Last modified: 2008-12-06 by ivan sache
Keywords: marche-en-famenne | chasseurs ardennais |
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The municipality of Marche-en-Famenne (17,066 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 12,140 ha) is the capital of the region of Famenne. The municipalityof Marche-en-Famenne is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Marche-en-Famenne, Aye, Hargimont, Humain, On, Roy and Waha.
The region of Famenne is bordered in the north by the plateau of
Condroz, with fertile arable soil, and in the south by the massif of
Ardenne, mostly covered with forests and with poor, crystalline soil.
In the second half of the Ist century AD, Famenne was crossed by the
two Roman ways Bavay-Trier and
Before the IXth century, a small town was founded by the abbey of
In the XIIth century, Marche was transferred to the Count of La Roche; located on the road from Namur to Luxembourg, the town increased in size and strategic importance, and was granted a chart. At the end of the XIIIth century, Marche was surrounded by walls, built according to a rectangular pattern (side, 300 m; width, 4.20 m) and with two fortified gates. The Lower Gate, with two massive towers with pointed roofs and a portcullis, watched the roads to Liège and Namur, while the Upper Gate, aka the Cow's Gate, watched the roads to
On 12 February 1577, Don Juan of Austria, half-brother of King of Spain Philip II and Governor of the Low Countries, signed the Perpetual Edict of Marche, granting the respect of the local privileges and the withdrawal of the Spanish troops from the Low Countries. The religious liberty was not granted, so that the war between the Spaniards and the Protestants quickly resumed. Most of the fortifications of Marche were suppressed on Louis XIV's order from 1675 onwards.
The Lace Museum is housed in the Juniesse tower, one of the last
remains of the town walls. Less famous than the lace of Brussels,
Waha, today a small village, was once the seat of a powerful feudal domains with two churches. The St. Étienne church, built in 1050, is the oldest Romanesque church in Belgium. In 2004, it was decorated with church windows designed by the artist Jean-Michel Folon, depicting St. Étienne's life and martyre. The church keeps wooden statues and a calvary from the XVIth century attributed to the mysterious Master of Waha. Nothing is known on this sculptor, famous for the very realistic representations of his characters - sometimes compared to caricature or cartoons.
Source: Marche-en-Famenne tourism website
Ivan Sache, 1 September 2007
Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et
germanophones describes the municipal flag of Marche-en-Famenne as
Deux laizes transversales, blanche et verte avec l'écu de la ville
occupant le tiers central du battant (Vertically divided white-green with the municipal arms covering the central third of the fly).
White and green are the traditional colours of the town.
The arms of Marche-en-Fammenne are:
D'argent à un château de gueules maçonné de sable, à une porte hersée de même, surmontée d'un écusson écartelé aux 1 et 4 de gueules au lion d'argent, armé et lampassé et couronné d'or, la queue fourchée et passé en sautoir, aux 2 et 3 d'argent au lion de gueules, armé, lampassé et couronné d'or, la queue fourchée et passée en sautoir, le château accompagné en chef de deux étoiles à six rais de gueules ("Argent a castle gules masoned sable with a portcullis of the same, surmonted by an escutcheon quarterly 1. and 4. Gules a lion argent armed, langued and crowned or the tail forked per saltire, 2. and 3. Argent a lion gules armed langued and crowned or the tail forked per saltire, in chief two mullets gules").>
The Marche-en-Famenne tourism website gives a simpler blason,...surmontée d'un écusson d'argent à quatre lions contournés de sable,
deux à deux.... Here the escutcheon shows four black lions on a white field.
Servais shows the lions on a white field too, but it is impossible from the image shown on the International Civic Heraldry website to decide if they are red or black.
Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 1 September 2007
Marche-en-Famenne is the home of the Régiment de Chasseurs Ardennais.
Founded in 16 October 1830 as 2e Régiment de Namur (indeed the Dutch
Tweede Afdeling renamed), the 10e Régiment de Ligne, set up on 25
November 1830, fought during the 10-days campaign in Kermpt (7 August
1831) and Kortessem (8 August); the Regiment was awarded its flag by
King Leopold I in Leuven on 22 December 1831.
In August 1914, the Regiment defended Namur; after the loss of the fortress, it moved to France and came back to
By Royal Decree of 10 March 1933, the 10e de Ligne became the Régiment des Chasseurs Ardennais, with its famous green beret and boar's head insignia. It was divided into three batallions, located in Arlon, Bastogne and Vielsalm, respectively. On 15 September 1934, on the airfield of Waltzing in Arlon, the three battalions (three regiments in 1937) were awarded flags by King Leopold III, who said:
Officiers, sous-officiers et soldats des bataillons de Chasseurs Ardennais, je vous confie ces drapeaux dont les destinées sont désormais unies aux vôtres.
À vous d'en faire de glorieux emblèmes car la gloire d'un drapeau est faite de la bravoure, de l'héroïsme, du sacrifice de ceux qui servent sous leurs plis.
(Officiers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the batallions of Chasseurs Ardennais, I am giving you these flags, whose futures are now linked to yours.
It is you to make of them glorious emblems since the fame of a flag is made of the courage, heroism and sacrifice of those who serve under their folds).
After the German invasion of Belgium on 10 May 1940, the Chasseurs Ardennais contributed to the 18-days resistance of the Belgian Army. An artillery battalion was suppressed on the Albert Canal; the survivors went to France while two other battalions fought side by side on the Lys and contributed to the success of the Dunkirk operation by slowing down the German breakthrough. Several Chasseurs Ardennais could escape captivity and joined the resistance movement in the Ardenne maquis, where the green beret became the emblem of the resistance. Some thousands Chasseurs were killed during the Second Word War.
On 11 April 1946, by Decree #2138 signed by the Prince Regent, the flag of the
1er Régiment de Chasseurs Ardennais was granted to the Bataillon de
Chasseurs Ardennais, later renamed 1er Bataillon de Chasseurs
Ardennais (1Cha). The flag, a replica of the flag burned on 28 May
1940 (together with the two other flags granted in 1934) to prevent its
capture, was officially given to the batallion on 4 May 1946 during the
Infantry Day in Brussels.
In 1994, the three Bataillon de Chasseurs Ardennais were merged into the Régiment de Chasseurs Ardennais, awarded its new flag on 21 October 1994 by King Albert II.
Source: Fraternelle Royale des Chasseurs Ardennais website
The flag of the Regiment can be seen on the website of the Belgian Army. It follows the model of the
Yser/IJzer (8 May 1915)
Essen/Esen (14 October 1918)
Cortmarck/Koortemark (27 November 1918)
Namur/Namen (March 1924)
Termonde/Dendermonde (21 June 1930)
Order of Leopold
Ardennes (31 Decembre 1945)
Vinkt (31 December 1945) La Dendre/Dender (6 January 1947)
French War Cross (30 August 1950)
Ivan Sache, 1 September 2007