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Hirel (Municipality, Ille-et-Vilaine, France)

Last modified: 2022-03-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: hirel |
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Flag of Hirel - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 30 October 2021

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Presentation of Hirel

The municipality of Hirel (1,389 inhabitants in 2019; 985 ha) is located on the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, 20 km south-east of Saint-Malo. The municipality is composed of the two villages of Hirel and Vildé-la-Marine.

Hirel is built on a shelly sandbank protected from the onslaught of the sea during high tides by the Duchess Ann. A canal, diversion flumes and ditches were dug to drain the marshes and locks were installed to manage water evacuation, which made te area habitable and exploitable. The parish of Hirel was part of the deanery of Dol-de-Bretagne, included in the bishopric of Dol.

Vildé-la-Marine was first mentioned as a parish in the 14th century. The village belonged to the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel and depended on the parish of Saint-Benoit-des-Ondes. Later passing to the commandery of the Order of the Temple in Guerche, it retained a name (Villa Dei) that indicates this dependency.
Hirel was established a municipality in 1790. On 18 Floréal of the Year II (7 May 1794), it absorbed Vildé-la-Marine, which had also been established as a municipality. Its inhabitants tried several times to secede in the 19th and 20th centuries, to no avail.

Olivier Touzeau, 30 October 2021

Flag of Hirel

The flag of Hirel (photo, photo) is white with the municipal coat of arms, "Argent a bend sinister azure, cantoned in base by a cross patty gules in chief by an escutcheon azure a bend argent charged with three torteaux in chief by a six-pointed mullet of the same".

The insecutcheon diplays the arms of the Toullier de la Ville Marie family, for Hirel. The most famous member of the family is Charles Bonaventure Marie Toullier de la Villemarie (1752-1835), Professor of Civil Law and Dean of the Faculty of Law in Rennes, author of Le droit civil français suivant l'ordre du code (13 volumes, 1824-1828). The arms of the Toullier family are engraved above the door of the former manor of La Ville Marie, located in the hamlet of the same name in Hirel, today a farm and guest-house.
[Inventaire du patrimoine culturel en Bretagne]

The cross patty stands for Vildé-la-Marine, created by the Knight Templars and formerly belonging to La Guerche-de-Bretagne, the site in the Middle Ages of an important commandery of the Knights Hospitaller.

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 30 October 2021

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