Fort de Chaudfontaine
The Fort de Chaudfontaine called the Fort de la Rochette, is one of twelve forts built as part of the fortifications of Liège in the late 19th century in Belgium. It was built between 1884 according to the plans of General Henri Alexis Brialmont. Contrasting with the French forts built in the same era by Raymond Adolphe Séré de Rivières, the fort was built of unreinforced concrete, a new material, rather than masonry; the fort was bombarded by German artillery in the Battle of Liège. The fort is now used as an adventure park; the Fort de Chaudfontaine is located about 7 kilometres southeast of the center of Liège, on the heights above the community of Chaudfontaine, overlooking the Vesdre valley. The fort was built as an irregular rectangle, in contrast to most Brialmont forts, which were triangular. A 6-metre deep by 8-metre ditch encircles the fort; the principal armament was concentrated in the central massif. The ditches were defended in enfilade by 57mm guns in casemates resembling counterscarp batteries, firing at shot traps at the other end of the ditch.
The fort is one of the smaller Liège forts. With the exception of the Fort de Loncin, the Belgian forts made little provision for the daily needs of their wartime garrisons, locating latrines, showers and the morgue in the fort's counterscarp, a location that would be untenable in combat; this would have profound effects on the forts' ability to endure a long assault. The service areas were placed directly opposite the barracks, which opened into the ditch in the rear of the fort, with lesser protection than the two "salient" sides; the Brialmont forts placed a weaker side to the rear to allow for recapture by Belgian forces from the rear, located the barracks and support facilities on this side, using the rear ditch for light and ventilation of living spaces. In combat heavy shellfire made the rear ditch untenable, German forces were able to get between the forts and attack them from the rear; the Brialmont forts were designed to be protected from shellfire equaling their heaviest guns: 21 cm.
The top of the central massif used 4 metres of unreinforced concrete, while the caserne walls, judged to be less exposed, used 1.5 metres. Under fire, the forts could not withstand heavier artillery. Chaudfontaine's armament included a Grüsonwerke turret with a single 21 cm Krupp gun, a15cm Creusot turret with twin guns and a 12 cm Châtillon-Commentry turret with two Krupp guns, all for distant targets. Four Grüsonwerke 57 mm gun turrets were provided for local defense; the fort mounted an observation turret with a searchlight. Nine rapid-fire 57 mm guns were provided in casemates for the defense of the ditches and the postern; the fort's heavy guns were German Krupp, while the turret mechanisms were from a variety of sources. The fort was provided with signal lights to permit communication with the neighboring Fort de Loncin and Fort de Liers; the guns were fired using black powder rather than smokeless powder, producing choking gas in the confined firing spaces that spread throughout the fort.
Liège first came under attack on 6 August 1914. When the Liège's fortifications proved unexpectedly stubborn, the Germans brought heavy siege artillery to bombard the forts with shells far larger than they were designed to resist. Chaudfontaine was bombarded starting 12 August, with firing rates of 200 to 300 shells per hour. On 13 August a shell hit the 21 cm turret; the explosion and the resulting toxic fumes killed at least 58 of the garrison. With the interior atmosphere unbreathable, the fort surrendered that day. Occupying the fort during the remainder of the war, Germans made a number of improvements to the fort in 1914 and 1915. Chaudfontaine's armament was upgraded in the 1930s to become part of the Fortified Position of Liège II, planned to deter a German incursion over the nearby border; the armament was upgraded with new guns in the turrets. This was accompanied by improvements to ventilation, sanitary facilities and electrical power. An air intake tower was added overlooking the Vesdre.
