HOME

TheInfoList




Wallonia (; french: link=no, Wallonie ; wa, link=no, Waloneye; german: link=no, Wallonien or ; nl, link=no, Wallonië ) is one of the three
regions In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the wor ...
of
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
—alongside the
Flemish Region The Flemish Region ( nl, Vlaams Gewest, ; french: Région flamande; german: Flämische Region), usually simply referred to as Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dut ...
and the
Brussels-Capital Region Brussels (french: Bruxelles or ; nl, Brussel ), officially the Brussels-Capital Region (All text and all but one graphic show the English name as Brussels-Capital Region.) (french: link=no, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale; nl, link=no, Brusse ...

Brussels-Capital Region
. Covering the southern portion of the country, Wallonia is primarily
French-speaking French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages, or Neo-Latin languages) are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin between the third and eighth centuries. They are a subgroup of t ...
, and accounts for 55% of Belgium's territory, but only a third of its population. The Walloon Region was not merged with the
French Community of Belgium In Belgium, the French Community (french: Communauté française; ) refers to one of the three Communities and regions of Belgium#Communities, constituent constitutional linguistic communities. Since 2011, the French Community has used the name ...
, which is the political entity responsible for matters related mainly to culture and education, because the French Community of Belgium encompasses both Wallonia and the bilingual
Brussels Brussels (french: Bruxelles or ; nl, Brussel ), officially the Brussels-Capital Region (All text and all but one graphic show the English name as Brussels-Capital Region.) (french: link=no, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale; nl, link=no, Brusse ...

Brussels
-Capital Region. There is a German-speaking minority in eastern Wallonia, resulting from the annexation of three
cantons A canton is a type of administrative division of a country. In general, cantons are relatively small in terms of area and population when compared with other administrative divisions such as county, counties, Department (administrative division), ...

cantons
previously part of the German Empire at the conclusion of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
. This community represents less than 1% of the Belgian population. It forms the
German-speaking Community of Belgium The German-speaking Community (german: links=no, Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft, or DG; french: links=no, Communauté germanophone; nl, links=no, Duitstalige Gemeenschap), branded since 2017 as East Belgium (german: links=no, Ostbelgien), is one ...
, which has its own government and parliament for culture-related issues. During the industrial revolution, Wallonia was second only to the United Kingdom in industrialization, capitalizing on its extensive deposits of coal and iron. This brought the region wealth, and from the beginning of the 19th to the middle of the 20th century, Wallonia was the more prosperous half of Belgium. Since
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the importance of heavy industry has greatly diminished, and the Flemish Region has exceeded Wallonia in wealth as Wallonia has declined economically. Wallonia now suffers from high unemployment and has a significantly lower GDP per capita than Flanders. The economic inequalities and linguistic divide between the two are major sources of political conflicts in Belgium and a major factor in
Flemish separatism The Flemish Movement ( nl, Vlaamse Beweging) is an umbrella term In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and ...
. The capital of Wallonia is
Namur Namur ( , ; ; nl, Namen ; wa, Nameur) is a city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality in Wallonia, Belgium. It is both the capital of the Provinces of Belgium, province of Namur Province, Namur and of Wallonia, hosting the Parliament of ...

Namur
, and the most populous city is
Charleroi Charleroi (, , ; wa, Tchålerwè ) is a city and a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national a ...

Charleroi
. Most of Wallonia's major cities and two-thirds of its population lie along the east–west aligned
Sambre and Meuse valley The ''Sillon industriel'' (, "industrial furrow") is the former industrial backbone of Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered b ...
, the former industrial backbone of Belgium. To the north of this valley, Wallonia lies on the Central Belgian Plateau, which, like Flanders, is a relatively flat and agriculturally fertile area. The south and southeast of Wallonia is made up of the
Ardennes The Ardennes ( ; french: Ardenne ; nl, Ardennen ; german: Ardennen; wa, Årdene ; lb, Ardennen ), also known as the Ardennes Forest or Forest of Ardennes, is a region of extensive forest A forest is an area of land dominated b ...

Ardennes
, an expanse of forested highland that is less densely populated. Wallonia borders
Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * ...

Flanders
and the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
(the province of Limburg) in the north, France (
Grand Est Grand Est (; gsw-FR, Grossa Oschta; Moselle Franconian/ lb, Grouss Osten; Rhine Franconian: ''Groß Oschte''; german: Großer Osten ; en, "Great East") is an Regions of France, administrative region in Northeastern France. It superseded three ...

Grand Est
and
Hauts-de-France Hauts-de-France (; pcd, Heuts-d'Franche; ) is the northernmost region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitant ...

Hauts-de-France
) to the south and west, and Germany (
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Pre ...
and
Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland-Palatinate (german: Rheinland-Pfalz, ) is a western state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''T ...
) and
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
(
Capellen Capellen ( lb, Cap/Capellen) is a town in the commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, ...
,
Clervaux Clervaux ( lb, Clierf or (locally) ; german: Clerf) is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and ...
,
Esch-sur-Alzette Esch-sur-Alzette (; lb, Esch-Uelzecht ; german: Esch an der Alzette or ''Esch an der Alzig'') is a Communes of Luxembourg, commune with List of towns in Luxembourg, town status in south-western Luxembourg. It is the country's List of communes of ...
, Redange and
Wiltz Wiltz ( lb, Wolz or (locally) ) is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abs ...
) to the east. Wallonia has been a member of the
Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF; sometimes shortened to the Francophonie, french: La Francophonie , but also called International Organisation of La Francophonie in English-language context) is an international organiza ...
since 1980.


Terminology

The term "Wallonia" can mean slightly different things in different contexts. One of the three federal regions of Belgium is still constitutionally defined as the "Walloon Region" as opposed to "Wallonia", but the regional government has renamed itself Wallonia, and it is commonly called Wallonia. Preceding 1 April 2010, when the renaming came into effect, Wallonia would sometimes refer to the territory governed by the Walloon Region, whereas ''Walloon Region'' referred specifically to the government. In practice, the difference between the two terms is small and what is meant is usually clear, based on context. Wallonia is a cognate of terms such as
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
, Cornwall and
Wallachia Wallachia or Walachia (; ro, Țara Românească, lit=The Romanian Land' or 'The Romanian Country, ; archaic Archaic is a period of time preceding a designated classical period, or something from an older period of time that is also not found ...
, all rooted in the
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...
word
Walha ''Walhaz'' is a reconstructed Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germanic word meaning "Roman", "Romance-speaker" or "(romanized) Celt". The term was used by the ancient Germanic peoples to describe inhabitants of the former Roman Empire, who wer ...
, meaning ''the strangers,'' referring to Gallic or Celtic people. Wallonia is named after the
Walloons Walloons (; french: Wallons ; wa, Walons) are a Romance ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a commo ...
, a group of locals who natively speak
Romance languages The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin, is non-literary Literature broadly is any collection of w ...

