Châtelet, Belgium

Châtelet, Belgium
Châtelet, Belgium is located in Belgium
Châtelet, Belgium
Location in Belgium
Coordinates: 50°24′N 04°31′E / 50.4°N 4.517°E / 50.4; 4.517
Country Belgium
Region Wallonia
Community French Community
Province Hainaut
Arrondissement Charleroi
 – Mayor Daniel Vanderlick
 – Governing party/ies PS
 – Total 27.03 km2 (10.4 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2010)[1]
 – Total 36,050
 – Density 1,333.7/km2 (3,454.3/sq mi)
Postal codes 6200
Area codes 071

Châtelet (Walloon: Tcheslet) is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut, on the river Sambre. As of January 1, 2006, Châtelet had a total population of 35,621. The total area of the municipality is 27.03 km² which gives a population density of 1,318 inhabitants per km². It is composed of three separate entities: Châtelet, Bouffioulx and Châtelineau. Châtelet was a long established independent city prior to its fusion with the other entities.



Origins and Middle Ages

The first settlers of the site of Châtelet, dating from paleolithic times, were attracted by the ford on the river, the nearby wooded areas and flint-rich highlands. This region was continuously populated, first by Celtic, then Gallo-Roman peoples, until the Germanic invasions of the 4th and 5th century. In the 9th century, the land was likely part of emperor Louis the Pious’s estate. The first occurrence of the name Châtelet appears in a text dating from the time when its territory was given to the chapter of the Liège cathedral in the 12th century. Châtelet obtained its charter of rights in 1220, symbolized by the perron. The protection later afforded by the Prince-Bishopric of Liège made the city into an important administrative, cultural, and economic centre, which could boast four annual trade fairs and a weekly cattle market. It became one of the 23 bonne villes (main cities) of the prince-bishopric in 1655. While Châtelet’s economy was dominated by artisanal guilds and trade, that of its neighbours, including Châtelineau and Bouffioulx, remained mostly agricultural.

18th century until now

The 18th century first witnessed the gradual shift of the regional economic power from Châtelet to the newly-founded neighbouring city of Charleroi. This was also a time of political instability as the various powers of the day (Spain, France, Austria) fought for supremacy in this region. By the end of the century, the main economic drivers of the whole Sambre valley had become coal and heavy industry. The prosperity that came with the industrial revolution accounts for much of the population growth of the 1800s: Châtelet grew by a factor 5 in less than a century; Châtelineau grew by a factor 20 between 1811 and 1950 to more than 18,000 inhabitants. Many of the current city streets can be dated from that period. Cultural activities and artistic talent flourished as well.

Chatelet, and, in particular, Bouffioux, became well known for the production of its potteries. Originally formed in coal-fired kilns, the works from the region became internationally sought after. Three major producers still exist in the region and continue to produce artistic, as well as useful, pottery, but on a much smaller scale. The 20th century was not kind to the region but despite having witnessed two world wars and the decline of most of its industries, Châtelet is now again a regional center for trade, culture, and educational services.


  • The Saint Roch chapel, built in the Baroque style, dates from 1626. The so-called Spanish House dates from the same period.
  • The Magritte walk in the center of the city features various surrealistic representations, including street lights capped with bowler hats in homage to the artist.
  • Châtelet also boasts several green areas, including the Sebastopol reservation, which contains old quarries and an extensive bird population, the municipal woods (Bois Communal), with a bat-filled cave, and the municipal park, located at the heart of the city.


Flag of Wallonia, with rooster designed by Pierre Paulus
  • Since 1961, a folkloric march starting at the Saint-Roch chapel takes place every year on the Sunday following the feast of the Ascension.

Famous inhabitants

Twin cities


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Châtelet — In antiquity, a châtelet (French pronunciation: [ʃatlɛ]) was a little castle or fortress, wherein the chatelain (French pronunciation: [ʃatlɛ̃], female chatelaine [ʃatlɛn]), or governor lodged. Now, Châtelet or Chatelet may refer to:… …   Wikipedia

  • Châtelet Les Halles — Studio album by Florent Pagny Released November 7, 2000 Genre …   Wikipedia

  • Chatelet (Belgique) — Châtelet (Belgique) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Châtelet.   Châtelet …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Châtelet (Hainaut) — Châtelet (Belgique) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Châtelet.   Châtelet …   Wikipédia en Français

  • List of cities in Belgium — This is a partial list of cities or towns in Belgium: Map of Belgium …   Wikipedia

  • Courcelles, Belgium — Courcelles St. Lambert s church …   Wikipedia

  • Silly, Belgium — Silly …   Wikipedia

  • City status in Belgium — is granted to a select group of municipalities by a royal decree or by an act of law. History During the Middle Ages, towns had defined privileges over surrounding villages. As the nobility strengthened their power over regions in feudal Europe,… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Electoral Cantons in Belgium — This is a list of electoral cantons in Belgium, arranged by electoral district.Brussels Halle Vilvoorde*Anderlecht *Asse *Brussels *Halle *Ixelles/Elsene *Lennik *Meise *Molenbeek Saint Jean/Sint Jans Molenbeek *Saint Gilles/Sint Gillis *Saint… …   Wikipedia

  • List of postal codes in Belgium — Belgian postal codes are numeric and consist of 4 numbers, although the last one is often zero. The first digit indicates the province (except for the 3xxx numbers that are shared by the eastern part of Flemish Brabant and Limburg and the and… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.