SOUTH-EAST-FLANDERS ----- ZUID-OOST-VLAANDEREN
FLEMISH ARDENNES ----- VLAAMSE ARDENNEN
FLANDERS - BELGIUM ----- VLAANDEREN - BELGIE

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GAVERE


GAVERE is a town in South-East-Flanders (Belgium) containing six villages (since 1976) : Gavere, Asper, Baaigem, Dikkelvenne, Semmerzake and Vurste. The river Schelde (Scheldt) passes through Gavere. A jetty for pleasure boats and two bicycle routes, respectively 30km and 35km, along the river Schelde are among the main attractions of the town (1).

Historically, the Lords of Gavere, during nine consecutive generations wearing the Christian name of Raas, belonged to the most important nobility of the County of Flanders since mid 11th century. They held the official function of cellarer of the Count of Flanders, and resided in a fortress on an island in the river Schelde (Scheldt).

Their original territory was the Land of Gavere, containing the villages of Baaigem, Dikkelvenne, Gavere, Hermelgem, Meilegem, Paulatem, Semmerzake, Sint-Maria-Latem, Vurste and Wassene. Through the ages, the Lords of Gavere succeeded in expanding their territory with Chievres, Liedekerke, Eksaarde, Breda, the Land of Boelare and the Land of Schorisse. Under Jacob III of Luxembourg, the Land of Gavere became a county, and under Lamoraal Count of Egmont, it was raised to a principality (2).

Gavere had a strategic position as a crossroad (north-south ax and east-west ax) and a tollage and crossing place on the river Schelde (Scheldt), equipped with a wooden turnbridge from 1812 on. Despite its favourable position, the economic development of Gavere lacked behind that of other Schelde cities like Gent (Ghent) and Oudenaarde. In 1658, the fortress of the Lords of Gavere was even dismantled, as the later Lords (the families Egmont and Pignatelli) preferred to reside in other places. In 1860, the Schelde tollage was abolished (3) (4).

In the beginning of the 20th century, the market square of Gavere was a concentration of stately mansions, businesses and inns, some of them dating back to the 17th and 18th century. In one of the inns, called "het Landhuis" (meaning : country house), the tribunal of the ancien regime held its meetings. At the end of the 20th century, only one of these buildings, number 38, remained (though only partly in its original form) (3).

At the beginning of the 21th century, Gavere had about 11,880 inhabitants and a surface of 3222 hectare (5).






EMBLEM OF GAVERE:


Acknowledgement to
International Civic Heraldy




History of the emblem:

The arms were granted on October 19, 1819 and confirmed on July 6, 1840. In 1813 the local council applied of these arms without any further explanation. There are only two seals known for the city, the oldest from 1326, showing a castle with four towers, with on the middle tower a small shield. It can not be seen what the design was of these small arms. The other seal dates from 1773 and shows the three lions. Their meaning or origin is not known (6).






FLAG OF GAVERE:


Acknowledgement to
Flags of the Low Countries




Description of the flag:

The flag is: Gules, three (2:1) lions rampant Argent. Proportions are 2:3. The flag was adopted on 16 February 1993 (7).






Sources:

(1) www.copynotes.be

(2) Source: Koenraad DE WOLF, Architectuurgids Zuid-Oost-Vlaanderen. Gotische bouwkunst (1225-1625), 1997, p. 65.
(English translation: Architectural Guide of South-East-Flanders. Gotic Architecture (1225-1625).)


(3) Source: Koenraad DE WOLF, Architectuurgids Zuid-Oost-Vlaanderen. Barok, Rococo & Classicisme (1625-1800), 1998, p. 58.
(English translation: Architectural Guide of South-East-Flanders. Baroque, Rococo & Classicism.)


(4) Source: Koenraad DE WOLF, Architectuurgids Zuid-Oost-Vlaanderen. Van Empire tot Art Noveau. De 19de-eeuwse Neostijlen (1800-1918), 1998, p. 77.
(English translation: Architectural Guide of South-East-Flanders. From Empire to Art Nouveau, the 19th Century Neo-Styles (1800 - 1918).)


(5) Website of the Province of East-Flanders, Belgium, webpage about Gavere

(6) Belgian Civic Heraldry, webpage about Gavere. Based on : M. SERVAIS, Armorial des provinces et des communes de Belgique, Liege, 1955, 1041 p.

(7) Flags of the Low Countries by Filip VAN LAENEN, webpage about Gavere, July 5, 1997.



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