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Talant (Municipality, Côte-d'Or, France)

Last modified: 2020-02-07 by ivan sache
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Flag of Talant - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 22 September 2005


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Presentation of Talant

The municipality of Talant (12,332 inhabitants in 1999; 498 ha; municipal website

) is located a few kilometers north-west of Dijon. It is now part of the Greater Dijon.

Until the 12th century, "mons de Talanz" (Mount Talant), a rocky spur dominating the river Ouche (353 m a.s.l.) belonged to the St. Bénigne's abbey in Dijon. It was a desert place known to be inhabited by fairies and other magic creatures.
In 1208, Duke Odo III of Burgundy, member of the Capetian House of Burgundy, built the fortress of Talant in order to secure his treasures and archives. North of the castle, he founded a new fortified city and a priory, ran by a few monks from the St. Bénigne's abbey. The wall of the fortress surrounded the hill on more than 1 km, and was protected by 33 towers. The Confrairie Tower is the only remain of Odo's fortress. In November 1216, Odo III granted a charter to the city of Talant: the inhabitants of Talant were granted an independent municipal council, rules by four échevins appointed each year on St. John the Baptist's Day (24 June). The Talantais were also exempted of all tax and military service.

Odo III died in September 1218, and was succeeded by his widow Alix de Vergy until their son Hugh IV reached age. Hugh increased his father's domain and went on Crusade in Egypt with King Saint Louis. Back to Talant, he built the castle of la Maladière. His son Robert II also enjoyed staying in Talant and increased the domain of Talant with the domains of Val Suzon and Daix, reaching river Ouche.
Odo IV confirmed the privileges of Talant and used the fortress as his headquarters for his political and military operations. On 9 February 1326, Odo IV welcomed in Talant his mother-in-law Johanna, widow of King of France Philip V. Ten years later, a brilliant festival was organized in Talant to honour King of France Philip VI of Valois, on his way to Avignon where he asked the Pope to negotiate a truth with the English.

Odo IV died of black plague in 1349 and a civil war broke out in Burgundy. His daughter-in-law Johanna of Boulogne married the (not yet) King of France John II and became Queen of France in 1350. Her son Philip de Rouvres died in 1361, one year after having confirmed the privileges of Talant, and Burgundy was reincorporated to the Kingdom of France. John II visited the castle of Talant in December 1361 and confirmed once again the privileges of the city.
On 6 September 1363, John's fourth son, Philip the Bold, already Duke of Touraine, was granted Burgundy as his apanage, and founded the second house of Burgundy. Philip confirmed the privileges of Talant by a solemn act in 1370 and suppressed the tax on salt (gabelle). On 23 September 1373, Duchess Margaret of Flanders, ruling the duchy during the leave of her husband, moved her court to the castle of Talant, which increased the wealth of the city. In 1376, there were c. 700 inhabitants in the city and Lombard moneymakers set up there. John Fearless, Philip's son and successor, said that the castle of Talant was "the most beautiful, the most lordly and one of the keys of his duchy". Back from the Crusade in 1396, he offered the painting of St. Luke's Virgin to the church Notre-Dame in Talant. On 11 February 1421, Duke Philip the Good was crowned; he confirmed the privileges of Talant by new Patented Letters and ordered the building of two more towers. In 1431, Isabel of Portugal moved to Talant with her son Charles (later duke Charles the Bold) to be protected from the Flayers, the bands of sacked soldiers who threatened Dijon. When the black plague hit Dijon in 1466, Charles the Bold moved the Chamber of Accounting of the duchy to Talant.

After the reincorporation of Burgundy to France in 1477, the privileges of Talant were confirmed by Kings Charles VIII (1494), Louis XII (1501) and Franvis I (1524). Henry III increased the garrison of the fortress. During the Wars of Religion, the Guise party seized the castle by guile in 1585; the cannons of the fortress shot on Henry IV in 1594 when he marched against Dijon. After his victory in Fontaine Française, the king recovered the castles of Dijon and Talant. In July 1598, the destruction of the fortress and the city walls was decided and achieved within six months. Talant became a simple village and lost all its municipal privileges.

Nothing important occurred in Talant until January 1871. During the Franco-Prussian war, the Eastern French Army, commanded by General Bourbaki and helped by Garibaldi's volunteers, defended the strategic place of Talant against the Prussians.

Ivan Sache, 22 September 2005


Flag of Talant

The flag of Talant, as hoisted in front of the Town Hall, is vertically divided blue-yellow. The flag is based on the municipal arms, "Bendy azure and or six pieces".
These were the arms of Duke Odo III, the founder of the city. They can be seen with a red bordure in the banner of arms of Burgundy, second and fourth quarters (Burgundy ancien). Odo III's seal dated 1193 shows a barry instead of bendy shield.
The greater arms of Talant are surmounted by a golden five-tower mural crown and surrounded by two wreath tied by a white scroll with the name of the municipality.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 22 September 2005