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History

Young, with a past

Flemish Brabant is the youngest province, created on 1 January 1995 from the division of Brabant into Brussels, Walloon Brabant and Flemish Brabant. At the same time Flemish Brabant, inherited from the Duchy of Brabant, is actually a very old province.

At the beginning of the 11th century, Count Lambert built a castle in Leuven. His descendants embarked on a course of territorial expansion and so Brabant was born. Godfrey I added Antwerp and was given the title of Duke in 1106. Around 180 years later, John I of Brabant conquered the current North-Brabant.

In the 14th century - just as in Flanders - the foundation of an urban civilisation was laid, established on trade and industry. The rest of the Low Countries and the greatest part of Europe remained poor and agrarian. During this golden century of Brabant, Leuven already had 20,000 inhabitants. In this same period Antwerp had 5,000 inhabitants. It was the heady days of Brabant which translated into the impressive Brabant gothic age, an example of which is the Leuven City Hall.

In 1430, the Duchy came into the hands of Philip the Good, who was also the Count of Flanders. From then on, Brabant shared the history of Burgundy and later of the Habsburgs. Over the centuries, the Duchy became smaller and smaller, until in 1795 its remains were split up into the provinces of Antwerp and Brabant.

The provincial council of Brabant met for the first time on 6 October 1836.
In 1962, the territory of the province was considerably expanded due to the establishment of the language border. From Hainault, Bever and Sint-Pieters-Kapelle (borough of Herne) and from Liège, the municipalities of Landen and its later boroughs and Neerhespen (borough of Linter) were transferred. In 1977, Muizen was handed over to the province of Antwerp.

On 1 January 1995, as a result of the state reforms, the province of Brabant was divided into Brussels, Walloon Brabant and Flemish Brabant. Flemish Brabant chose Leuven as its capital.
In 2003, the provincial government took up residence in the newly built Provincial House.

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