Romance languages
. In
Middle Dutch Middle Dutch is a collective name for a number of closely related West Germanic The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic languages, Germanic family of languages (the others being the North German ...
(and French), the term Walloons included both historical "secular" Walloon kingdoms and principalities, as well as the French-speaking population of the
Prince-Bishopric of Liège The Prince-Bishopric of Liège or Principality of Liège was an ecclesiastical principality A principality (or sometimes princedom) can either be a monarchical A monarchy is a form of government A government is the sy ...
or the whole population of the
Romanic
Romanic
sprachraum In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
within the
medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowland region in Northwestern Europe ...
.


History

Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...

Julius Caesar
conquered
Gaul Gaul ( la, Gallia) was a region of Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rat ...

Gaul
in 57 BC. The
Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowland region in Northwestern Europe ...
became part of the larger
Gallia Belgica Gallia Belgica ("Belgic Gaul") was a of the located in the north-eastern part of , in what is today primarily northern , , and , along with parts of the and . In 50 BC after the conquest by during his , it became one of the three parts of G ...
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...
which originally stretched from southwestern Germany to
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, ...

Normandy
and the southern part of the Netherlands. The population of this territory was
Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: ...

Celtic
with a
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...

Germanic
influence which was stronger in the north than in the south of the province. Gallia Belgica became progressively
romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign lan ...
. The ancestors of the Walloons became
Gallo-Roman Gallo-Roman culture was a consequence of the Romanization (cultural), Romanization of Gauls, Gaulish peoples under the rule of the Roman Empire. It was characterized by the Gaulish adoption or adaptation of Roman culture, Roman culture, languag ...
s and were called the "
Walha ''Walhaz'' is a reconstructed Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germanic word meaning "Roman", "Romance-speaker" or "(romanized) Celt". The term was used by the ancient Germanic peoples to describe inhabitants of the former Roman Empire, who wer ...
" by their Germanic neighbours. The "Walha" abandoned their Celtic dialects and started to speak
Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin, is non-literary Literature broadly is any collection of written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is th ...
. The
Merovingian The Merovingian dynasty () was the ruling family of the Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the ...
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
gradually gained control of the region during the 5th century, under
Clovis Clovis may refer to: People * Clovis (given name), the early medieval (Frankish) form of the name Louis ** Clovis I (c. 466 – 511), the first king of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler ** Clovis II (c. 634 – c. 657), ...

Clovis
. Due to the fragmentation of the former
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
, Vulgar Latin regionally developed along different lines and evolved into several ''
langue d'oïl Langue is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordin ...
'' dialects, which in Wallonia became Picard,
Walloon Walloon may refer to: * Walloons, a French-speaking population of Belgium * Walloon language * Wallonia, Walloon Region or Wallonia in Belgium ** Government of Wallonia, Walloon Government * Walloon Lake * Walloon, Queensland See also

* ''The ...
and
LorrainLorrain may refer to: * Claude Lorrain (1600–82), a 17th-century French artist of the baroque style * Lorrain language Lorrain is a dialect (often referred to as patois) spoken by a minority of people in Lorraine in France France (), ...
. The oldest surviving text written in a ''langue d'oïl'', the ''
Sequence of Saint Eulalia The ''Sequence of Saint Eulalia'', also known as the ''Canticle of Saint Eulalia'' (french: Séquence/Cantilène de sainte Eulalie) is the earliest surviving piece of France, French hagiography and one of the earliest extant texts in the vernacula ...
'', has characteristics of these three languages and was likely written in or very near to what is now Wallonia around 880 . Maurice Delbouille ''Romanité d'oïl Les origines : la langue – les plus anciens textes'' in ''La Wallonie, le pays et les hommes'' Tome I (Lettres, arts, culture), La Renaissance du Livre, Bruxelles,1977, pp.99–107. From the 4th to the 7th century, the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
established several settlements, probably mostly in the north of the province where the romanization was less advanced and some Germanic trace was still present. The language border (that now splits Belgium in the middle) began to crystallize between 700 under the reign of the
Merovingian The Merovingian dynasty () was the ruling family of the Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the ...
s and
Carolingian The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the Carlovingians, Carolingus, Carolings, Karolinger or Karlings) was a Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historic ...
s and around 1000 after the
Ottonian Renaissance The Ottonian Renaissance was a renaissance of Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle ...
. French-speaking cities, with
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège ...

Liège
as the largest one, appeared along the
Meuse The Meuse ( , , , ; wa, Moûze ) or Maas ( , ; li, Maos or ) is a major European river, rising in France and flowing through Belgium and the Netherlands before draining into the North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected ...

Meuse
, while Gallo-Roman cities such as
Tongeren Tongeren (; french: Tongres ; german: Tongern ; li, Tóngere ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Sci ...

Tongeren
,
Maastricht Maastricht ( , , ; Limburgish language, Limburgish : ; french: Maestricht ; es, Mastrique ) is a city and a Municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality in the southeastern Netherlands. It is the capital city, capital and largest city of ...

Maastricht
and
Aachen Aachen ( ; Aachen dialect: ''Oche'' ; French language, French and traditional English language, English: Aix-la-Chapelle ; Latin: ''Aquae Granni'' or ''Aquisgranum''; nl, Aken) is, with around 249,000 inhabitants, the 13th-largest city of No ...

Aachen
became Germanized. The
Carolingian dynasty The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the Carlovingians, Carolingus, Carolings, Karolinger or Karlings) was a Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historic ...
dethroned the Merovingians in the 8th century. In 843, the
Treaty of Verdun The Treaty of Verdun, signed on 10 August 843, was the first of the treaties that divided the Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large Franks, Frankish-dominated empire in western and central Europe during the early Mi ...

Treaty of Verdun
gave the territory of present-day Wallonia to
Middle Francia Middle Francia or the first state of Lotharingia ( la, Francia media, links=no) was a short-lived Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (f ...
, which would shortly fragment, with the region passing to
Lotharingia Lotharingia (Latin: ''regnum Lotharii, regnum Lothariense, Lotharingia'', French: ''Lotharingie'', German: ''Reich des Lothar'', ''Lotharingien'', ''Mittelreich'') was a short-lived medieval successor kingdom of the Carolingian Empire The Caro ...
. On Lotharingia's breakup in 959, the present-day territory of Belgium became part of
Lower Lotharingia The Duchy of Lower Lotharingia, also called Northern Lotharingia, Lower Lorraine or Northern Lorraine (and also referred to as '' Lothier'' or '' Lottier''
, which then fragmented into rival principalities and duchies by 1190. Literary
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
, which was taught in schools, lost its hegemony during the 13th century and was replaced by
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular o ...
. In the 15th century, the
Dukes of Burgundy Duke of Burgundy (french: duc de Bourgogne) was a title used by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, from its establishment in 843 to its annexation by France in 1477, and later by Habsburg Netherlands, Habsburg sovereigns of the Low Countries (1 ...
took over the
Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowland region in Northwestern Europe ...
. The death of
Charles the Bold 260px, Double Briquet, struck under Charles the Bold in Bruges, 1475 Charles I (Charles Martin; german: Karl Martin; nl, Karel Maarten; 10 November 1433 – 5 January 1477), nicknamed the Bold (german: der Kühne; nl, de Stoute; frenc ...

