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Sint-Katelijne-Waver (Municipality, Province of Antwerp, Belgium)


Last modified: 2011-11-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: saint-katelijne-waver | wavre-sainte-catherine | eagle: double-headed (black) | berthout |
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[Flag of Sint-Katelijne-Waver]

Municipal flag of Sint-Katelijne-Waver - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 10 November 2007

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Presentation of Sint-Katelijne-Waver

The municipality of Sint-Katelijne-Waver (in French, Wavre-Sainte-Catherine; 19,642 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 3,612 ha) is located 10 km north-west of Mechelen. The municipality of Sint-Katelijne-Waver is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Sint-Katelijne-Waver and Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Waver (in French, Wavre-Notre-Dame).

Sint-Katelijne-Waver is located in the heart of the "vegetable district" of Belgium, that developed near Mechelen at the end of the 19th century. Some 80% of the vegetable outdoors production in Sint-Katelijne is represented by cauliflower, leek, lettuce and chicory grown on typical beds called gewenten. In 1960, outdoor-grown tomatoes and cauliflowers still represented 1/3 of the production, while all tomatoes are now grown indoors. Indoors growing has dramatically improved with the development of artificial growing media and hydroponic, soilless cultivation methods, whole groups of greenhouses system being computer-managed. The most commonly indoor-grown vegetables are tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces, sweet peppers and eggplants. There is also a significant production of flowers and ornamantal plants.
Located in Sint-Katelijne, the Mechelen auction salesroom (Mechelse Veilingene) is the greatest cooperative salesroom dedicated to market gardening in Europe. It has some 2,500 members working within a 50-km radius. In 2006, the salesroom had a turnover of 238 million € and sold 40% of the Belgian market gardening products. Vegetables awarded the Flandria label are priced on foreign markets, so that exportation represents 2/3 of the activity of the salesroom.
The Market Gardening Experimental Station (Proefstation voor de Groenteteelt), founded in Sint-Katelijne in 1963, was relocated in May 2007 into more modern premises. The main keyword of its research activity is "sustainability" via the improvement of the existing production systems and the setup of innovative ones.

The Roosendael abbey was founded around 1220 on the bank of the Nete by Cistercian nuns. The abbey was suppressed in 1797 by the French rulers; built in the 19th century on the foundations of the former abbess' residence, the castle of Roosendael was completely ruined in the beginning of the First World War. The only remains of the former abbey are the monumental entrance gate (1777), the shed (1783), the ice-cellar and the leper-house.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 4 November 2007

Municipal flag of Sint-Katelijne-Waver

The municipal flag of Sint-Katelijne-Waver is vertically divided yellow-red-yellow-red-yellow-red-yellow (seven stripes) with a small yellow canton charged with a black double-headed eagle.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel [w2v02a], the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 14 December 1987, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 1 March 1988 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 16 September 1988.
The flag is a banner of the municipal arms.

According to Van evers en heiligen. Wapens en vlaggen van de gemeenten in de provincie Antwerpen [pbd98], the former arms of Sint-Katelijn-Waver, granted by Royal Decree on 7 June 1932, had a canton "Argent five ermine spots per saltire", after the arms of a branch of the Berthout family, that purchased the domain in 1213. Those arms are quite similar to the arms of Geel. After the municipal reform, the ermine canton was replaced by the double-headed eagle representing Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Waver.

Servais [svm55a] explains the mythical origin of the arms of Berthout as follows:
In the 12th century, the Lord of Berthout helped the King of Aragon in his struggle against the Moors. He fought there three times; the first time, he was rewarded with an estate and the title of provincial governor, the second time he was rewarded with the King's daughter, but refused both and went back to Flanders. The third time, the King asked Berthout waht he would like as a reward. Berthout asked for the right to bear the arms of Aragon and was granted them with three pales instead of four, celebrating his three victories over the Moors.

The Gelre Armorial shows several Berthout coat of arms:
- Berthout, "Die He. (the Lord) van Mechelen", 809, folio 72v.: Or three pales gules
- Henri VII Berthout, "Die He. van Duffel", 833, folio 73v: Or three pales gules (Berthout) a franc canton ermine
- Jean de Berlaer (Berthout), "Die He. van Helmunt" (Helmont), 838, folio 73v: Argent three pales gules (Berlaer)
- Guillaume Berthout de Duffel, "H. Willem v. Duffel", 893, folio 75v; Or three pales gules a franc canton ermine a crescent sable.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 4 November 2007