Last modified: 2008-04-26 by ivan sache
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The municipality of Trooz (7,706 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 2,420 ha) is located south-east of Liège, on the river Vesdre. The municipality of Trooz is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Trooz, Forêt, Fraipont and Nessonvaux.
Trooz is known for its quarry, ran by the Gralex group, producing 286,000 t of sandstone per year. Several forges were set up in the past along the river Vesdre.
Nessonvaux was the site of the famous Belgian car factory Impéria. Adrien Piedbœuf founded a car and motorcycle factory in Liège in 1904, which he transferred to Nessonavaux in 1907, in a factory originally built by the iron-master and gunsmith Henri Pieper. Looking like a small castle, the factory is an example of the eclectic style cherished by the industrials in the beginning of the XXth century.
The name of Impéria was probably chosen as a reference to the German Empire, since Piedbœuf stayed in Aachen, working in the family steelworks. An Impéria reached 144 km.h-1 in Brooklands (USA) in 1910. In 1912, Impéria merged with the Jules Springuel's company, from Huy, and the Nessonvaux factory produced hundreds cars per year, including the famous Abadal, a sports car influenced by Hispano-Suiza and named after a Spanish businessman and former cyclist.
After the First World War, production resumed under the brand name of Impéria-Abadal, while the new owner of the factory, Mathieu van Roggen, realized that production should be intensified, with lighter and cheaper models. The 1100, with a valveless engine, was released in 1923 and won several races, followed in 1927 by a six-cylinder, 1650 cc, model. To face the competition of the foreign manufacturers established in Belgium, van Roggen formed a big consortium, purchasing in 1927 Métallurgique (Marchienne-au-Pont) and Excelsior (Zaventem), in 1928 Nagant, and taking shares in the French Voisin in 1929. A trial track was built in 1928 on the roofs of the Nessonvaux factory, but the 1929 crisis stopped the growth of the factory.
In 1932, van Roggen bought the license for the production of the Adler-Trumpf. The purchase of the bankrupted, prestigious company Minerva, from Antwerp, in 1934, was a big failure: van Roggen could produce only a few cars, much too expensive. The Minerva prototype, built in Nssonvaux in 1936, should have been the most modern car of the time, but the Second World War ended its production. The factory still produced Adler cars until the beginning of the Second War, which ended the production of Belgian cars.
In 1947, the factory reopened, still producing Adler and assembling Standard 8" British cars, until the definitive end of the car production in 1958.
Source: Impéria-Nessonvaux website
Ivan Sache, 8 December 2007
According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, there is no municipal flag used in Trooz.
Pascal Vagnat, 8 December 2007