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Hagetmau (Municipality, Landes, France)

Last modified: 2024-04-27 by olivier touzeau
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Flag of Hagetmau - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 17 May 2022

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Presentation of Hagetmau

Hagetmau (4,620 inhabitants in 2021; 2,837 ha) is a commune in the Landes department.

The city is crossed by the Louts, a small tributary of the river Adour, whose banks have been populated since prehistoric times, as evidenced by the many remains discovered. During the 4th century, sent by Pope Liberius, missionaries, including Girons, came to Hagetmau with the aim of evangelizing the population. Captured and martyred by the Visigoths, the apostle was then buried in Hagetmau and a small wooden building was built to celebrate him. The site quickly became a popular and reputedly “miraculous” pilgrimage destination. Under the impetus of a community of religious, the place of devotion is transformed into a small agglomeration: Saint Girons de Hayet. Legend has it that during an expedition, Charlemagne ordered the construction of a stone sanctuary more worthy of the saint's fame. Ravaged by the Vikings in 859, it was not until the 11th century that it was replaced by an abbey. Attached to the Kingdom of Navarre, the town nevertheless continued to develop. The castle, belonging to the seigniorial family of Lescun, then became an essential place of power and life. King Edward I of England visited Hagtemau in October 1287, and King Henry II of Navarre died there in May 1555.
In 1457, the estate fell into the hands of Odet d'Aydie, Advisor to King Louis XI. The seigniory will remain for a time in this family before returning, for lack of descendants of his grandchildren, to a distant cousin: Paul d'Andoins. The daughter of the latter, Diane (who took the name of Corisande), by marrying Count Philibert de Gramont on August 16, 1567, pushed the estate into this powerful house. At the same time, the city was hard hit by the Wars of Religion. In 1569, the Huguenot army, under the orders of Jeanne d'Albret, set fire to the abbey and dispersed the relics of Saint Girons. This period announced the beginning of an era during which troubles and epidemics will follow one another. At the same time, symbol of the power of the city, the castle was increasingly neglected by the Gramont family. Definitively abandoned in 1763, it was looted and demolished at the beginning of the 19th century.

During the Revolution, the secularization of public life led to the exile of the canons and the abandonment of the church. With the 19th century, the opening of communication channels became a priority in the country. This is how the national road 133 was born, then skirting the city. Hagetmau thus experienced a development of its industrial activity and its exchanges. This hopeful modernity will, however, quickly prove disappointing for the population, whose living conditions are not improving. Faced with the absence of political and social reform, the population growls. While the revolution is preparing, Hagetmau knows in 1848, a strong republican push. Led by Pascal Duprat, Member of Parliament and local child, it strongly opposed the policy of Napoleon III. Faced with this dispute, the Prince-President will order the arrest of Pascal Duprat and his exile. Despite his remoteness, he continued to take an interest in French affairs and ran for several successive elections. Appointed Plenipotentiary Minister of the Third Republic in Chile, he died in 1885 on the boat that brought him back to France.
During the Second World War, the city was at the heart of the demarcation line. It was a privileged place of passage towards the free zone. Hagetmau also became an area for dropping equipment intended for the Landes maquis. It is possible to find this historical episode in Joseph Joffo's novel Un Sac de billes.
Hagetmau has a strong tradition of making chairs and armchairs. Several factories are located there. In 1994, the seat industry there accounted for 2,000 direct jobs, 3,500 in total.
A giant chair can be seen on a roundabout at the entry of Hagetmau (photo).

Olivier Touzeau, 17 May 2022

Flag of Hagetmau

The flag of Hagetmau is white with the coat of arms: photo (2021), photo (2021).

The arms of Hagetmau are blazoned:
Azure a castle Or, port, windows and masoned Sable, flanked by two turrets roofed Gules, and supporting a tree Vert; a bordure in ribbon Or.

Hagetmau is twinned with Tordesillas in Spain. The flags of Hagetmau and Tordesillas can be observed in front of the city hall of Hagetmau.

Olivier Touzeau, 17 May 2022