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The village is located in the valley of the river Ligny, which flows from west to east. The northern bank of this river was occupied by a Roman castrum (fortified camp) and an important road linking Tongeren to Bavay crossed it at that time. The southern side was covered with forests, where wild boars lived and were hunted for food. Inhabitants had been living on both sides since ancient times but they did not have any particular link between them until 1854 when a bridge over the Ligny connected them together for good. In 1220 Balâtre belonged to Waleran III de Limbourg who sold it in 1230 along with other possessions he owned around Liège (Liers) and Huy (Hoei).