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Montigny-le-Bretonneux (Municipality, Yvelines, France)

Last modified: 2019-04-22 by ivan sache
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Flag of Montigny-le-Bretonneux - Image by Ivan Sache, 23 March 2004

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Presentation of Montigny-le-Bretonneux

The municipality of Montigny-le-Bretonneux (35,824 inhabitants in 2003; 1,067 ha; municipal website) is located near Versailles. Montigny, once a rural village, is now the sixth largest municipality in the department of Yvelines, with 1,731 companies located on the municipal territory, including for instance the social seat of BMW France. As a consequence of its industrial development, the municipality increased its area from 686 ha to 1,045 ha in 1984 by incorporating a part of the neighbouring municipality of Bois-d'Arcy.

Montigny was mentioned for the first time, as Montani, in 1204 in the archives of the Notre-Dame cathedral of Paris. It was then a small parish grouped around the St. Martin church. Subsequent names of the village are Montiniacum (1250) and Montiniacum le Brestonneux (1351).
Abbot Lebœuf (1687-1760), historian of the Diocese of Paris, believes that the epithet "Brestonneux", sometimes written "Bristonneux" (1547) or "Bertonneux" (1740), and eventually written "Bretonneux" in church acts from 1800, was related to Bretons. Indeed, the Breton lords Amaury and Simon de Montfort were lords of Montigny in the Middle Ages. However, recent studies by the local historian Victor Belot show a different origin for the name of the town. "Montani" was of course an elevated place, whereas "Brestonneux" is the Frankish word for a swamp. The name of the village would therefore mean "a place emerging from a swamp". This makes sense, since Montigny-le-Bretonneux and the neighboring village of Voisins-le-Bretonneux were built in the middle of swamps. Although the swamps disappeared long time ago, the two towns are still separated by places called Grande and Petite Île (Big and Small Island).

Ivan Sache, 23 March 2004

Flag of Montigny-le-Bretonneux

The flag of Montigny-le-Bretonneux, used in several places of the town, is white with the municipal logo, officially described as follows:

The rainbow symbolizes the influence and dynamism of the town. The green dominant color recalls the parks of the town, the farm of Manet and the regional sports and recreation park. The for white cobblestones and the yellow fleur-de-lis recall the history of the town.
During the Ancient Regime, the royal domains were delimited by big stone markers, often decorated with arms or emblems. Montigny was located in the middle of the "Royal Triangle", delimited by Versailles, Rambouillet and Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The markers were decorated with a fleur-de-lis. The junction of the four ways going to Versailles, Trappes, Montigny and Bois d'Arcy, named Les Quatre Pavés du Roy (The King's Four Cobblestones), was marked with four such stone markers.

Ivan Sache, 23 March 2004