Binche

Binche is a city and municipality of Wallonia located in the province of Hainaut, Belgium.
On 1 January 2006 Binche had a total population of 32,409. The total area is 60.66 km² which gives a population density of 534 inhabitants per km². Since 1977, the municipality consists of the following districts: Binche, Bray, Buvrinnes, Epinois, Leval-Trahegnies, Péronnes-lez-Binche, Ressaix and Waudrez.
The motto of the city is "Plus Oultre", which was the motto of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who in 1545 gave the medieval Castle of Binche to his sister, Queen Mary of Hungary. She lavished attention on Binche, which she had rebuilt into Binche Palace under the direction of an architect-sculptor Jacques du Broeucq, remembered today as the first master of Giambologna. The château, intended to rival Fontainebleau, was destroyed by the soldiers of Henry II of France in 1554.
In 2003, the Carnival of Binche was proclaimed one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
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