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Médis (Municipality, Charente-Maritime, France)

Last modified: 2024-03-16 by olivier touzeau
Keywords: charente-maritime | médis |
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Flag of Médis - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 7 March 2022

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Presentation of Médis

Bourcefranc-le-Chapus (3,036 inhabitants in 2021; 2,346 ha) is a commune in the department of Charente-Maritime.

The history of the town remains relatively obscure until medieval times. In 1084, a charter mentions the name of Médis for the first time. A few years later, in 1098, the parish church also became a priory under the name of "Saint-Pierre-ès-Liens". At the beginning of the 12th century, Gifard I of Didonne, lord of Médis, began the construction of a castle that no longer exists today.
The history of the two parishes which then formed the seigniory of Médis merges with that of the rest of the region. In 1242, men from Médis volunteered to fight alongside the Duke of Aquitaine Henri III, freshly landed in Royan to defend his ally - and father-in-law - Count Hugues de Lusignan, threatened by the armies of King Louis IX of France. This expedition ended with the defeat of the Anglo-Aquitaine armies in the battles of Taillebourg and Saintes a few weeks later.

In the 16th century the town was strongly marked by the wars of religion. The church was victim of depredations twice: once during the summer of 1565, then again in 1611. With the promulgation of the Edict of Fontainebleau by King Louis XIV in 1685, began the period known as the “church of the desert” during which Protestant worship was prohibited. Persecutions and dragonnades push many religionists to flee their homeland. Among the Protestants from Médis who chose to emigrate to North America were several founding fathers from the town of New Rochelle, near New York, as well as an ancestor of President Theodore Roosevelt, Isaac Quentin.

During the 2nd World War, Médis became in 1944 a "buffer zone" between Free France and the pocket of Royan.

While remaining strongly marked by its agricultural and wine-growing traditions, the post-war municipal economy was marked by the growth of tourist activities, in relation to the development of tourist and commercial infrastructures on the Côte de Beauté and more broadly, of the peninsula of Arvert.

Olivier Touzeau, 7 March 2022

Flag of Médis

The flag of Médis is white with logo (photo).

Olivier Touzeau, 7 March 2022