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Daverdisse (Municipality, Province of Luxembourg, Belgium)

Last modified: 2007-11-03 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Daverdisse and its villages

The municipality of Daverdisse (1,372 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 5,640 ha) is the westernmost municipality of the Province of Luxembourg, located 85 km of Arlon in the upper valley of the river Lesse . The municipality of Daverdisse is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Daverdisse, Gembes, Haut-Fays (administrative center) and Porcheresse.

Daverdisse was built in a land belonging to the abbey of Stavelot, which granted hereditary rights on pieces of the forest to the colonists. To prevent the dispersal of this right, there were no marriages with foreigners and marriages between cousins were common. This is at least the explanation of the nickname given to the inhabitants of Daverdisse, "cousins", according to the dictum A Dafdisse, dès cozins. Another explanation mentions the "cousin" as an insect (cranefly).
Pierre Bonaparte, Napoléon I's nephew, was exiled at the farm of Mohimont (the lowest point of the municipality of Daverdisse, 210 m a.s.l.) from 1834 to 1848.

Gembes, a very old parish, is named after the brook Gembe (aka Halmache), which has its source in the Province of Namur and flows into the Lesse north of Daverdisse. The inhabitants of Gembes are nicknamed "pussycats", according to the dictum A Djimpe, dès minous.

Haut-Fays, the seat of the municipal administration of Daverdisse, is the highest village of the municipality, the gate of the church being located 433.78 m a.s.l. The village emerged from a clearing in the upper (in French, haut) beech (in French, hêtre or fayard, from Latin fagus) forest. The inhabitants of Haut-Fays are nicknamed "tomcats", according to the dictum A Ô-Fayi, dès marcôs. The word matou is often used in French for bad-looking men but here the nickname is related to the rivalry between Haut-Fays and Gembes. The men from Haut-Fays (matous) were stronger and always defeated the weaker men of Gembes (minous).
The Napoléon beech was planted in the wood of Gerhenne on 24 April 1810, along with another tree no longer alive, to celebrate the marriage of Napoléon I and Marie-Louise of Hapsburg. The beech has today a circumference of more than 3.60 m.

Porcheresse depended on the Merovingian villa of Graide, already mentioned in the VIIIth century. Graide was the center of big estate; one of the rules imposed to the colonists was the set up of cowsheds, sheepfolds and pigpens (in French, porcherie, from porc, "a pig"). Porcheresse was originally Portaricum, the pigpen of the domain owned by Carloman, lord of Wellin and Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia.
Surprisingly, the inhabitants of Porcheresse are nicknamed "kids", according to the dictum A Pwatchrèsse, dès gadots (In Porcheresse, [there are] kids); the relationship between Porcheresse and goat breeding is unknown. The Clog Museum, open in 1982, recalls that Porcheresse was once a main clog production center in the Province of Luxembourg.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 10 June 2007

Municipal flag of Daverdisse

According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, there is no municipal flag used in Daverdisse.

Pascal Vagnat, 10 June 2007