Just a small introduction. Haspengouw is located in the south of Limburg and is very well known for the fruit.
The mainly rolling landscape is excellent to grow fruit and wine and the fruit sector is the very economic engine of Haspengouw. During our NCN, a visit to some fruit-related companies cannot be missed. Even more: our gala night takes place at the BFV (Belgian Fruit Auction), the beating heart of the fruit sector.
In addition, Haspengouw, and especially the ‘capital’ Sint-Truiden, is a historic treasure room. The story of Sint-Truiden starts when Trudo, a Frankish nobleman, built an abbey around 650. Around the abbey, a city with a town hall, belfry, countless churches and monasteries, castles, city walls, etc. developed. Today Sint-Truiden, and by extension the Haspengouw landscape, is still littered with historic buildings and monuments.
So far, we may not have told you anything you hadn’t even heard about Sint-Truiden and Haspengouw. But did you already know this? Sint-Truiden also has an important military history. Brustem Air Base was already in use by the Belgian Air Force before 1940. In the May days of 1940, the air base was expanded by the Luftwaffe into one of the most important bases from which British bombers were attacked and destroyed. For the US Air Force, it became an important airport for the final battle against Germany. From 1946 to 1996, the Belgian Air Force was based here. Today, part of the site is still a military domain, and the training for non-commissioned officers of the Air Force is still nearby at Saffraanberg. A large part of the former air base was reclassified as a ‘drone valley’ a few years ago. The City of Sint-Truiden and the LRM (Limburg Reconversion Company) jointly invested in the DronePort campus/ incubator that opened in January 2019.