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Auderghem / Oudergem (Municipality, Region of Brussels-Capital, Belgium)

Last modified: 2003-07-18 by
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Presentation of the municipality

Auderghem/Oudergem is a municipality of 28,863 inhabitants and 903 ha, located south-east of Brussels, in the Region of Brussels-Capital. Therefore, the municipality has two official names, Auderghem(French) and Oudergem (Dutch), according to the bilingual status of the Region.

The name of the municipality might come from Ouder (ancestor) and Hem (home). An alternative possible origin is Alderinghaiam (the home of Aldaric's family). Auderghem/Oudergem was a hamlet of the city of Watermael until 1863.

The forest of Soignes (1,654 ha, mostly planted with beeches) is partially located on the municipal territory of Auderghem/Oudergem. This forest, called by Julius Caesar Arduenna silva and by later authors Carbonaria silva because of its charcoal kilns, got its name from the Celtic root sunnia or senna, meaning "calm water". The same root gave its name to the river Senne which goes through Brussels. In 1050, the name of Sonia was mentioned in a chart called Donatio Angelae. In the XIIth century, the forest yielded one fourth of the income of the Duke of Brabant and was used as a game reservation. The Belgian State bought in 1910 the forest to the Société Générale de Belgique.

Highlights of the industrial past of Auderghem/Oudergem are its brewery and its laundries, reknown for the purity of the water they used. The cartridge factory Marga was very producive during the Boers' War (1899-1902), thus explaining why the borough where it was located was named Transvaal.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 9 November 2002


Description of the flag

The municipal flag has three colours, red, blue and green. Green stands for the forest which covered the territory in the Middle Ages, blue for the coat of the Virgin, red for the field on which are placed the arms of the Rouge-Cloître abbey (a crown crossed by two palms and a sword). The flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 6 January 1925.

The municipal arms are vertically divided. The first part shows on an azure field the Virgin with golden crown and nimbus, the feet standing on a sinople [green] terrace, holding in senester Jesus with a golden nimbus. She sits on a kiosk topped by two doves. The second part is gules [red], a crown with three finials, crossed in saltire by two palms and a sword per pale, all in silver. The arms were granted by a Royal Decree on 31 July 1926.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 23 April 2000

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