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Abbaretz (Municipality, Loire-Atlantique, France)

Last modified: 2021-06-13 by ivan sache
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Flag of Abbaretz - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 25 May 2021

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Presentation of Abbaretz

The municipality of Abbaretz (2,079 inhabitants in 2018; 6,176 ha) is located 50 km north of Nantes.

Abbaretz and neighboring Nozay were in the Roman times important ibdustrial sites; 6,000 to 9,000 tonnes of bronze were cast near the local cassiterite (tin oxide) mines. Around 1200 BC and 725 BC, the site was already exploited for the manufacture of bronze; around 150 BC, the Veneti, coming from the nearby Atlantic coasts, traded bronze with Greek and Carthaginians merchants.
In 1882, Louis Davy rediscovered cassiterite in the region of Abbaretz and Nozay. In 1920, the Société nantaise des minerais (SNMO) opened a shaft, which was closed in 1926, reopened in 1952 and eventually closed in 1957. The mine employed up to 350 miners.

Until the 8th century the parish of Abbaretiacum had its own kord bishop under the bishops of Nantes. In the aftermath of the Normand invasions and civil wars in Brittany in the 11th and 12th centuries, Abbaretz ceased to be a feudal state. During the 10th century the lords of Châteaubriant took effective possession of the territory of Abbaretz, which was offered as his appanage to one of their younger sons, known by the name of Le Bœuf, who was the first lord of Nozay and Issé. In 1123, however, Duke Conan confirmed the church of Nantes as the owner of the church at Abbaretz.
In June 1230 Brient "The Old Man" Le Bœuf, lord of Issé,, donated to the Cistercian abbey of Notre-Dame de Melleray, for the salvation of his soul, some land he owned at Abbaretz. The monks built a barn and a chapel dedicated to St. Margaret. At the same time, Geoffroy of Trent abandoned his sgaure of the abbey and two-thirds of all the tithes of the land of the Abbaretz forest.
In 1242, Guégon Le Gruc and his wife Agathe of Trent (daughter of Olivier and niece of Geoffroy of Trent) confirmed this pious donation. The parishioners of Abbaretz tried to oppose the increase in their tithes by the monks at Melleray. The headquarters of the lordship located at the castle of La Riviere, which originally belonged to the Brient family, passed into the hands of the lords of Chateaubriant, then to the House of Montmorency, and then the Prince of Condé.

Olivier Touzeau, 25 May 2021

Flag of Abbaretz

The flag of Abbaretz (photo) is white with the municipal logo.
The logo represents the site of the former tin mine:
- the lake (15 hectares) formed by the flooding of the mine, devoted to the practice of water skiing;
- the spoil tip, 121 meters above sea level - that is, 5 meters higher than the Bretèche hill, the natural highest point of the department -, now a hiking and paragliding site;
- the forest.

Olivier Touzeau, 25 May 2021