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Dison (Municipality, Province of Liège, Belgium)

Last modified: 2007-11-03 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Dison

The municipality of Dison (14,407 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 1,401 ha) is located neighbouring Verviers, from which it is separated by the river Vesdre. The municipality of Dison is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Dison and Andrimont.

Dison was located in the Roman times on the way linking Verviers to the plateau of Herve; a treasure made of Roman gold and silver coins (231-268 AD) was found near Dison a century ago. The village, which was mentioned for the first time in 1268, was named after the brook that waters it. The region was originally covered with woods, which were progressively cleared and replaced by arable fields and pastures. Until the end of the XVIIIth century, Dison belonged to the domain of Petit-Rechain, itself part of the Duchy of Limburg. At the end of the XVIIIth century, the wool industry boomed in Verviers and contributed to the increase of Dison, whose population doubled.
Eighteen inhabitants of Dison took part to the bloody St. Walburge fighting during the Independence War of Belgium in 1830. Dison is among the 98 Belgian municipalities that were granted a honour flag, which is still shown in the meeting room of the town hall. King Léopold I and Queen Louise d'Orléans solemnely crossed Dison on 22 September 1833.

Dison is the birth place of the poet and journalist Adolphe Hardy (1868-1954). Hardy's grandfather, Martin, moved in 1820 to Moravia to export the high technology developed by the wool industrials in Verviers. After two criminal blazes, he came back, ruined, to Dison, with hie wife, the descendant of an old Slavic family. His elder son Adolphe, father of the poet also named Adolphe, was a polyglot scientist, artist and philanthrop. Young Adoplhe graduated in Law at the Catholic University of Leuven and wrote his first works around 1900. He was appointed redactor and then editor-in-chief at the Rappel de Charleroi newspaper; in 1901, he became the editor-in-chief of the Dépêche de Liège. He published La route enchantée in 1904 and moved to Brussels in 1907, where he became redactor (and Director in 1921) at the Journal de Bruxelles.
During the First World War, Hardy joined the anti-German resistance and wrote war poems (L'Ardenne héroïque) and two monographies (Le pays de Herve, Le pays d'Aerschot), published by the Touring Club. On 31 May 1926, he published his last article in the last issue of the Journal de Bruxelles, which disappeared after 104 years of existence. Hardy was awarded the Grand Prix de la Langue Française by the French Academy in 1931 for his poem collection Le cortège des mois. In 1951, he published his spiritual deed, Le bréviaire du bonheur. Adolphe Hardy's birth house in Dison, restored by Jean Gelis, is today the seat of the Fondation Hardy.

Andrimont was settled in the Prehistoric and Roman times; Gallo-Roman tombs were founded in 1825 near the castle of Andrimont. According to the local historian Jean-Simon Renier, Andrimont was originally "Hadrian's Mount", named after the Roman Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD). Other possible etymologies are realted to Andri, the Walloon form of Andrew, or Andaric. Until the end of the XVIIIth century, Andrimont belonged to the Marquisate of Franchimont.


Ivan Sache, 16 June 2007

Municipal flag of Dison

According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community proposed a flag for Dison, as follows:
Deux laizes transversales bleue à la hampe, chargé des meubles de l'écu communal et jaune au large.
Vertically divided blue-yellow with the charges of the municipal arms in the blue stripe.

The municipal arms of Dison are (source as above):
D'azur à trois navettes de tisserand, deux en sautoir, le troisième brochant en pal sur les deux autres, auxquelles est suspendue par une chaîne tissée, une toison, le tout d'or.
Azure three weaver's shuttles, two in saltire and the third per pale over the two first, from which hangs a fleece through a woven chain, all or.
These arms have been used since 1880 without any official approval. Blue and yellow are the traditional colours of Dison.
The arms shown on the municipal website seem to differ from the above description, but the image is really too small to see the details.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 16 June 2007