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Mons (French pronunciation: [mɔ̃s]; Dutch: Bergen; German: Bergen; Picard: Mont; Walloon: Mont) is a Walloon city and municipality, and the capital of the Belgian province of Hainaut. The Mons municipality includes the former communes of Cuesmes, Flénu, Ghlin, Hyon, Nimy, Obourg, Jemappes, Ciply, Harmignies, Harveng, Havré, Maisières, Mesvin, Nouvelles, Saint-Denis, Saint-Symphorien, Spiennes and Villers-Saint-Ghislain.
Mons was made into a fortified city by Count Baldwin IV of Hainaut in the 12th century. The population grew quickly, trade flourished, and several commercial buildings were erected near the Grand’Place. In 1814, King William I of the Netherlands increased the fortifications, following the fall of the First French Empire. The Industrial Revolution and coal mining made Mons a center of heavy industry. In 1830, Belgium gained its independence and the decision was made to dismantle the fortifications, allowing the creation of large boulevards and other urban projects.
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