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Jehanster

ewereville et jehanster vue de chaumont.jpg

Jehanster is a village located on a wild ridge perched on the foothills of the Hautes Fagnes, flanked by its two watch towers: Jonckeu and Faweux. Set back from the street in the centre of Jehanster village is the old Jehanster chapel which was converted first into a stable and barn, and then into a house. St Roch church houses organs which are listed as Walloon heritage. Many masses are sung by choirs accompanied by these wonderful organs.

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In the wood you will find the Croix du Petit Jean or "Lu creûs dè p'tit Dj'han" which dates back to the time when the region was part of the Principality of Liège and more especially the Marquisate of Franchimont. It seems that a clog factory was set up here, where the roads from Jehanster to Limbourg and Verviers to Sart cross. You will notice that the area south of Verviers is studded with crosses; they date back to the 16th century to the time the iron industry was being developed. In effect, seeing the impoverishment of his forests (forges being supplied with wood), the Prince-Bishop Erard de la Marck marked boundaries within which the inhabitants were forbidden to cut down trees. The boundaries of the protected areas were marked by crosses. The Croix du Petit Jean marker dates back to this period. It is therefore an old boundary cross, on which a figure of Christ was affixed. This place is also the site of a legend about a poor man named Petit Jean who died of cold here while he was on a long journey. A cross was therefore set up here to recall the dangers which travellers at that time faced.
 
But, the least spectacular aspect of Jehanster and yet the most important, is the shale from the primary era which can be found on the path descending from the Croix de Petit Jean towards Le Hélivy from the bottom of Surister. This outcrop from the primary era could be 400 to 500 million years old. It could be the only one in Belgium. Something to dream about !

 

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