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Indre (Municipality, Loire-Atlantique, France)

Last modified: 2021-06-12 by ivan sache
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Flag of Indre, current and former flag - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 22 May 2021

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Presentation of Indre

The municipality of Indre (4,037 inhabitants in 2018; 472 ha) is located 10 km west of Nantes.

In 630, Pasquier, bishop of Nantes, invited Lambert, abbot of the Fontenelle Abbey, subsequently known as St. Wandrille Abbey to authorize the monks of his order to settle around Nantes in a place of their choice. Monk Hermeland and another twelve friars left Fontenelle for Nantes, where they boarded on two boats to sail down the estuary of the Loire; they soon landed in an island (Basse-Indre) covered with thick forests surrounded by meadows, dominating all those that surrounded it. Hermeland found caves in the island, which he named Antrum (Latin, "den"). He visited a second, smaller island (Indret), which he named Antricinium. After a discussion with Pasquier, Hermeland founded on Antrum a monastery and two churches dedicated to Sts. Paul and Peter. Completed between 670 and 678, the foundation was granted in 680 by bishop Agatheus to the order of Saint Benedict.
The monastery was destroyed in June 843 by the Normans, who sailed down the Loire after having sacked Nantes. A prioty was soon built on the ruins of the monastery.

In 1005, Budic, count of Nantes, had a castle built on Indret island, where marriage of his sister Judith with Alain Canhiart, count of Cornouaille, was celebrated in 1036.
In the 15th century, Indret belonged to the dukes of Brittany, who were also counts of Nantes); Francis I offered the castle to Marguerite d'Orl&ecute;ans, Countess of Étampes and of Vertou. The island was then given to Gilles de Condest following a contract drawn up by master Rolland de La Villéon, acting on behalf of duchess Ann of Brittany. Following Ann's marriage, the island and its dependencies returned to the crown of France.

In 1588, the island was given by Henry II to the duke of Mercœur, while Philippe-Emmanuel of Lorraine restored the castle.
The subsequent owner of the castle, Louis Duplessis, lord of Guenouville, swapped it in 1642 with Louis XIII for possessions on the islands of Nantes. In 1650, regent Ann of Austria offered the land and the castle to Abraham Duquesne to compensate him for the cost of the fleet that had defeated the English and the Spaniards at the mouth of Gironde. Abraham Duquesne, who was Protestant, went into exile in Switzerland, after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes./P

In 1777, the Indret foundry was established as a Royal Navy factory for the production of cannons. This is the origin of the current Naval Group, formerly known as Direction des Constructions Navales (DCNS). In 1821, the Indret foundry hired two thousand people to manufacture steam engines for the navy. An iron rolling factory was founded in the same year in Basse-Indre by Welsh people in an old shipyard belonging to the Crucy family. The Nantes-based shipowner Thomas Dobrée Sr. became its general agent. The Forges de Basse-Indre were one of the first English forges established in France under the Restoration. On 8 March 1846, the factory became A. Langlois et Cie. At the end of the century, the company merged with one of its major customers, Jules Joseph Carnaud, a tinsmith from Paris based in Nantes, to form Carnaud-Basse-Indre, a French leader in tinplate and tin cans. It was subsequently absorbed by Sollac, Usinor, and, eventually, Arcelor-Mittal. The Compagnie bordelaise built a big fertilizer factory in the 1920s.

Olivier Touzeau, 22 May 2021

Flag of Indre

The flag of Indre (photo, photo) is with the municipal logo. The former flag was white with a slightly different logo (photo, used until 2014.

Olivier Touzeau, 22 May 2021