Last modified: 2021-03-24 by ivan sache
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Flag of Jargeau - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 10 November 2020
The municipality of Jargeau (4,606 inhabitants in 2018; 1,466 ha; municipal website) is located 20 km of Orléans.
Jargeau first appeared in the 10th century on royal maps and papal bulls. In year 1000, relics of St. Vrain, bishop of Cavaillon, were transferred to Jargeau. In the 12th century, the bishop of Orléans became lord of Jargeau, while a chapter of canons was established. In 1154, bishop Manassès de Garlande consecrated the rebuilt church and inaugurated the Châts Fair, "châts" meaning here "châtaignes", "chestnuts". The town was placed in 1201 under the protection of King Philip I Augustus. In 1220, bishop Manassès de Seignelay built a first stone bridge over river Loire.
On 12 June 1429, Joan of Arc expelled the English from the town, which was a first step to the seizure of other towns on river Loire, and, eventually to the coronation of Charles VII in Reims on 17 July 1429.
Sacked several times during the Wars of Religion, Jargeau was granted to the Protestants as a safety place by the Edict of Tolerance signed in Nantes in 1598; the town was retroceded to the Catholic party in 1621.
The bridge over the Loire collapsed in 1790, being replaced for the next 40 year by a ferry. The new wooden, suspended bridge built in 1833 was granted for 75 years to the Société des ponts réunis. Damaged by floods, the bridge was acquired by the department and the municipality in 1892.
Not appropriate for car traffic, the wooden bridge was succeeded by an iron suspended bridge, inaugurated on 10 July 1927. Increased in 1934 to resist frost, the bridge had its cables cut in June 1940 to slow down the advance of the German army. Re-established in 1943, the bridge was raided in 1944 by the allied air force and completely rebuilt in 1945.
During the harsh winter 1985, the bridge of Sully-sur-Loire collapsed because of the frost. Explosives were needed to get rid of ice that threatened the arches of the Jargeau bridge. A new bridge was built in 1988 while the old, abandoned bridge was destroyed the next year. Of 333 m in length and 10 m in width, the five-spanned bridge is used everyday by 10,000 to 15,000 vehicles.
Ivan Sache, 25 November 2020
The flag of Jargeau (photo) is vertically divided white-red with the municipal coat of arms, "Gules three annulets argent a chief azure three fleurs-de-lis or", in the center.
The arms of "Gargeau" are shown with annulets argent on a field gules in the armorial (La description des villes et villages de France) redacted in 1699 by Father Pierre de La Planche, priest and librarian at the Paris Oratoire.
[Herald Dick Magazine, 20 October 2013]
Pascal Vagnat, Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 35 November 2020