Last modified: 2021-03-27 by ivan sache
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Flag of Cuvry - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 10 December 2020
The municipality of Cuvry (856 inhabitants in 2018; 544 ha) is located 20 km south of Metz.
Olivier Touzeau, 10 December 2020
The flag of Cuvry (photo) is white with the municipal coat of arms, "Or a tower sable, chapé azure the uncial letters 'S' and 'N' or".
The tower on a yellow field comes from the arms of L'Isle, to which Cuvry belonged. L'Isle ("island", modern French, île) aka Entre-deux-Eaux ("Between two Water [courses]") was the part of Pays Messin located between rivers Moselle and Seille.
The chapé division of the shield recalls St. Martin, the parish's patron saint, through his cloak (chape).
The letters recall Cuvry's feudal lord, the Saint-Nicholas Hospital in Metz.
[Union des Cercles Généalogiques de Lorraine]
The Saint-Nicholas Hospital was built in borough Neufbourg, then located out of the town walls of Metz, which were increased and enclosed it in 1358.
In a charter dated 1192, Bishop Bertram (1180-1212) confirmed his predecessors' donations made to the hospital since the 9th century. According to a Bull signed by Pope Innocent III in 1206, the hospital was a secular foundation, managed by the municipality "to house, feed and maintain the poor, whose age or disability prevented to have work as a source of income". This was the only secular hospital in the region.
The Pontifroy Hospital was incorporated to Saint-Nicholas in 1222, as were in 1284 the Saint-Ladre, Vieille-Boucherie, Mazelle and Bordes leper-houses. Soon increased, the hospital was used to heal soldiers injured during war events, for instance the battle of Nancy (1476) and the siege of Metz by Charles V (1552). The hospital was completely rebuilt after a blaze that had destroyed it in 1492.
The famous writer François Rabelais was appointed doctor at the the Saint-Nicholas Hospital in 1546. He reorganized the medical service and forced the inhabitants of the town to remove garbage from the streets.
Generously funded by the king of France, the bishop of Metz and the Parliament, the Saint-Nicholas Hospital was granted in 1282 the odd dead's cloth right. The hospital had to be delivered the best clothes of anyone died in the town, within eight days. The right was used to fund the building and management of bridges, the hospital acting as a public contractor. The right is recalled by the Dead's Bridge.
The hospital also owned several mills, shops, cellars, farms, barns, vineyards, pastures and ponds. It also rented on market days staircases built behind the cathedral of Metz. The hospital's pharmacy purchased drugs in fairs all over Europe and retailed them in the town and to the neighboring abbeys. It also served as a credit house for the burghers of the town.
Nationalized during the French Revolution, the Saint-Nicolas Nicholas was operated until 1986.
[R. Bolzinger, E. Gilbrin, F. Lorrang. 1979. L'hôpital Saint-Nicolas de Metz avant la Révolution. Sa fondation laïque. Ses singulières prérogatives financières. Histoire des Sciences médicales 13, 369-377]
Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 11 December 2020