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Saint-Coulomb (Municipality, Ille-et-Vilaine, France)

Last modified: 2022-03-12 by ivan sache
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Flag of Saint-Coulomb - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 28 October 2021

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Presentation of Saint-Coulomb

The municipality of Saint-Coulomb (2,820 inhabitants in 2019; 1,804 ha) is located between Saint-Malo and Cancale.

Saint-Coulomb is named forSaint Colomban, who crossed the English Channel in 580/590; accompanied by several monks, he landed either on the beach currently known as the Du Guesclin beach or a few hundreds meters further to the west.
Du Guesclin Island is an islet accessible at low tide. The first construction there was built in 1026 by a member of the Du Guesclin family, as an imposing fortified castle flanked by three towers and a keep, protected by two circles of walls and equipped with a 33-meter deep cistern. In 1207, John Lackland, King of England, occupied the fort until Juhel III de Mayenne drove the English out after bloody fighting. The du Guesclins, finding the site too exposed, left the fort around 1259 and settled not far from there, in the land, at Plessis-Bertrandmanor, which had just been built by Bertrand Du Guesclin's great-great-grandfather.
The fort, since dismantled, was bought in 1500 by Guillaume de Châteaubriant and sold in 1589 to the house of Rieux. Finally, from 1757 to 1759 the old building was demolished and Vauban had a fort built there including barracks with a powderhouse and gun platforms to protect the coast from the English. Having lost its military utility in 1826, the fort was sold to individuals at auction, then transformed into a holiday residence by the civilian inhabitants who superimposed two houses on the garrison forming the current building.
In 1942, during the establishment of the Atlantic Wall, the place was occupied by the German army which rearranged the old loopholes and installed an anti-aircraft gun. After the 1944 landings, the fort returned to civilian hands, first in the possession of the mayor of Saint-Servan, who then sold it in 1959 to the singer Léo Ferré who lived there until 1968, composing many songs there, notably La mémoire et la mer. Abandoned following a difficult division of property, the fort was bought in 1996 from Ferré's heirs by the Porcher family, who restored the building.

Olivier Touzeau, 28 October 2021

Flag of Saint-Coulomb

The flag of Saint-Coulomb (photo, 2019) is white with the municipal arms, "Vert a cross sable charged with a crozier argent cantoned by four malouiniéres or port windows and roofed sable", and the name of the municipality below in upper case letters. On the former flag (photo, 2013), the name of the municipality was written in lower case and in another font.
The malouinières are manor built between 1650 and 1730 within 12 km from Saint Malo by shipowners who wanted to escape the congested town, while staying close enough to the downtown (within two hours on horseback) to take care of their ships and their cargos.

Olivier Touzeau, 28 October 2021