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Hastière (Municipality, Province of Namur, Belgium)

Last modified: 2007-12-02 by ivan sache
Keywords: hastiere | waulsort |
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Presentation of Hastière

The municipality of Hastière (5,278 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 5,646 ha) is located in the upper valley of the Meuse, 10 km south-west of Dinant, close to the border with France. The municipality of Hastière was made in 1976 by the merging of the former municipalities of Hastière-Lavaux, Hastière-par-delà, Agimont, Blaimont, Heer, Hermeton-sur-Meuse and Waulsort.

The villages forming Hastière, including the two Hastière located across the Meuse (par-delà means "beyond"); orginally belonged to the feudal Ban of Hastière and Waulsort, indeed the domain of the two abbeys of Hastière and Waulsort.Tthe region was already settled in the Prehistoric times: caves have yielded a significant quantity of human bones from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic and arms and flint tools from the Neolithic. In the Roman times, Hastière-Lavaux, located on the confluency of the Hermeton and the Meuse, was watched by a fortress built uphill. It was a center of metallurgic industry, as proved by the fossil slag mounds found here and there.
In the Xth century, Irish monks founded in Hastière-par-delà an abbey on the site of a former Roman temple dedicated to Mercury. The abbey church (Romanesque nave built in 1033-1035, Gothic nave built in 1264) was burned by the French Huguenots in 1568 and partially demolished by the French revolutionaries in 1793. Carefully restored, the church is today one of the best examples of the Mosan Romanesque style. It houses the oldest stalls in Belgium (XIIIth century), tombstones, statues by Lambert Lombard (XVIth century) and the painting "The Martyre of St. Walhère" by Auguste Donnay (1862-1921). The crypt of the church, located under the altar, is "decorated" with graffiti from the XI-XIIth century, Merovingian sarcophagi and old shrines.
In 945, Eilbert, lord of Florennes, founded the Benedictine Notre-Dame abbey in Waulsort, granted to Irish monks led by St. Cadroe / Cadroel (d. 976). The son of a Scottish prince, Cadroe was tought in Armagh, Ireland; beck to Britain, he is said to have saved London from destruction by fire. He took the Benedictine coat in Fleury and founded the abbey of Waulsort, being later sent to Metz to restore the St. Clement monastery. Like the abbey of Hastière, the abbey of Waulsort was suppressed after the French Revolution; only a convent building, the farm and three rows of the abbot's manor escaped destruction.
In the XIVth century, the domain of Hastière-Waulsort was split into two parts, the right bank of the Meuse being allocated to the lord of Château-Thierry whereas the left bank was allocated to the Count of Namur. In the late XVIIIth century, the monks of Hastière set up two paper mills whose main production was playing cards, very popular in the Low Countries. In 1785, the sculptor Paul Louis Cyfflé opened in Hastière-Lavaux a porcelain manufacture that was closed only a few years later. In the late XIXth and early XXth centuries, the main industries were stone and marble quarries and a spinnig mill for the wool supplied by the local sheep breeders.
In 1871, a public boatman's service was set up in Waulsort, to allow the inhabitants of Falmignoul to catch the train in Waulsort. Still there, this is the last service of that kind on the Meuse. Waulsort has a river port, which is the seat of the Hastière Yacht Club Waulsort.

Agimont was once watched by a powerful fortress built on a rocky spur dominating the plain of Givet (today in France). The domain of Agimont belonged to the Prince-Bishop of Liège, who transferred it to the Count of Chiny in 815, and then to the families of Looz, Walcourt-Rochefort, La Marck and Stolberg. The castle was destroyed in 1554 by King of France Henri II. His best enemy Charles V purchased Agimont in 1555 but abandoned the ruins of the castle, after having built the fort of Charlemont in Givet. Agimont was definitively abandoned by France in 1678. In 1773, the domain was sold to the Puissant, industrials from Charleroi, who built a modern castle in 1880. The only remains of the fortress of Agimont are a circular tower, the base of two semi-circular towers and a few parts of walls.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 15 July 2007

Municipal flag of Hastière

According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, the traditional flag of Hastière is blue with the municipal arms (no image provided).
The municipal arms of Hastière are:
D'azur à la Vierge debout, couronnée et nimbée, tenant du bras senestre l'Enfant Jésus, également couronné et nimbé, et de la dextre un sceptre fleuronné, le tout d'argent - l'écu posé sur une crosse abbatiale d'or, le crosseron tourné à dextre (Azure a Bless Virgin standing, crowned and nimbed, holding in siniseter Baby Jesus, crowned and nimbed, and in dexter a scepter flory all argent - the shield placed on an abbot's crozier or the top of the crozier facing dexter).

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 15 July 2007

Hastière Yacht Club Waulsort

[Burgee of HYCW]

Burgee of HYCW - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 May 2005

The HYCW is located in Waulsort, in the Upper Meuse valley, between Dinant and the border with France. HYCW has a water-skiing section, which uses a 2 km long speed track.

The burgee of HYCW is blue with an orange and a white triangles placed vertically along the hoist.

Source: HYCW website

Ivan Sache, 29 May 2005