Charles the Bold
in 1477 raised the issue of succession, and the Liégeois took advantage of this to regain some of their autonomy. From the 16th to the 18th century, the Low Countries were governed successively by the
Habsburg The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in English (german: Haus Habsburg ; es, Casa de Habsburgo ; hu, Habsburg-család), also known as the House of Austria (german: link=no, Haus Österreich; es, link=no, Casa de Austria), ...

Habsburg
dynasty of Spain (from the early 16th century until 1713–14) and later by Austria (until 1794). This territory was enlarged in 1521–22 when
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, french: Charles Quint, it, Carlo V, nl, Karel V, ca, Carles V, la, Carolus V (24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) was Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( ...

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
gained the
Tournai Tournai or Tournay ( ; ; nl, Doornik ; pcd, Tornai; wa, Tornè ; la, Tornacum) is a city and municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , countr ...

Tournai
region from France. Present-day Belgium was conquered in 1795 by the
French Republic France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of severa ...
during the
French Revolutionary Wars The French Revolutionary Wars (french: Guerres de la Révolution française) were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted French First Republic, France against Gr ...
. It was
annexed upCivilians and coalition military forces wave Kuwaiti and Saudi Arabian flags as they celebrate the reversal of the annexation of Kuwait by Iraq (28 February 1991). Annexation (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging t ...
to the Republic, which later became the
Napoleonic Empire The First French Empire, officially the French Republic (until 1809) then the French Empire (; ), was the empire An empire is a sovereign state consisting of several territories and peoples subject to a single ruling authority, often an e ...
. After the
Battle of Waterloo The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo Waterloo most commonly refers to: * Battle of Waterloo, a battle on 18 June 1815 in which Napoleon met his final defeat :* Waterloo, Belgium, a municipality in Belgium fr ...

Battle of Waterloo
, Wallonia became part of the
Kingdom of the Netherlands , national_anthem = ) , image_map = Kingdom of the Netherlands (orthographic projection).svg , map_width = 250px , image_map2 = File:KonDerNed-10-10-10.png , map_caption2 = Map of the four constituent countries shown to scale , capital = ...

Kingdom of the Netherlands
under King . The Walloons played an active part in the
Belgian Revolution The Belgian Revolution (, ) was the conflict which led to the of the southern provinces (mainly the former ) from the and the establishment of an independent . The people of the south were mainly (speakers of ) and (speakers of dialects). ...
in 1830. The
Provisional Government of Belgium The Provisional Government ( nl, Voorlopig Bewind; french: Gouvernement provisoire) was formed as a revolutionary committee of notables during the Belgian Revolution on 24 September 1830 at the Brussels City Hall under the name of Administrative Co ...
proclaimed Belgium's independence and held elections for the
National Congress''National Congress'' is a term used in the names of various political parties and legislatures . Political parties *Ethiopia: Oromo National Congress *Guyana: People's National Congress (Guyana) *India: Indian National Congress *Iraq: Iraqi Natio ...
.


Belgian period

In the 19th century, the area began to industrialize, and Wallonia was the first fully industrialized area in
continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical region ...

continental Europe
. This brought the region great economic prosperity, which was not mirrored in poorer Flanders and the result was a large amount of Flemish immigration to Wallonia. Belgium was divided into two divergent communities. On the one hand, the very Catholic Flemish society was characterized by an economy centered on agriculture; on the other hand, Wallonia was the center of the continental European
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
, where classical liberal and socialist movements were rapidly emerging. Major strikes and
general strike A general strike (or mass strike) is a strike action in which a substantial proportion of the total labour (economics), labour force in a city, region, or country participates. General strikes are characterised by the participation of workers ...
s took place in Wallonia, including the Walloon jacquerie of 1886, the Belgian general strikes of
1893 Events January–March * January 2 Events Pre-1600 *AD 69, 69 – The Roman legions in Germania Superior refuse to swear loyalty to Galba. They rebel and proclaim Vitellius as emperor. * 366 – The Alemanni cross the ...
, 1902, 1913 (for universal suffrage), 1932 (depicted in ''Misère au Borinage''), and 1936. After
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, major strikes included the general strike against Leopold III of Belgium (1950), and the 1960-1961 Winter General Strike for autonomy for Wallonia. The profitability of the heavy industries to which Wallonia owed its prosperity started declining in the first half of the 20th century, and the center of industrial activity shifted north to Flanders. The loss of prosperity caused social unrest, and Wallonia sought greater autonomy in order to address its economic problems. In the wake of the 1960-1961 Winter General Strike, the process of state reform in Belgium got underway. This reform started partly with the Language legislation in Belgium, linguistic laws of 1962–63, which defined the four language areas within the Constitution of Belgium, constitution. But the strikes of 1960 which took place in Wallonia more than in
Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * ...

Flanders
are not principally linked with the four language areas nor with the Communities but with the Regions. In 1968, the conflict between the communities burst out. French speakers in Flanders (who were not necessarily Walloons) were driven out of, most notably the Leuven-based Catholic University of Leuven (1834–1968), Catholic University amid shouts of "''Walen buiten''!" ("Walloons out!"). After a formal split of the university in two and the creation of a Université catholique de Louvain, brand new campus in Wallonia, a wider series of State reform in Belgium, State reforms was passed in Belgium, which resulted in the federalisation of the nation and the creation of the Walloon Region and the French Community of Belgium, French Community (comprising both Wallonia and Brussels), administrative entities each of which would gain various levels of considerable autonomy.


Geography

Wallonia is landlocked, with an area of , or 55 percent of the total area of Belgium. The
Sambre and Meuse valley The ''Sillon industriel'' (, "industrial furrow") is the former industrial backbone of Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered b ...
, from
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège ...

Liège
() to
Charleroi Charleroi (, , ; wa, Tchålerwè ) is a city and a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national a ...

