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Berchem-Sainte-Agathe / Sint-Agatha-Berchem (Municipality, Region of Brussels-Capital, Belgium)

Last modified: 2016-06-29 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe / Sint-Agatha-Berchem

The municipality of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe / Sint-Agatha-Berchem (20,431 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 2.95 sq. km) is located in the western border of the region of Brussels-Capitale; it is the most rural of the 19 municipalities forming the region.

Berchem was a village until the Second World War. In 1922, architect Victor Bourgeois built there a garden city named the Cité Moderne. Urbanization started in the 1950s but industrialization remained limited to small and medium-sized businesses and social seats of big companies (Volvo Belgium). Parks, the Wilder wood and the Zavelenberg farm, with pastures where the last cows in Brussels still graze, have been kept in Berchem. Several health institutes are located in Berchem, such as the French Hospital, the Albert Laurent Clinic and a Regional Institute for children suffering from troubles of vision and audition.

The local hero of Berchem is JCVD, aka Jean-Claude Van Damme (b. 1960), karateka and subsequent actor, aka "The Muscles from Brussels", most famous for his aphorisms.

Source: IrisNet website

Ivan Sache, 9 May 2009

Municipal flag of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe / Sint-Agatha-Berchem

The flag of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe / Sint-Agatha-Berchem, adopted on 18 December 2008, is quartered white-green (which is reverted from the previous flag) with the municipal coat of arms in the middle and the writings BERCHEM-SAINTE-AGATHE (French) and SINT-AGATHA-BERCHEM (Dutch) in green, on the top of the first quarter and the bottom of the fourth quarter, respectively.

The municipal arms are:
Écartelé : au 1er de sinople à la chapelle de Sainte-Agathe, telle qu'édifiée place de l'Église à Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, au 3ème d'argent à la bande de sinople chargée de trois besanst du champ, au 2ème d'argent et au 4ème de sinople au lion brochant de l'un dans l'autre
(Quarterly. 1. Vert the St. Agatha chapel as built on Church Square in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, 3. Argent a bend vert three bezants of the first, 2. Argent and 4. Vert a lion countercoloured overall).
The lion is the oldest known local heraldic element; it was featured on the municipal seal of Anderlecht and Berchem dated c. 1475.

Source: Municipal website

[Former flag of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe]

Former flag of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe / Sint-Agatha-Berchem - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 22 May 2005

The former municipal flag of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe / Sint-Agatha-Berchem is quartered green and white. The flag is clearly derived from the municipal coat of arms, the flag and arms having been adopted by the Municipal Council on 2 September 1999.

Valentin Poposki, Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 9 May 2009