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Wapen Mechelen.svg Flag of Mechlin.svg
Mechelen (Antwerp)
State : BelgiumBelgium Belgium
Region : Flanders
Province : Antwerp
District : Mechelenwub
Coordinates : 51 ° 2 ′  N , 4 ° 29 ′  E Coordinates: 51 ° 2 ′  N , 4 ° 29 ′  E
Area : 65.2 km²
Residents: 86,616 (Jan 1, 2019)
Population density: 1,328 inhabitants per km²
Post Code: 2800 (Mechelen, Walem)
2801 (Heffen)
2811 (Hombeek, Leest)
2812 (Muizen)
Prefix: 015 - 03
Mayor: Bart Somers ( Open VLD )

Local government address :
Stadsbestuur Mechelen
Grote Markt 21
2800 Mechelen
lb le ls lh
IJzerenleen, Mechelen

Mechelen ( German  Mecheln, French Malines ) is a city in the province of Antwerp in Belgium with 86,616 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2019). Mechelen is the seat of the Primate of Belgium, Archbishop Jozef De Kesel .


The city center of Mechelen, which is barely 1 km in diameter, has an almost circular shape, wide, regular streets and sizable public spaces, including the Grote Markt (large market square), the Veemarkt (cattle market) and the Schoenmarkt (shoemaker's market) with the monument by Margaret of Austria .


Mechelen fell to Lotharingien when the Frankish empire was partitioned between Karl the Kahlen and Ludwig the German , but between 911 and 915 it was given to the Count Palatine Wigerich by Karl the Simple . The city as part of the glory of Mechelen came in 1336 through purchase to the Dukes of Brabant and in 1383 through marriage to Philip the Bold of Burgundy . 1477 the city came by marriage of Mary of Burgundy , the heiress of Charles the Bold , with Maximilian I of the House of Habsburg . 1490 Mechelen was by Emperor Friedrich III. raised to a noble county and as such formed the 17th of the Dutch provinces. In 1559 the city became the seat of an archbishop . Under the governor Margaret of Austria , Mechelen was temporarily the capital of the Netherlands. After the fall of the seven united provinces, the city came back to Brabant and became the seat of the Grand Council of Mechelen , the highest court of justice for the entire Habsburg Netherlands. In 1572 Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alba , started one of his cruelest slaughter here.

On May 5th, 1835, five years after Belgium gained independence , the Brussels - Mechelen railway was opened. It was one of the first steam-powered railway lines on the European continent and promoted the industrialization of the city and the region.

In 1863, a Catholic Congress held in Mechelen (here called Charles de Montalembert , the freedom of conscience ).

During the western campaign (May 1940) the Benelux countries were occupied by Wehrmacht troops; Until September 1944, the SS assembly camp in Mechelen was located in the city , from which more than 25,000 Jews were deported by the German occupying forces to Auschwitz . Today there is a memorial in the rooms of the former camp. In 1944 the city was liberated by British troops.

In the 1970s, as part of the second Belgian state reform , Mechelen became the provisional seat of the Flemish Community until it was moved to Brussels. On 1 January 1977, the city of Mechelen with the surrounding communities Heffen, Hombeek, Leest, Muizen and Walem merged and won by this municipality of fusion than 14,000 new residents. In the last few decades Mechelen, like other Belgian cities, has been heavily influenced by immigration : 27.3% of the residents are allochtones , around 20% are Muslims . The city struggled with social segregation, crime, pollution and emigration in the 1990s, but has now become an example of how these problems can be dealt with.


coat of arms

Blazon : “Three red posts in gold, covered with a little plate, inside of which is a black eagle in gold . Raised on the edge of the shield is a golden ring crown with red-blue-red-blue-red square stones, set with thirty silver pearls on top, three in the middle and raised on the edges, held by two red-tongued and reinforced golden griffins , underneath in a golden currency ribbon in black capital letters the motto: "IN TROUWEN VAST" ("IN TREUE FEST") "

Twin cities

  • United StatesUnited States Arvada , Colorado
  • China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China Chengdu , China
  • RomaniaRomania Sibiu , Romania


In Mechelen there is metalworking, precision engineering and chemical industry as well as machine and transformer construction. The city ​​is also known for its breweries ; in particular through the traditional brewery Het Anker , which is one of the oldest breweries in Belgium. In addition, there are companies for the production of jewelery located here, as well as companies that still produce the traditional Mechlin bobbin lace . The Kellogg Company produces Pringles in Mechelen for the European market, but the location is not secured after their sale. The drug researcher Galapagos is also headquartered in Mechelen.

Transport links

Located on a fertile plain on the Dijle and on a canal leading from Leuven to Antwerp , the Mechelen railway junction is connected to Antwerp, Leuven, Lier , Brussels , Dendermonde , Gent and Terneuzen by railway lines. There is also a repair shop and the former Muizen marshalling yard , which is still used as a freight yard after renovation . The city is located on the European route 19 (Antwerp – Paris) and is about the same distance from Brussels (30 km south) and Antwerp (25 km north).

Worth seeing

The three famous town houses of Sint Jozef, De Duivel (The Devil) and Het Paradijs (The Paradise) ; → location
town hall
Brussels City Gate ( → Location )

The density of more than 300 listed buildings, including eight churches, on less than three square kilometers is remarkable.

sons and daughters of the town

See also

  • Gertrud from le Forts Novelle Plus ultra is in Mechelen.

Web links

Commons : Mechelen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Illustration by Frans Hogenberg from 1576: When Bergen was taken, Khumpt of Alba with his share, Before Mechlen a beautiful place, ... ( digitized version )
  2. ^ Oskar Panizza : German theses against the Pope and his dark men. With a foreword by MG Conrad. New edition (selection from the “666 theses and quotations”). Nordland-Verlag, Berlin 1940.m p. 13 f. and 207.
  3. Chronology of the deportations from Belgium . First transport August 4, 1942, last July 31, 1944. All of them started in Mechelen, almost all of them ended in Auschwitz
  6. Pringles vendus: quel avenir pour l'usine de Malines? (Eng .: Pringles sold. What future does the Mechelen plant have? )
  7. ^ Scientific City Library Mainz: Sign. I b 34 ( Memento from July 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  8. ^ Pius Bieri: The sculptor family Auwera (Auvera) . 2011.