Charleroi
() is an entrenched river in a fault (geology), fault line which separates Middle Belgium (elevation ) and High Belgium (). This fault line corresponds to a part of the southern coast of the late London-Brabant Massif. The valley, along with Haine and Vesdre valleys form the ''sillon industriel'', the historical centre of the Belgian coalmining and steelmaking industry, and is also called the Walloon industrial backbone. Due to their long industrial historic record, several segments of the valley have received specific names: Borinage, around Mons, le Centre (Wallonia), Centre, around La Louvière, the Pays noir, around
Charleroi Charleroi (, , ; wa, Tchålerwè ) is a city and a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national a ...

Charleroi
and the Basse-Sambre, near
Namur Namur ( , ; ; nl, Namen ; wa, Nameur) is a city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality in Wallonia, Belgium. It is both the capital of the Provinces of Belgium, province of Namur Province, Namur and of Wallonia, hosting the Parliament of ...

Namur
. To the north of the Sambre and Meuse valley lies the Central Belgian plateau, which is characterized by intensive agriculture. The Walloon part of this plateau is traditionally divided into several regions: Walloon Brabant around Nivelles, Western Hainaut (french: link=no, Wallonie picarde, around
Tournai Tournai or Tournay ( ; ; nl, Doornik ; pcd, Tornai; wa, Tornè ; la, Tornacum) is a city and municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , countr ...

Tournai
), and Hesbaye around Waremme. South of the sillon industriel, the land is more rugged and is characterized by more extensive farming. It is traditionally divided into the regions of Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse, Condroz, Fagne (natural region), Fagne-Famenne, the
Ardennes The Ardennes ( ; french: Ardenne ; nl, Ardennen ; german: Ardennen; wa, Årdene ; lb, Ardennen ), also known as the Ardennes Forest or Forest of Ardennes, is a region of extensive forest A forest is an area of land dominated b ...

Ardennes
and Land of Herve, as well as the Belgian Lorraine around Arlon and Virton. Dividing it into Condroz, Famenne, Calestienne,
Ardennes The Ardennes ( ; french: Ardenne ; nl, Ardennen ; german: Ardennen; wa, Årdene ; lb, Ardennen ), also known as the Ardennes Forest or Forest of Ardennes, is a region of extensive forest A forest is an area of land dominated b ...

Ardennes
(including Thiérache), and Belgian Lorraine (which includes the Gaume) is more reflective of the physical geography. The larger region, the Ardennes, is a thickly forested plateau with caves and small gorges. It is host to much of Belgium's wildlife but little agricultural capacity. This area extends westward into France and eastward to the Eifel in Germany via the High Fens plateau, on which the Signal de Botrange forms the highest point in Belgium at 694 metres (2,277 ft).


Subdivisions

The Walloon region covers and is divided into Provinces of Belgium, five provinces, Arrondissements of Belgium, 20 arrondissements and List of municipalities in Wallonia, 262 cities or municipalities. The province of Walloon Brabant is the most recent one, being formed in 1995 after the splitting of the province of Brabant.


Cities

The largest cities in Wallonia are: *
Charleroi Charleroi (, , ; wa, Tchålerwè ) is a city and a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national a ...

Charleroi
(204,146) *
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège ...

Liège
(195,790) *
Namur Namur ( , ; ; nl, Namen ; wa, Nameur) is a city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality in Wallonia, Belgium. It is both the capital of the Provinces of Belgium, province of Namur Province, Namur and of Wallonia, hosting the Parliament of ...

Namur
(110,428) * Mons (92,529) * La Louvière (81,138) *
Tournai Tournai or Tournay ( ; ; nl, Doornik ; pcd, Tornai; wa, Tornè ; la, Tornacum) is a city and municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , countr ...

Tournai
(69,792) * Seraing (63,500) * Verviers (56,596) * Mouscron (55,687) * Herstal (38,969) * Braine-l'Alleud (38,748) * Châtelet, Belgium, Châtelet (36,131) The 10 largest groups of foreign residents in 2018 are:


Science and technology

Contributions to the development of science and technology have appeared since the beginning of the country's history. The baptismal font of Renier de Huy is not the only example of medieval Walloon technical expertise: the words "houille" (coal) or "houilleur" (coal miner) or "grisou" (damp) were coined in Wallonia and are
Walloon Walloon may refer to: * Walloons, a French-speaking population of Belgium * Walloon language * Wallonia, Walloon Region or Wallonia in Belgium ** Government of Wallonia, Walloon Government * Walloon Lake * Walloon, Queensland See also

* ''The ...
in origin. The economically important History of coal mining#Belgium, very deep coal mining in the course of the First Industrial Revolution has required highly reputed specialized studies for mining engineering, mining engineers. But that was already the case before the Industrial Revolution, with an engineer as Rennequin Sualem for instance. Engineer Zenobe Gramme invented the Gramme dynamo, the first generator to produce power on a commercial scale for industry. Chemist Ernest Solvay gave his name to the Solvay process for production of soda ash, an important chemical for many industrial uses. Ernest Solvay also acted as a major philanthropist and gave its name to the Solvay Institute of Sociology, the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management and the International Solvay Institutes for Physics and Chemistry which are now part of the Université libre de Bruxelles. In 1911, he started a series of conferences, the Solvay Conferences on Physics and Chemistry, which have had a deep impact on the evolution of quantum physics and chemistry. Georges Lemaître of the Université catholique de Louvain is credited with proposing the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe in 1927. Three Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine were awarded to Walloons: Jules Bordet (Université libre de Bruxelles) in 1919, Albert Claude (ULB) together with Christian De Duve (UCLouvain) in 1974. In the present day, Bureau Greisch has acquired an international reputation as consulting engineer and architect in the fields of structures, civil engineering and buildings, including the Millau Viaduct in France.


Economy

Wallonia is rich in iron and coal, and these resources and related industries have played an important role in its history. In ancient times, the
Sambre and Meuse valley The ''Sillon industriel'' (, "industrial furrow") is the former industrial backbone of Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered b ...
was an important industrial area in the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
. In the Middle Ages, Wallonia became a center for brass working and bronze working, with Huy, Dinant and Chimay being important regional centers. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the iron masters of
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège ...

Liège
developed a method of refining iron ore by the use of a blast furnace, called the Oregrounds iron, Walloon Method. There were also a few coal mines around
Charleroi Charleroi (, , ; wa, Tchålerwè ) is a city and a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national a ...

Charleroi
and the Borinage during this period, but their output was small, and was principally consumed as fuel by various industries such as the important glassmaking industry that sprang up in the
Charleroi Charleroi (, , ; wa, Tchålerwè ) is a city and a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national a ...

