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Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade (Municipality, Bouches-du-Rhône, France)

Last modified: 2012-05-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: bouches-du-rhone | puy-sainte-réparade (le) | horse (yellow) |
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[Flag of Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade]

Flag of Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade - Image by Ivan Sache, 19 November 2011

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Presentation of Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade

The municipality of Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade (5,276 inhabitants in 2008 - Puéchens; 4,629 ha) is located 20 km north of Aix-en-Provence

Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade developed under the Quilho / Quille hill; the Latin word podium, "an elevation", is the root of several cognate words used in the Occitan-speaking domain to designate a hill (puech, pech, puig; here, puy - not linked to a volcano as in Auvergne).
In the 11th century, relics of St. Reparat were transfered to the St. Maurice-du-Puy church; the name of the saint was subsequently bastardized to "Réparade". St. Reparata, the patron saint of Florence and Nice, was beheaded in 250 during the Decian persecution. Her body was placed on a boat that drifted, guided by angels, to Nice; the bay where the boat landed was then named Angels' Bay (Baie des Anges). Several saints from the Holy Land reached Provence this way, dead or alive; all this stories, lacking historical evidence, are a kind of metaphor of the early christianization of southern Gaul from the Holy Land.

Once the site of a Celto-Ligurian camp (oppidum), the Quille hill was crowned in the 10th by an early fort, subsequently increased to a fortified castle ("Castrum de Podio Sanctae Reparatae") ruled by the Archbishops of Aix, lords of Le Puy since the 11th century. The fortress watched a main crossing of river Durance; a ferry existed there in 1297, relocated to Pertuis in the 15th century. The fortress also watched the border with France until the incorporation of Provence to the Kingdom of France in 1481.
In the 16th century, the fortress was used during the War of Religions as a base for attacks; accordingly the Parliament of Aix and the States of Provence decided to demolish it, which was completed in 1612. Afterwards, the villagers moved downhill and built a new village surrounded by several hamlets.

In 1954-1955, the French power company EDF built the EDF Canal, linking the Serre-Ponçon dam to the étang de Berre and allowing irrigation of the Durance valley. This boosted the development of Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, which subsequently welcomed several pieds noirs repatriated from Algeria. In the 1980s, several inhabitants of Aix and Marseilles moved to Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade for a better environment, significantly increasing the population of the small town.
Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade is famous for its vineyards, shared by four domains (côteaux d'Aix), two of them having converted to organic production.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 19 November 2011

Flag of Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade

The flag of Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, hoisted on the town hall (photo), is white with the municipal coat of arms and, below, the name of the municipality written in blue capital letters.

The arms of Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade (description) are "Per fess, 1. Argent a pallet azure, 2. Vert a horse or".
According to Louis de Bresc (Armorial des communes de Provence [bjs94]), the arms were registered with the the Armorial Général (II, 342; drawing, I, 558; registration fee, 20 pounds). At the time, the village was known as Le Puy-Saint-Canadet, recalling that the settlements of Le Puy and Saint- Canadet were merged into a single municipality in 1790.
The horse recalls that in the Middle Ages the village was named Le Puy de la Cavalerie, referring to an estate owned by the Order of the Temple. The blue pallet must represent river Durance.

Dominique Cureau & Ivan Sache, 19 November 2011