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Wervik

Wervik is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Wervik and the town of Geluwe. On January 1, 2006, Wervik had a total population of 17,607. The total area is 43.61 km² which gives a population density of 404 inhabitants per km². The area is famous for its excellent tobacco and has a tobacco museum. The town is separated from its French counterpart Wervicq-Sud by the river Leie.HistoryWervik is one of the oldest towns in Belgium.PrehistoryStone Age artefacts, flint axes and spearheads, were found in the district of Bas-Flanders and the site Oosthove. The archeological excavations at de Pioneer in 2009 yielded traces of inhabitation from the Iron Age to the Roman Period.Roman periodWervik was probably a settlement of the Menapians led by the chief Virovos, at a small height along the banks of the Lys . This is still unproven. At the time of the conquest of Gaul by Caesar, a Roman stopping place was built next to the Celtic village. The Roman settlement was registered on Roman road maps from the 3rd to 4th century under the name Viroviacum or Virovino . Vioviacum was located on the Roman road between Cassel and Bavay. Remains from that period are still being found regularly in Wervik. Excavations at Saint Martin's Square in the centre exposed the foundations of the old Saint Martin's church, which was partly built with Roman waste materials. According to some historians this was formerly a temple dedicated to Mars or Priapus. This is still unproven.
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