Vlijtingen - our history

Vlijtingen is a district of Riemst and is located in the southeastern part of Limburg (Belgium) in the region Haspengouw. Vlijtingen, consisting of the village itself and the hamlet of Lafelt, has 2648 inhabitants and covers an area of 878 hectares.

During the Ancien Régime (1450 - 1800), Vlijtingen was the capital of the 'Eleven Banks of Saint-Servaas'. The Eleven Banks of Sint-Servaas, also known as the eleven lordships of Sint-Servaas, is the designation for a group of eleven villages with a common political history in the current provinces of Liège, Belgian Limburg and Dutch Limburg. Until 1797 the villages were owned by the chapter of Sint-Servaas, which was connected to the Sint-Servaas church in Maastricht.

In Vlijtingen was the main bank established, the so-called 'Court of the Eleven Banks' or the 'Hof van Vlijtingen'. The Maastricht chapter of Sint-Servaas owned the castle Daelhof, a country house for the provost, and the Blockhouse, the residence of the provost (both disappeared). The county of Loon and (after 1366) the prince-bishopric of Liège could therefore not exert any influence in Vlijtingen, although they have tried this several times.

On July 2nd, 1747, Vlijtingen was mostly burned down when, after the battle of Lafelt, the victorious French troops invaded the village. The Daelhof castle, owned by the chapter of Saint Servatius, and the Blockhouse, the meeting place of the 'main bank of Vlijtingen' and the residence of the provost, were destroyed during this battle and weren't rebuilt. The buildings were located on or near the current Meerplaats.

In 1934 the Albert Canal was dug east of Lafelt. Vlijtingen was the first Belgian municipality where a land consolidation was carried out (1957-1963). In 1977, Vlijtingen and its two hamlets, Lafelt and Ellicht, merged with nine other villages to form the municipality of Riemst.

Origin of the name 'Vlijtingen'

In the local dialect the village is called 'Vlètegge'. Flétange is the French name and Flétindje the name used in the French part of Belgium. The sill of the Sint-Albanus church is 85.10 metres above sea level.

For the origin of the village name we have three hypotheses. Vlijtingen is a composition of vlyt(fast) and ingen(field) which would refer to the faster harvesting of the crops in this place. The name can also be derived from 'vliet' which is derived from the Latin 'vletum' and means brook or river. A third explanation says that you can divide Fletinghen into 'flet', 'ing' and 'heim'. Flet/Fleido is a Frankish name, ing means clan and heim house. The residence of the clan/family of Fleido who would have settled here between the fifth and tenth century, judging by the name. 

How we ended up with "'t Vlyt"...

In all three of the above hypotheses, the word vlyt or vletum or Flet appears. Together with the story about the Elf Lordships it seemed to us at first sight that Heerlijckheidt 'tVlyt was a beautiful name.  

After a lot of thinking and talking to all kinds of people about this, we closed our discussion and chose for 't Vlyt' :-)

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