Lydéric and Phinaert

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The legend of Lydéric and Phinaert is tied to the foundation of the French city of Lille.

The legend[edit]

Around the year of our Lord 620, the prince of Dijon, Salvaert, makes his way to the Kingdom of England with his pregnant wife, Ermengaert. While traveling through Flanders, they fall into a trap laid by the local lord, the giant Phinaert. Phinaert has the prince and his men killed. Ermengaert flees and finds refuge at a hermit's home in the forest, where she gives birth to a son. Upon her death, she entrusts the baby to the hermit. He feeds the boy deer milk and baptizes him with his own name, Lydéric.

Lydéric soon learns the truth about his origins, and as a youth he sets out to search for Phinaert. He finds him at the court of Dagobert I at Soissons. Lydéric kills Phinaert in a duel and so avenges his parents' deaths. Phinaert's lands are given to Lydéric, where the young man founds the city of Lille in the year 640.

Related information[edit]

There is a sculpture of Lydéric and Phinaert on the wall at the base of Lille's belfry.

Citation : Les chroniques et annales de Flandres, Pierre d'OUDEGHERST, 1571