Last modified: 2008-03-29 by ivan sache
Keywords: mettet |
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Municipal flag of Mettet - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 25 March 2007
The municipality of Mettet (12,037 inhabitants on 1 July 2007; 11,678 ha) is located 25 km south-south-west of Namur, in the region of Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse. The municipality of Mettet is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Mettet, Biesme, Biesmerée, Ermeton-sur-Biert, Furnaux, Graux, Oret, Saint-Gérard (known until the XVIIth century as Brogne) and Stave.The once powerful abbey of Brogne, founded by St. Gérard, is located in Mettet.
Gérard was succeeded in Brogne by 36 abbots. The fourth abbot,
Gonthier, increased the abbey church, which was consecrated by the
Bishop of Liège in 1038. Abbot Robert the Builder (1192-1221) rebuilt most of the abbey and set up the Gothic crypt that is the most
impressive part of the abbey. After the death of the last abbot, the
abbey was directly incorporated to the Bishopric of Namur in 1566; the
abbey was governed by a prior and lost most of its benefits. Its
decline was increased by the lack of care of most bishops, who were in
permanent conflict with the few remaining monks.
The monks were expelled after the French Revolution; in 1797, the financer Jean-Baptiste Paulée purchased most of the buildings. During the Dutch rule, the abbey fell into ruins; the abbey church and two cloisters were suppressed to build a new road. In 1974, the abbey was purchased by the municipality of Mettet; in 1983, the association "Abbaye Saint-Gérard de Brogne" was founded to restore some of the buildings and to set up a culture project. Twenty-six thematic exhibitions were organized from 1992 to April 2007. In 2007, both the municipality of Mettet and the province of Namur ceased to support the association and cut their funding. The future of the abbey is rather dark.
Source: Association "Abbaye Saint-Gérard de Brogne" website
The motorbike circuit of Mettet, of international fame, is named after Jules Tacheny (1907-1984), one of the founders of the "Royal Union Motor de l'Entre Sambre et Meuse" and most famous Belgian motobiker ever. Born in Mettet (and often nicknamed Monsieur Mettet), Tacheny was garage hand in his birth village, but his main interest was in motorbike races. In 1925, he started to win local races, so that the FN (Fabrique Nationale) ammunition factory of Herstal hired him as one of its four official pilots in 1930. On 26 October 1931, he broke 41 world records with his team mate Milhoux on the circuit of Linas-Monthléry, near Paris. Tacheny set up the circuit of Mettet, transferred to the Belgian state in 1951, where famous races are organized, such as "Grand Prix de Mettet", "1,000 kms de Mettet", and the very popular "Superbiker".
Source: Mettet circuit official website
Ivan Sache, 25 March 2007
The municipal flag of Mettet is quartered by a white cross green and green with a white border.
According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, the design was proposed by the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community, as Vert chargé d'une croix blanche et bordé de blanc au deuxième et troisième cantons, la largeur de la croix et de la bordure étant égale au 1/7e du guindant.
The width of the cross and of the border shall be 1/7th of the flag height.
The design of the flag is inspired by the motorbike circuit (the border and the cross form indeed an "8").
Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 25 March 2007