Infobox Belgium Municipality
picture=Braine-l'Alleud JPG01.jpg



mayor=Vincent Scourneau (MR-IC)
majority=MR-IC, PS
postal-codes=1420, 1421, 1428
web= []

Braine-l'Alleud is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant, about 20 kilometers south of Brussels. The Braine-l'Alleud municipality includes the former communes of Braine-l'Alleud proper, Ophain-Bois-Seigneur-Isaac, and Lillois-Witterzée. It also includes the hamlet of Sart-Moulin, the inverted name of which inspired Hergé’s Moulinsart castle. The famous Lion of Waterloo is actually located on the territory of Braine-l'Alleud.


Middle Ages

Several archaeological finds point to prehistoric settlements in this area. The first historical mention of a parish on Braine-l'Alleud's current territory, then called "Dudinsart", dates from 1131, date at which Godfrey I, Duke of Brabant ceded it to the Abbey of Gembloux. The Duke, however, still owned exempt land (or ) on this territory, as specified in a legal document by Henry I dated 1197. The name of the municipality changed to the current one, derived from “Braine”, former name of the stream that crosses its territory (now called the “Hain”), and “alleu”, a medieval French word designating exempt land. The latter name was added to the former to distinguish this community from two neighbouring ones also called Braine.

At the beginning, the franchise might not have been much more than a right to local administration. By 1489, however, the local lord enjoyed complete juridical power on its territory, which was still formally part of the fiefdom obtained from the Duke of Brabant.

Battle of Waterloo

In 1815, part of the fighting that took place at the Battle of Waterloo actually occurred on the territory of Braine-l’Alleud. The town’s church of Saint-Etienne became a field hospital.


*The "Butte du Lion", erected on the famous Battle of Waterloo, attracts thousands of visitors every year. A nearby visitor centre, a wax museum and a painted panorama also help retrace the events that led to Napoleon’s defeat in 1815.
*Converted into a tourist information centre, the former house of Cardinal Mercier is a good starting point to explore the town.


*The town of Ophain hosts a yearly carnival.
*Like many other towns in Wallonia, Braine-l’Alleud is home to giant puppets who take part in the local festivities.

Famous inhabitants

*Désiré-Joseph Mercier, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and national hero (1851-1926)
*Paul-Henri Spaak, politician and statesman (1899-1972)
*Gaston Reiff, track-and-field athlete (1921-1992)

Twin cities

*FRA: Alençon
*FRA: Ouistreham Riva-Bella
*GER: Menden
*UK: Basingstoke and Deane
*CAN: Drummondville, Quebec
*CZE: Slapanice

External links

* [ Official web site] (in French)
* [ web site "Vivre à Braine-l'Alleud] (in French)

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Gare de Braine-l'Alleud — Localisation Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Zone de police Braine-l'Alleud — La zone de police Braine l Alleud, matricule 5273, est une zone de police de la province du Brabant wallon qui ne couvre que la commune de Braine l Alleud. Le 1er janvier 2001 elle n a dû fusionner avec aucune autre entité policière de… …   Wikipédia en Français

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