Last modified: 2019-04-27 by ivan sache
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Flag of Rennes Métropole - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 12 January 2019
Rennes Métropole (443,192 inhabitants in 2015; 70,494 ha) was created in January 2015, replacing the previous Communautés d'agglomération Rennes Métropole, which had succeeded in 2000 to the district created in 1970.
The Métropole is composed of 43 municipalities: Rennes, Acigné, Bécherel, Betton, Bourgbarré, Brécé, Bruz, Cesson-Sévigné, Chantepie, La Chapelle-Chaussée, La Chapelle-des-Fougeretz, La Chapelle-Thouarault, Chartres-de-Bretagne, Chavagne, Chevaigné, Cintré, Clayes, Corps-Nuds, Gévezé, L'Hermitage, Laillé, Langan, Miniac-sous-Bécherel, Montgermont, Mordelles, Nouvoitou, Noyal-Châtillon-sur-Seiche, Orgères, Pacé, Parthenay-de-Bretagne, Pont-Péan, Le Rheu, Romillé, Saint-Armel, Saint-Erblon, Saint-Gilles, Saint-Grégoire, Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande, Saint-Sulpice-la-Forêt, Thorigné-Fouillard, Le Verger, Vern-sur-Seiche, and Vezin-le-Coquet.
The flag of Rennes Métropole is white with the authority's logo (photo).
Olivier Touzeau, 12 January 2019
Flag of Bretagne romantique - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 23 January 2019
The Communauté de communes Bretagne Romantique (34,605 inhabitants in 2015; 42,808 ha) was created in December 1995 by 24 municipalities; another three municipalities joined in 2014 after the dissolution of the Communauté de communes du Pays de Bécherel (Cardroc, Les Iffs, Saint-Brieuc-des-Iffs). Among the 27 municipalities, Saint-Pierre-de-Plesguen, Lanhélin, and Tressé merged in January 2019 to form the new municipality of Mesnil-Roc'h).
Acccordingly, the Communauté de communes Bretagne Romantique is composed of 25 municipalities: La Chapelle-aux-Filtzméens (seat), La Baussaine, Bonnemain, Cardroc, Combourg, Cuguen, Dingé, Hédé-Bazouges, Les Iffs, Lanrigan, Longaulnay, Lourmais, Meillac, Mesnil-Roc'h, Plesder, Pleugueneuc, Québriac, Saint-Brieuc-des-Iffs, Saint-Domineuc, Saint-Léger-des-Prés, Saint-Thual, Tinténiac, Trémeheuc, Trévérien, and Trimer.
The flag of the Communauté de communes Bretagne Romantique (photo) is white with the authority's logo.
The community's name (Romantic Brittany) and the representation of the four-towered castle of Combourg are straightforward references to the local hero, the Romantic writer François-René de Chateaubriand (1768-1848).
A Royalist politician (State Minister, 185-1816; Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1822-1824) and Peer of France (1815-1830), Chateaubriand is mostly known as a prolific writer and the precursor of French Romantism, especially in the novel René (1802).
Chateaubriand's main work, Mémoires d'outre-tombe (Memoirs from beyond
the grave; full text), published in 12 volumes between 1849 and 1850, is a mixed collection of the writer's personal exploits, but also of the main historical and political events of the era.
There are 137 occurrences of the word "Combourg" in the Mémoires, chapter tittles and subtitles included.
In Part I, Book I, Chapter 1 details the complex genealogy of Chateaubriand and his connection with the domain of Combourg. Chapter 3 details, in a quite confuse manner, how the writer's father recovered the title of Count of Combourg and ownership of the castle of Combourg.
Thee castle, mentioned as Combour in Froissart's chronicles, was erected in 1016 by Junken, Bishop of Dol, to defend the land border of Brittany against English or Normand raids; the big tower was added in 1110.
Chapter 7 relates the first visit of young Alphonse-René to Combourg and provides a detailed description of the castle, which looked like a "four-wheel cart" with a "sad and severe facade", concluded by "Everywhere, silence, darkness and stone face: this is the castle of Combourg"; the description of the rural environment follows, idealized with time and contrasting with the cold description of the castle.
Book II is mostly dedicated to the writer's youth and its first (Chapter 2), second (Chapter 3) and third (Chapter 4) vacations spent in Combourg, as well as to its mission (Chapter 7) and return (Chapter 8) to Combourg.
Book III describes the reminiscence of Combourg during a walk (Chapter
I), life in Combourg (Chapter 3), and return and farewell to Combourg
(Chapter 16). "Life in Combourg" is one of the most famous sections of
the book; the writer describes the sad atmosphere of the moors, and even
sadder, of the castle, which he compares to the Great Chartreuse of
Grenoble he subsequently visited. The four inhabitants of the castle, who hardly received visitors, were the writer, his silent father, his
religious mother, and his sister Lucile. In the evening, the writer used
to sit near the fireplace and spoke mezzo voce with Lucile, fearing the
return of the spectral father walking through the dark rooms of the
castle and asking them: "What did you talk about?". The chapter ends
with the descriptions of the horrific legend involving a wooden-legged
Count of Combourg, dead for three centuries, who appears from time to
time in the turret's great staircase; his wooden leg also uses to walk
alone with a black cat.
The writer relates its last visit to his old and ill father, "no longer so scaring but a father worth of tenderness", in Chapter 16, which ends with the reminiscence of his last three visits in Combourg. Short before leaving Saint-Malo for America, he found the castle abandoned, ports and windows closed, and immediately left. The chapter ends with the famous tribute to Combourg, often considered as a pre-Romantic manifesto and an anticipation of Baudelaire's spleen: "In the woods of Combourg, I became who I am; here I experienced the first damage by boredom that I have been legging behind me all my life, of that sadness that made my torment and my felicity." Accordingly, the town of Combourg (5,912 inhabitants in 2016) is self-styled "Cradle of Romantism".
Significant descriptions of Combourg in the Mémoires stop here, p. 86. The rest of the book (up to p. 1420) includes only incidental, melancholic reminiscences of the woods, pond, paths, moors, crows, and turret of Combourg.
Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 23 January 2019