Sint-Truiden is a city and municipality located in the province of Limburg, Flemish Region, Belgium, near the towns of Hasselt and Tongeren. The municipality includes the old communes of Aalst, Brustem, Duras, Engelmanshoven, Gelinden, Gorsem, Groot-Gelmen, Halmaal, Kerkom-bij-Sint-Truiden, Melveren, Ordingen, Runkelen, Velm, Wilderen, and Zepperen.
The city is in the centre of Belgium’s fruit producing region, Haspengouw (Hesbaye), and is renowned for its pears, apples (Jonagold), and sweet cherries.
The municipality formed around an abbey founded by St. Trudo, a Frankish nobleman, in the 7th century. After Trudo’s death, the abbey became the centre of a pilgrimage, which brought wealth to the neighbouring town. The 11th century was particularly prosperous and witnessed an important growth in population. This was the time when abbot Adelardus, reporting to the Bishop of Metz, built the abbey’s main church and two additional churches in town: Our Lady (Lievenvrouwenkerk) and Sint-Gangulfus. Under his direction, Sint-Truiden also received an earth wall surmounted by a wooden fence and fortified gates. A proper stone wall, gates and towers, were built in 1129. The economy of this new oppidum city was based on the linen industry and commerce with foreign lands such as England, Champagne, and Germany.
In the 13th century, the fortified town became one of the 23 bonnes villes (main cities) belonging to the Bishopric of Liège. A market hall was built at the site where the current city hall stands, the social life of the city was organized by the various guilds, and a perron was erected on the central square, symbolizing the local government’s authority in political affairs.