It is known in particular for its famous folk walk of Holy-Rolende.
SituationLocated in Province of Hainaut, to 12 km in the south of Charleroi, the commune of Gerpinnes whose average altitude is of 190 m, an total surface area of 47,88 km ² presents. The entity of Gerpinnes is made up of several villages.
Sections of communeAcoz, Gerpinnes, Gougnies, Joncret, Loverval and Villers-Pottery.
The old commune of Gerpinnes itself counts various hamlets:
- the Depressions
PopulationWith the 1st July 2004, the population - called Gerpinnois - total of this commune was of 12.044 inhabitants (5.810 men and 6.234 women).
EtymologyOne finds the first trace of the name of Gerpinnes in the year 1000: Gerpinia . Its orthography changed many times during the years, in particular:
In the year 1012: GERBECIAE
- In the year 1016: GERPIN
- In the year 1127: GERPINAS
- In the year 1133: GERPINOS
- In the year 1201: GELPINES
- In the year 1363: GERPINES
- Finally in 1348: GERPINNES
It is generally thought that Gerpinnes draws its name from Agrippina, which would be phonetically improbable. One can also see a collective Germanique garbamnio (the gerbière, culture). Certain author made of it gerb-innate : country of the sheaves of corn.
We also find the origins of the names of the hamlets:
Fromiée : 1227, Frawengie = property of Frawo.
- Hymiée: 1289, Umingnées = property of Emmo.
- Depressions: 1542, piece timbered on the very argillaceous ground retaining water puddle pools = depressions .
History of GerpinnesGerpinnes existed and was inhabited at time Paléolithique, but it was obviously only one loneliness of wood and marsh except for some formed small islands of hovels known by the patronymic name which, finally, will shape.
At the time Roman, a rich person Roman owner had a field extending on more 5 000 hectares. The buildings of the villa and the farm occupied a surface of at least a hectare to the foot of a hill and the confluence of the brooks of Aujette and Saint-Pierre. In addition to ceaseless incursions of the plunderers during the great invasions, this villa was burnt first once at the beginning of the 5th century. Its substructures are always existing. Finally, this villa was given up and another was built on the height where is the current parish church, more favourable with defense.
At the beginning of the 8th century, some missionaries came to build an oratory of wood safe from the villa of Gerpinnes (place of the current church) and settled in the vicinity.
They founded Moustiers there. The vault was dedicated to holy Michel, archangel, and was used as parish church for the inhabitants of all the field.
At the end of the 9th century, the domanial mode evolved/moved and the social conditions changed deeply to lead to the feudal mode. The firm secondaries ended up being detached from the supervision of the principal field and became the cores of several seigniories whose Masters often exerted on their subjects of the arbitrary rights. The haughty seigniory of Gerpinnes remained most important and these are the limits which form the current commune.
Towards 920, the field which was in the pagus of Lome (Namur) became owner comtal; the count had it well quickly in favor of the noble chapter of Moustier-on-Sambre (1020). After the monastery was restored, the ladies of Moustiers preserved of it the jurisdiction and the administration until in 1796, year of their dispersion.
In 1188, the same castle essuya a similar disaster on behalf of the troops of the Count de Hainaut, Baudouin V, during the war that this last made with his/her uncle Henri the Blind man, count de Namur. This place since was restored; it was flanked of a certain number of revolutions. Having importance, it a long time was preserved.
This village of the Between-Sambre-and-Meuse is among the places that the charters indicate like pertaining to the county Lome.
The ground of Gerpinnes arose from the Bailliage of Bouvignes.
A long time the locality was the object of competitions between the Principauté of Liege and the Comté of Namur.
In addition to the jurisdiction which exerted in Gerpinnes the abbess of Moustier-on-Sambre and her solicitor, there were, in this locality, the seigniories hereafter: Saint-Feuillien, Midsummer's Day de Florennes, Saint-Pierre de Brogne, Lantignies and Rabuzée.
In 1327, one quoted already the castle the Tower, currently property of the Evrard family.
H. of written Radiguès: “The Viscount of Gerpinnes was a consistent stronghold in oats revenues, liftings with Gerpinnes, Rabuzée, Gougnies, FRA-Wegnées, Hubertmont. ”
Collart de Rolous was owner at the end of the 14th century; it passed to her son Jean de Rolous. The nephew of this last, Jean de Graux, wire of Wautier, made relief of it on March 19th 1426.
At the 14th century, the inhabitant of Li2ege and the Namurian ones disputed the possession of this locality and sixteen other locality-borders.
In 1360, an agreement was reached between the prince-bishop, Englebert of Marck, and the count de Namur, Guillaume Ist Then, in 1375, the intervention of the pope Gregoire XI having been solicited, it sliced the litigation in favor of the county of Namur.
