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Les Moutiers-en-Retz (Municipality, Loire-Atlantique, France)

Last modified: 2021-12-21 by ivan sache
Keywords: les moutiers-en-retz |
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Flag of Les Moutiers-en-Retz - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 25 May 2021

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Presentation of Les Moutiers-en-Retz

The municipality of Les Moutiers-en-Retz (1,703 inhabitants in 2018; 657 ha) is located 10 km south-east of Pornic. The municipality of Les Moutiers was established on 25 March 1863, separating from La Bernerie, and renamed to Les Moutiers-en-Retz on 5 June 1986.

Moutiers was first settled in the prehistoric times. Before and after the conquest by Caesar, sea salt was recovered in the region, using the briquetting technique. An oppidium wass established on the hill of Prigny, perhaps succeeding a Gallic fortification. Prigny is located at the crossroads of two Roman roads and dominates the coastline of the Bay of Bourgneuf by 25 meters (now replaced by the Breton Marsh) where there was a port. In the 9th century, the Vikings seized Prigny and established a camp there, until they were driven out of the Country of Retz by Alan Barbetorte in 938.

At the beginning of the Middle Ages, the urbanization of the territory was centered on the fortified town of Prigny, while Moutiers-en-Retz was a simple suburb. In the 11th century, Judicaƫl, viguier of Prigny, transferred the rights on this suburb to the Notre-Dame du Ronceray Abbey in Angers, which founded the Notre-Dame priory there. The growth of the village of Moutiers paralleled the slow decline of Prigny, whose port was inexorably silting up. The boom in commerce and in the salt works peaked in the 14th century. Foreign ships, English, German, Hanseatic, thronged in the Bay of Bourgneuf, which was then an important economic center. In the 16th century, the salt marshes experiencied unfavorable climatic conditions and region was hit by the Wars of Religion. International trade started to decline. The castle of Prigny still had a garrison in 1678, but the seigneurial justice of Prigny was transferred to Bourgneuf in 1680, marking the beginning of its ruin.
During the revolutionary period, the town of Moutiers suffered two attacks from the Vendeans and was looted and devastated by Charette. In February 1794, 41 inhabitants suspected of helping the royalists were drowned in the Bay of Bourgneuf. The last remains of the castle of Prigny, abandoned since the 18th century, were destroyed in 1832.

Olivier Touzeau, 25 May 2021

Flag of Les Moutiers-en-Retz

The flag of Les Moutiers-en-Retz (photo, photo) is a vertical banner (3:2), white with the municipality's coat of arms and name.
The arms, designed in 1920 by M. Gautier and registered on 15 July 1972 by the Municipal Council, are "Gules a castle or port and windows and masonned sable between three crozier heads or two in chief and one in base a bordure azure". The arms represent the castle of Prigny, which was destroyed by the Normans. The crosses represent the three monasteries (ancient French, moutiers) located on the municipal territory, one in Prigny and two in Bourgneuf.

Olivier Touzeau, 25 May 2021