The ancient city of Halle is situated 15 km southwest of Brussels and is the most southern city of Flanders. Halle is located in the province of Flemish-Brabant.
Halle is known both for its carnival which has been held for over 600 years and for its high-gothic Saint Martin’s Basilica with the miraculous statue of Our Lady. According to legend, Our Lady Halle saved the city from siege on two occasions; once in 1489 and again in 1580. Some of the captured cannonballs are today displayed in the basilica.
Halle was a very important religious city in the Middle Ages, a fact borne out by visits from the German Emperor Louis of Bavaria and King Edward I of England. In the crypt of the basilica, there are several gifts from important historical figures such as Emperor Charles V, King Louis XI of France and King Henry VIII of England.
Nowadays Halle is quite a provincial city and is very close to the busy capital of the European Union.