Lokeren (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈloːkərə(n)]) is a municipality located in the Belgian province of East Flanders, and belongs to the Waasland, also called Land van Waas, of which it is the second most important city after Sint-Niklaas. The city, located on the river Durme, the Lede, and the E17 motorway, has more than 42,100 inhabitants, who are called Lokeraars or Rapenfretters. Because Lokeren is located on the Durme, Lokeren is often called "The Durme City". Horse sausages are officially recognized as a regional product.

The Old Postoffice of Lokeren
The Old Postoffice of Lokeren
Flag of Lokeren
Coat of arms of Lokeren
Lokeren is located in Belgium
Location in Belgium
Location of Lokeren in East Flanders
Coordinates: 51°06′N 03°59′E / 51.100°N 3.983°E / 51.100; 3.983Coordinates: 51°06′N 03°59′E / 51.100°N 3.983°E / 51.100; 3.983
CommunityFlemish Community
RegionFlemish Region
ProvinceEast Flanders
 • MayorFilip Anthuenis ( Open-VLD)
 • Governing party/iesOpen-VLD, SAMEN
 • Total67.50 km2 (26.06 sq mi)
 • Total41,438
 • Density610/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Postal codes
Area codes09


Excerpt from the manuscript of the Chronicle of Lokeren. Written by Nicolaes de Smet, 18th century.[2]

Archaeological finds on the Lokeren territory prove that this area was populated in Neolithic times. A Roman road ran along the Durme river. The name Waas was given to this area by the Romans from the Germanic root Wasu meaning "marshy land". The first mention of the name Lokeren, however, dates from 1114. Unlike the older settlements, the new village came to be built on the right bank of the Durme. By the middle of the 12th century, it had become an independent parish, with agriculture and flax as the two main drivers of the economy. The textile industry would remain important until well into the 20th century.

16th century until nowEdit

In 1555, Charles V gave Lokeren the right to hold a market. In the 16th and 17th century, the whole Waasland was in the line of fire between Protestant Netherlands and Catholic Spain, often with terrible consequences for the local population. After the French Revolution, the area was made part of the new Département de l'Escaut, with Lokeren at the head of a canton. This did not last long as the department was split in 1800 and Lokeren made part of the arrondissement of Dendermonde. Napoleon Bonaparte promoted the town to the status of city in 1804.

Until the 1970s, haircutting (an industrial practice of cutting hair from rabbit skins to make felt, a basic material for hat makers) and slaughterhouses were among Lokeren's main industries. Today, the city enjoys a more varied economical and cultural infra-structure.


Notable inhabitantsEdit

Sports and eventsEdit

On 14 July 1970, Lokeren was the scene of a sporting disaster, when a minibus carrying a team of speedway riders from West Ham, London, was involved in a collision with a petrol tanker. 4 riders were killed, two seriously injured and Phil Bishop a famous speedway ace from the 1930s, who was managing the team was also killed.[3]


  1. ^ "Wettelijke Bevolking per gemeente op 1 januari 2018". Statbel. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Kroniek van Lokeren". lib.ugent.be. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Tragic West Ham speedway crash remembered on 46th anniversary".

External linksEdit

  Media related to Lokeren at Wikimedia Commons