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Rouvroy (Municipality, Province of Luxembourg, Belgium)

Last modified: 2019-02-10 by ivan sache
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Flag of Rouvroy - Images by Arnaud Leroy, 9 May 2005
Left, flag in use
Right, flag proposal, not in use

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Presentation of Rouvroy and its villages

The municipality of Rouvroy (2,007 inhabitants on 1 January 2007, 2,768 ha; municipal website) is located in the south of the region of Gaume, between Virton and the border with France. The southernmost municipality in Belgium, Rouvroy includes the "little Belgian Provence", the part of the country with the highest number of sunny days per year. The municipality of Rouvroy was formed in 1976 as the merger of the former municipalities of Dampicourt, Harnoncourt, Lamorteau and Torgny; it was named after the hamlet of Rouvroy, located at the geographical center of the new municipality.

Dampicourt follows the typical pattern of organization of the villages in Gaume, with houses lining along a main street. An earlier municipal reform merged the two municipalities of Dampicourt and Mathon-Aigremont into the municipality of Dampicourt. A quarry opened for the building of the current vilage church yielded the skeleton of a plesiosaurus, a huge sea dinosaur. The head of the animal is missing, and it is believed it is hidden somewhere in the church wall.

Harnoncourt is built near a source where St. Roch, suffering from black plague, washed and was healed. The miraculous water of Harnoncourt was widely used in the past during epidemics. In the 17th century, the noble family de la Fontaine, from Marville (today in France, some 10 km south of Rouvray), settled in Harnoncourt. The Austrian conducer and musician Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016) is a descendant of that family. A cellist with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra from 1952 to 1969, Harnoncourt founded in 1953, with his wife Alice (1953-2016), the "Concentus Musicus Wien" as a specialist ensemble for the performance of early music on authentic instruments of Baroque and Classical music. A major project, shared with Gustav Leonhardt (1928-2012), to record all Bach's sacred cantatas was launched in 1971 and completed in 1990. Since 1970 Nikolaus Harnoncourt has worked as a conductor both in the opera house, conducting a repertory ranging from Monteverdi to Johann Strauss, and in the concert hall, where he has worked with the great European orchestras. His recording activities have expanded since 1970 to include the operas, oratorios and symphonic works of the 18th and 19th centuries (Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Bruckner. Dvorak, Strauss...)

Lamorteau (lit., la morte eau, "the dead water") is built near river Ton. For years, the river overflowed and water stagnated on large areas like still water. In the 11th century, the Count of Chiny felt sick in the forest of the village. The legend says he was healed by the parish priest and founded an hermitage and a priory in Radru (indeed an ancient watermill). Louis XVI and the royal family were expected to stop for the night in Monsieur de Franque's house when they fled France in June 1791; we will never know if this was true or not since the king was identified by postmaster Jean-Baptiste Drouet in Varennes-en-Argonne and arrested. Located on the border with France, Lamorteau had in the past a customs house and was therefore a popular place of smuggling.

Ivan Sache, 9 May 2005

Flag of Rouvroy

The flag of Rouvroy, as communicated by the municipal administration, is horizontally divided yellow-blue.

Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones [w2v03a] gives the proposal made by the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community, which added to the canton of the flag two blue pilgrim's staffs crossed in saltire surmounted by a red scallop. These elements come from the municipal arms, "Or two pilgrim's staffs azure in saltire a scallop gules in chief".
The arms, adopted on 11 January 1977 by the Municipal Council, are prescribed by a Decree issued on 16 September 1977 by the Executive of the French Community.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 9 May 2005