municipality, West Flanders province, western Belgium, on the Mandel River, south of Brugge (Bruges). An important linen market since the Middle Ages, it was the scene of a French victory over the Austrians (1794) during the French Revolutionary Wars. The canal (1872) to the Leie (Lys) River favoured its industrial growth. Severely damaged in World War I, Roeselare was rebuilt and recovered as a textile centre; it also has metallurgical and chemical industries. Surviving historic buildings include the Church of St. Michael (1497-1504) with a 17th-century carved pulpit, the town hall and the Seminary Church (both 18th century), and a 16th-century chateau at nearby Rumbeke. Roeselare was the birthplace of the composer Adriaan Willaert and of the Flemish poet Albrecht Rodenbach. Pop. (1983 est.) mun., 51,649.
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