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Trois-Ponts (Municipality, Province of Liège, Belgium)

Last modified: 2008-04-26 by ivan sache
Keywords: trois-ponts | scallop (white) | shell (white) |
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[Flag of Trois-Ponts]

Municipal flag of Trois-Ponts - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 11 May 2007

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Presentation of Trois-Ponts

The municipality of Trois-Ponts (2,504 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 6,890 ha) is located in the massif of Ardenne, a few kilometers south-west of Stavelot, on the confluency of the valleys of the rivers Amblève (Amel) and Salm. The municipality of Trois-Ponts was formed in 1976 by the merging of the former municipalities of Fosse-sur-Salm, Basse-Bodeux and Wanne.

Trois-Ponts is named after three bridges (in French, trois ponts) built on the rivers Baleur, Salm and Amblève. Until 1860, Trois-Ponts was a small hamlet with hardly a dozen of houses, but located on an important crossroads. A post house already existed there in the XVIIIth century. Trois-Ponts was also located on the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela; a primitive church seems to have existed in the village of Saint-Jacques already in the VIIth century.
In 1861, it was decided to build a railway station at Trois-Ponts; several workers employed on the building sites of the Stavelot-Spa and Trois-Ponts-Trois-Vierges lines settled in the hamlet, which became a village with two monthly cattle fairs.
Trois-Ponts and the neighbouring villages were occupied by the Germans during the two World Wars; several of their inhabitants were slaughtered by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge in winter 1944-1945.
The municipality of Trois-Ponts was formed in 1970 by the merging of Fosse-sur-Salm and Wanne. In 1976, the former municipality of Basse-Bodeux and a small part of Stavelot were added to Trois-Ponts.

The hydroelectric power plant of Coo-Trois-Ponts was built from 1967 to 1979. The lower basin was originally designed by the monks of the abbey of Stavelot; they modified the course of the Amblève in the XVIIIth century to build the cascad of Coo and isolated the artificial meander from the Amblève by two dykes. The upper basin is made of two artificial lakes set up on the top of the plateau of Brume. The underground "cavern" (128 m x 22 m x 40 m) houses seven turboalternator groups.
The principle of the plant is energy accumulation by pumping. During the night and week-end slack periods when electricity is cheaper, water is pumped up to the upper basin; during the daily peak periods, water is sent down to the lower basin and produces electricity.

Source: Municipal website

The Val de Wanne ski piste is the longest in Belgium. It is the home of the ski and snowboard club Casablanca, whose most famous member was Karen Persyn (b. 1983 in Rumst), currently the best Belgian skier. Her best performance in the ski world cup is 28th in the slalom of Maribor, season 2003-2004. She ranked as the world's 56th slalomer after the 2005-2006 season (to be compared with 81st in 2004-2005). Karen recently moved to another local ski club, Val de Wanne.

Ivan Sache, 3 October 2007

Municipal flag of Trois-Ponts

The municipal flag of Trois-Ponts is vertically divided blue-white with a white scallop in canton.
According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, the flag follows the proposal made by the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community as Deux laizes transversales bleue et blanche, chargé d'une coquille blanche au canton à la hampe.
Blue and white are the traditional colours of Trois-Ponts, whereas the scallop recalls St. James and the Santiago pilgrimage.

However, several pages of the municipal website show the drawing of a flag , vertically divided blue-white with a yellow (?) shield in the middle portraying a saint, most probably St. James.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat, Santiago Dotor & Ivan Sache, 8 December 2007