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The Municipality of Melle

The school is situated in Melle, a municipality in the Belgian province of East Flanders, which is part of the Dutch speaking Flemish region. The municipality comprises the villages of Gontrode and Melle proper. Melle has a population of 10,774. As the community is situated in one of the most densely populated areas of Europe the population density is 708 inhabitants per km2.

The school premises are not far from N9 highway linking Ghent with Brussels. Along the school there is the railway also connecting Ghent with Brussels.

The landscape of Melle is that of a suburban community combining industrial activity with agricultural and residential features. Both the E 17 motorway and the Ghent ring road cross the municipality. Melle belongs to the Greater Ghent region and geographically belongs to the Flemish sandy loam region.

Melle is also located along the banks of the river Scheldt which rises at Mont-Saint- Martin near Gouy in the north of France and flows into the North Sea near Vlissingen in The Netherlands after a course of 350 km .This part of the river is actually the last part of the Upper Scheldt before the river reaches the ring canal of Ghent. The typical vegetation along its banks consists of meadows, only a small part of which are the semi-natural grasslands with marsh-marigolds and hayfields. Efforts are being made to restore this original type of vegetation.

In Melle remnants of prehistoric and Gallo-Roman times were found. In the 13th century there was the castle of Cortrosine but no relics were preserved. During the religious troubles of the late 16th century Melle was destroyed by the Beggars, a group of Protestant rebels. During the Austrian Succession War of 1745 a battle between the French army and allied troops of England, Austria and Holland was fought. The allies were defeated and 750 of their soldiers fell on the Melle battlefield. During both World Wars Melle was bombed because of its strategic location.

Today Melle still has several country houses with parks and ponds. Melle is an important centre for agricultural research, advisory service and training.

The municipality also has a museum and a centre for pottery.