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Juprelle (Municipality, Province of Liège, Belgium)

Last modified: 2007-12-22 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Juprelle]

Municipal flag of Juprelle - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 18 February 2006

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Presentation of Juprelle and its villages

The municipality of Juprelle (8,492 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 3,484 ha) is located on the easternmost part of the plateau of Hesbaye, on the left bank of river Meuse, halfway between Liège and Tongeren. The municipality of Juprelle is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Juprelle, Fexhe-Slins, Lantin, Liers, Paifve, Slins, Villers-Saint-Siméon, Voroux-lez-Liers and Wihogne (in Dutch, Nudorp).

Juprelle was in the upper Middle Ages a Carolingian estate, built on a drained marshy land. The place was known in 1147 as Lupilella, which might have been a smaller domain depending on a bigger one called Julille. Another proposed etymology relates the name of Juprelle to the Gallic word jippo, "juniper". Juprelle belonged to the St. Lambert chapter in Liège; its court of justice had jurisdiction on Villers-Saint-Siméon.

Fexhe was probably named after the Latin word fiscus, a rush basket used to collect money. The word fisc was derived from fiscus; it originally designated the royal treasure administration, and is still used today to designate the Internal Revenue Service. Under the Ancient Regime, Fexhe and Slins formed a single domain. The two municipalities of Fexhe-Slins and Slins were separated by Royal Decree on 16 August 1838.

Lantin belonged to the St. Lambert chapter in Liège and had a court of justice. The abbey of Cornillon owned a lot of goods there, transferred after the Revolution to the Civil Hospital of Liège. The village was sacked in 1468 by the Burgundians, in spite of the heroic resistance of a few hundreds of villagers locked in the church.

Liers was mostly known for its sugar house, built in 1870 in the middle of a sugar-beet producing region. The factory employed 40 workers until April 1980. Afterwards, the factory was used as a civil court and eventually dynamited on 14 May 1985 by the army. More than 200 people attended the event.

Paifve, crossed by the Chaussée Brunehaut linking France to Germany, was located in the Duchy of Brabant. Along with Nederhein and Russon, it formed the domain "del Petite Steer", which had a feudal and countal court housed in the castle of Hamal-sous-Russon. The court of justice was located in Nederhein. The domain was a "redemption land", which paid a fixed tax every year to its suzereign.

Villers-Saint-Siméon was located on the crossroads of two Roman ways of Gallic origin, the current Chaussée Brunehaut and the road Amay-Visé-Maastricht. The remains of a big Gallo-Roman villa were found in the place called "La Tombe". The first lord of Villers was called Siméon; the name of the village, Villare Sire Siméon, was erroneously changed to Villers-Saint-Siméon.

Wihogne, known from written sources since 1244, might have been named after the Germanic word wisa, "a pasture". Wihogne remained an isolated village until the building of a tramway to Liège, inaugurated on 17 August 1900.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 18 February 2006

Municipal flag of Juprelle

The municipal flag of Juprelle is blue with three red flames bordered white stemming from the hoist and reaching 5/6th of the flag length.
According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, this flag was proposed by the of Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community, as Bleu azur chargé de trois pointes flambantes rouges finement liserées de blanc partant de la hampe et aboutissant aux 5/6e du battant.
The flames and the colours are taken from the municipal arms of Juprelle, Coupé vivré* au premier à une colombe d'argent tenant au bec un rameau d'olivier du même, au deuxième d'argent à trois pointes flambantes de gueules (Per fess wavy first azure a dove argent holding an olive twig of the same, second argent three flames gules).
Blue symbolizes peace whereas the flames recall the burning of 500 villagers in the church of Lantin by the Burgundians in 1468.

*In French heraldry, vivré is used for "wavy". Grand Robert de la Langue Française says that vivré (1611) is based on vivre, the ancient form of guivre. Guivre (1080) comes from Latin vipera, "viper", with some Germanic influence changing vi- to gui-; until the XVth century, a guivre was a fabulous snake. In heraldry, a snake is called a guivre, and guivré (1611) means "charged with snakes or snake's heads".
A vouivre (XIIth century, wivre, another variant of guivre, from Latin vipera, viper) is a legendary snake in the traditions of Jura, Switzerland and Lorraine. In his novel La Vouivre, Marcel Aymé writes:

Vouivre, en patois de Franche-Comté, est l'équivalent du vieux mot français "guivre", qui signifie serpent et qui est resté dans la langue du blason. La Vouivre des campagnes jurassiennes, c'est à proprement parler la fille aux serpents.
Vouivre, in the local language of Franche-Comté, is the equivalent of the old French word guivre, which means a snake and is still used in the heraldry language. The Vouivre from the countryside of Jura is literally the girl with the snakes.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 18 February 2006