Charleroi
basin during the 14th century. In the 19th century, the area began to industrialize, mainly along the so-called sillon industriel. It was the first fully industrialized area in
continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical region ...

continental Europe
, and Wallonia was the second industrial power in the world, in proportion to its population and its territory, after the United Kingdom. The sole industrial centre in Belgium outside the collieries and blast furnaces of Wallonia was the historic cloth making town of Ghent. The two World Wars curbed the continuous expansion that Wallonia had enjoyed up till that time. Towards the end of the 1950s, things began to change dramatically. The factories of Wallonia were by then antiquated, the coal was running out and the cost of extracting coal was constantly rising. It was the end of an era, and Wallonia has been making efforts to redefine itself. The restoration of economical development is high on the political agenda, and the government is encouraging development of industries, notably in cutting-edge technology and in business parks. The economy is improving, but Wallonia is not yet at the level of
Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * ...

Flanders
and is still suffering from difficulties. The current Walloon economy is relatively diversified, although certain areas (especially around Charleroi and Liège) are still suffering from the steel industry crisis, with an unemployment rate of up to 30 percent. Nonetheless, Wallonia has some companies which are world leaders in their specialized fields, including armaments, glass production, Calcium oxide, lime and limestone production, cyclotrons and aviation parts. The south of Wallonia, bordering
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
, benefits from its neighbour's economic prosperity, with many Belgians working on the other side of the border; they are often called ''frontaliers''. The
Ardennes The Ardennes ( ; french: Ardenne ; nl, Ardennen ; german: Ardennen; wa, Årdene ; lb, Ardennen ), also known as the Ardennes Forest or Forest of Ardennes, is a region of extensive forest A forest is an area of land dominated b ...

Ardennes
area south of the
Meuse The Meuse ( , , , ; wa, Moûze ) or Maas ( , ; li, Maos or ) is a major European river, rising in France and flowing through Belgium and the Netherlands before draining into the North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected ...

Meuse
is a popular tourist destination for its nature and outdoor sports, in addition to its cultural heritage, with places such as Bastogne, Dinant, Durbuy, and the famous hot springs of Spa, Belgium, Spa. The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the region was 105.7 billion € in 2018, accounting for 23% of Belgian economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 25,700 € or 85% of the EU27 average in the same year.


Politics and government

Belgium is a federal state made up of three communities and three regions, each with considerable autonomy. One of these is the Walloon Region, which is governed by the Parliament of Wallonia and the executive Government of Wallonia. The Walloon Region's autonomy extends even to foreign policy; Wallonia is entitled to pursue its own foreign policy, including the signing of treaties, and in many domains, even the Belgian federal government is not able to sign an international treaty without the agreement of the Parliament of Wallonia. Wallonia is also home to about 80 percent of the population of the
French Community of Belgium In Belgium, the French Community (french: Communauté française; ) refers to one of the three Communities and regions of Belgium#Communities, constituent constitutional linguistic communities. Since 2011, the French Community has used the name ...
, a political level responsible for matters related mainly to culture and education, with the remainder living in
Brussels Brussels (french: Bruxelles or ; nl, Brussel ), officially the Brussels-Capital Region (All text and all but one graphic show the English name as Brussels-Capital Region.) (french: link=no, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale; nl, link=no, Brusse ...

Brussels
. Wallonia is also home to the small
German-speaking Community of Belgium The German-speaking Community (german: links=no, Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft, or DG; french: links=no, Communauté germanophone; nl, links=no, Duitstalige Gemeenschap), branded since 2017 as East Belgium (german: links=no, Ostbelgien), is one ...
in the east, which has its own government and parliament for culture-related issues. Although in
Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * ...

Flanders
, the
Flemish Region The Flemish Region ( nl, Vlaams Gewest, ; french: Région flamande; german: Flämische Region), usually simply referred to as Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dut ...
assigned all of its powers to the Flemish Community, the Walloon Region remains in principle distinct from and independent from the French Community, and vice versa. Despite this, the Parliament of the French Community, French Community's parliament is almost entirely composed of members of Wallonia's and Brussels' parliaments, so the bodies are governed by the same individuals. Additionally, the French Community of Belgium has controversially begun referring to itself exclusively as the 'Wallonia-Brussels Federation' to emphasize the links between the French Community, Wallonia and Brussels. The Walloon Region has a unicameral parliament with 75 members elected for five years by direct universal suffrage, and an executive, the Government of Wallonia, elected by a political majority in Parliament. The Government numbers nine members with the president. Each member is called a ''Walloon minister''. The head of the Government is called the Minister-President of Wallonia. The coalition government for the 2014–2019 legislature was a center-left coalition Parti Socialiste (Belgium), PS-cdH until July 28 when it was replaced by a center-left coalition MR-cdH. The current Minister-President is Elio Di Rupo.


History of Walloon autonomy

"From 1831, the year of Belgium's independence, until the federalization of the country in 1970, Wallonia has increasingly asserted itself as a region in its own right." Following several State reform in Belgium, state reforms, especially the 1993 state reform, Belgium became a federal state made up of three communities and three regions, with Wallonia being represented by the Walloon Region and its two language communities. The directly elected Walloon Parliament was created in June 1995, replacing the ''Conseil régional wallon'' (Regional Council of Wallonia). The first Council had sat on 15 October 1980 and was composed of members of the Chamber of Representatives (Belgium), Belgian Chamber of Representatives and the Belgian Senate elected in Wallonia.


Symbols

The first appearance of the French word ''Wallonie'' as a reference to the romance world as opposed to Germany is said to date from 1842. Two years later, it was first used to refer to the Romance part of the young country of Belgium. In 1886, the writer and Walloon militant Albert Mockel, first used the word with a political meaning of cultural and regional affirmation, in opposition with the word ''Flanders'' used by the Flemish Movement. The word had previously appeared in German and Latin as early as the 17th century. The rising of a Walloon identity led the Walloon Movement to choose different symbols representing Wallonia. The main symbol is the "bold rooster" (french: link=no, coq hardi), also named "Walloon rooster" (french: link=no, coq wallon, wa, cok walon), which is widely used, particularly on arms and flags. The rooster was chosen as an emblem by the Walloon Assembly on 20 April 1913, and designed by Pierre Paulus on 3 July 1913. http://www.allstates-flag.com/fotw/flags/be-wal_l.html#wal98 The Flag of Wallonia features the red rooster on a yellow background. An anthem, (''The Walloons' Song''), written by Theophile Bovy in 1900 and composed by Louis Hillier in 1901, was also adopted. On September 21, 1913, the "national" feast day of Wallonia took place for the first time in Verviers, commemorating the participation of Walloons during the
Belgian Revolution The Belgian Revolution (, ) was the conflict which led to the of the southern provinces (mainly the former ) from the and the establishment of an independent . The people of the south were mainly (speakers of ) and (speakers of dialects). ...
of 1830. It is held annually on the third Sunday of September. The Assembly also chose a motto for Wallonia, "Walloon Forever" ( wa, Walon todi), and a cry, "Liberty" (french: link=no, Liberté). In 1998, the Walloon Parliament made all these symbols official except the motto and the cry.


