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Valençay (Municipality, Indre, France)

Last modified: 2021-03-22 by ivan sache
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Flag of Valençay, current and former versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 30 October 2020

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Presentation of Valençay

The municipality of Valençay (2,351 inhabitants in 2018; 4,159 ha) is located 40 km of Châteauroux.

Valençay was first mentioned as a domain in the 13th century, from which only a medieval lower hall remains. The fief was acquired in 1451, at the end of the Hundred Years' War by Robert II of Estampes. The defensive feudal manor was suppressed to be replaced by a modern castle. The wedding of Louis of Estampes with Marie Hurault, daughter of the Lord of Cheverny and Intendant of the Finances of Louis XII, made it possible to launch the work around 1520, almost at the same time as the castle of Chambord located a few kilometers away. The work would be continued by the next generations until 1650, which explained the castle's architectural composity style.
The maintenance of such a castle was too expensive for the Estampes family, who sold it in 1747 to Jacques-Louis Chaumont de La Millière. The castle was acquired in 1766 Philippe-Charles Legendre de Villemorien, whose wealth allowed the continuation of the work.

Ecouraged by Emperor Napoleon who wanted his Minister of Foreign Affaris to be able to receive foreign dignitaries in an appropriate manner, Talleyrand bought Valençay in 1803. During the Spanish War, the castle was transformed into a luxury prison where the Spanish princes stayed for six years.
During the Restoration Talleyrand became a councillor of Louis XVIII, who sacked him ln 1815; he returned to Valençay, where he was elected mayor of the vllage and acted as a benefactor. When Talleyrand died in 1838 without legitimate heir, the estate reverted to his great nephew Napoléon-Louis de Talleyrand-Pééigord. The castle remained in the family until 1952 when the Duke of Valençay Boson bequeathed his estate to his son-in-law Jean Morel. The estate was ceded in 1979 to a public body.

Olivier Touzeau, 28 October 2020

Flag of Valençay

The flag of Valençay (photo) is vertically divided blue-white, which are the colors of the municipal arms, "Argent three towers azure masoned sable fesswise on a base vert".

A flag formed of two yellow and red horizontal bands was in use before (observed in 1997). Red and yellow are the colors of the house of Talleyrand-Périgord, whose coat of arms is "Gules three lions or armed langued and crowned azure". According to postcards from the beginning of the 20th century, the flag appeared on the lightning rod of the castle keep. A similar flag was also displayed on the large wing lightning rod over the park, for several years, between 1980 and 1995.

Olivier Touzeau & Pascal Vagnat, 28 October 2020