New barracks were built at this time for peacetime accommodation. A large infantry shelter was constructed on the fort's glacis, intended to be linked to the main fort. Chaudfontaine came under attack during the Battle of Belgium on 16 May 1940, it was bombarded by the Luftwaffe in the early hours of the 17th, setting off explosions within the fort. A German attack in the daytime resulted in casualties among the garrison, at 1930 hours the fort surrendered; the fort de Chaudfontaine is occupied by an adventure park. A small cemetery and war memorial are located just outside the main gate, containing the bodies of the 71 killed in 1914, including two from the Fort de Fléron, ten killed in the interval between the forts, a civilian, executed at Romsée. Donnell, The Forts of the Meuse in World War I, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, 2007, ISBN 978-1-84603-114-4. Kauffmann, J. E. Jurga, R. Fortress Europe: European Fortifications of World War II, Da Capo Press, USA, 2002, ISBN 0-306-81174-X. Le fort de Chaudfontaine 1914 & 1940 Revue de la Presse article on the fort's 1914 action, reprinted from 28 June 1918 Fort de Chaudfontaine at fortiff.be
Hamoir is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Liège. On 1 January 2006, Hamoir had a total population of 3,592; the total area is 27.80 km² which gives a population density of 129 inhabitants per km². Hamoir is situated on the river Ourthe; the municipality consists of the following sub-municipalities: Hamoir proper, Comblain-Fairon, Filot. List of protected heritage sites in Hamoir Media related to Hamoir at Wikimedia Commons
Wallonia is a region of Belgium. As the southern portion of the country, Wallonia is French-speaking, accounts for 55% of Belgium's territory and a third of its population; the Walloon Region was not merged with the French Community of Belgium, the political entity responsible for matters related to culture and education, because the French Community of Belgium encompasses both Wallonia and the majority French-Speaking Brussels-Capital Region. The German-speaking minority in eastern Wallonia results from WWI and the subsequent annexation of three cantons that were part of the former German empire; this community represents less than 1% of the Belgian population. It forms the German-speaking Community of Belgium, which has its own government and parliament for culture-related issues. During the industrial revolution, Wallonia was second only to the United Kingdom in industrialization, capitalizing on its extensive deposits of coal and iron; this brought the region wealth, from the beginning of the 19th to the middle of the 20th century, Wallonia was the more prosperous half of Belgium.
Since World War II, the importance of heavy industry has diminished, the Flemish Region surpassed Wallonia in wealth, as Wallonia declined economically. Wallonia now suffers from high unemployment and has a lower GDP per capita than Flanders; the economic inequalities and linguistic divide between the two are major sources of political conflicts in Belgium and a major factor in Flemish separatism. The capital of Wallonia is Namur, the most populous city is Charleroi. Most of Wallonia's major cities and two-thirds of its population lie along the Sambre and Meuse valley, the former industrial backbone of Belgium. To the north lies the Central Belgian Plateau, like Flanders, is flat and agriculturally fertile. In the southeast lie the Ardennes and sparsely populated. Wallonia borders Flanders and the Netherlands in the north, France to the south and west, Germany and Luxembourg to the east. Wallonia has been a member of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie since 1980; the term "Wallonia" can mean different things in different contexts.
One of the three federal regions of Belgium is still constitutionally defined as the Walloon Region, but the region's government has renamed it Wallonia, it is called Wallonia. Preceding 1 April 2010, when the renaming came into effect, Wallonia would sometimes refer to the territory governed by the Walloon Region, whereas Walloon Region referred to the government. In practice, the difference between the two terms is small and what is meant is clear, based on context; the root of the word Wallonia, like the words Wales and Wallachia, is the Germanic word Walha, meaning the strangers. Wallonia is named after the Walloons, the population of the Burgundian Netherlands speaking Romance languages. In Middle Dutch, the term Walloons included the French-speaking population of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège or the whole population of the Romanic sprachraum within the medieval Low Countries. Julius Caesar conquered Gaul in 57 BC; the Low Countries became part of the larger Gallia Belgica province which stretched from southwestern Germany to Normandy and the southern part of the Netherlands.
The population of this territory was Celtic with a Germanic influence, stronger in the north than in the south of the province. Gallia Belgica became progressively romanized; the ancestors of the Walloons became Gallo-Romans and were called the "Walha" by their Germanic neighbours. The "Walha" started to speak Vulgar Latin; the Merovingian Franks gained control of the region during the 5th century, under Clovis. Due to the fragmentation of the former Roman Empire, Vulgar Latin regionally developed along different lines and evolved into several langue d'oïl dialects, which in Wallonia became Picard and Lorrain; the oldest surviving text written in a langue d'oïl, the Sequence of Saint Eulalia, has characteristics of these three languages and was written in or near to what is now Wallonia around 880 AD. From the 4th to the 7th century, the Franks established several settlements mostly in the north of the province where the romanization was less advanced and some Germanic trace was still present.