Religion

The population of Wallonia is predominantly of Christian heritage. In 2016, 68% of residents of Wallonia declared themselves to be Roman Catholic (21% were practising Catholics and 47% were non-practising), 3% were Muslim, 3% were Protestant Christian, 1% were of other religions and 25% were non-religious.


Languages


Official languages

The official languages of Wallonia are French, which is also by far the main language spoken in the region, and German (in the Eupen-Malmedy, East-Cantons).. The
German-speaking Community of Belgium The German-speaking Community (german: links=no, Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft, or DG; french: links=no, Communauté germanophone; nl, links=no, Duitstalige Gemeenschap), branded since 2017 as East Belgium (german: links=no, Ostbelgien), is one ...
accounts for about 2% of the region's population. Belgian French, which is also spoken in the
Brussels-Capital Region Brussels (french: Bruxelles or ; nl, Brussel ), officially the Brussels-Capital Region (All text and all but one graphic show the English name as Brussels-Capital Region.) (french: link=no, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale; nl, link=no, Brusse ...

Brussels-Capital Region
, is similar to that spoken in France, with slight differences in pronunciation and some vocabulary differences, notably the use of the words ''septante'' (70) and ''nonante'' (90), as opposed to ''soixante-dix'' and ''quatre-vingt-dix'' in France. There are noticeable Walloon accents, with the accent from
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège ...

Liège
and its surroundings being perhaps the most striking. Other regions of Wallonia also have characteristic accents, often linked to the regional language.


Regional languages

Walloons Walloons (; french: Wallons ; wa, Walons) are a Romance ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a commo ...
traditionally also speak regional Romance languages, all from the ''Langues d'oïl'' group. Wallonia includes almost all of the area where
Walloon Walloon may refer to: * Walloons, a French-speaking population of Belgium * Walloon language * Wallonia, Walloon Region or Wallonia in Belgium ** Government of Wallonia, Walloon Government * Walloon Lake * Walloon, Queensland See also

* ''The ...
is spoken, a Picard zone corresponding to the major part of the Hainaut Province, the Gaume (district of Virton) with the Lorrain language and a Champenois zone. There are also regional Germanic languages, such as the Luxembourgish language in Arelerland (Land of Arlon). The regional languages of Wallonia are more important than in France, and they have been officially recognized by the government. With the development of education in French, however, these dialects have been in continual decline. There is currently an effort to revive Walloon dialects; some schools offer language courses in Walloon, and Walloon is also spoken in some radio programmes, but this effort remains very limited.


Culture


Literature


In Walloon

Literature is written principally in French but also in Walloon and other regional languages, colloquially called Walloon literature.
Walloon Walloon may refer to: * Walloons, a French-speaking population of Belgium * Walloon language * Wallonia, Walloon Region or Wallonia in Belgium ** Government of Wallonia, Walloon Government * Walloon Lake * Walloon, Queensland See also

* ''The ...
literature (regional language not French) has been printed since the 16th century. But it did have its golden age, paradoxically, during the peak of the Flemish immigration to Wallonia in the 19th century: "That period saw an efflorescence of Walloon literature, plays and poems primarily, and the founding of many theaters and periodicals." The New York Public Library possesses a surprisingly large collection of literary works in Walloon, quite possibly the largest outside Belgium, and its holding are representative of the output. Out of nearly a thousand, twenty-six were published before 1880. Thereafter the numbers rise gradually year by year, reaching a peak of sixty-nine in 1903, and then they fall again, down to eleven in 1913. See 'Switching Languages', p. 153. Yves Quairiaux counted 4800 plays for 1860–1914, published or not. In this period plays were almost the only popular show in Wallonia. But this theater remains popular in the present-day Wallonia: Theater is still flourishing, with over 200 non-professional companies playing in the cities and villages of Wallonia for an audience of over 200,000 each year. There are links between French literature and (the very small) Walloon literature. For instance Raymond Queneau set Editions Gallimard the publication of a Walloon Poets' anthology. Ubu roi was translated in Walloon by André Blavier ( an important 'Pataphysics, pataphysician of Verviers, friend of Queneau), for the new and important Puppets theater of Liège of Jacques Ancion, the Al Botroûle theater "at the umbilical cord" in Walloon indicating a desire to return to the source (according to Joan Cross). But Jacques Ancion wanted to develop a regular adult audience. ''From the 19th century, he included the Walloon play Tati l'Pèriquî by E.Remouchamps and the avant-garde Ubu roi by Alfred Jarry, A.Jarry''. For Jean-Marie Klinkenberg, ''the dialectal culture is no more a sign of attachment to the past but a way to participate to a new synthesis''


In French

Jean-Marie Klinkenberg (member of the Groupe µ) wrote that Wallonia, and literature in Wallonia, has been present in French language since its formation. In their 'Histoire illustrée des lettres française de Belgique', Charlier and Hanse (editors), La Renaissance du livre, Bruxelles, 1958, published 247 pages (on 655 ), about the "French" literature in the Walloon provinces (or Walloon principalities of the Middle-Age, sometimes also Flemish provinces and principalities), for a period from the 11th to the 18th century. Among the works or the authors,the
Sequence of Saint Eulalia The ''Sequence of Saint Eulalia'', also known as the ''Canticle of Saint Eulalia'' (french: Séquence/Cantilène de sainte Eulalie) is the earliest surviving piece of France, French hagiography and one of the earliest extant texts in the vernacula ...
(9th century), La Vie de Saint Léger (10th century), Jean Froissart (14th century in the County of Hainaut), Jean d'Outremeuse, Jean Lebel, Jean Lemaire de Belges (16th century from Bavay), the Charles-Joseph, 7th Prince of Ligne, Prince of Principality of Ligne, Ligne (18th century, Beloeil, Belgium, Beloeil). There is a Walloon Surrealism, especially in Hainaut Province. Charles Plisnier (1896–1952), born in Mons, won the Prix Goncourt in 1936, for his novel ''Mariages'' and for ''Faux Passeports'' (short stories denouncing Stalinism, in the same spirit as Arthur Koestler). He was the first foreigner to receive this honour. The Walloon Georges Simenon is likely the most widely read French-speaking writer in the world, according to the Tribune de Genève. More than 500 million of his books have been sold, and they have been translated into 55 languages. There is a link between the Jean Louvet (playwright), Jean Louvet's work and the social issues in Wallonia


In Picard

Picard is spoken in Hainaut Province of western Belgium. Notable Belgian authors who wrote in Picard include Géo Libbrecht, Paul Mahieu, Paul André, Francis Couvreur and Florian Duc.


