Last modified: 2007-10-20 by ivan sache
Keywords: blegny |
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The municipality of Blegny (spelled Blégny until 2001; 12,861 inhabitants on 1 July 2007; 2,607 ha) is located north-east of Liège. The municipality of Blegny is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Mortier, Trembleur (administrative seat), Barchon, Housse, Saive and Saint-Remy. Blégny was a hamlet of Trembleur.
The industrial tourist domain of Blegny-Mine was set up by the Walloon
Region on the site of the colliery of Argenteau-Trembleur, closed in
1980. The colliery is located in the countryside, close to the hamlet
of Blegny. It was the northernmost coal mine in the bassin of Liège.
The depth of the shafts was relatively low and some loads even
outcropped in the neighborhood . Two shafts from the XIXth and XXth
century, respectively, have been preserved, and the -30 m and -60 m
levels can be visited.
Blegny-Mine is the end point of the Slag Heaps' Trail (Sentier des Terrils), a 300-km long hiking trail that crosses the Walloon coal-mining basin, from Bernissart to Blegny. The trail is marked with the famous red and white signs of the Grande Randonnée hiking trails as GR 412. The number 412 alludes to 4 December, St. Barbara's Day, St. Barbara being the patron saint of the miners.
On 6 June 1981, the revamping of the Blegny mine was shown in the first release of the TV magazine Télétourisme. The magazine still exists and is still presented by the very same Guy Lemaire. The 25th anniversary of Télétourisme was celebrated on 6 June 2006 in Blegny-Mine.
The fort of Barchon is one of the 12 elements of the "Liège's belt" set up by General Brialmont. Together with the fort of Pontisse, located across the river Meuse, it is the northernmost elements of the belt. The fort of Barchon was the first fort to be seized by the German army, on 8 August 1914; after a few hours of resistance, the 400-men garrison had to surrender to avoid complete suffocation. In May 1940, the fort resisted again; from 11 to 18 May, it was highly bombed by the German artillery and air force. Before surrender on 18 May, the commander of the fort ordered the destruction of any facility that could have been further used by the Germans.
Ivan Sache, 26 May 2007
Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 26 May 2007