Belœil  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Belœil is a Belgian municipality located in the province of Hainaut. It is around 10 km south of Ath. On 1 January 2006 the municipality had 13,347 inhabitants. The total area is 61.55 km², giving a population density of 217 inhabitants per km².

In addition to Belœil itself, the municipality also contains the following population centres: Basècles, Ramegnies, Thumaide, Wadelincourt, Aubechies, Ellignies-Sainte-Anne, Quevaucamps, Grandglise, and Stambruges.

The municipality is named after the château of Belœil, once the seat of Charles-Joseph, Prince of Ligne, a military officer and man of letters who corresponded with Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Voltaire.

History

The history of the chateau is nebulous but the original construction of a fort or castle at the site is generally thought to date to the 14th century. This site was the seat of the barons of the Ligne family originating from Ligne in Hainault, a place about 8 kilometres from Beloeil. The earliest recorded baron of the House of Ligne was Fastré de Ligne, signatory to a charter dated 1047 and others of the name mentioned in a charter of Baudouin IV, count of Hainaut, dated to 1123.

Famous inhabitants

Apart from many members of the House of Ligne, living in the castle, other famous people to have lived here include:





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Belœil" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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