1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/St Hubert

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ST HUBERT, a small town of Belgium in the province of Luxemburg and in the heart of the Ardennes. Pop. (1904) 3204. It is famous for its abbey church containing the shrine of St Hubert, and for its annual pilgrimage. According to tradition the church and a monastery attached to it were founded in the 7th century by Plectrude, wife of Pippin of Herstal. The second church was built in the 12th century, but burnt by a French army under Condé in the 16th century. The present building is its successor, but has been restored in modern times and presents no special feature. The tomb of St Hubert—a marble sarcophagus ornamented with bas-reliefs and having four statuettes of other saints at the angles—stands in one of the side Chapels. The legend of the conversion of St Hubert—a hunter before he was a saint—by his meeting in the forest a stag with a crucifix between its antlers, is well known, and explains how he became the patron saint of huntsmen. The place where he is supposed to have met the stag is still known as “la converserie” and is almost 5 m. from St Hubert on the road to La Roche. The pilgrimage of St Hubert in May attracts annually between thirty and fifty thousand pilgrims. The buildings of the old monastery- have been utilized for a state training-school for waifs and strays, which contains on an average five hundred pupils. In the middle ages the abbey of St Hubert was one of the most important in Europe, owning forty villages with an annual income of over 80,000 crowns. During the French Revolution, when Belgium was divided into several departments, the possessions of the abbey were sold for £75,000, but the bishop of Namur was permitted to buy the church itself for £1350.