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Fontenay-le-Comte (Municipality, Vendée, France)

Last modified: 2021-07-11 by ivan sache
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Flag of Fontenay-le-Comte - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 26 April 2021

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Presentation of Fontenay-le-Comte

The municipality of Fontenay-le-Comte (13,302 inhabitants in 2018; 3,416 ha) is located 50 km south-east of La Roche-sur-Yon.

Fontenay is named for the word "fontaine", "a fountain". Fontenay's famous fountain, rebuilt in 1542, is known as the Quatre-Tias Fountain (Fountain of the Four Pipes).
The coat of arms of King Francis I, featuring the salamander emblem, is engraved on the pediment, as well as the town’s Latin motto, "Fons Fontanacum Felicium Ingeniorum Scaturigo" (“Fontenay, fountain and source of beautiful minds”), allegedly pronounced by Francis I. The "beautiful minds" refer to the illustrious people who lived in Fontenay-le- Comte during the Renaissance: FrançoisRabelais, Nicolas Rapin, André Tiraqueau, François Viète, and Barnabé Brisson.
The affix of "Comte" is said to have been coined when the domain was seized by Louis IX from the family of Lusignan and given to his brother Alfonso, Count of Poitou, to become the capital of Lower-Poitou.

During the Middle Ages, Fontenay was a fortified town which was very frequently under attack. Ceded to the Plantagenets by the Treaty of Brétigny, in 1360, Fontenay was retaken in 1372. The local heroin, Jeanne de Clisson defended the town besieged by Bertrand du Guesclin.
Fontenay-le-Comte suffered repeated captures during the Wars of Religion in the 16th century. Dismantled in 1621, the town was occupied in 1793 in turn by by the Republicans and the Royalist insurgent during the War in the Vendée. From 1790 to 1806 it was the capital of the Vendé department.

Olivier Touzeau, 26 April 2021

Flag of Fontenay-le-Comte

The flag of Fontenay-le-Comte (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo) is white with a representation in blue lines of the fountain and the names of the municipality and of the department below.

Olivier Touzeau, 26 April 2021