe, whereas the old rural village was given the name of Vieux-Genappe. A new chart granted by the Duke of Brabant in 1302 conferred quite important rights to the burghers of Genappe: they were exempted of tax, while the justice was guaranteed as well as an autonomous management. The town had a market hall, a public weight, and a wash house. The presence of Lombard lenders in the XIII-XIVth centuries indicates that Genappe was then of economical significance. It became the residence of a Chief-Mayor representing the Duke with jurisdiction over the neighbouring villages, why the town proper was ran by a Mayor and a College of Magistrates.
Together with the main towns of Brabant, Genappe signed in 1312 the Chart of Cortenberg with the Duke of Brabant and joined the Urban Alliance in 1355. There was then in the town a feudal court known as the Court of Genappe, later as the Court of Lothier.
In the XVth century, the Dauphin, later King Louis XI, exiled from France to Burgundy. His uncle Philippe the Handsome allowed him to stay in the castle of Genappe from 1456 to 1461. Born in the castle on 17 July 1459, the Dauphin's son, Joachim, died 4 months later and was buried in the Notre-Dame church in Halle. In 1461, Anne de France was born in Genappe; with ther husband, the lord of Beaujeu, she was Regent of France during the minority of Charles VIII.
Genappe joined the failed anti-Austrian insurrection repressed by Emperor Maximilian in 1489, which was the start of its decline. The black plague (1533) and the religious troubles (1578) further weakened the town. Located to close to Brussels and deemed a possible insurgents or enemies' nest, the castle of Genappe was suppressed in 1671 by order of the Governor General of the Low Countries.
In the XVIIIth century, Genappe partially recovered its wealth thanks to the building of the Brussels-Charleroi road. Several inns, posts, churches, castles and farms were built during that period. In June 1815, Genappe was involved in the events known as the battle of Waterloo. The battle of Quatre-Bras took place on 16 June (see below), whereas fightings took place in the village the next day; on 18-19 June, the village was flooded by the withdrawing armies after the battle. The former King of Spain's Inn housed famous people such as the Duke of Wellington (16 June), Prince Jérôme Bonaparte and General Reille (17 June), Marshal Blücher (18 June) and General Duhesme, commanding the Young Guard, who died in the inn on the night of 19 to 20 June.
In the XIXth century, the building of the railway Wavre-Ottignies-Manage via Genappe boosted the economic development of the town. There were in Genappe two mills powered by the Dyle, two sugarhouses, forges, tanneries, breweries ... an an umbrella manufacture.

Baisy, merged with Thy in 1810 to form Baisy-Thy, belonged to the daugther of the Duke of Lotharingia. Her son Godefroid de Bouillon was born in Baisy-Thy in 1061. During the battle of Quatre-Bras (lit., Four Arms, a place name), Duke of Brunswick was killed. Monuments recall the French, Dutch, British and (not yet) Belgian soldiers killed during the battle.

Bousval, a hilly village watered by the Dyle and its main tributary, the Cala, is mentioned on the Polyptich of the abbey of Lobbes (IXth century) as Bosonis Vallis, "Boson's Valley". The very scattered settlement still recalls that the village was divided in several tiny domains. Surrounded by a 10-ha park, the castle of Bousval, with its XVIth-century watch tower, was revamped in 1617. The festival known as St. Bartholomeuw's Tour is still performed every last Sunday of August: a cart from the XVIIIth century, drafted by two Brabantian horses, carries the statue of the saint all over the neighborhood. Active in the XIXth century along the Nivelles-Wavre road and railway, the clothmill, the forges, the paper mills and the distilleries are today ruined.

Glabais is an isolated rural village, once divided into tiny domains, including Toulifaut, still recalled by the farm of the same name.

Houtain is made of two former domains, Houtain-le-Mont and Houtain-le-Val, merged into a single municipality on the 19 Floreal of the Year 10 (9 May 1802).

Loupogne was the den of the Boerenkrijg hero Charles François Jacquemin, aka Charles de Loupoigne or Cousin Châles. In the forest of Soignes, he organized and armed a band of farmers on the model of the Austrian army, in which he had served. They occupied the region comprised between Linkebeek and Sint-Genesius-Rode and cut the road linking Waterloo to Brussels. Loupoigne's band then raided Genappe and seized 200 new guns and 400 horses from the French army. The new cavalry rode against Gosselies but was repelled by the garrison of Charleroi. Sentenced in abstentia, Loupoigne was killed on 30 July 1798 in the forest of Soignes; his head was exposed for a few days on the Grand Place of Brussels. Loupoigne's adventures are related in Chapter XXI (Karel van Loupoigne) of Jan Bruylants' novel Tijl Uilenspiegel in Vlaanderen.

Vieux-Genappe was colonized in the XII-XIIIth century by the abbey of Affligem, that set up there its "big domains" and experimented new cropping systems. The farm of Chantelet, with its chapel built in 1661, housed Marshal Ney and his staff in June 1815. The hamlet of Promelles has kept its old castle and its calvary buit in the XVIIth century. The Stone Museum is located along the Brussels-Charleroi road in the farm where Napoléon stayed on the eve of the battle of Waterloo.

Ways had once a beguine convent, built in 1205-1210 and transformed into a farm (1670) and later into a school (1842-1855).

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 7 July 2007

Municipal flag of Genappe

The municipal flag of Genappe is horizontally divided blue-yellow-blue with a yellow fleur-de-lis in the middle of each blue stripe.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 7 November 1995 and confirmed by the Executive of the French Community on 30 April 1999.

The flag is derived from the municipal arms, D'azur au château ouvert à trois tours d'or accosté de deux fleurs de lis du même ("Azure a castle open with three towers or flanked by two fleurs-de-lis of the same"). According to Servais, these arms were already used by Genappe before the municipal fusion.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 7 July 2007