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  • FLOREFFE • GEMBLOUX • JEMEPPE S/S • SAMBREVILLE• SOMBREFFE

  • FLOREFFE • GEMBLOUX • JEMEPPE S/S • SAMBREVILLE• SOMBREFFE

  • FLOREFFE • GEMBLOUX • JEMEPPE S/S • SAMBREVILLE• SOMBREFFE

  • FLOREFFE • GEMBLOUX • JEMEPPE S/S • SAMBREVILLE• SOMBREFFE

  • FLOREFFE • GEMBLOUX • JEMEPPE S/S • SAMBREVILLE• SOMBREFFE

A little history

Lying in the north-west of the Province de Namur, at the meeting point of two valleys, the area covered by Sambre-Orneau Tourist Office comprises five communes: Floreffe, Gembloux, Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, Sambreville and Sombreffe. In the Middle Ages, their territory formed perilous border zones between independent and often rival principalities. This characteristic explains the many castles and remains of defensive elements dating from this period which can still be seen today. The town of Gembloux, surrounded by ramparts from the 12th century onwards, as well as the castles of Corroy-le-Château and Sombreffe, both built in the 13th century, were part of the defensive system of the Duchy of Brabant.

Mielmont castle, built on the basis of a 12th-century donjon, the 13th-century donjon of the fortified farm of Falnuée in Mazy, the tower built in Villeret, Saint-Martin, in about 1225 and the fortified farm of Balâtre developed from a donjon, also in the 13th century, depended on the earldom of Namur.

In the early 12th century, Godefroid, count of Namur, acquired the freehold of Floreffe and thus incorporated it into his earldom.

All these defensive elements lost their military significance at the time of the unification of the old principalities under the authority of the Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, in around 1430.

The Benedictine Abbey of Gembloux, founded during the 10th century by St. Guibert, was rebuilt during the second half of the 18th century under the direction of Laurent-Benoît Dewez, official architect of the court under Charles de Lorraine, who also ordered the renovation of the abbey of Floreffe founded by St. Norbert in 1121. These two abbeys were dissolved at the time of the French Revolution.

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