7th and 8th centuries

7th and 8th centuries

Translated by deepl.com

Before the first official censuses in the 17th century, there was no reliable information on the life of the inhabitants of the hamlet, which was supposedly founded by Begge, Charlemagne’s great grandmother, at the end of the 7th century.

However, the origin of the village of Mont-devant-Sassey (from “Mons-a-Sacellum”, in reference to the oratory that stood there) dates back to 680, when Begge is said to have had the first church built there…

Begge came from the Pippinid family, an illustrious Merovingian lineage founded by Clovis, the first Catholic king of the Franks. She was the third cousin of Charlemagne and the founder of the Carolingian dynasty. She was the daughter of Pepin of Landen, mayor of the palace of Austrasia (in green on the map). She married Ansegise (son of Saint Arnould, bishop of Metz who was entrusted with the education of Dagobert II, the last Merovingian king, who was murdered near Mont-devant-Sassey, in the Woëvre forest).

Begge and Ansegise shared their lives between Andenne, Chèvremont, Jupille and Mont-devant-Sassey: the ‘Jupille Farm’ still exists on the site of the royal villa of Pepin of Landen, behind the hill of Mont (map). They had a huge domain stretching from the Upper Meuse to the Rhine valley. The Meuse allowed them to travel to the borders of their territory. The river links Liege, Andenne and Mont-devant-Sassey… The mother of Pepin of Herstal, Saint Begge is the grandmother of the famous Charles Martel, who was born and raised in Andenne (B).

One day, while hunting in Andenne, Chèvremont or Sassey (depending on whether you are from Liège, Andenne or Montois!), Anségise took in a child on the side of the road, adopted him and called him Gonduin: Gondoin is today a common patronymic in the region of Stenay, the ancient Merovingian capital….

But around 670, Gonduin murdered his father. Begge, devastated by grief, is said to have taken the veil, to have founded the Chapter of the Chanoinesses, of which she became the first Abbess, and to have erected a small church on the hill of Mont around 680, perhaps in memory of Anegesius.