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Evere (Municipality, Region of Brussels-Capital, Belgium)

Last modified: 2019-07-30 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Evere]

Municipal flag of Evere - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 26 March 2006

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Presentation of Evere

The municipality of Evere (34,128 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 502 ha) is one of the 19 municipalities forming the bilingual region of Brussels-Capitale.The name of the municipality is the same in French and in Dutch.

Evere is traditionally divided into Lower Evere and Upper Evere, separated today by avenue Léopold III. Lower Evere, aka Old Evere, is the oldest settlement of the municipality; its developed around the St. Vincent church, a mill and a farm, and is still mostly made of small houses. Upper Evere developed more recently around St. Joseph church and the road to Leuven; it has a lot of green areas, including the Brussels cemetary, wide streets and apartment and office buildings, mostly built after the 1950s.
There is no consensus on the origin of the name of Evere. An explanation relates Evere to a trajectum aquae, in Latin "a ford" (via the root ev-) on the Roman way going to Cologne; similarly, it could be a transformation of the Celtic word meaning river, ambrona. Other say it is the plural form of ever, in Dutch "a boar". Evere was written Everne in 1186 and Everna in the XIIth century.

Until the Ancient Regime, Evere belonged to the chapter of Soignies, probably following a privilege granted around 670 by Madelgarius (St. Vincent). The domain of Evere was a fief of the Duchy of Brabant. Its first known lord is Henri de Boutersem, also lord of Perck and Elewijt, who granted to the villagers of Evere in 1298 a chart allowing them to mill grain wherever they want until a mill was built in the village. His grand-daughter Marguerite de Fauquemont married Knight Franc Clutinc, aka le beau sire Franc, who was appointed Municipal Councillor of Brussels in 1340, 1345 and 1352.
Evere was later transferred to Henri de Woude, who was killed in 1415 in the battle of Agincourt. The domain was transferred at the end of the XIVth century to the family of Borsele, whose most famous member was Frans de Borsele. After the battle of Brouwershaven, Duke of Burgundy Philippe le Bon dubbed him Knight; he was later appointed stadhouder of Holland, met Duchess of Brabant Jacqueline de Bavière and married her secretely. When the Duke learned the marriage, he forced Jacqueline to abandon her states "against" the title of Countess d'Ostrevant. In 1485, Evere was transfered to Gaspar, grandson of Frans' sister and heir of the family of Culembourg. In 1504, Aleyde, the fourth of Gaspar's six daughters and the wife of François de Bailleul, was given the domain of Evere. She shared in 1546 her goods between his two brothers Antoine and Adrien, who was given Evere. The two brothers fought as Colonels in the battle of Gembloux but had to surrender to Don Juan of Austria in 1578.
After complicated successions involving Maximilien, made Count of Bailleul in 1614, Evere was transferred in 1637 to the famous family of Hornes and included in 1677 into the Principality of Yssche erected for them. The Hornes heir, Princess de Salm-Kyrbourg, exchanged in 1772 Evere against Ten-Hove with Adrien-Ange Walckiers, lord of Tronchiennes, State Councillor and Great Bailiff of Dendermonde. His elder son Édouard-Sébastien-Jean Walckiers was General Treasurer and took the Belgian party during the Brabantian revolution; during the French Revolution, he was appointed provisory administrator of Brussels after the battle of Jemmapes.

Until the 1950s, Evere was mostly a rural village. Following an economic crisis in the second half of the XIXth century, the farmers of Evere specialized in the production of witloof (from Dutch wit, "white", and loof, "leaf"), aka Brussels endive or chicon, especially in the north of France.

Source: Municipal website

The mill of Evere is the last old windmill in the Region of Brussels-Capitale. It was built by Charles Van Assche as a tower-mill with a gallery in 1841; originally, it was a grain mill with three millstones powered by 22 m breadth sails. A steam engine was added in 1853, to be used during windless periods. The sails were removed in 1886 and a small plant equipped with cylinder engines was built. Flour production ceased in 1911 because of the increased competition with the huge industrial mills located along the Canal Charleroi-Antwerp. The mills and the buildings surrounding it (originally a farm) were then rented for diverse uses: production of boilers used for the forcing of witloof (1914-1923), tannery-chromery (1920-1927), production of wood machines (1922-1931), sawmill (1925), production of casings for pork meat trade (1927-1942), machine repairing (1940-1948), spice milling (1935-1983).
The mill of Evere was preserved from destruction in the 1990s by the CEBE-MOB (Commission de l'Environnement de Bruxelles et Environs asbl - Milieu Commissie Brussel en Omgeving vzw), an association founded in 1989.

Source: CEBE-MOB website

Ivan Sache, 26 March 2006

Municipal flag of Evere

The municipal flag of Evere, as communicated by the municipal administration, is diagonally divided per bend green-white-green-white.

Arnaud Leroy & Ivan Sache, 26 March 2006