How it got its name
The place name is derived from salvenerias meaning a sandy area. The name is also given to a district of Liège.
Forming part of the Namur Hesbaye region, Sauvenière comprises several uplands with a thick layer of silt. They are cut into by the River Orneau crossing the locality from east to west and its tiny tributary, the Baudecet.
Sauvenière also contains Tertiary Brussels sand.
The altitude in the village varies from 142 metres at the River Orneau exit, towards Gembloux, to 172.5 metres at its southern boundary, in a place called La Peau de Chien, forming the locality's intersection with Grand-Leez and Lonzée.
Sauvenière is entirely part of the Meuse basin.
Accessible via the N29 Charleroi-Tirlemont highway, the E 411 motorway (exit Thorembais-St. Trond)
via the public transport lines 32 Namur-Gembloux (stop at Moulin Michaux) and 148a
Gembloux-Landen (stop on the N29 highway)
The Bavay-Cologne Roman road travels to the west of Sauvenière. Traces of the Gallo-Roman era have been discovered in the area, along this ancient arterial road. The ruins of the Arlansart villa were found in 1898 close to the old Sauvenière station. This medium-sized villa from the Antonins period (96-192) was destroyed by fire, most likely caused by the Germanic invasions in the 3rd and 4th centuries.
During the middle ages, Sauvenière was part of the Gembloux region, which was officially established as an earldom during the 16th century. The Gembloux abbot therefore exercised high justice there.
In common with all the localities in the Gembloux region, Sauvenière was sorely affected by the wars Louis XIV waged in the second half of the 17th century. When the French monarch seized Namur, in 1692, the left flank of the French occupied Sauvenière.
Subsequent to the French Revolution and the former Austrian Netherlands being annexed to France in 1795, Sauvenière became an independent municipality of the department of Sambre-et-Meuse. The village lost this status when it was incorporated into Gembloux, during the merger of the municipalities, on 1 January 1965.
St. Foy parish church was built during the first half of the 18th century, under the abbacy of Pierre Dumonceau, prelate of the Gembloux Benedictine abbey.
A few remnants remain of the original church it replaced.
The building was changed quite significantly towards 1837. The original Roman tower was included in the aisles and comprised levels cantoned with masonry reinforcements from the 16th and 17th centuries.
The Liroux castle-farm is found at the southern tip of Sauvenière, at the site of a villa already recognised as belonging to Gembloux abbey in the late 12th century. The complex includes mainly 18th century buildings, apart from a low dwelling from the first half of the 17th century and a neo-classical wing of the farm from the first half of the 19th century.
The early 19th century neo-classical style Notre-Dame de Lorette chapel was built in the Liroux countryside. The apse has a semi-circular shape. The central door with a straight lintel is framed by indented passageways through which visitors can make a tour of the building.