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Some History

Vertunum already existed in Gallo-Roman times. The importance of its urban area was confirmed by excavations undertaken on the Mageroux plateau. The town was probably destroyed during the invasions of the early 5th century. It was rebuilt slightly further north and became an important town in the Earldom of Chiny.

Unlike what has often been said, Virton (written successively Vertunum, Vierton and Virton) does not get its name from the rivers Vire and Ton.
Vertunum is thought to derive from a Celtic word, later Latinized (Verdun) and would mean "hill", "barrow" or "tumulus".

The oldest know document mentioning "New Virton" is a papal bull by Pope Lucius II, dated 1133. It is likely that the town was built by Louis II of Chiny (1030-1078), who had a fortress erected there.

The history of Virton was closely related to that of the Earldom of Chiny until 1340, when it was sold to John the Blind, king of Bohemia (count of Luxembourg). For Virton this meant four centuries of perils and misery. Like Ivoix (Carignan), La Ferté and Montmédy, Virton underwent the troubles caused by frequent changes of owner : Wencelas II, count of Luxembourg; Louis, duke of Orléans; Elisabeth of Goerlitz; Philip the Good; Ladislas, king of Hungary; Philip the Fair.

Situated near the borders of powerful rivals, the town was captured and recaptured, burnt down several times and often occupied by mercenaries, who had neither enemies nor allies. The fortifications (two walls with trenches, twelve towers and two gates) suffered from these repeated sieges. During the French Revolution the region suffered numerous raids by the "sans-culottes".

Two treaties have been decisive for the fate of Virton. The treaty of the Pyrenees separated our town from Montmédy, Damvillers, Ivoix, Chauvency-le-Château and Marville. These towns and villages were given to France.

In 1680, "la Chambre de Réunion", set up by the Parliament in Metz, annexed Virton to France, but the Treaty of Rijswijk (1697) handed over the Earldom of Chiny, of which Virton is a part, a Spain.

When Charles II, king of Spain, died in 1700, he left all his property to the Duke of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV, who reigned under the name of Philip V. But Louis XIV, who had invaded our territory, was beaten, and we came under Austrian domination. Thereafter, the history of Virton was bound up with that of the Netherlands until the Belgian independence.

Totem pole

For twelve-odd years Virton and the neighbouring area went Canadian thanks to many families who were stationed at the NATO base in Marville (France). When the Canadians left, they expressed their gratitude for the warm hospitality of the Virtonnais by offering a real Indian totem pole.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Diary

Art exhibition
Habay-la-Neuve
04/06->31/08/2014
Exhibition of Pierre Debatty's works: "Jeux Graphiques"
Art exhibition
Florenville
11/06->01/09/2014
Exhibition: "Reproduction of Jean-Claude Servais's drawings"
Nature exhibition
Virton
27/06->31/08/2014
Exhibition: "The edible mushrooms from Gaume"
Art exhibition
Orval
28/06->21/09/2014
Exhibition: "Trace d'enfance"
Livre & conte
Arlon
01/07->30/08/2014
Summer in the parc Léopold park
Livre & conte
Saint-Léger
02/07->31/08/2014
Abracadabra ! Simsalagrim ! Que les histoires s'animent !