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The Taverne Saint Géry in Aubechies presents its history to you.


Between passions for cooking and opening a tavern, what's going on?

Indeed, even if the love of good food becomes a change of career and professional direction, nothing beats the risk of a great adventure.

Thus, in this so-called “crisis” period, obtaining a hospitality diploma in both good and bad, deserves to highlight the good pulpit of our terroirs for which I studied and practiced for three years.

History of a tavern

The establishment that my wife and I are taking over is not a trivial story.

Indeed, bought in the 1960s by Marcel and Madeleine, her grandparents, the tavern was a small farm located, as in most neighboring villages, opposite the church.

Already in those days, the neighborhood came there to drink a few Sunday beers as was customary. A small room: a fridge, a wooden counter, a small basin for washing dishes, a very cool cellar and three tables were the joy of card players.

In addition, a small store was attached to it. Household goods and utensils were sold there, as supermarkets did not exist. All with the manure yard decorating the front and the presence of cows, pigs and draft horses neighboring these premises.

Thus, aging farmers, others wanting the sustainability of the place, and an active grandmother will revitalize everything. Grandfather Marcel decides to enlarge and transform the watercress bed behind the farm into a fishing pond in place of the Roman fishpond. Grandmother Madeleine darkens the interior walls to enlarge the café area and with the help of Mr. Léonce DEMAREZ (founder of the Archéosite - our neighbor) a typical decoration of the place will be created. Thus, bricks placed on their field and pieces of amphorae (emerging from archaeological excavations from a certain Roman period!!!) are embedded in the walls. The son Christian, who would become the owner of the place upon their death, helped the archaeologist by excavating the soil of the region with his crane to discover historical treasures.

This, in summary, is the beginning of the Taverne Saint-Géry*.

It was therefore my wife's grandparents who named this little village café in good proximity to the aptly named church opposite "Saint-Géry Church". This is based on the remains of a Nympheum from the Roman era in place of a temple dedicated to the goddess of waters. Heritage of the Walloon Region, its rich history of an abbey is not without forgetting the traces of our coffee.

In fact, picturesquely located near one of the seven great Roman roads of northern Gaul, known as the "Chaussée Brunehaut", the village of Aubechies comes from the word "abbey" which the Abecia of 1028 is a probable alteration of Abbatice. This form is dated in the records of the Abbey of Saint-Ghislain. The Abbey, otherwise obscure and ephemeral, was founded by Gérard II - Bishop of Cambrai - on the seigniorial lands of the County of Hainaut belonging to the families of Trazegnies, lords of Silly. But in the 13th century, the land of Aubechies passed for a few florins to the families of Condé and Ligne, nevertheless always remaining the Liège stronghold of the Silly prairie.

And returning through the tavern, the pond located in front of the church is the fishpond which at the time belonged to the monastery of Saint-Ghislain - for the needs of the monks - dating back to Roman times.

As for the farm, we find it mentioned in 1690 under the name “Cense de la Place”.

Moreover, the 11th century Romanesque church dates from the founding of the Benedictine Abbey for Bishop Gérard, already mentioned. Currently, next to it, there remains the house, the former Priory, which after having been a community house and primary school has become a leisure lodge.

Finally to finish this historical point, what are not the reasons to take over such a building steeped in seigniorial and abbey history to welcome and inspire customers intrigued by our region...

* Ref. : “History of the commune of Aubechies” by Maurice VAN HAUDENARD - 1926