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Saint Roch School

Saint-Roch
 
Saint Roch school, or "THE FATHERS'" For many years, this was what the people of Theux called Marché's Ecole Normale, now the Institut Saint-Roch. The fathers were German Lazarite monks who lived in these buildings from 1880 to 1919. But the history of the initial dwelling dates back to the second half of the 18th century. It was a fine Louis XVI house made of bricks and limestone, with 3 stepped levels and five bays. It was a very modern institution in educational terms (natural history museum, laboratory, etc.) but also in terms of practical living with electricity provided by a small hydraulic power plant, showers, and even a brewery! During the 1914-18 war, the school was requisitioned by the Germans to set up a military hospital and, after the armistice, it played host to British soldiers suffering from Spanish flu. In 1919, as the Bismarck decree had been annulled, the "good fathers" went back to Germany. They sold their property to the Bishop of Liège who set up the "Ecole Normale" which moved from St Roch-Ferrière. New buildings were added between the entrance building and the level crossing and along the railway line. From 1880 to 1919, the German Lazarite Fathers gave guided tours of the Saint-Roch buildings with a history of their construction; this explains how the monks came to Theux in 1878 and how they left in 1919.
Guided tours of the Saint-Roch museum: currently, it is possible to visit the museum of scientific equipment left by the Fathers. This equipment has been restored and most of it has been in working order since 2002. This makes it possible to show the development of electricity in the 19th century by seeing arc lamps, discharge tubes, Morse telegraphs and other machines in operation. Slide shows from the same period illustrate life in the boarding school. Access to the museum is via a spiral staircase with 70 steps. The tour lasts 2 hours.