Last modified: 2019-01-12 by ivan sache
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Flag of Treignac - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 30 August 2005
The municipality of Treignac (1,356 inhabitants in 2015; 3,673 ha; website) is located in the upper valley of Vézère, 60 km south-east of Limoges and 40 km north of Tulle. Treignac is made of houses built in local granite and roofed with slates from the quarry of Travassac. The village is member of the association Les Plus Beaux Villages de France.
In its upper valley, the Vézère is a
raging river whose water is used to produce electricity (artificial
lakes of Monceaux-la-Virole and Treignac) and for watersports: the
world championships of river canoe-kayak were organized in Treignac in
June 2000. Downstream from Treignac, the river calms down, receives the
waters of the Corrèze in Brive-la-Gaillarde and turns westwards, and
eventually flows into the Dordogne. The lower valley of Vézère is
famous for its prehistoric sites, such as Lascaux and Les Eyzies.
Treignac is the entrance gate of the Monédières, the southernmost part of the Limousin mountains (max. elevation 919 m a.s.l. in puy de la Monédière). The true capital of the Monédières is the tiny village of Chaumeil, which is a main place in the history of cyclism. Chaumeil is the starting point of the Bol d'Or des Monédières, a race that introduced to the public in the 1960s a local farm lad named Raymond Poulidor. A few years later, Raymond Poulidor and Jacques Anquetil set up in the small café of the village the famous "pact of Chaumeil", by which they decided to stop their war in international races; this was the start of an indestructible friendship between the two champions.
Marcel Villoutreix, a specialist of onomastics in Limousin, believes
that the name of Treignac (Trainiaco, 924; Trainiac, 1107) was formed
on the anthroponym Traianus.
The first medieval settlement in Treignac dates back to 800. A fortress was built around 1000 on a spur dominating a meander of the Vézère. The village that developed near the castle was surrounded by a wall with three gates, the Chabirande gate being the only one to have been kept until now.
Treignac was an important trading place, which got municipal rights in 1284. The former grain market hall, rebuilt in 1484, still shows the "lions' cage", where the official standards of weights and measures were kept. The Gothic bridge on the Vézère was built in the XVth century, probably replacing an older Roman bridge.
The castle and the domain of Treignac belonged to the local family of Comborn and were transfered in the beginning of the 16th century to the family of Pompadour. The village was sacked by the Protestants in 1580. In 1585, Louis de Pompadour, Baron of Treignac, set up fire to the Monédières hills in order to expell the Protestants, who used these little accessible hills as their headquarters. The Protestants withdrew from Treignac in 1590 and their temples were destroyed.
In 1626, Philippe de Pompadour, Baron of Treignac, ordered the building of the Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix chapel as a symbol of religious reconciliation. The main funder of the chapel was the lawyer Jean Dumas, who worked in Bordeaux. The chapel is famous for its twisted (tors) bell-tower. There are only 81 such bell-towers in Europe, 38 being in France.
During the French Revolution, the castle was completely destroyed and the chapel was transformed into the Temple of Reason. From 1808 to 1987, it was used as the Town Hall.
Like everywhere in Limousin, the anti-German Resistance was very active in Treignac during the Second World War. The village was awarded the War Cross.
Ivan Sache, 30 August 2005
The municipal flag of Treignac, as hoisted on the big bridge over the Vézère along with the flags of the members of the European Union, is white with the greater municipal arms surmounted by the name of the village in black capital letters.
The municipal arms, "Azure three mullets or", were officially adopted by the Municipal
Council on 5 September 1988. However, these arms are much older since
they can be seen on the wall of the 15th century tower located in the
center of the village.
The shield of arms is surmounted by a three-towered white mural crown and surrounded by a white scroll with the municipal Latin motto, trina ostia trina suburbia trina castella, which means "three gates, three suburbs, three castles". The War Cross 1939-1945 is appended to the shield of arms.
Ivan Sache, 30 August 2005