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Bastogne
St Pierre church, Bastogne
Municipal flag
Flag
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Location of Bastogne in Luxembourg province
Location of Bastogne in Luxembourg province
Bastogne is located in Belgium
Bastogne
Location in Belgium
Sovereign state Belgium Belgium
Region  Wallonia
Community Wallonia French Community
Province  Luxembourg
Arrondissement Bastogne
Coordinates 50°00′0″N 05°43′0″E / 50°N 5.716667°E / 50; 5.716667Coordinates: 50°00′0″N 05°43′0″E / 50°N 5.716667°E / 50; 5.716667
Area 172.03 km²
Population
– Males
– Females
Density
14,144 (2006-01-01)
49.53%
50.47%
82 inhab./km²
Foreigners {{{foreigners}}}% ({{{foreigners-date}}})
Unemployment rate 12.13% (1 January 2006)
Mean annual income €10,827/pers. (2003)
Mayor Philippe Collard
Governing parties Avenir
Postal codes 6600
Area codes 061
Website www.bastogne.be

Bastogne (Dutch: Bastenaken, German: Bastenach, Luxembourgish: Baaschtnech) is a Belgian municipality located in the Walloon province of Luxembourg in the Ardennes. The municipality of Bastogne includes the old communes of Longvilly, Noville, Villers-la-Bonne-Eau, and Wardin. The town is situated on a ridge in the Ardennes at an altitude of 510m.

Contents

History

At the time of the Roman conquest the region of Bastogne was inhabited by the Treveri, a tribe of Gauls. A form of the name Bastogne was first mentioned only much later, in 634, when the local lord ceded these territories to the St Maximin's Abbey, near Trier. A century later, the Bastogne area went to the nearby Prüm Abbey. The town of Bastogne and its marketplace are again mentioned in an 887 document. By the 13th century, Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor and Count of Luxemburg, was minting coins in Bastogne. In 1332, John the Blind, his son, granted the city its charter and had it encircled by defensive walls, part of which, the current Porte de Trèves, still exists. In 1451, the lands of the county of Luxemburg were absorbed into the Duchy of Burgundy and as a result, Bastogne became part of the lands of the Spanish Crown when the Burgundian heir Charles became King of Spain in 1516.

The city’s walls were quite effective at protecting it during the troubled times that followed. The city’s economy actually flourished thanks to the renown of its agricultural and cattle fairs. The walls repelled a Dutch attack successfully in 1602. In 1688, they were dismantled by order of King Louis XIV when the town was occupied by French forces during the Nine Years War.

The 19th century and Belgium's independence were favourable to Bastogne as its forest products and cattle fairs became better known abroad. Several railway lines were built to link it to the neighbouring towns. This all came to an end with the German occupation during World War I.

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World War II

Liberated by the Allies in late 1944, Bastogne was attacked by German forces shortly after. Hitler was, again, looking for control of the Ardennes. The goal was to advance to Antwerp, to cut off supply and separate British from American troops. On December 16, taking advantage of the cold and the fog, the German artillery started the so-called Battle of the Bulge by attacking the sparsely deployed American troops around Bastogne. A few days later, Brigadier General McAuliffe and the 101st Airborne Division along with elements of the 10th Armored Division (United States) arrived to counter-attack but, after heavy fighting, became encircled within the city. On December 22, German emissaries asked for the American surrender, to which the General answered quite briefly, “Nuts!” The next day, the weather cleared up, allowing air retaliation and the parachuting of much needed food, medicine, and weaponry. On December 26, the troops of General Patton broke the deadlock. The official end of the Battle of Bastogne only occurred three weeks later, when all fighting finally stopped.

Sights

The Mardasson Memorial (Battle of the Bulge, 1944)

Folklore

The key character of all legends around Bastogne is the so-called piche-cacaye.[1] Pronounced pishay-cackay.

Transportation

Bastogne originally had an NMBS/SNCB railway line connecting it to Libramont and to Gouvy. Passenger trains to Gouvy stopped in 1984 [2] and in the 1990s the line to Libramont was taken out of service [3][4]. The two station buildings in Bastogne remain, but are now used for other purposes. Part of the rail line has been converted into a cycle path

Sports

References

External links


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