In Gerpinnes the land court of Midsummer's Day of Florennes and the high court of Rabuzée sat. A market with the grains sheltered the government contracts (with the site of the current place of the Market). It at that time had a great reputation because of the franknesses which the merchants enjoyed there. It was at the origin of a phrase intended to express the satisfaction “it gone to the Market at Gerpinnes”.
The Saint-Michel church was burnt in 1545 and was rebuilt in Gothic blazing.
It is at the 16th century that the castle of In Top was built, the current town hall (since 1972). It was built by the family of Bruges. The " Bouillon" house; carry the armorial bearings of this family of lords of the place. These armorial bearings are reproduced on the main door with like dates 1617. Inside, is a chimney with a plate of hearth to the weapons of Croy (1612) and the currency: " I like who me aime".
At the end of XVIe century, it Holy-Rolende tower was led by players of violins and the tambourines. The Châsse was protected by a guard of honor from ten men. It is through this group that it is necessary to consider the origin of the current companies of walkers.
In 1562: detachment of Sart-Eustace de Gerpinnes.
In 1602: it will be Tarcienne which will be detached.
It is at the 17th century that was built, by ironmasters, the castle of In Bottom, currently Collège Saint-Augustin, school.
In 1689, on September 6th, the French troops of the marshal of Humière, ordering army of Flanders of Louis XIV, came to camp in Gerpinnes after the defeat of Walcourt on August 25th 1689. It made face against the Spanish troops of prince Waldeck which, they, had been cut off under the guns from Charleroi. The marshal of Humière wanted to start again the lutte ; on order of the King, it went on Tournai and Lille, to make return in their garrison the Spanish troops which devastated the French territory in the absence of the army of Flanders.
Let us note that Gerpinnes had already its elementary school in 1740 as to a stone embedded in the frontage to a house of the street F. Bernard testifies some: " 1740 - Escol de Gerpinnes".
During the Second world war, an important center of connection of the secret army will function in Gerpinnes; at the center link 10, the core of the chain was located being located at Tarcienne, with the Lambot farm.
During the decades which followed the end of the war, Gerpinnes continued its life of rural district, reaching the stage of semi-rural, semi-residential commune gradually. The political starts of this period hardly reached it (royal business, strikes of 60…), whereas what was still called the " Black Country " lived these events in a more intensive way.
Text coming from the book Gerpinnes Vade mecum
The ChurchGerpinnes was the center of a primitive parish, probably founded at the end of VIIe or the beginning of VIIIe century. It extended to the entire field and included/understood the current villages of Joncret, Acoz, Villers-Pottery, Gougnies, Tarcienne and part of Sart-Eustace. The church underwent multiple transformations during the ages. The results of the excavations, undertaken in 1951, make it possible to say that the first enlargings were imposed by the importance of the pilgrimage in the honor of holy Rolende. From all these transformations, one can distinguish today
THE TOMB OF HOLY ROLENDE: stone sarcophagus of the High Meuse, trapezoidal form; it probably dates from the end of VIIIe century.
THE CRYPT: embedded in old construction industries, would date from the beginning of Xe century. Its aspect of most antiquated made accept the beginning with an oratory préroman. Its plan is square with in the center an enormous quadrangular pillar on which fall down of broad arcs supporting four groined vaults; a narrow chorus, arched in cradle, and whose furnace bridge was dedicated to Notre-Dame, is located at the East.
THE TOWER: powerful, true Keep, flanked towards the South of a turret of staircase, is Romance. It would date from second half of XIIe century.
THE NAVE: is separated from collateral by columns containing profiled capitals, typical in the architecture of Hainaut and the Between-Sambre-and-Meuse in XVIe century. The structure is covered of Ribbed vaults. These Gothic parts date from the medium or second half of XVIe century (1538-1561).
ENLARGINGS OF the XVIIIe CENTURY: in 1761, the church, become too small for the population, was to be increased. To the bedside of the chorus, a stone carries this simple inscription: " Adjoute made in 1770 ". At this point in time the crypt was filled.
INSTALLATIONS OF the XXe CENTURY: to return to the crypt its aspect Xe century, it was necessary to raise of four steps the second part of the church. The baptismal font dating from XIIe century was replaced in the center of the first part.
the MAUSOLEUM OF HOLY ROLENDE which was used as altar stone out of black marble, date of second half of XVIe century.
the HUNTING OF HOLY ROLENDE is a remarkable part of Orfèvrerie left the workshops of the Namurian Henri Libert, author of many mountings, in particular that of Saint Berthuin de Malonne. It goes back to 1599, it cost 661 guilders. It is out of copper gilded with money bracket. Each panel represents one of the episodes of the life of Sainte Rolende. It is exposed in a permanent way in the church.
