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Ename

Ename, at the former border between the Ottonian Empire and the French Kingdom, grew into a well-known Ottonian margravial centre during the tenth century. Presently, the foundations of the Ottonian site and the Benedictine abbey are integrated into a provincial archaeological park.

  • Modern Era – Today

Modern Era – Today

Archaeological research

Edmond Beaucarne, mayor of Ename, published his research and investigation of historical scources of Ename published in 1895.

Prof. A. L. J. Van de Walle, architect, started an investigation on possible remains of the Ename castrum from the 10th and 11th century. First he consulted historical scources. From 1942 till 1947 the excavation campaign brought up the stronghold and the aula with chapel as well as the Romanesque abbey church Saint Salvator.

A long-term archaeological investigation was set up between 1982 and 2002 by the National Service for Excavations and its Flemish legal successors under the management of Dirk Callebaut. Part of the castrum and almost the whole abbey and the settlement underneath were excavated as well as the Saint Laurentius church.

From 1984 on the forest Bos t’Ename, situated on the steep north-east slope along the Scheldt, was the object of a large-scale historical and ecological investigation focusing on the ecological quality and the evolution of the landscape, in collaboration with the inhabitants of Ename and the managers of the forest. Fig. 20

Fig. 20: Aerial view on the excavated foundations of the Saint Salvator abbey in Ename.  General view on the excavated foundations of the Benedictine abbey. Credit: H. Timmerma

Fig. 20: Aerial view on the excavated foundations of the Saint Salvator abbey in Ename. General view on the excavated foundations of the Benedictine abbey. Credit: H. Timmerma

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Site Today

The Ottonian foundations of the Saint Salvator church are visible in the foundations of the abbey churches. The history of the site is presented on information panels and on a brand-new timescope.

The Saint Laurentius church is still used as the village church. After the large-scale archaeological and architectural–historical investigation the central axis was restored to its primitive form because of the recognizable authenticity of the original building. The story of the archaeological excavation is presented on a timescope in the church.

The Ename forest is visible from the archaeological site. The wood contains traces of human use since the 12th century. Panels provide both ecological and historical information.

What concerning landscape features, the Scheldt has been calibrated, but the old meanders are still visible in the landscape as ponds bordered with trees. The village centre is still situated around the former common field with historical relics from the annual fair.

The museum of Ename contains the objects that were found during the excavations. A timeline and a timescope lead the visitor through the history of 1000 years of Ename.Fig. 21

Fig. 21: Aerial view of Ename: Saint Laurentius church, archaeological site and the Scheldt. Credit: H. Timmerman

Fig. 21: Aerial view of Ename: Saint Laurentius church, archaeological site and the Scheldt. Credit: H. Timmerman

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References

34 Tack, Guido, Van Den Bremt, Paul and Hermy, Martin, Bossen van Vlaanderen. Een historische ecologie, Leuven, Davidsfonds, 1993. Krtn., tab., ill., p. 230

35 Berings, Geert, Landschap, geschiedenis en archeologie in het Oudenaardse, Stadsbestuur Oudenaarde, 1989, p. 187

36 Van de Walle, A.L.J. , ‘Historisch en archeologisch onderzoek van de portus Ename’, in Handelingen van de Maatschapprij voor Geschiedenis en Oudheidkunde te Gent, dl. II, 1945, pp. 37-51

37 Van de Walle, A.L.J. , ‘Verslag van de navorsingen betreffende de St-Salvatorkerk’, in Cultureel Jaarboek Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen, jrg. 1, 1947, pp. 231-307

38 Callebaut, Dirk, ‘De portus en abdij van Ename’, _Archaeologia Belgica, I-2, pp. 89-94

39 Callebaut, Dirk, ‘De vroeg-middeleeuwse portus en Benedictijnenabdij van Ename’, Archaeologia Belgica, 1985, II-1, pp. 95-104

40 Callebaut, Dirk, ‘Castrum, Portus und Abtei von Ename (mit einem Beitrag von P. Van der Plaetsen)’, in Burgen der Salierzeit. Teil I. In den nördlichen Landschaften des Reiches. Sigmaringen, 1991, pp. 291-309

41 Tack, Guido, Van Den Bremt, Paul and Hermy, Martin, Bossen van Vlaanderen. Een historische ecologie, Leuven, Davidsfonds, 1993. Krtn., tab., ill., p. 230

42 Berings, Geert, Landschap, geschiedenis en archeologie in het Oudenaardse, Stadsbestuur Oudenaarde, 1989, p. 187

43 Callebaut, Dirk, ‘De portus en abdij van Ename’, Archaeologia Belgica, I-2, 1985, pp. 89-94

44 Callebaut, Dirk, ‘De vroeg-middeleeuwse portus en Benedictijnenabdij van Ename’, Archaeologia Belgica, II-1, 1985, p. 95-104

45 Milis, Ludo, Callebaut, Dirk, ‘Ename : burcht en “pre-stedelijke” nederzetting’, in Ontstaan en vroegste geschiedenis van de middeleeuwse steden in de zuidelijke Nederlanden. Een archeologisch en historisch probleem, 14 de Internationaal Colloquium, Spa, 6-8 september 1988, Gemeentekrediet, Historische uitgaven, reeks 8°, 83, 1990, pp. 459-497

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