Last modified: 2008-03-29 by ivan sache
Keywords: ouffet |
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The municipality of Ouffet (2,551 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 4,022 ha) is located in the region of Condroz, south of Huy. The municipality of Ouffet is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Ouffet, Ellemelle and Warzée.
Ouffet, mentioned for the first time in 1096, belonged to the St.
Lambert chapter in Liège. Bishop Henri II built a fortress in 1124,
besieged by the militia from Huy in 1314 to no avail, rebuilt in 1593
against the rascals, and still known as the Justice Tower. In the past,
the Tower was indeed the seat of the Higher Court of Justice and the
administrative center of the Ban of Ouffet, formed by the villages of
Ouffet, Ellemelle and Warzée. The smaller domains of Crossée, Lizin and Xhenceval were later incorporated into the municipality of Ouffet.
In the XVIIth century, Ouffet had several witchery trials; from 1614 to 1626, nine trials involved four women and five men, fived of them being sentenced to death and burned and another one banned form the Principality of Liège. The Croix du Tôt recalls the death of Claude de Heid, Mayor of Jenneret and living in Himbe, murdered on 4 August 1614. The legend says he was killed by the husbands of two women he had sentenced to death for witchery; Marguerite de Warre and Aylid le Hayelin were indeed burned in Ouffet in 1614, but there is no known relation between that event and the Mayor's death. The Big Oak of Ouffet also recalls the witches by its nickname of chêne des macralles, macralle being the local name given to a witch. The tree was also considered as a sacred tree; in the 1930s, the villagers still invoked its protection and "transferred" their pain to it. For instance, they applied a nail to a bad tooth and then planted it into the tree trunk, or rubbed a piece of cloth on a broken member and then tied the cloth to the tree. Flowers are still laid down on the foot of the tree.
Ouffet is famous as one of the cradles of the Blanc-Bleu-Belge bovine breed and for its stone quarries, of which six are still active, employing 60 workers (vs. 600 in 1900).
Ellemelle, mentioned for the first time in 1005, belonged to the St. Cross collegiate church of Liège. The center of the village, made of big farms from the XVIIth century lined along the main road, has kept its architectural homogeneity.
Warzée developed around a few big farms built near the church. The village seceded in 1688 from Ouffet to form an independent municipality.
Source: Municipal website
Ivan Sache, 17 September 2007
According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, there is no municipal flag used in Ouffet.
Pascal Vagnat, 17 September 2007