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Ingelmunster (Municipality, Province of West Flanders, Belgium)

Last modified: 2007-12-22 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Ingelmunster

The municipality of Ingelmunster (10,646 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 1,616 ha) is located 10 km north of Kortrijk on the river Mandel, a tributary of the Leie.

In 1075, Count of Flanders Robert the Friesian built a fort on the ruins of a convent founded in 640 by English monks, and said to be the source of the name of the town (Anglomonasterium). Located close to West Flanders, on the Mandel, which crossed the military road from Kortrijk to Bruges, Ingelmunster was quickly nicknamed "the Key of Flanders". Around 1200, the church of Ingelmunster depended on the Chapter of Harelbeke: in 1300, the castle and domain of Ingelmunster belonged to the lords of Rode and Dendermonde. Since the town was located quite far from Dendermonde, in the most distant corner of the domain, an alternative etymology of its name relates anglo not to the "English" but to "angle", "corner".

Ingelmunster was successively owned by the lords of Gistel, the Dukes of Burgundy, the Counts of Cleven and the King of France. King Philippe le Bel stayed in the castle of Ingelmunster in 1297, on the way of a punitive expedition against Bruges. The burghers came to him and asked for pardon, which was granted. In the XVIth century, Ingelmunster was severely damaged during the War of Religions; in 1566, the Iconoclasts seized the town and plundered the St. Amands church, which was rebuilt with an additional, median tower. In 1739, the old towers were suppressed and replaced with a new one, still there. In 1580, the battle of Ingelmunster opposed the French Huguenots commanded by François de la Noue to the Spanish garrison of the castle; the town was ruined and de la Noue was captured; the battle is recalled by the big tapestry "The Battle of Ingelmunster, 1580", made locally and shown in the Council Room of the town hall.
At that time, the King of France lacked money to pay the German colonels in the service of France; the domain of Ingelmunster-Vijve-Dendermonde was, accordingly, transferred to Colonel Otto von Plotho in 1583. His descendants kept the castle until 1825 and transferred it to the Montblanc. In 1986, the castle was purchased by the Van Honsebrouck, brewers in Ingelmunster since 1900, who, unsurprisingly, brew the "Ingelmunster Castle's Beer" and the "Brigand Beer".
After the French Revolution, the fortress lost its strategic importance. A municipal council ruled by a Mayor was formed, running 4,705 citizens. During the Boerenkrijg against the French rulers, there was a big uprising in Ingelmunster on 28 October 1798; quickly suppressed, the uprising is remembered under the name of Brigands' Sunday (Brigandszondag) while Ingelmunster still bears the nickname of Brigands' Municipality (Birgandsgemeente). In the 1845-1850, the economic crisis due to the progress of mechanization, the European epidemic of potato late blight, together with epidemics of cholera and typhus, caused the decrease of the population of the town from 6,084 to 5,373. In 1847, the situation improved with the building on a railway station on the Kortrijk-Bruges line, but there was no big industrial development of the town.


Ivan Sache, 2 August 2007

Municipal flag of Ingelmunster

The municipal flag of Ingelmunster is vertically divided red-yellow-red (1:2:1) with a stag's head, proper with red antlers, in the middle of the yellow stripe.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 24 February 1987, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 7 July 1987 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 3 December 1987.
The central stripe of the flag is a banner of the municipal arms, "Or a stag's head proper attired ten tines gules".

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 2 August 2007