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Lommel (Municipality, Province of Limburg, Belgium)

Last modified: 2008-01-19 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Lommel

The municipality of Lommel (32,141 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 10,237 ha) is located in north-western Limburg, on the borders with the Netherlands and the Province of Antwerp.

Lommel was mentioned for the first time in 990, as Loemele. In 1300, the town was protected by walls and gates and had a fortified church. In the XVIIth-XVIIIth centuries, Lommel was famous for its teuten, the hawkers common in several towns of Kempen. Lommel was granted the title of town (stad) on 28 December 1990.
The Lommel cemetary is the largest military cemetery of the Second World War in Belgium. Situated in a 32 acres park, 20,000 crosses were erected for 39.091 fallen German soldiers.

In 1845, during the digging of the Kempen Canal, quartz sand (white sand) was found in the area of Lommel, Dessel and Mol. The SCR (Sablières et Carrières Réunies) company was set up in 1872 to exploit this sand. In 1910, the Kempen sand was shipped to glass and metallurgy factories by barges. After the damages of the Second World War, a brand new factory was built in 1955 to dry and grind sand. In 1961, SCR set up its own transhipment installation in Antwerp, which became the first export port of quartz sand in Western Europe. SCR has now branches all over the world. The company built in 1983 a new refinment installation in Lommel.
Originally used to clean floors, quartz became a popular art support. Lines and figures were drawn in the scattered quartz grains; with the addition of coloured quartz, sand carpets were invented. Lommel organized in the early 1980s the first sand-strewing contests, this recent tradition yielding even bigger carpets (up to 160 sq. m). In 1984, the sand artist Theo Grobben invented sand-painting and means of fixing and preserving the beforehand ephemerous sand carpets.


Ivan Sache, 28 August 2007

Municipal flag of Lommel

The municipal flag of Lommel is blue with an oak flanked by two grazing sheep, all in yellow.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 26 January 1981, confirmed by Royal Decree on 9 July 1981 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 3 October 1981 and, again, on 4 January 1995.
The flag is a banner of the municipal arms.

According to the municipal website, the arms of Lommel were granted by Royal Decree on 30 June 1839, as Een veld van lazuur (blauw), een eik met eikels, aan de foet van de boom twee grazende schapen, het geheel van goud.
The arms are based on a municipal seal dated 1397 and all the later seals, showing the same design.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 28 August 2007