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Profondeville (Municipality, Province of Namur, Belgium)

Last modified: 2008-03-29 by ivan sache
Keywords: profondeville | cross (blue and red) | harskamp |
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[Flag of Profondeville]

Municipal flag of Profondeville - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 30 September 2007


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Presentation of Profondeville and its villages

The municipality of Profondeville (11,424 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 5,034 ha) is located in the valley of Meuse, between Namur and Dinant. The municipality of Profondeville is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Profondeville, Arbre, Bois-de-Villers, Lesve, Lustin and Rivière.

Profondeville might have emerged around a Gallo-Roman estate called profonda villa, lit., "The Deep Estate". The old village, built in a curve of the Meuse, has kept its narrow streets and its XVII-XVIIIth century houses surrounded by small gardens.

Arbre is a popular place of fishing, the brook Burnot being rich in trouts; the brook has kept some industrial remains from the XVI-XVIIth centuries (headraces, cascades). On the first Sunday of July, the festival Art'bre welcomes some hundred artists working live in the village streets.

Bois-de-Villers was settled by monks from the abbey of Villers-la-Ville, who were granted a part of the forest of Marlagne, renamed Bois des Moines de Villers (Villers Monks' Wood) or, simply, Bois-de-Villers.

Lesve was probably an ancient Celtic sanctuary dedicated to water (*ueva). In the Middle Ages, the domain of Lesve, made of 14 villages, belonged successively to different abbeys (Villers-la-Ville, Brogne, Aulne) and eventually to the Principality of Liège.

Lustin is the only village of the municipality of Profondeville located on the right bank of the Meuse. It is built on the top of the cliffs known as Rochers de Fresnes, 100 m above the Meuse. In summertime, a small boat allows the crossing of the river to reach Profondeville, located across the Meuse.
The caves of Fresnes are a succession of galleries with fancy names such as the Trou des Nutons (Nutons' Hole, the nutons being the local inhabitants of the caves), the Galerie de l'Ours (Bear's Gallery, where bear bones and jewels from Roman and Frankish tombs were found and sent to the Art and Natural History Museum in Brussels), the Marmite des Géants (Giants' Pothole, the biggest of that kind in Belgium), and the Grande Église (Big Church, the largest room of the cave, where St. Feullien's relics were hidden in the IXth century, during the great invasions).

Rivière (lit., "river") was known in the 1900s as a place of pleasure. The hamlet was made of only a few houses built on the Meuse but it had six pubs. Most villagers lived indeed on the heights, where there were a few forges. The past is recalled by the Fête de l'Écluse (Lock Festival) on the last Sunday of July, attracting thousands of visitors. The main event of the festival is the bike jump into the Meuse, a "sport" unique in Europe.

Source: Profondeville tourism website (no longer online)

Ivan Sache, 30 September 2007


Municipal flag of Profondeville

The municipal flag of Profondeville is white with a vertical red stripe and a horizontal blue stripe forming a cross.
According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 21 June 1990 and confirmed by the Executive of the French Community on 18 December 1991, as Blanc chargé d'une croix dont le montant est rouge et la traverse bleue.
The flg is a banner of the municipal arms.

The arms of Profondeville, granted by Royal Decree in 1956, were once the arms of the Counts of Harscamp, lords of Profondeville in 1644.
The very same flag is used as its municipal flag by the Dutch village of Harskamp, pat of the municipalmity of Ede.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat, Jan Mertens & Ivan Sache, 30 September 2007