Last modified: 2021-07-17 by ivan sache
Keywords: chalonnes-sur-loire |
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Flag of Chalonnes-sur-Loire, current and former versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 25 April 2021
The municipality of Chalonnes-sur-Loire (6,527 inhabitants in 2018; 3,856 ha; municipal website) is located 20 km west of Angers.
Chalonnes developed around an early sanctuary erected by St. Maurille in the 5th century. Maurille spent some 15 years in Chalonnes and was subsequently appointed bishop of Angers. Among his miracles, Maurille allowed a sterile woman to have a child, who unfortunately died soon after the birth. To expiate his fault, Maurille exiled himself to England, where he worked as a gardener. During his journey to England, he lost the keys of the reliquary of his church and promised he would not come back to Angers until he retrieves the keys. Four of his disciples sailing to England to support him had during the crossing of the Channel a fish jumping in their boat, with the keys in the stomach. Back to Angers, Maurille obtained the resurrection of the dead child.
The St. Peter tower is the last vestige of the fortress erected by Fulk, Count of Anjou, to prevent the Northmen to sail on the Loire. In 1096, the fortress was offered to the bishop of Angers, who was named Baron of Chalonnes. Severely damaged during the Hundred Years' War, the castle was restored by bishop Haudouin du Beuil, who celebrated in 1422 in the parish church the marriage of Gilles de Rais (the model of Bluebeard) and Catherine de Thouars. Ruined during the Wars of Religion, the fortress was sold in 1791 by the bishop of Angers.
Chalonnes was once the site of different ports established on river Loire. After the building of the Layon Canal in 1778, Dutch merchants settled in Chalonnes to purchase wines from the Layon Hill. The ports also traded lime produced by local kilns since the 17th century and coal extracted from local mines.
In 1857, engineer Bareteau built stone quays on a length of 600 m, merging the old ports. River transport declined after the establishment of the railway until totally suppressed in 1913.
Ivan Sache, 25 April 2021
The flag of Chalonnes-sur-Loire (photo) is white with the municipal logo, which was adopted in 2016. The former flag of Chalonnes (photo) was white with the former municipal logo.
The former logo represents the town's skyline, composed of the suspended bridge, the Loire and the parish church. The first suspension bridge was established in Chalonnes, as a toll bridge, in 1840. Destroyed on 20 June 1940 by the French army to slow down the German advance, it was replaced by the Germans by a bridge composed of boats, and, subsequently, by a wooden bridge, which was broken by ice on 26 December 1940. The present-day's bridge was inaugurated on 25 July 1948.
[Ouest France, 2 January 2021]
Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 25 April 2021