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Paliseul (Municipality, Province of Luxembourg, Belgium)

Last modified: 2019-07-30 by ivan sache
Keywords: paliseul | towers: 2 (white) | bouillon |
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[Flag of Paliseul]

Municipal flag of Paliseul - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 7 June 2005

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Presentation of Paliseul

The municipality of Paliseul (5,055 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 4,835 ha) is located 15 km north of Bouillon, in the south-west of the province of Luxembourg. The municipality of Paliseul is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Paliseul, Carlsbourg, Fays-les-Veneurs, Framont, Maissin, Nollevaux, Offagne and Opont.

Paliseul was a hunting lodge (palatiolus, lit., "small palace"; Palasidus in 746 and 810; Palasiolo in 888; Palisid in 1040; Palisolum in 1126; Palizeux in 1789) belonging to Count d'Ardenne, the ancestor of Godefroy de Bouillon. The village is located on a plateau between the valleys of Lesse and Semois, on the historical road between Sedan and Liège via Bouillon, known in the past as L'Ancien et Véritable Chemin de Bouillon à Liège, Le Vieux et Droit Chemin de Liège à Sedan and Le Chemin Louis XIV. The road was also used by troops and the village was often plundered.

In the beginning of the XVIIth century, the region was scoured by the epidemics of cholera and plague, which developed after the Thirty Years' War. A woman called Hurette (or Lurette) lived in a small hut built on the top a hill located one kilometer from the village. People contaminated by disease were transported to Hurette's hut in order to limit the transmission of disease. It was believed that Dame Hurette was a mythic character until the building of the new road to Bouillon; the hill was excavated and human bones were found. A restaurant called Hutte Lurette is today built on the hill. A chapel dedicated to St. Roch, invoked against the plague, was built around 1636, after the end of the great epidemics.

The French poet Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) often stayed in the house of her aunt Henriette in Paliseul until the age of 18. He also stayed in Jéhonville, Bouillon and Our. He remembered Paliseul in his Croquis de Belgique, as follows:

L'endroit où demeurait ma tante est à trois lieues de Bouillon, un tout petit chef-lieu de canton, Paliseul... Un joli site haut perché. Bon Dieu que j'y ai joué dans le clos de ma tante et couru et gambadé et lutté.

The place where my aunt lived is three leagues from Bouillon; [it is] a so small chef-lieu de canton, Paliseul... A nice perched site. My God, I played and ran and fought that much in my aunt's garden.

Young Verlaine often visited the St. Roch's chapel and invoked the saint against marriage (in French, the word peste is used both for the plague and a pest).

The Maria-Theresia bridge in Maissin is said to have been built upon order of the Empress, who had once an accident when riding her horse through the river Lesse. The four-arch bridge was indeed built to modernize the road Liège-Bouillon, but Maria-Theresia never rode there.
On 22-23 August 1914, a battle opposed the French and German armies in Maissin; it was the only French victory in the First World War in Belgium. The battle killed thousands, which are buried in a military cemetary and honoured by a calvary made of Breton granit, offered in 1932 by the Breton village of Tréhou; several of the French soldiers came from Brittany and Vendée.


Ivan Sache, 7 June 2005

Municipal flag of Paliseul

The municipal flag of Paliseul is quartered, first and fourth a white tower on a blue field, second and third horizontally divided red-white-red.
According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 30 September 1991 and confirmed by the Executive of the French Community on 6 January 1992, as Écartelé au premier et quatrième bleu chargé d'une tour blanche, au deuxième et troisième rouge à la fasce blanche.
The flag is based on the standard used by the Regiment of Bouillon in the service of France at the end of the XVIIIth century. "Gules a fess argent" are the arms of Bouillon, which are hoisted over the castle of Bouillon.

The municipal arms of Paliseul are much more complicated, but show the tower argent on azure (with a semy of fleur-de-lys or) in first and fourth quarters, and the colours of Bouillon on the escutcheon (sinister); according to Patrick Pierloz, these arms belonged to Carlsbourg, which was the only former municipality to have arms.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat, Marin Montagnon & Ivan Sache, 7 June 2005