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Lierneux (Municipality, Province of Liège, Belgium)

Last modified: 2008-01-19 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Lierneux

The municipality of Lierneux (3,337 inhabitants on 1 July 2007; 9,208 ha, 262-622 m asl) is located in the valley of Lienne, in the Upper Ardenne. The municipality of Lierneux is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Lierneux, Arbrefontaine and Bra.

Lierneux was mentioned for the first time in 667, as Ledernao / Lethernaco, written Ledernaus in 862. The name of the village is derived from the river Lienne (Lederna). In 747, Carloman, Mayor of the Palace of King Childéric III, transferred to Anglinus, Abbot of Stavelot, the village of Lierneux, made of 46 manses (plots), a chapel and a lord's manse, together with Bra, then known as Brastis. Bra seceded from Lierneux in the IXth century and was reincoporated to the Principality of Stavelot in 1003 when Anselme of Bra left for Hungary. As usual at that time, there were long struggles between the abbey and the managers it had appointed to run the domain; in the XIIth-XIIIth centuries, Lierneux was eventually incorporated directly to the Principality.
Lierneux is the birth village of the sculptor Henri-Joseph Rutxhiel (1775-1837). Son of the local cobbler, young Henri used to cut figurines in wood pieces with his knife when watching the family's cows; a chemist of Stavelot ordered him his ensign, most probably a caduceus. A few years later, a man from Verviers visited Lierneux and purchased from Henri a walking stick decorated with sculpted flowers. He showed the stick to Prefet Desmousseaux, who offerred Rutxhiel a grant to study in Paris at the workshop of the famous sculptor Houdon (1741-1828). In 1809, Rutxhiel won the First Grand Prix of Rome for a bas-relief portraying Icarus and Dedalus. In Rome, he became a good friend of the French painter Ingres (1780-1867), who made his portrait. Back to Paris, Rutxhiel became a fahsionable sculptor, making the busts of Napoléon, Lalande, Monge, the Tzar of Russia, Marie-Antoinette, Louis XVI, Delille, Wellington and Charles X. He also sculpted the bust of Napoléon's son, the King of Rome, and was granted the title of "Sculptor of the Children of France". Rutxhiel became member of the Institute and Director of the Academy.

Arbrefontaine was mentioned for the first time in 666, as Albam Fontanam, later written Albam Fontem in 814. Therefore, the name of the village means "the white fountain" and not "the tree's (arbre) fountain" as the modern name of the village, adopted in 1713, seems to imply. The village is crossed by the river Wez, which was used in the past as the border between the Principality of Stavelot (right bank) and the Kingdom of Austrasia (left bank); in 746, the whole village was incorporated into the Principality. Founded in 1035, the County of Salm absorbed the village in the XIIIth century, by force according to some sources, with the monks' agreement according to others. Included in the Province of Liège in 1815, Arbrefontaine was transferred to the Province of Luxembourg in 1818 and back to the Province of Liège when incorporated to Lierneux in 1976.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 28 August 2007

Municipal flag of Lierneux

According to According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, Lierneux does not have a municipal flag.

Pascal Vagnat, 28 August 2007