History

Heart of Belgian City Mayor Found Hidden in Public Fountain

This confirms a century-old urban legend.

  • The heart of Pierre David, Verviers’ first mayor was found within the ornate fountain at Place Verte.
  • Workers found the organ, which was inside a small, zinc casket during the fountain’s renovation in August.
  • The casket along with documents from the city’s archives are on exhibit at the Verviers Fine Arts Museum until September 20.

On August 20, workers renovating Fontaine David in Verviers, east of Liége in Belgium found the entombed heart of the city’s first-ever ‘bourgmestre’ or mayor.

Inadvertently confirming a century-old Waloon urban legend, they recovered a rusted, metal coffin with these words inscribed on it:

“The heart of Pierre David was solemnly placed in the monument on 25 June 1883.”
According Maxime Degey, Verviers Alderman for Public Works, they found the casket in the upper part of the fountain.
“…right near the bust of Pierre David, behind a stone which we had removed during the fountain’s renovation,” he said.

In an article published by Euronews, we read that officials decided not to open the box ‘out of respect for the deceased and his family.’

Pierre David became Verviers’ first mayor in 1800 and served until 1808 when France ruled Belgium. In 1802, he founded the first firefighter corps– a rare innovation at that time, BBC reported.

He ruled as mayor again after the Belgian Revolution of 1830, and brought peace back to the heavily-damaged city.

Legend says that the city officials decided to take his heart–with consent from his family–when he died in 1839. They kept it in the town hall while authorities collected funds to build him a monument. Decades passed before they were able to collect enough money for it.

The eponymous monument was finished in 1883. Officials finally inaugurated Fontaine David and placed the beloved mayor’s heart within it.
The casket, along with documents from the city’s archives and the museum’s collection are on exhibit at Verviers Fine Arts Museum until September 20.
Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

TikToker Shares How She Tricked Invaders Who Tried Opening The Hotel Door While She Was Alone

Someone tried to open the door from the outside. Fortunately, she remembered her dad's tip!

May 31, 2021

5-Year-Old Artist Already Getting Commissioned For Her Paintings

"You know when they say that kids are natural artists? I think she’s the perfect…

May 31, 2021

Burglary Victim Writes Heartbreaking Note Begging Robber To Return Last Photos Dog

“Please. She died a few days ago. I cannot lose those photos as well.”

May 30, 2021

Meet The Gorgeous Actress Who Portrayed Zombie Queen In ‘Army Of The Dead’

Under all the prosthetic makeup is this beautiful woman!

May 29, 2021

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.