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Title: Merchtem  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: August de Boeck, Meise, Wemmel, List of Roman villas in Belgium, Opwijk
Collection: Municipalities of Flemish Brabant
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Flag of Merchtem
Coat of arms of Merchtem
Coat of arms
Merchtem is located in Belgium
Location in Belgium
Country Belgium
Community Flemish Community
Region Flemish Region
Province Flemish Brabant
Arrondissement Halle-Vilvoorde
 • Mayor Eddy De Block (OpenVLD-GMB-SPA-LVB)
 • Governing party/ies OpenVLD-GMB-SPA-LVB
 • Total 36.72 km2 (14.18 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2013)[1]
 • Total 15,693
 • Density 430/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Postal codes 1785
Area codes 052, 02

Merchtem (Dutch pronunciation: ) is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant. The municipality comprises the villages of Brussegem and Hamme, the hamlet of Ossel and Peizegem, and Merchtem proper. On July 9, 2009, Merchtem had a total population of 15,298.[2] The total area is 36.72 km² which gives a population density of 416 inhabitants per km².


  • Folklore 1
  • Language controversy 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Merchtem is known for 'de steltenlopers', people walking on stilts (up to several meters above ground). Langevelde, a part of the municipality, was frequently flooded after heavy rain. In order to reach the centre, people were using sticks to walk. After an internal struggle, the group split up in two parts, 'stichting Langevelde' and 'stichting Jan Vaderhasselt'.

Language controversy

On August 28, 2006 mayor Eddie de Block introduced a ban on speaking French in the town's schools. Mayor de Block said that the measure did not violate human rights and that it would help integration. A previous ban on signs in languages different from Dutch in the town's markets had been overturned by Flemish Interior Minister Marino Keulen.[3]


  1. ^ Population per municipality on 1 January 2013 (XLS; 607.5 KB)
  2. ^
  3. ^

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • Official website (Dutch)
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