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Pont-Audemer (Municipality, Eure, France)

Last modified: 2021-06-19 by ivan sache
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Flag of Pont-Audemer, two versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 13 February 2021

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Presentation of Pont-Audemer

The municipality of Pont-Audemer (10,120 inhabitants in 2018; 1,466 ha; Municipal website) is located 60 km west of Rouen. The municipality was established on 1 January 2018 as the merger of the former municipalities of Pont-Audemer and Saint-Germain-Village.

Pont-Audemer was known as Deux Ponts (Two Bridges) in 715, Pontem Aldemari in 1025, Aldemari Ponte around 1040 and Pontheau de mer in 1475. These names refer to the strategic location of the town, which was established in a place convenient for crossing river Risle.
In the Middle Ages, Pont-Audemer was a wealthy town, known from the 11th to the 14th century as "very rich and very big"; tanneries, paper mills and cloth mills were the main sources of income of the town, which was granted a market in 1034 and a municipal charter in the 13th century. The town's castle (11th century) and fortifications (12th century) did not prevented Pont-Audemer to be severely damaged during the Hundred Years' War and the Wars of Religion.

Industrialization started in Pont-Audemer in the 18th century, when English tanners settled in the town with their families. Several other foreign manufacturers subsequently increased the Protestant community of the town; Eliott introduced the use of malleable cast iron for buckle production, Bayle established a railway and a paper mill, while Thierry Hermès, the founder of the famous Hermès company, came from Prussia as a saddler.
Once a main center of cloth industry, the valley of Risle forms now with the neighboring Marais Vernier a wet area registered as a Ramsar site in 2018.
During the Battle of Normandy in 1945, 35% of the town was destroyed but the historical downtown was spared, the Saint-Ouen church (15th century) included.

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 20 June 2021

Flag of Pont-Audemer

The flag of Pont-Audemer (photo, 2019; photo, 2012) is white with the municipal logo, which is derived from the muncipal arms. The flag is also used with a different logo, with a bigger graphic element and the name of the municipality in bigger, blue letters.
The coat of arms of Pont-Audemer is "Gules a three-arched chevroned bridge (pont) argent masoned sable a base wavy argent a chief azure three fleurs-de-lis or". The very same design, with the bridge represented in a more conventional way, is featured in the Armorial Général, for "Ponteaudemer" (image).

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 20 June 2021