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Sint-Truiden (Municipality, Province of Limburg, Belgium)


Last modified: 2005-12-03 by ivan sache
Keywords: sint-truiden | saint-trond | lion (red) |
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[Flag of Sint-Truiden]

Municipal flag of Sint-Truiden - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 28 August 2005

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Presentation of Sint-Truiden

The municipality and town (Stad) of Sint-Truiden (in French, Saint-Trond; 37,079 inhabitants) is located in Haspengouw / Hesbaye, in south-western Limburg, 15 km south-west of Hasselt, 30 km west of Maastricht and 30 km north-west of Liège. The municipality is made of the city of Sint-Truiden and the former municipalities of Halmaal (incorporated in 1970), Brustem (incorporated in 1975, including Aalst and Ordingen, incorporated to Brustem in 1970), Duras (incorporated in 1975, including Gorsem, Runkelen and Wilderen, incorporated to Duras in 1970), Gelmen (incorporated in 1975, including Engelmanshoven, Gelinden and Groot-Gelmen, incorporated to Gelmen in 1970), Velm and Zepperen, both incorporated in 1975.

In the Roman times, a settlement existed along the Bavay-Tongeren-Cologne road. Around 650-660, saint Truiden (in Frankish, Trudo; in French, Trond or Trudon; d. 690 and celebrated on 23 November) founded an abbey on the estate of his parents, who were wealthy farmers. The abbey and its domain were later ceded to the Bishop of Metz and placed under the Benedictine rule c. 850. The abbey was then very rich and St. Truiden's tomb was a very popular place of pilgrimage. Trashed by the Northmen at the end of the IXth century, the abbey was rebuilt in the Xth century. It was placed under the joint rule of the Bishop of Metz and the Abbot of St. Truiden. Abbot Adelardus II (1055-1082) built a 100 x 27 m abbey church in the middle of the XIth century, one of the biggest at the time; the three towers and the remains of the crypt still give an idea of this huge church, which was destroyed after the French Revolution.
The St. Agnes' Beguine convent, built in 1258 by Abbot Willem van Rijkel along the Cincidria brook, was also suppressed in 1798. The Beguine convent's church was transformed into the Provincial Museum of Religious Art in 1970.
The mystic St. Christine the Admirable died in the Sint-Truiden convent in 1224. Her miracles have been reported by Jacques de Vitry. During her ecstasy, she looked death and was once buried; during the Requiem, she raised from her open coffin and flew up to the vaults of the church.

In 1227, the Bishop of Metz ceded all his goods and rights to the Prince-Bishop of Liège, therefore appointed one of the two lords of the city, which became one of the "good cities" (bonnes villes) of the Principality of Liège.
Fortified in the XIIth century, Sint-Truiden was seized and trashed in 1347 by the Duke of Brabant, in 1467 by Duke of Burgundy Charles the Bold, in 1568 by the Prince of Orange and in 1672 by the French. The last city walls were suppressed in 1675. The Brustem Gate is the only remaining part of these fortifications.
On 22 December 1465, the burghers of the good cities of the Principality of Liège signed with Charles the Bold the peace of Sint-Truiden, which definitively established the Burgundian protectorate on the country. The treaty appointed the duke and his successors "guardians and lords of the churches and cities of the countries of Liège and Loon", with an annuity of 2.000 Rhine guilders. The treaty was facilitated by the divisions among the burghers, and remained known as "the vile and pathetic peace of Sint-Truiden".

In the Middle Ages, Sint-Truiden was a wealthy cloth-producing city, exporting its products to the English, French and German markets. In the XIVth century, a cattle market was set up, which is today one of the biggest in Belgium. Sint-Truiden has today the biggest fruit market in Belgium. The municipal rights granted to the city is symbolized by a perron surmonted by a golden eagle. The city hall of Sint-Truiden is built on the former limit of the jurisdiction of the Prince-Bishop and the Abbot.

The Festraet's studio shows the main works by Kamiel Festraets (1904-1974), including his masterpiece, a 6.16 m high compensation astronomical clock (the biggest of that kind in the world) and a Foucault pendulum.

The cyclist race known as the Flèche Hesbignonne was run from 1951 to 1955 between Niel and Sint-Truiden. The five races were won by Belgians, the most famous of them beng Rik Van Steenbergen in 1951. The Flèche Hesbignonne was resurrected in 1965 with a different route.


Ivan Sache, 28 August 2005

Municipal flag of Sint-Truiden

The municipal flag of Sint-Truiden is diagonally divided (per bend) yellow-blue with a red lion with a yellow crown. The ratio of the flag is 4:5, an oddity for a Belgian municipal flag.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 9 September 1985, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 7 October 1985 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 8 July 1986.

The flag shows the alleged personal arms of St. Truiden, represented on a drawing from c. 1700 kept in the Catholic secondary school of Sint-Truiden.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 28 August 2005