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Écaussines (Municipality, Province of Hainaut, Belgium)

Last modified: 2015-07-28 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Ecaussines]

Municipal flag of Écaussines - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 27 March 2006

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Presentation of Écaussines

The municipality of Écaussines (10,042 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 3,477 ha) is located 30 km south of Brussels and 10 km east of Soignies. The municipality of Écaussines is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Écaussines-d'Enghien, Écaussines-Lalaing and Marche-lez-Écaussines.

The castle of Écaussines was built in the XIIth century to protect the County of Hainaut against the County of Flanders and the Duchy of Brabant; the lords appointed by the Count of Hainaut to take care of it took the family name of d'Écaussines. In 1357, Jeanne, the daughter of Hoste d'Écaussines, married Simon de Lalaing, Great Bailiff of Hainaut and Seneschal of Ostrevant. When Hoste died in 1386, the castle was transferred to the Lalaing family. In 1470, Jean de Croÿ, Count of Chimay, Great Bailiff of Hainaut, succeeded Simon III de Lalaing after having married his daughter Marie. Croÿ was a respected Councillor of Duke of Burgundy Philippe le Bon; since Hainaut, Flanders and Brabant had been incorporated together into Burgundy, the castle of Écaussines lost its defensive role and Croÿ transformed it into a more comfortable castle, which was achieved by his son Michel. When Michel died in 1516 without a heir, the castle was transferred to his brother Jacques, Bishop of Cambrai, who sold it to his nephew Charles, the first Prince of Chimay. Charles de Croÿ died in 1529 and Écaussines was retroceded to the Lalaing since Charles de Croÿ's daughter, Marguerite, was the wife of Charles de Lalaing. It is said that a Dame de Lalaing burnt down the castle to avoid its occupation by a Spanish garrison sent by King Philip II. In 1624, Marguerite de Lalaing, wife of Count Florent de Berlaymont, sold the domain and the castle of Écaussines to Philippe van der Burch. His lineage lived there until the death of Count Charles van der Burch in 1854. There were several heirs and the castle had to be sold; it was purchased by Duke d'Arenberg, who did not care of it.

The castle was occupied by German and then Canadian troops during the First World War. In 1920, local manufacturers planned to transform the castle into a workers' development. Canon Puissant, from Mons, stopped the project and opened the castle to public visits, showing there his own collections of ancient furniture, fabrics and books. In 1928, Count Adrien van der Burch visited his ancestors' castle and was persuaded by Canon Puissant to purchase and to restore it. The Count revamped the castle, founded a museum for his own collections, and partially lived there. His son Yves, member of the anti-German resistance, was arrested by the Germans and died in deportation in 1945. Short before his death in 1954, Adrien van der Burch created the van der Burch Foundation, to which he bequeathed the castle and the museum.
The castle of Écaussines was registered as a protected monument by Royal Decree on 5 April 1972. On 8 September 1983, the French Community protected, as a monument, the vegetable garden and, as a site, the ensemble made of the castle, the garden, the neighbouring farm and the surroundings.

Source: Castle of Écaussines-Lalaing website

Ivan Sache, 27 March 2006

Municipal flag of Écaussines

The municipal flag of Écaussines is vertically divided white-red-white-red-white.
According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, this flag was proposed by the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community as:
Cinq laizes transversales alternativement blanches et rouges.
This is a banner of the arms of the Orley family, which are shown in two quarters of the very complex municipal arms of Écaussines.

The arms of the former municipality of Écaussines-lez-Enghien were granted by Royal Decree on 24 April 1912. As shown by Servais, they are:
Quarterly, 1. and 4. Luxembourg, 2. and 3. Orley, overall an escutcheon Enghien.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 17 June 2007