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Villeneuve-en-Retz (Municipality, Loire-Atlantique, France)

Last modified: 2021-06-13 by ivan sache
Keywords: villeneuve-en-retz | bourgneuf-en-retz |
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Presentation of Villeneuve-en-Retz

The municipality of Villeneuve-en-Retz (4,911 inhabitants in 2018; 7,368 ha) was established on 1 January 2016 as the merger of the former municipalities of Bourgneuf-en-Retz (seat) and Fresnay-en-Retz.

Olivier Touzeau, 21 May 2021


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Flag of Bourgneuf-en-Retz, two versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 21 May 2021

The former municipality of Bourgneuf-en-Retz (3,586 inhabitants in 2013; 5,319 ha) is located 40 km south of Saint-Nazaire. Bourgneuf is located in the Breton Marsh, on the historic border between Brittany, of which it is part, and Poitou.

Bourgneuf was originally known as Saint-Cyr parish, named for a port since the antiquity. in the 11th century, recession of the sea forced the inhabitants to create a new (neuf) town (bourg); this new port quickly superseded the old town of Saint-Cyr, which took its name.
Established in the 14th century, the Collet port was protected by a fortress, which was demolished during the reign of Louis XIV to pervent it to fall into the hands of the English. This outer port quickly superseded Bourgenuf's main port, which had silted up. Thanks to salt trade, Bourgneuf peaked between the 14th and 17th centuries. Salt production ceased in the 19th century becauseof the silting up of the bay. The Collet port hosts now leisure yachts, a few fishing boats, and production of Vendée-Atlantique oysters.
The Museum of Pays de Retz was established in 1966 in the former Saint-François des Cordeliers convent, founded in 1332 by Gérard of Machecoul and his wife Eleanor of Thouars.

The last of the Nantes drownings, a series of mass executions perfromed during the Reign of Terror between November 1793 and February 1794, took place in Collet port on 27 February 1794. According to official documents read at the National Convention in Paris on 12 October 1794, these drownings resulted in 41 deaths: one 78-year-old blind man and another man, 12 women, 12 girls, and 15 children, including 10 who were only 6 to 10 years old and 5 infants.

The flag of Bourgneuf-en-Retz was white with the municipal coat of arms, "Azure a ship or the sail charged with a cross sable a base argent a chief gules three salt heaps argent on a base vert". The name of he municipality is written beneath the shield, either in black Arial letters in a line (photo, 2013) or in blue Arial Black letters in shape of an an arch (photo, photo, 2008).

Olivier Touzeau, 21 May 2021