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Zandhoven (Municipality, Province of Antwerp, Belgium)

Last modified: 2008-04-26 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Zandhoven]

Municipal flag of Zandhoven - Image by Jarig Bakker, 5 October 2001

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Presentation of Zandhoven and its villages

The municipality of Zandhoven (12,262 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 4,010 ha) is located in Kempen, south-east of Antwerp. The municipality of Zandhoven is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Zandhoven, Massenhoven, Pulderbos, Pulle and Viersel.

Zandhoven (4,480 inh.) was founded by the Franks in the IV-Vth century, as shown by its typical, triangular, village square.

Massenhoven (1,161 inh.) was sold in 1644 by Philip IV to Adriaan Brouwers. During the Eighty Years' War, the village was completely destroyed in 1585 and only six villagers survived. Massenhoven was also a center of the anti-French insurrection known as the Boerenkrijg (1798).

Pulderbos (2,645 inh.) developed around a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and built in the woods of the parish of Pulle. Following the increase in the population, Pulderbos seceded from Pulle around 1200.
The windmill of Pulderbos, built by Petrus Meeussen in 1840, was used until 1953. It was listed as protected heritage by Royal Decree on 14 October 1976 and purchased by the municipality of Zandhoven on 6 February 1987. The revamped mill was inaugurated on 18 November 1995 and has been used on a regular basis since then.

Pulle (2,668 inh.) was already settled in the Roman times. The name of the village comes from pul / puldre, meaning "a marsh".

Viersel (1,190 inh.) is one of the earliest Frankish settlements in southern Kempen, but the site was already settled in the Prehistoric times. Viersel was originally named Voorschoten, a name that disappeared with the original village of Voosrshoten in the XVIth century.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 3 January 2008

Municipal flag of Zandhoven

The municipal flag of Zandhoven is quartered blue-white-white-red.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 11 September 1986, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 4 November 1986 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 3 December 1987.
The design and colours of the flag are taken from the municipal arms.

The municipal arms of Zandhoven, as shown on the municipal website are:
Gevierendeeld :
1 : in lazuur drie staande lelies van zilver;
2 : in keel een schildhoofd van zilver, beladen met drie mereltjes van het veld, naast elkaar geplaatst;
3 : in zilver vijf aaneengesloten spitsruiten van keel, dwarsbalksgewijze geplaatst, de tweede overtopt met een mereltje van sabel;
4 : in zilver een geledigd leliekruis van sabel en een blokzoom van zestien stukken van keel en van zilver, die van keel beladen met een toren van goud, geopend van lazuur, die van zilver met een ketel van sabel
1. Azur three fleurs-de-lis couped argent;
2. Gules a chief argent three merlettes of the field;
3. Argent fives rhombs adjacent gules, the second surmonted with a merlette sable;
4. Argent a cross ? sable voided throughout a border chequered of sixteen pieces gules and argent, the pieces gules charged with a tower or opened azure, the pieces argent charged with a kettle sable).
The first quarter represents Pulderbos, and was designed after the arms of the van den Steene aka van Assche, owner of Pulderbos in the XVIIIth century.
The second quarter represents Pulle. From 1726 onwards, the municipal council of Grobbendonk and Pulle used a seal with the arms of the family of Ursel. Gaspar Schetz, lord of Pulle, remarried after the death of his first wife with Katarina d'Ursel; their son Konrad took his mother's arms as his.
The third quarter represents Massenhoven, and was designed after the arms of the Cannart d'Hamale, lords of Massenhoven in the XVII-XVIIIth centuries.
The fourth quarter represents Viersel, and was designed after the arms of the de Villegas, lords of Viersel and Hovorst from the second half of the XVIIth century to the French Revolution.
Zandhoven is represented by St. Amelgerga proper, standing on a sturgeon vert. Amelberga was a Benedictine abbess from the Pipinid dynasty (VIIIth century); after her death, her body was brought back from the abbey of Munsterbilzen to Temse on a boot sailing on the Scheldt, followed by a huge procession of pilgrims. In her lifetime, the saint was once transported over the Scheldt by a huge sturgeon. According to Servais, the former arms of Zandhoven, granted by Royal Decreeon 29 August 1842 after a municipal seal from the XVIIIth century, shows the saint proper, standing on a sturgeon vert and holding in sinister a green palm and in dexter a shield of Brabant ("Sable a lion or armed and langued gules").

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 3 January 2008