Last modified: 2013-03-23 by ivan sache
Keywords: gers | vic-fesenzac |
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Flag of Vic-Fesenzac - Image by Ivan Sache, 9 January 2010
The municipality of Vic-Fesenzac (3,614 inhabitants in 1999; 5,394 ha) is located in the region of Armagnac, 30 km north-west of Auch. The former municipality of Lagraulas was incorporated to Vic-Fesenzac, with the status of associated municipality, by Prefectoral Decree of 28 December 1872, with effect on 1 January 1973.
Vic-Fezensac was known in the Roman times as Besino. In the 10th
century, Besino was superseded by a town named Vicus Fidentiacus,
located uphill. As it was common at the time, two powers struggled for
the control of the town, indeed made of two distinct boroughs, the
bishop's borough, built around the St. Peter church and ruled by the
bishop of Auch, and the countal town, ruled by the Count of Fesenzac.
Set up at the end of the 10th century by a junior branch of the house
of Gascony, Fesenzac originally encompassed Armagnac; later on, the County of Armagnac absorbed the County of Fesenzac and became one of the most powerful feudal states of south-western France.
During the Hundred Year's War, the town was occupied by the English, who were eventually expelled in 1369. In the 14th century, a covered market was built on the open space separating the two parts of the town, which were eventually united. Demolished in 1866, the hall was replaced by an open square lined with arcades, now harbouring a bandstand and the statue "The Messenger" by Ossip Zadkine.
Located on a main road linking Bordeaux and Toulouse, Vic-Fesenzac welcomed on 25 April 1660 King Louis XIV, on his way to Saint-Jean-de-Luz where he would marry Infant Maria-Theresa. The king was escorted by (the true) d'Artagnan, born in the nearby village of Lupiac.
Vic-Fezensac is one of the French capitals of tauromachy. In 1929, the local Société des Courses de Taureaux (Society for Bullfighting) required from the municipality the building of a concrete bullring, which was inaugurated on 20 September 1931. The bull ring was increased in August 1933 to 5,847 seats, the first formal corrida being organized the same year. Stopped by the Second World War, bullfighting resumed in 1947. In 1998, the bullring was revamped and increased to 7,000 seats. The climax of the bullfighting season is the Whit Feria, with five corridas watched by 35,000 aficionados and a town's festival (four days and four nights) attracting more than 120,000 each year.
Source: Vic-Fezensac tourism website
Ivan Sache, 9 January 2010
The flag of Vic-Fesenzac is vertically divided red-blue-red, as shown on a photo in the book Le sud-ouest vu par Léon Mazzella (Hugo & Cie, Paris, 2009); on the photo, the flag is hoisted over the bullring, together with the flag of Gascony.
The flag is a simplified banner of the municipal arms, De gueules au pal cousu d'azur chargé d'une fleur de lis d'or en chef ("Gules a pale azure charged in chief with a fleur-de-lis or").
Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 9 January 2010