The Roman Villa of Small troughIn 1872, was discovered, with the place known as " Augette" , on the hill directed towards midday, located not far from the confluences of the brooks of Small trough and Saint-Pierre, an important Roman villa dating from the 3rd century. This villa had a frontage of more than 90 meters and was made up of three bodies of buildings; that of the personnel subordinate, that of the Masters and finally that of the Hypocauste S, bathrooms and of plays. There was also a part located in basement (which one can still visit) and who was to play the part of cellar. The quality of the objects discovered makes it possible to deduce that it was about a rich person owner who is at the origin of the name of the village. One will also find in several places of the village of the tombs of the franque time.
The museum of the folk StepsSince 1986, the Association of the Folk Steps of Between-Sambre-and-Meuse (A.M.F.E.S.M.), gathering more than 70 Companies and more than 7.000 Walkers, in collaboration with the Municipal authorities of Gerpinnes, created its Museum of the Steps. You will be able to appreciate there many costumes and weapons with which our Walkers ravel. You will be able to discover documents and photographs there reporting the origin and the life of our Steps. You will be able to admire there some of our flags of the middle of the XIXe century and between-others the flag of the Youth of Gerpinnes which would have been offered by Napoleon in 1806.
Momument with the WalkersNear the museum, in the enclosing wall of the communal house, a monument with the Walkers was set up in 1981 by the Association of the Folk Steps of the Between-Sambre-and-Meuse for its 25e birthday. This work of art, realized by the sculptor Felix Roulin, consists of several bronze small boxes, embedded in the hardcore and represents the essential components of the Walker.
StructureThree castles, with interesting architecture, are the witnesses of the prosperous past of the old center of trade which was Gerpinnes.
the castle " The Tower " already quoted in XIVe century and which is located at the street Albert 1st
- the castle of In Top, built by the family of Bruges, become now " communal house ". It shelters a superbly raised part of paintings and finely carved woodworks.
- the castle of In Bottom, or castle of the Furnace, built by Desmanet, ironmasters, and arranged in school by the Canons of Lateran (College Saint-Augustin).
Several imposing farms in square plan are on its territory; you will be able to discover them with the wire of your walk.
FromiéeIt is more the small village of the entity. It is a peaceful Hameau of 70 houses, withdrawn of the main roads of superb circulation and surrounded by wood. Primarily of agricultural origin, you will be able to stroll there in all quietude and to discover there its farms established in its dispersed habitat as well as bronze Cantinière recently installed with the principal crossroads. This one testifies to the cultural importance of the folk steps in this locality.
HymiéeThe village, made up in majority of stone-built houses Calcareous, gathers around an immense green place, extremely rare fact in the area. Village of habits, the schoolboys still celebrate the saint-Gregoire there by traversing the streets and the houses while singing their wish to see itself offering eggs.
DepressionsThe hamlet of the Depressions, located near the trunk road 5, acquired, since the last war, an increasingly residential character. You will be able however to discover there the old farm of Bertransart, probably born about 1200. It was the first commandery of the area, established by the Ordre of Templiers. The Holy Tour Rolende passes on its grounds and made there a short halt to its vault while the pilgrims have their breakfast.
FolkloreThe Folklore with Gerpinnes is an extremely important element. Being located in what one calls the Between-Sambre-and-Meuse, Gerpinnes belongs to the communes which have as a principal folklore, the Marches of the Between-Sambre-and-Meuse. Beside that, the various villages of the entity also live at the rate/rhythm of traditional Grands Fires.
StepsIf the Holy-Rolende Marche is most known and one of the greatest folk steps of the Between-Sambre-and-Meuse, other steps, more modest, also occupy the calendar of the festivities of the various villages of Gerpinnes.
Holy-Rolende walkSee, in this respect, the article relating to Sainte Rolende.
Saint-Pierre walkWith Gerpinnes-Center, take place, the first weekend of August, the festivities of Walk Saint-Pierre. This Walk, similar to the Steps Holy Rolende as for its habits, was traditionally reserved to the boys and to the teenagers of the village. For a few years, a second Company of adults has come to raise the ceremony. The Saint-Pierre festivities finish Sunday around 17 hours by the solemn return through the streets of the city. The breaking of glass takes place Easter Sunday to 18:00
Large firesEach year, to celebrate the end of the winter and the arrival of spring, each village of the entity organizes a “large fire”. At the top one to rough-hew, one burns the " symbolically; Hiver" catch;. By this tradition, one understands to greet the return of the beautiful days.
- Official site of the commune
- Site of the tourist office of Gerpinnes
- Site of the Eleventh Unit scoute Brother Pierre de Gerpinnes
- Site of the Arts center of Gerpinnes
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