World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

La Louvière

La Louvière
Coat of arms of La Louvière
Coat of arms
La Louvière is located in Belgium
La Louvière
Location in Belgium
Country Belgium
Community French Community
Region Wallonia
Province Hainaut
Arrondissement Soignies
 • Mayor Jacques Gobert (PS)
 • Governing party/ies PS, MR, UDSC
 • Total 64.24 km2 (24.80 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2013)[1]
 • Total 78,774
 • Density 1,200/km2 (3,200/sq mi)
Postal codes 7100, 7110
Area codes 064

La Louvière (French pronunciation: ​, Walloon: El Lovire) is a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut. La Louvière's municipality includes the old communes of Haine-Saint-Paul, Haine-Saint-Pierre, Saint-Vaast, Trivières, Boussoit, Houdeng-Aimeries, Houdeng-Gœgnies, Maurage, and Strépy-Bracquegnies. La Louvière is the capital of the Centre region, a former coal mining area in the sillon industriel, between the Borinage to the West and the Pays Noir to the East.


  • History 1
    • Mythical origins 1.1
    • Birth of La Louvière 1.2
  • Sights 2
  • Folklore 3
  • Sports 4
  • Famous inhabitants 5
  • Twin cities 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Mythical origins

The legend of a mother wolf nursing a child at La Louvière is reminiscent of the mythical birth of Rome. The true origin of the city, however, dates from the 12th century. At that time, the forested, and presumably wolf-infested, territory of today’s La Louvière was named Menaulu, from the Old French meaning “wolf’s lair”. This land was part of the larger community of Saint-Vaast, which itself belonged to the Aulne Abbey.

By 1284, the name of the territory had been translated into Latin, then back into French to its current name of La Louvière. The lords of Saint-Vaast encouraged prospecting on their land, which led to the first extraction of coal in the year 1390. The abbey’s refusal to provide necessary infrastructure, however, delayed large-scale development until the 18th century.

Birth of La Louvière

In the 19th century, the construction of roads, canals, and railways finally allowed the local coal production to be exported. Investments also poured into the local industry to take advantage of the abundant source of energy. La Louvière quickly surpassed its overlord Saint-Vaast, both in population and economic wealth. Within fifty years, the territory that was not much more than a place name had become one of the most important cities in Wallonia. La Louvière was recognized as an independent city in 1869. Today, La Louvière is still the fifth largest city in Wallonia, after Charleroi, Liège, Namur, and Mons.


Boat lift on the old Canal du Centre
Workers' housing at Bois-du-Luc (1838-1853)


The Carnival of La Louvière is called Laetare, after the Latin verb meaning “to enjoy” (the introit at mass on the fourth Sunday of Lent begins Laetare Jerusalem, Rejoice Jerusalem). It lasts three days, Sunday to Tuesday, and takes place in the middle of Lent. The Gilles are out on all three days, stomping to the rhythm of their music and distributing oranges to the passers-by. Giant puppets and various other groups also take part in the parades and festivities. Typical of La Louvière’s celebrations is the so-called Brûlage des Bosses (“burning of the humps”), where a puppet dressed as a Gilles is burnt to symbolize the end of carnival and beginning of a new life.


La Louvière used to have a top level football club in Belgian First Division: RAA Louviéroise. They won the Belgian Cup in 2003. the club no longer exists as it merged into a team based in another city and its La Louvière playground is now the home of third division semi-amateur club UR La Louvière Centre.

Famous inhabitants

Twin cities


  1. ^ Population per municipality on 1 January 2013 (XLS; 607.5 KB)
  2. ^ "Kalisz Official Website - Twin Towns".  

External links

  • Official website of La Louvière, in French
  • regionCentreSite of the , in French
  • Photographies of the Duferco steel mill
  • The carnival, in French, Dutch, and English
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.