The Ardennes, land of legends, is full of mysteries and ancient Ardennes customs, vestiges of our past. Today, allow me to tell you one. Let's go together to discover a legend mysterious attached to the town of Givet, the legend of the three robbers.
Did you know? The legend tells that Givet and its region were for a long time terrorized and harmed by three brigands, three giants of whom nothing was known except that they were dressed in black and that they did not shrink from anything. These bandits, once night fell, crowded into the village to loot the houses of the poor, innocent inhabitants. Sometimes they forced a door, sometimes a shutter and no matter how many people were inside, they were all bound and gagged.
Then began the looting. They searched the houses from top to bottom, taking gold, silver, jewelry, clothes and food, showing no mercy. If they felt that some hiding places were slipping away from them, they fled, blending into the night. Rich and poor alike were terrified to sleep. And in many houses, the master of the family watched, behind the door, a gun or a pitchfork close at hand.
The brigands, noticing that their tactics were becoming dangerous, decided to change them. So they posted themselves in a few isolated corners of the city, waiting for a victim to be robbed. One evening, they robbed the parish priest of Givet Notre Dame, who was returning from Dion, where he had brought extreme unction to a dying person, and stole the holy oils from him. Another day, they robbed the Saint Hilaire church, breaking into the tabernacle in search of gold or silver. Disappointed, probably with a meager booty, they urinated on the altar, unleashing divine wrath on them.
The following night, as they returned from a raid in a pasture, each carrying a sheep on their shoulders, they were about to cross the Meuse when they were petrified. For their punishment to serve as an example, we saw them for a long time, poor rocks on the banks of the Meuse.
Alas, progress and development on the shores got the better of them...
So here is the legend of the three robbers of Givet…