The language border began to crystallize between 700 under the reign of the Merovingians and Carolingians and around 1000 after the Ottonian Renaissance. French-speaking cities, with Liège as the largest one, appeared along the Meuse river and Gallo-Roman cities such as Tongeren and Aachen became Germanized; the Carolingian dynasty dethroned the Merovingians in the 8th century. In 843, the Treaty of Verdun gave the territory of present-day Wallonia to Middle Francia, which would shortly fragment, with the region passing to Lotharingia. On Lotharingia's breakup in 959, the present-day territory of Belgium became part of Lower Lotharingia, which fragmented into rival principalities and duchies by 1190. Literary Latin, taught in schools, lost its hegemony during the 13th century and was replaced by Old French. In the 15th century, the Dukes of Burgundy took over the Low Countries; the death of Charles the Bold in 1477 raised the issue of succession, the Liégeois took advantage of this to regain some of their autonomy.
From the 16th to the 18th century, the Low Countries wer
Provinces of Belgium
The country of Belgium is divided into three regions. Two of these regions, the Flemish Region or Flanders, Walloon Region, or Wallonia, are each subdivided into five provinces; the third region, the Brussels-Capital Region, is not divided into provinces, as it was only a small part of a province itself. Most of the provinces take their name from earlier duchies and counties of similar location, while their territory is based on the departments installed during French annexation. At the time of the creation of Belgium in 1830, only nine provinces existed, including the province of Brabant, which held the city of Brussels. In 1995, Brabant was split into three areas: Flemish Brabant, which became a part of the region of Flanders; these divisions reflected political tensions between the French-speaking Walloons and the Dutch-speaking Flemish. The division into provinces is fixed by Article 5 of the Belgian Constitution; the provinces are subdivided into 43 administrative arrondissements, further into 581 municipalities.
The medieval Low Countries, including present-day Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, as well as parts of modern Germany and France, comprised a number of rival and independent feudal states of varying sizes. These each had their own identities and governments, though in the early modern period all the Belgian states became part of larger entities. Prominent early states in the area of modern Belgium included the Duchy of Brabant, the County of Flanders, the Prince-Bishopric of Liège and the Duchy of Luxembourg; when these territories were annexed by France in 1795, they were reorganised into départments. At the end of French rule and the creation of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815, the departmental territories were retained but were renamed into provinces and the historical names returned. At the time of the independence of Belgium from the Netherlands in 1830, Belgium's territory consisted of the existing nine southern provinces; the first article of the Belgian Constitution said: "Belgium is divided into provinces.
These provinces are Antwerp, West Flanders, East Flanders, Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg, except for the relations of Luxembourg with the German Confederation." As such, each of the modern provinces of Belgium takes its name from one of the medieval predecessors, whereas the borders correspond to those of the French departments, which in most cases differ from the historical entities. In 1839, as part of the Treaty of London, half of the province of Limburg became part of the Netherlands, which has its own province of Limburg. In 1920, following the First World War, Belgium annexed the Eupen-Malmedy territory, which became part of the province of Liège. During the second half of the 20th century, Belgium transitioned from a unitary state to a federal state with three Communities and three Regions; as part of the state reforms, the province of Brabant was split in 1995 three ways: into two provinces and into the Brussels-Capital Region. The two new Brabant provinces became part of the Walloon Region respectively.
The remaining eight provinces became part of these regions as well, so the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region each contain five provinces. The following table presents a simplified overview of the evolution of the French departments into the present-day Belgian provinces; the provincial government consists of three main branches: the Provincial Council, the elected body, the Deputation or Provincial College, the executive body, the Governor, appointed by the regional government. The Provincial Councils are the representative bodies of the population of the provinces; this is the equivalent of the States-Provincial in the Netherlands. The numbers of seats in the Provincial Councils are proportional to the population of the province, they are directly elected each six years, at the same time of the municipal elections. Before 1994, the provincial elections instead coincided with the national elections; until the provincial councils appointed Provincial Senators to the Belgian Senate. The last elections were held on 14 October 2018.
The executive branch was called the Permanent Deputation. In the Flemish Region it is now called the Deputation and it consists of the Governor and six Deputies elected by the Provincial Council from among its members. Following the next 2018 election, there will be i.e. five Deputies. In the Walloon Region it is called the Provincial College which consists of the Governor and four to five Deputies elected by the Provincial Council from among its members. In Flemish Brabant, there is a Deputy Governor; the Deputy Governor is appo
Tinlot is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Liège. On January 1, 2006 Tinlot had a total population of 2,346; the total area is 37.12 km² which gives a population density of 63 inhabitants per km². The municipality consists of the following sub-municipalities: Abée, Ramelot, Soheit-Tinlot, Scry. List of protected heritage sites in Tinlot Media related to Tinlot at Wikimedia Commons