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Commuity perron in MONT-SAINT-GUIBERT
(Place de la Dodaine)

Commuity perron MONT-SAINT-GUIBERT picture
Picture by Paul Gouverneur

Frits Schetsken (transated by us): 'In 1116, the duke Godfried I with he Beard of Brabant gives the city Mont-Saint-Guibert a charter with liberties. When in 1123 the same Godfried asks the abbeye of Gembloux to promote business in the new city, Mont-Saint-Guibert becomes a place where merchants, pilgrims, knights and clergy live together.

In 1346, we find the first traces about the perron on the Grand-Place in front of the church. The idea of a perron goes back to a stone where the village eldest discussed the situations of the entire community. The word probably comes from pas-rond, a cicle. The main example of the perron van Lieges. Walloon Brabant depends till 1559 on the prinsbisdom Liege and so there are 3 laces having a perron. Next to Mont-Saint-Guibert also Nivelles and Incourt have one.

This perron consists of 3 sixsided stairs with 3 rings supporting a pilar crowned by a bronze cross in the middle of a David Star. No Pinapalle like in Lièges, but a Christian Symbol here. From such a perron official decisions from the Duke or Prince were explained. Criminals who on the run could reach the perron, could only be arrested from the morning of the 4th day. Gving bizar situations, where a group of policemen had to circle the perron for 3 days, avoding that the criminal would run.

In days after the French Revoluation, the Perron of Mont-Saint-Guibert disappears and gets forgotten. In the beginning of the 20th century, duke Eugène Goblet d’Alviella – senator, and professor at the Brussels ULB, and founder of a spectacular mausoleum on the Court-Saint-Étienne graveyard - finds a drawing from 1527 about the perron. Father Antoine Papin, a priest in Gembloux, has made this, and the duke makes a small study of it. nevertheless, it's only after the second Wrold War that action is taken to rebuild a Perron.

In 1947, a group of Guibertins lead by Edgard Mirlon, acountant of the Paperfactory in Mont-Saint-Guibert (in those days the larges factory there), ask for a reconstruction of the perron. Thanks to a gift of 25.000 frank by the community, two stonemasons from the neighboring Hevillers, Grégoire Labar and Emile Laurent, can make a new limestone perron. Under the directions of Georges Lannoye, master mason of the paper factory, a bottom support of of 1.5 metres depth is made to stabilize the new perron. It's not put on the Gand Place (because there is a war momorial there), but it's inaugurated on July 3rd, 1949 on the Place du Sablon close to the town school.

Whan around 1973 many trucks of the paper factory and the brewery Grade lead to a dramtic increase of traffic, the perron is relocated to the de la Dodaine Square, in front of the house where the leader of the initiave lived - pure coinsidence. '