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Soignies (Municipality, Province of Hainaut, Belgium)


Last modified: 2004-06-19 by ivan sache
Keywords: soignies | zinnik |
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[Flag of Soignies]by Ivan Sache

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Presentation of Soignies

The municipality of Soignies (24,573 inhabitants, 11,043 hectares) is located 40 km south-west of Brussels, in the province of Hainaut. The municipality is made of seven components, Soignies, Casteau, Horrues, Naast, Neufvilles, Chaussée-Notre-Dame-Louvignies and Thieusies. Soignies is mostly known for the extraction of blue stone.

Soignies was built around an abbey founded in 670 near the source of the river Senne by Saint Vincent Madelgaire. Vincent's life is known by an hagiography (vita Vincentii prima) written around 1020. Vincent was a Frankish aristocrat born around 610 in Strépy (today part of the municipality of La Louvière).Vincent was appointed governor of the pagus of Famars, which would later form the feudal domain of Hainaut. Vincent had extended administrative, judiciary and military powers. In 656, Grimoald, son of Pépin of Landen, attempted to overthrow the king of Austrasia and was murdered. Feeling the heat, Vincent and his wife Waltrude decided to separate and took the cloth. Waltrude was appointed the first abbess of the abbey of Mons. Vincent entered the abbey of Hautmont and was appointed abbot of Soignies in 670. He died in 677.

The abbey of Soignies was very powerful. It was mentioned in the treaty of Mersen (870). In the XIth century, a chapter of canons was established in the abbey. The collegiate church was built mainly in the XIIth century on the model of a pilgrimage church. Chapels were added in the XIVth, XVIth and XVIIIth century. A tower was built over the primitive narthex in the XIIIth century.

St Vincent is celebrated on 20 September and mostly by a historical procession which takes place every year in Soignies at Pentecost.

Ivan Sache, 28 March 2004

Description of the flag of Soignies

The flag of Soignies, as fleetingly shown hoisted over the city hall of Soignies in the TV magazine Télétourisme (RTBF/TV5), is vertically divided green-white.

The colours of the flag seem to come from the municipal coat of arms, which is:

Party, vert a cross argent, or three chevrons sable (see the municipal website).

Ivan Sache, 28 March 2004