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The "Perron"

Throughout the 14th century, the Franchimontois devoted themselves to the defence of the public freedoms of the Principality of Liège. In thanks for this, they were exempted from all taxes. The prince-bishop therefore granted bourgeois rights and registered Theux amongst the "Bonnes Villes" (Good Towns) of the area. To seal this union, in 1457 the Liège magistrates set up a "Perron" in the chief town of each district. It became the symbol of the municipal freedoms. The cross represents the religious authority and the pillar (or stone of justice) the civil power, whereas the pine cone, between the cross and the pillar remains an enigma: it could be a pagan symbol evoking fertility and prosperity. In 1468, the new Perron was demolished by Charles the Bold who wanted to avenge himself on the 600 Franchimontois. Ten years later, it was rebuilt in the Gothic style: edicts and crimes committed in the chief-district were proclaimed from the top of its steps. Three hundred years later, damaged by the ravages of time, it was replaced by a new one which still has the place of honour in the square and is now listed.