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Glabbeek (Municipality, Province of Flemish Brabant, Belgium)

Last modified: 2012-02-25 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Glabbeek]

Municipal flag of Glabbeek - Image by Filip van Laenen, 27 October 2001

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Presentation of Glabbeek and its villages

The municipality of Glabbeek (5,216 inhabitants on 1 July 2007; 2,678 ha) is located in eastern Brabant, in the region of Hageland. The municipality of Glabbeek is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Glabbeek-Zuurbemde (which gave its name to the new municipality from 1976 to 1981, the two villages having been merged on 1 September 1825), Attenrode-Wever, Bunsbeek and Kapellen. Glabbeek is not related with the municipality of Opglabbeek, located in Limburg, but by a probable common etymology (glad beek, "a clear brook").

The region of Hageland belonged to Pagus Hasbiniensis (later the region of Hesbaye / Haspengouw) in the Carolingian times. In the 10th century, the County of Brunengruz emerged, made of some 50 villages, including Attenrode, Wever, Bunsbeek, Glabbeek, Zuurbemede and Kapellen. Brunengruz was a sour bone of contention between the Count of Leuven and Baldéric, Prince-Bishop of Liège. In 1105, after the battle of Overlaar (a place located near Tienen and Hoegaarden), the County of Brunengruz was definitively allocated to the County of Leuven. The next year, the Count of Leuven became Duke of Brabant, and the County of Brunengruz was incorporated to Brabant, with Zoutleeuw as its border fortress. In the 14th century, Bunsbeek belonged to the Municipality of Kumtich, whereas Attenrode-Wever, Glabbeek, Zuurbemde and Kapellen belonged to the Municipality of Halen, all of them being under the rule of the Chief Municipality of Tienen, itself part of the Quarter of Leuven.

Glabbeek is known since 1183 thanks to Frison de Clabbec, who went on the Crusade with Count of Brabant Godefroid III. On 24 March 1236, Alonius de Glabeke transferred the right on the village church to the abbey of Heylissem. On 28 December 1260, Guillaume Lucre, Knight of Glabeke, sold a part of his domain in Geetbets.
In 1798, Guillaume Vandepoel led the Boerenkrijg insurrection in Glabbeek; arrested, he was sentenced to four months in jail and a fine on 2 Pluviose of the Year VII (21 February 1799). Three anti-Germans fighters of Glabbeek, Jozef Lambrechts, Jozef Denruyter and René Laermans, were shot by the Germans on 19 October 1943.
The small village of Zuurbemde proudly remembers Edmond-Charles de la Coste (1788-1870), the descendant of an old Genoese family, who married in 1815 Pauline-Marie-Ghislaine Festraets, the heir of the last feudal lords of Zuurbemde. Appointed by Napoléon sous-préfet of Groningen and Aachen, later auditeur (junior official) at the (French) State Council, La Coste served then King William I of the Netherlands, as a member of the (Dutch) State Council (1821) and as the Governor of the Province of Antwerp (1826). In October 1830, he was commissionned to find an agreement with the "Southern provinces" (that is Belgium revolted against the Dutch rule), failed and resigned. Back to Belgium, La Coste was elected Senator of Brussels in 1842 and served as the Governor of the Province of Liège from 1846 to 1848.

Attenrode-Wever, formed by the merging of Attenrode and Wever by Royal Decree on 1 September 1825, is known for the small chapel built on the Heinkernsberg by the Spanish General Dyonisius Vicca, as a reward for his victories over William of Nassau in 1572 and 1573; the general died in Attenrode in 1584.
Wever is the birth village of Jan Van Goidsenhoven. After having served 12 years in Napoléon's Grande Armée, he let 45 volunteers during the Belgian Revolution. They merged with another 290 men and fought in Lier, Berchem and Leuven. On 5 April 1835, Van Goidsenhoven was awarded the Iron Cross #1529 by King Léopold I, together with an annuity of 400 BEF for himself, his father and two of his sons.

Bunsbeek was probably located on a crossroads of Roman ways. In June 1930, a Roman vase including 180 bronze coins was found. The local tradition reports that Pippin of Landen (d. 640) built a fort, whose remains are still to be found in Glabbeek's underground. There are indeed some mentions of the alleged fort in historical documents: prope viam lapideam apud Pippensvoirt ("a stoned way near Pippin's "fort""); Pipini vado usque transitum Grimene ("the road of Pippin's "fort" to Grimde", today Tienen). However, the evolution of the local toponyms (Pippensvoirt, 1225; Pyppensvoert, 1340; Pippensvoort, 1495; Pypenvoirt broec, 1403; Puppensfortbroeck, 1632 and Puppenfoert broec, 1530) shows that the "fort" was indeed the ford (voorde) required to cross the river Velpe until 1778.
Lords of Bunsbeek are known since the 12th century (Walter and Richard, 1145-1165). In 1288, Duke of Brabant John I awarded the title of Knight to Hermanus de Boensbeecke as a reward for his support during the battle of Woeringen. Appointed Chancellor of Brabant on 15 February 1486, Jan van Houthem was made Baron of Houthem, Bunsbeek, Sint-Margriete-Houtem and Sint-Martens-Vissenaken on 15 February 1488.

Kapellen is said, most probably erroneously, to have emerged around a chapel built by Pippin of Landen or his successors on the site of a Roman temple dedicated to Venus. The rights on the church of the village belonged to the Chapter of Tongeren.
On 27 November 1798, during the Boerenkrijg, 500 brigands coming from Diest fought a French detachment stationed in Kapellen. They were repelled but most of them could escape and hide in the neighbouring woods.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 8 July 2007

Municipal flag of Glabbeek

The municipal flag of Glabbeek is vertically divided blue-red-white, with the vertical stripes in respective proportion 2:1:2.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel [w2v02],the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 10 September 1981, confirmed by Royal Decree in 2 February 1982, and published in the Belgian official gazette on 21 April 1982 and, again, on 4 January 1995.

The municipal arms of Glabbeek, as shown on the municipal website, are "Vair a canton or three mallets gules". The colours of the flag come from the vair field (blue and white) and from the mallets (red), the yellow colour of the canton having been omitted.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 8 July 2007