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Lasne (Municipality, Province of Walloon Brabant, Belgium)

Last modified: 2019-07-30 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Lasne]

Municipal flag of Lasne - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 21 May 2005

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Presentation of Lasne and its villages

The municipality of Lasne (13,994 inhabitants on 1 January 2007, 4,721 ha) is located 15 km south-east of Brussels and 10 km north-east of Nivelles. The municipality of Lasne was made in 1976 by the merging of the former municipalities of Couture-Saint-Germain, Lasne-Chapelle-Saint-Lambert, Maransart, Ohain and Plancenoit. The new municipality was named after the river Lasne, which has its source in Plancenoit, waters the five former municipalities and flows into the Dyle. The name of the river is of Celtic origin and means "a river with calm waters".

Plancenoit is built on the source of the Lasne, known in the past as trou sans fond (bottomless hole), because two horses and their driver were allegedly lost in the source. The battle of Waterloo - 18 June 1815 - mostly took place on the territory of Plancenoit. Napoléon was definitively defeated in Plancenoit in the evening; the attempts by the French troops to repulse their opponents from a triangle, made by the "Belle Alliance" tavern and the farms of Hougoumont and Haie-Sainte, to Brussels failed. The village of Plancenoit was seized, lost and seized again seven times between 5 and 8 PM. In the evening of the battle, Wellington and Blücher met in the tavern "La Belle Alliance", today "Le Rétro". The name of the tavern predates the alliance between Wellington and Blücher: it refers to the marriage of the old innkeeper with a very young woman in 1370. The French troops surged back on the road to Charleroi, where two monuments relate the battle: the Victor Hugo column recalls that Victor Hugo visited in 1861 the battlefield for the preparation of his book Les Misérables and a monument by Gérôme (1824-1904) shows a dying eagle.

Maransart (Mary's sart, Mary's estate) has two old farms, Le Croissant and Hubermont, which belonged to the abbey of Affligem. In September 1944, the Nazis slaughtered several people in the Croissant farm. Maransart is known for its very hard sandstone, in which a fossilized crocodile was found in 1926. The fossil, 2.50 m in length, is known as Dixon's crocodile and preserved in the Museum of Natural History in Brussels.

In Couture-Saint-Germain, the hamlet of Aywiers is an important place of pilgrimage since 1896. The pilgrimage is dedicated to St. Lutgard (1182-1246), who stayed for 30 years in the Cistercian abbey of Aywiers. The Cistercian nuns left Awirs, near Liège, around 1206 and settled in Lillois, near Nivelles. They left Lillois, for an unknown reason and moved to Aywiers. Since both Awirs and Aywiers are related to water (in Latin, aqua), it is possible that Lillois lacked still water. The abbey of Aywiers owned 2,050 ha in the valley of Lasne and had several farms and sheepfolds, for instance the farm of Agnisart (the Lamb's Farms). The Abbess bore the title of Lady of Aywiers and was lord of Maransart and Couture. The present remains of the abbey are its surrounding walls, a park and a castle from XVIIIth century. The abbey church was sold stone by stone after the French Revolution.

The municipal square of Ohain is said to be one of the most beautiful squares in Walloon Brabant. Several painters, writers and musicians stayed in Ohain and were inspired by the square, decorated with the Mascart fountain, a bandstand and stone public benches dedicated to Charles Plisnier (1896-1952, winner of the Goncourt Prize in 1937 for Faux Passeports), Edmond Vandercammen (1901-1980, born in Ohain, poet and translator of Spanish and South American poets, founder of the Poetry Festival in Knokke), Albert Ghislain and Robert Goffin (1898-1984, born in Ohain). The village church of Ohain was built near 1200; its main tower, locally known as the Sarracens' tower, was kept when the church was rebuilt in the 1760s. There was also a castle located near the square where a plot was set up against Duke of Alba, who should have been murdered in the priory of Groenendael; the plotters were betrayed and had to hide.

Lasne-Chapelle-Saint-Lambert is made of several hamlets such as Genleau, Beaumont, Céroux, Renival and Quatre Hurées. During the battle of Waterloo, Bülow was expected to attack Napoléon on the flank but he lost his way to Quatre Hurées and Plancenoit. Blücher's Prussian army, heading to Plancenoit, was attacked in the wood of Paris by French scouts and Count of Schwerin was killed.
The former castle of Fichermont belonged to the Xavier family, whose most famous member, in the Spanish branch, was St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552), one of the first Jesuits, who evangelized Portuguese India and Japan. What is locally called the "castle" of Lasne is indeed the beautiful farm of Kelle.
Chapelle-Saint-Lambert was incorporated into Lasne in 1848.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 21 May 2005

Municipal flag of Lasne

The municipal flag of Lasne is diagonally divided blue-green by a white ascending wavy line.
According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 10 March 1992 and confirmed by the Executive of the French Community on 30 April 1999 (sic - more than seven years later), with the following official description:
Divisé bleu sur vert selon la diagonale montante par une étroite laize ondée blanche de largeur égale au 10eme du guindant.

The width of the white wavy stripe is therefore prescribed to be 1/10th of the flag height.
According to the official interpretation, the flag recalls the sky and the natural environment, whereas the wavy stripe recalls the river after which the municipality was named. The flag has nothing to do with the municipal arms.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 21 May 2005