Aalst, Belgium

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Location o Aalst in East Flanders

Aalst (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈaːlst]; Wast Flemish: Oalst; French: Alost, [alɔst]; local byleid: Oilsjt) is a ceety an municipality on the Dender River, 19 mile northwast frae Brussels. It is locatit in the Flemish province o East Flanders in the Denderstreek. The municipality comprises the ceety o Aalst itsel an the touns o Baardegem, Erembodegem, Gijzegem, Herdersem, Hofstade, Meldert, Moorsel, an Nieuwerkerken.

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

Kirk o the beguinage, Aalst

The first historical records on Aalst date frae the 9t century, whan it wis descrieved as the villa Alost, a dependency o the Aibbey o Lobbes. Durin the Middle Eilds, a toun an port grew at this strategic pynt, whaur the road frae Bruges til Cologne crossed the Dender. In the 11t century, Aalst wis transferred frae the pagus o Brabant til the Coonty o Flanders. Its frontier poseition on the mairch o the Holy Roman Empire alloued the toun tae keep a certaint degree o unthirldom. Its relation wi Brabant haes been preserved in the city's white an reid coat o airms, the colours o Lotharingie.

Construction o the toun haw stairtit in the middle o the 12t century,[1] makin it the auldest survivin toun haw in Belgium. Several manuscripts frae this period still survive in the toun archives. The toun haw, an the city itsel, wur amaist entirely wrackit bi fire in 1360. The toun wis suin rebiggit an a new belfry in gothic style wis biggit in the 15t century. This wis a time o great prosperity for the city, dominatit bi the pouerful weavers' guild. It is forbye at that time that Dirk Martens, a local ceetizen, became the Soothren Netherlands’ first prenter, foondin a prentin shop in 1473 that furthset beuks bi sindry authors siclik Christopher Columbus; Martens wad later become a professor at the Catholic University o Louvain.[1]

Aalst suffert heichly unner the Aichty Years' War (1568–1648). It wis later taen by the French Marshal Turenne in the War o Devolution o 1667, then occupee'd bi Fraunce til 1706 alang wi Soothren Flanders in general. The textile-based economy flourished unner the French. The 19t century wis marked bi social crises engendered bi the Industrial Revolution, wi Faither Adolf Daens and his Christene Volkspartij emerging as the local defender of wirkers' richts. The 20t century wis marked bi occupation bi the Germans durin baith warld wars. the ceeties citizenry are kent as the ingans, the oreegin o the name can be foond back tae medieval times.[1]

Industry[eedit | eedit soorce]

The textile industry is still vibrant in Aalst, in pairt acause o the French occupation. Aalst produces no anerlie the textiles themselves, but manufacturs mony o the needit machines. The mair rural regions are notit for their production o hops, which are sauld tae the auld breweries there.

Events[eedit | eedit soorce]

The belfry o Aalst.

Aalst is famous for its carnival festivities, celebratit ivery year in Februar. A Prince Carnaval is elected, who is alloued tae "rule" the ceety for three days. A big parade crosses the ceety on Sunday, wi aboot 70 groups o costumed volunteers an parade caurs. Carnaval Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday (bi tradeetion, the day afore Ash Wednesday), is kent as the day o the 'Voil Jeannetten' (literally: "the Dirty Jennies"), i.e. men dressed as weemen. The festivities tradeetionally end wi the "Burnin o the Doll", happenin on Tuesday fore-nicht.

Steids o interest[eedit | eedit soorce]

Twin ceety[eedit | eedit soorce]

See an aa[eedit | eedit soorce]

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. a b c d "Aalst." Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 Dec. 2006 .
  • "Aalst." Encyclopædia Britannica
  • "Aalst." Columbia Encyclopedia, 6t ed.

Coordinates: 50°56′18″N 4°02′21″E / 50.9383°N 4.0392°E / 50.9383; 4.0392