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Thread: Pairing Flemish and Walloon cities : the Belgian mirror effect

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    Post Pairing Flemish and Walloon cities : the Belgian mirror effect



    If links had to be made between Flemish and Walloon cities, they would pair like this.

    Provincial capitals

    - Arlon & Leuven : both are small and well-to-do, and both are very near and benefit from their closeness from two of Europe's richest cities, Luxembourg and Brussels.

    - Namur & Bruges : about the same size, they are respectively called the most beautiful city in Wallonia and in Flanders. Both have a bourgeois atmosphere.

    - Wavre & Hasselt : Wavre forms a triplet city with Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve. Hasselt is twinned with Genk. Both conurbations are very new, have little history, and are quite residential, safe and prosperous.

    - Liège & Antwerp : They are the biggest cities in each region (similar size), but also the most important economically, historically and culturally. Both are border cities with separatist aspirations. Antwerp has one of Europe's biggest ports; Liège is one of the biggest traffic hub, notably thanks to its cargo airport (8th biggest cargo airport in Europe). Both have a brand new TGV station. Both have a lot of immigrants.

    - Mons & Ghent : the least similar pair in this comparison. Both have a significant industrial heritage mostly lost today. Both are beautiful cities and have been medieval county capitals before becoming the administrative centre of the provinces of the same name (Flanders and Hainaut). Both of these counties were eventually split between Belgium and France. To further the connection, the Counties of Flanders and Hainaut merged by marriage and remained together for 350 years before passing under Habsburgian rule. Nowadays Ghent is much more prosperous and influential than Mons though.


    Other cities

    - Tournai & Kortrijk : apart from a similarity in names (Kortrijk is Courtrai in French, and Tournai is Doornik in Flemish ; their Latin names are Tornacum and Cortoriacum), they share the distinction of being among the oldest cities in Belgium, both founded by the Romans and taken over early by the Franks. They are about the same size, are a stone throw away from each others (both in the metropolitan area of Lille), and share an analogous atmosphere.

    - Dinant & Ypres : both towns were members of the Hanseatic league and have a long and rich history based on craft and trade. Both are very touristic in spite of having badly disfigured by wars. Both places played an important role in WWI. Dinant was the theatre of one of the very first battles on Belgian soil and is remembered for the massacre of Dinant by German troops. Ypres was scene of some of the fiercest fighting during WWI and was completely razed.
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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Or it could be said Brugge is about twice the size of Namur even with the later being the capital of Wallonia.

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    Interesting concept...I think Namur and Brugge constitute the most organic of these 'mirror' cities, but since these are 2 out of only 3 Belgian towns that I have visited, what do I know...Perhaps it's not a good question, but I wonder if there is a city quite like Brussels, maybe looking around at neighbouring states as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ciccogol View Post
    Interesting concept...I think Namur and Brugge constitute the most organic of these 'mirror' cities, but since these are 2 out of only 3 Belgian towns that I have visited, what do I know...Perhaps it's not a good question, but I wonder if there is a city quite like Brussels, maybe looking around at neighbouring states as well.
    The mirror for Brussels would be Lille. Both cities were originally Flemish-speaking, then progressively became Francisised from the 17th century onward, and are now overwhelmingly French-speaking with a Flemish-speaking minority. Both cities have about the same population (1 million inhabitants), lie right next to the linguistic border, and are famous for their Grand Place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selwyn Greenfrith View Post
    Or it could be said Brugge is about twice the size of Namur even with the later being the capital of Wallonia.
    Bruges has a population of 116,000, against 109,00 for Namur. Where is that twice the size ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Bruges has a population of 116,000, against 109,00 for Namur. Where is that twice the size ?
    Brugge's metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 616 km² and has a total of 255,844 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008.

    What is Namen's population with it's outskirts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    The mirror for Brussels would be Lille. Both cities were originally Flemish-speaking, then progressively became Francisised from the 17th century onward, and are now overwhelmingly French-speaking with a Flemish-speaking minority. Both cities have about the same population (1 million inhabitants), lie right next to the linguistic border, and are famous for their Grand Place.
    Lille has never been Flemish speaking. Although it was in the County of Flanders, the dialect spoken was Picard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Lille has never been Flemish speaking. Although it was in the County of Flanders, the dialect spoken was Picard.
    Rijssel (Lille) must of been sometime Dutch speaking. How could Dutch placenames within Rijssel and nearby come into being otherwise?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selwyn Greenfrith View Post
    Rijssel (Lille) must of been sometime Dutch speaking. How could Dutch placenames within Rijssel and nearby come into being otherwise?
    Please give some evidences. You could say the same thing for all French speaking town near the linguistic border.

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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Please give some evidences. You could say the same thing for all French speaking town near the linguistic border.
    Indeed, folk spoke Dutch in Rijsel the same way they did/do in Dunkirk. Anyway, where do you get your knowledge that Dutch was never spoken in Rijsel (Lille) ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selwyn Greenfrith View Post
    Indeed, folk spoke Dutch in Rijsel the same way they did/do in Dunkirk. Anyway, where do you get your knowledge that Dutch was never spoken in Rijsel (Lille) ?

    You still don't have any evidences that Flemish has ever been spoken in Lille.

    "Romance Flanders or Gallicant Flanders is the part of the county of Flanders where people speak Romance languages, like varieties of Picard. "
    "The traditional language of northern French Flanders (Westhoek) is a dialect of the Dutch language known as West Flemish, specifically, a subdialect known as French Flemish, spoken by around 20,000 daily speakers and 40,000 occasional speakers.[1]
    The traditional language of Lilloise Flanders (part of Romance Flanders), is Picard (and its dialects, such as Ch'ti or Rouchi)."




    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilloise_Flanders

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_Flanders
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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    You still don't have any evidences that Flemish has ever been spoken in Lille.







    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilloise_Flanders

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_Flanders
    seems like the difference between old gallic ( walloon) and old germanic ( dutch, flemish)
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