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Coordinates: Country Belgium Region Wallonia Community French Community Province Walloon Brabant Arrondissement Nivelles Government – Mayor Axel François(Ittre Plus) – Governing party/ies Ittre Plus, Participation et Alternative, Ecolo Area – Total 34.92 km2 (13.5 sq mi) Population (1 January 2010) – Total 6,315 – Density 180.8/km2 (468.4/sq mi) Postal codes 1460, 1461 Area codes 067 Website www.ittre.be
Ittre (Dutch : Itter) is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant. On January 1, 2006 Ittre had a total population of 6,064. The total area is 34.92 km² which gives a population density of 174 inhabitants per km². Ittre was the geographical center of Belgium until World War I.
Traditions mention the existence of the village of Ittre about the year 640, although the name is first documented in 877. But the site was already occupied in the Roman period and even in the Neolithic era.
Its territory, after having belonged to Nivelles Abbey, was divided into several seigniories, Ittre and Fauquez being the most significant, the lords of which were in constant conflict over their jurisdiction, sovereignty and precedence in the territory and in the church of Ittre. These disputes ended only at the beginning of the 18th century. Among the most significant families in the seigniory of Ittre were those of Ittre, Rifflart and Trazegnies d' Ittre, and in Fauquez, the families of Ittre, Enghien, Fauquez and Herzelles. Fauquez and Ittre both furnished titles to marquisates, in 1689 and 1703 respectively.
The commune was connected with a number of notable persons, including Ambroise-Joseph de Herzelles, third marquis de Fauquez, whom the Empress Maria-Theresa appointed Superintendent and General Manager of the Finances and Domains of the Netherlands.
The foundation of the church of Ittre occurred around 640, and is principally known as the centre of the veneration of Our Lady of Ittre, which began in 1336, when a terrible plague was raging in the Low Countries. The statue of the Virgin, from the monastery at Bois-Seigneur-Isaac, was carried in procession from village to village and on her arrival in Ittre, the plague stopped. The inhabitants refused to return it to Bois-Seigneur-Isaac, and the Virgin remained in Ittre, despite subsequent litigation, in which the ecclesiastical courts always supported the church of Ittre. An annual procession was established in 1384 and has been held every year without interruption since then on August 15th. Our Lady of Ittre was especially invoked against hernias or ruptures.
Saint Lutgarde has also been venerated in Ittre since the nuns of Aywiers Abbey, forced out by the French Revolution, found refuge in the Château de Fauquez in either 1796 or 1804. They brought with them the relics of Saint Lutgarde, which they gave permanently to the church of Ittre in 1819.
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