Infobox Belgium Municipality
mayor=Vincent Scourneau (MR-IC)
postal-codes=1420, 1421, 1428
web= [http://www.braine-lalleud.be/ www.braine-lalleud.be]
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.
Several archaeological finds point to
prehistoricsettlements 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 Brabantceded 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 medievalFrench 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 fiefdomobtained from the Duke of Brabant.
Battle of Waterloo
In 1815, part of the fighting that took place at the
Battle of Waterlooactually occurred on the territory of Braine-l’Alleud. The town’s church of Saint-Etienne became a field hospital.
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
*Like many other towns in
Wallonia, Braine-l’Alleud is home to giant puppets who take part in the local festivities.
Désiré-Joseph Mercier, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Churchand national hero (1851-1926)
Paul-Henri Spaak, politicianand statesman(1899-1972)
Gaston Reiff, track-and-field athlete (1921-1992)
Basingstoke and Deane
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.