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Beyne-Heusay (Municipality, Province of Liège, Belgium)

Last modified: 2008-06-21 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Beyne-Heusay]

Municipal flag of Beyne-Heusay - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 5 March 2006

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Presentation of Beyne-Heusay

The municipality of Beyne-Heusay (11,739 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 711 ha) is located on the first heights of the plateau of Herve, 8 km of Liège. The municipality of Beyne-Heusay is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Bellaire, Beyne-Heusay and Queue-du-Bois, and of the village of Moulins-sous-Fléron, taken from the municipality of Fléron. Some border corrections were also made with the municipality of Liège.

In the past, Beyne, Heusay and La Neuville were three municipalities each ran by a bourguemaître (burgomaster). They were merged into the municipality of Beyne-Heusay in 1796 by the French administration.
Beyne is said to have been named after the Celtic word baina, "a beech grove"; this root is found in other local toponyms such as Bende, Ben-Ahin (municipality of Huy) and Eben-Emael (municipality of Bassenge). Another tradition says that Beyne comes from beine, the Walloon name of the metallic circle used in the past to strengthen wooden wheels. In the first half of the XIVth century, a noble lady from Forêt used to go every Sunday to the mass in Jupille. Once, a wheel's beine of her cart broke and she could not move forwards, but she was miraculously not injured. She understood that it was God's call and founded a chapel there, calling the place after the broken beine.
Heusay is said to have been named after the ancient word houssay, a place planted with holly (in French, houx); this root is found in other local toponyms such as Housse and Cerexhe-Heuseux.

Beyne-Heusay was part of the Bailiwick of Amercœur, a fief granted by the German Emperor to the Bishop of Verdun in 1008. In 1297, the bishop ceded his rights on Amercur to the Prince-Bishop of Liège. Most lands were exploited by the abbeys of Val-Benoît, Robermont and Pauvres-en-Ile, which sold them around 1754.
In the XVIIIth century, the building of the road Liège-Aachen, as well as the building of a railway line through the plateau of Herve in the XIXth century, contributed to the development of Beyne-Heusay. In the XIXth century, Beyne-Heusay was a main center of coal extraction; the last active collieries (Werister and Homvent) were closed in the 1960s.
The St. Ann's chapel is surrounded by four linden trees decorating the tombs of five Breton soldiers from Napoléon's Grande Armée. Five trees were planted but only four survived. The soldiers' relatives brought a small monument topped with a small statue representing St. Ann of Auray. In 1889, the monument was deemed obsolete and replaced by a chapel made of limestone.

Source: Hikers' association Les Roteus di Houssaie website

Ivan Sache, 5 March 2006

Municipal flag of Beyne-Heusay

The municipal flag of Beyne-Heusay is white with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.

According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 26 April 1999 and confirmed by the Executive of the French Community on 15 February 2000, with the following description:
Blanc avec au centre l'écu communal occupant le tiers du battant.

The municipal arms of Beyne-Heusay are:
Écartelé au premier et au quatrième d'argent à la bande coticée de sable chargée de trois coquilles d'or; au deuxième et troisième, d'argent au lion de gueules, armé et lampassé du même, chargé en cœur d'un croissant montant d'or.
Quartered, first and fourth argent a bend coticed sable charged with three scallops or, second and third argent a lion gules at the fess point a crescent montant or.
These are the quartered arms of the last two local lords, the families of Villenfagne and Grady, respectively. Villenfagne was the last lord of Beyne, whereas Grady was the last lord of Bellaire, Queue-du-Bois, Waoury and Parfondvaux.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 5 March 2006