A place named Ursidongus





At the place named Ursidongus, were born the Town of Saint-Ghislain and its Abbey. Guided by a female bear (ursi) and an eagle, as the legend goes, Ghislain, an Athenian monk, came here long before the year 1000 to evangelize our lands. By his pity, he conquered the esteem of the good King Dagobert who offered him the land where an abbey was built, on a knoll in the shape of a tomb (dongus).
Through the centuries, the abbey began to exploit the vast neighbouring forest area and drain the marshland. Farms and chapels grew in number until the village was born which was to become Saint-Ghislain.

As early as the 13th Century, serfs extracted coal from the land. The town grew in the shadow of the abbey and witnessed sieges, fires and epidemics sometimes faring better than others.

Responsible for this website : town of Saint-Ghislain
City Council : rue de Chièvres, 17 – 7333 Saint-Ghislain (Tertre)
Phone : + 32 (0)65 76 19 00 – Fax : + 32 (0)65 76 20 00 – Mal : info@saint-ghislain.be