Mosan art, painting, architecture

Mosan art is a regional style of Romanesque art from the
Meuse The Meuse ( , , , ; wa, Moûze ) or Maas ( , ; li, Maos or ) is a major European river, rising in France and flowing through Belgium and the Netherlands before draining into the North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected ...

Meuse
river valley in present-day Wallonia, and the Rhineland, with manuscript illumination, metalwork, and enamel work from the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. Among them is the masterpiece of Renier de Huy and perhaps of the whole Mosan art Baptismal font at St Bartholomew's Church, Liège. The architecture of Roman churches of the Walloon country are also named mosan, exemplified by the Collegiate Church of Saint Gertrude in Nivelles, and the churches of Waha and Hastière, Dinant. The Ornamental brassware is also a part of the Mosan art and among these dinandiers Hugo d'Oignies and Nicholas of Verdun. Jacques du Broeucq was a sculptor of the 16th century. Flemish art was not confined to the boundaries of modern Flanders and several leading artists came from or worked in areas in which langues d'oïl were spoken, from the region of modern Wallonia, e.g. Robert Campin, Rogier van der Weyden (Rogier de la Pasture) and Jacques Daret. Joachim Patinir Herri met de Bles, Henri Blès are generally called Mosan art, mosan painters. Lambert Lombard (
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège ...

Liège
, 1505 – 1566) was a Renaissance painter, architect and theorist for the
Prince-Bishopric of Liège The Prince-Bishopric of Liège or Principality of Liège was an ecclesiastical principality A principality (or sometimes princedom) can either be a monarchical A monarchy is a form of government A government is the sy ...
. Gérard de Lairesse, Bertholet Flemalle were also important painters in the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. Gustave Serrurier-Bovy (
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège ...

Liège
, 1858 – Antwerp, 1910) architect and furniture designer, credited (along with Paul Hankar, Victor Horta and Henry van de Velde) with creating the Art Nouveau style, coined as a style in Paris by Bing. And in
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège ...

Liège
also, principally Jean Del Cour, the sculptor of the Virgin in ''Vinâve d'Isle'', Léon Mignon the sculptor of ''Li Tore'' and Louis Jéhotte of the statue of Charlemagne. George Grard (1901—1984) was a Walloon sculptor, known above all for his representations of the female, in the manner of Pierre Renoir and Aristide Maillol, modelled in clay or plaster, and cast in bronze. During the 19th and 20th centuries many original romanticism, romantic, expressionism, expressionist and surrealism, surrealist Wallon painters emerged, including Félicien Rops, Paul Delvaux, Pierre Paulus, Fernand Verhaegen, Antoine Wiertz, René Magritte ... The avant-garde COBRA (avant-garde movement), CoBrA movement appeared in the 1950s.


Music

There was an important musical life in
Prince-Bishopric of Liège The Prince-Bishopric of Liège or Principality of Liège was an ecclesiastical principality A principality (or sometimes princedom) can either be a monarchical A monarchy is a form of government A government is the sy ...
since the beginning. Between 1370 and 1468 flourished a school of music in Liège, with Johannes Brassart, Johannes de Sarto and firstly Johannes Ciconia, the third Master of Ars Nova. The vocal music of the so-called Franco-Flemish School developed in the southern part of the Low Countries and was an important contribution to Renaissance culture. Robert Wangermée and Philippe Mercier wrote in their encyclopedic book about the Walloon music that
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège ...

Liège
, Cambrai and Hainaut Province played a leading part in the so-called Franco-Flemish School. Among them were Orlande de Lassus, Gilles Binchois, Guillaume Dufay In the 19th and 20th centuries, there was an emergence of major violinists, such as Henri Vieuxtemps, Eugène Ysaÿe (author of the unique opera in
Walloon Walloon may refer to: * Walloons, a French-speaking population of Belgium * Walloon language * Wallonia, Walloon Region or Wallonia in Belgium ** Government of Wallonia, Walloon Government * Walloon Lake * Walloon, Queensland See also

* ''The ...
during the 20th century ''Piére li houyeû'' – Pierre the miner – based on a real incident which occurred in 1877 during a miners' strike in the Liège region), and Arthur Grumiaux, while Adolphe Sax (born in Dinant) invented the saxophone in 1846. The composer César Franck was born in
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège ...

Liège
in 1822, Guillaume Lekeu in Verviers. More recently, André Souris (1899–1970) was associated with Surrealism. Zap Mama is a more international group. Henri Pousseur is generally regarded as a member of the Darmstadt School in the 1950s. Pousseur's music employs serialism, mobile forms, and aleatory, often mediating between or among seemingly irreconcilable styles, such as those of Franz Schubert, Schubert and Anton Webern, Webern (''Votre Faust''), or Pousseur's own serial style and the protest song "We shall overcome" (''Couleurs croisées''). He was strongly linked to the social strikes in
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège ...

Liège
during the 1960s. He worked also with the French writer Michel Butor.


Cinema

Walloon films are often characterized by social realism. It is perhaps the reason why the documentary ''Misère au Borinage'', and especially its co-director Henri Storck, is considered by Robert Stallaerts as the father of the Walloon cinema. He wrote: "Although a Fleming, he can be called the father of the Walloon cinema.". For F.André between ''Misère au Borinage'' and the films like those of the Dardenne brothers (since 1979), there is ''Déjà s'envole la fleur maigre'' (1960) (also shot in the Borinage), a film regarded as a point of reference in the history of the cinema. Like those of the Dardenne brothers, Thierry Michel, Jean-Jacques Andrien, Benoît Mariage, or, e.g. the social documentaries of Patric Jean, the director of Les enfants du Borinage writing his film as a letter to Henri Storck. On the other hand, films such as Thierry Zéno's ''Vase de noces'' (1974), ''Mireille in the life of the others'' by Jean-Marie Buchet (1979), ''C'est arrivé près de chez vous'' (English title: ''Man Bites Dog (film), Man bites dog'') by Rémy Belvaux and André Bonzel (1992) and the works of Noël Godin and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (author-filmmaker), Jean-Jacques Rousseau are influenced by surrealism, absurdism and black comedy. The films of the Dardenne brothers are also inspired by the Bible and ''Le Fils'' for instance is regarded as one of the most spiritually significant films.


Festivals

The Ducasse de Mons (Walloon French for Kermesse (festival), Kermesse), is one of the UNESCO Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It comprises two important parts: the procession, the descent and the ascent of the shrine of Waltrude, and the combat between Saint George and the dragon. The combat (after the procession), plays out on the Trinity Sunday between 12:30 pm and 1:00 pm on the Mons's central square. It represents the fight between Saint George (the good) and the dragon (the evil). The dragon is a mannequin carried and moved by the ''white men'' (''fr:Hommes blancs''). The dragon fights Saint George by attacking with his tail. Saint George on his horse turns clockwise and the dragon turns in the other direction. Saint George finally kills the dragon. The Gilles of Binche and the giants' procession in Ath are also UNESCO Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.


Cuisine

Wallonia is famous for a number of different foods and drinks, a great many of which are specialties of certain cities or regions. The 1957 Michelin Guide noted that "regional food has put up heroic resistance and the Walloon provinces and Flemish provinces are proud of their specialities." The Liège waffle a rich, dense, sweet, and chewy waffle native to Liège, is the most popular type of waffle in Belgium, and can be found in stores and even vending machines throughout the country. Cougnou, or the ''bread of Jesus'', is a sweet bread typically eaten around Christmas time and found throughout the region. Other specialties include Herve cheese, an apple butter called ''sirop de Liège'', the Garden strawberry of Wépion. Also notable is the Dinant specialty Flamiche: These cheese tarts are not found in window displays as they are meant to be eaten straight from the oven. As one restaurateur said so well in a book about Walloon gastronomy "it is the client who waits for the flamiche, as the flamiche does not wait for the client. There are also the
Ardennes The Ardennes ( ; french: Ardenne ; nl, Ardennen ; german: Ardennen; wa, Årdene ; lb, Ardennen ), also known as the Ardennes Forest or Forest of Ardennes, is a region of extensive forest A forest is an area of land dominated b ...

Ardennes
ham, the ''tarte al djote'' from Nivelles, a dessert pie made with beet leaves and cheese, while tarte au riz is a rice-pudding filled pie from Verviers. In terms of drink, Wallonia mirrors Belgium as a whole; beer and wine are both popular, and a great diversity of beers are made and enjoyed in Wallonia. Installed in Bierghes in the Senne valley, the Gueuzerie Tilquin is the only gueuze blendery in Wallonia. Wallonia boasts three of the seven Trappist beers (from Chimay, Orval Brewery, Orval and Rochefort, Belgium, Rochefort) in addition to a great number of other locally brewed beers. Wallonia is also home to the last bastion of traditional rustic ''saison'', most notably those produced at the Brasserie de Silly and the Brasserie Dupont (located in :fr:Tourpes, Tourpes, in the region of Western Hainaut Province historically known for its production of rustic farmhouse ales). Jupiler, the best-selling beer in Belgium, is brewed in Jupille-sur-Meuse in
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège ...

Liège
. Wallonia also home to a Jenever called Peket, and a May wine called Maitrank.


Transportation


Airports

The two largest cities in Wallonia each have an airport. The Brussels South Charleroi Airport has become an important passenger airport, especially with low fares companies such as Ryanair or Wizzair. It serves as a low-cost alternative to Brussels Airport, and it saw 7 303 720 passengers in 2016. The Liège Airport is specialized in freight, although it also operates tourist-oriented charter flights. Today, Liège is the 8th airport for European freight and aims to reach the 5th rank in the next decade.


Railways, motorways, buses

TEC (transport), TEC is the single public transit authority for all of Wallonia, operating buses and trams.
Charleroi Charleroi (, , ; wa, Tchålerwè ) is a city and a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national a ...

Charleroi
is the sole Walloon city to have a Rapid transit, metro system, the Charleroi Pre-metro. Wallonia has an extensive and well-developed rail network, served by the Belgian National Railway Company, SNCB. Wallonia's numerous motorways fall within the scope of the TransEuropean Transport network programme (TEN-T). This priority programme run by the European Union provides more than 70,000 km of transport infrastructure, including motorways, express rail lines and roadways, and has been developed to carry substantial volumes of traffic.


Waterways

With traffic of over 20 million tonnes and 26 kilometres of quays, the autonomous port of Liège (PAL) is the third largest inland port in Europe. It carries out the management of 31 ports along the
Meuse The Meuse ( , , , ; wa, Moûze ) or Maas ( , ; li, Maos or ) is a major European river, rising in France and flowing through Belgium and the Netherlands before draining into the North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected ...

Meuse
and the Albert Canal. It is accessible to sea and river transporters weighing up to 2,500 tonnes, and to push two-barge convoys (4,500 tonnes, soon to be raised to 9,000 tonnes). Even if Wallonia does not have direct access to the sea, it is very well connected to the major ports thanks to an extensive network of navigable waterways that pervades Belgium, and it has effective river connections to Antwerp, Rotterdam and Dunkirk. On the west side of Wallonia, in Hainaut Province, the Strépy-Thieu boat lift, permits river traffic of up to the new 1350-tonne standard to pass between the waterways of the Meuse and Scheldt rivers. Completed in 2002 at an estimated cost of €160 million (then 6.4 billion Belgian francs) the lift has increased river traffic from 256 kT in 2001 to 2,295 kT in 2006. File:Aeroport de Charleroi Bruxelles Sud.jpg, Brussels South Charleroi Airport File:Namur, treinstation 2007-05-01 10.22.JPG,
Namur Namur ( , ; ; nl, Namen ; wa, Nameur) is a city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality in Wallonia, Belgium. It is both the capital of the Provinces of Belgium, province of Namur Province, Namur and of Wallonia, hosting the Parliament of ...

Namur
Railway Station File:Métro 54 partant de la station Charleroi-Sud (redressée).jpg, Charleroi Pre-metro File:Bus TEC Liège-Verviers (extérieur).JPG, TEC (transport), TEC Bus in
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège ...

Liège


International relations


Trade

The Walloon Export and Foreign Investment Agency (AWEX) is the Wallonia Region of Belgium's government agency in charge of foreign trade promotion and foreign investment attraction. The AWEX organizes regular trade missions to the promising market of Kazakhstan, where it has a representative office in Almaty. In 2017, the AWEX together with the Flanders Investment and Trade brought a delegation of 30 companies to Astana and Almaty, the two largest cities in Kazakhstan.


Twin towns and sister cities

* Aichi, Japan * Maryland, USAhttps://sos.maryland.gov/International/Pages/MSSP.aspx


See also

* History of coal mining * Manifesto for Walloon culture


References


Further reading

*


External links


www.wallonie.be

Logistics in Wallonia

Tourism in Wallonia

Musique en Wallonie


{{Authority control Wallonia, Walloon culture Autonomous regions French-speaking countries and territories Regions of Belgium NUTS 1 statistical regions of the European Union Walloon people