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Lure (Municipality, Haute-Saône, France)

Last modified: 2022-02-25 by ivan sache
Keywords: lure |
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Flag of Lure - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 30 May 2021

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Presentation of Lure

The municipality of Lure (11,402 inhabitants in 2018; 2,431 ha) is located 30 km west of Belfort.

Lure emerged around a powerful Benedictine abbey, originally a small oratory founded by St. Desle, who had been expelled from Luxeuil with his master, St. Colomban.
Lure was quoted for the first time in acts of the Council of Aachen in 817, then in the Treaties of Verdun (843) and Meersen (870). The name evolved as Luterhaa (959), Luthra (1016, 1178, 1195, 1209, 1290, 1358) or Lutra (1051-1189), Luthre (1118), Liura (1295), Lura (1256, 1295,1303), Luyre (l307), and, finally, Lure (1408). The Germanic form Luders appeared in 1157. There are doubts on the etymology, which is either Latin (luthra, "an otter") or Celtic (ludhoyer, "a source which forms a lake", from ludhe, "a lake"). Some say that emperor Lothair gave his name to the monastery, but the most likely etymology refers to the Gallic word lutro, "a source", "a river".

The abbot of Lure, prince of the Holy Roman Empire was an independent ruler, supported by the emperor and the German princes. German has been spoken in Lure from the end of the 15th century. The archives of the abbey offer a large number of letters and titles written in this language. The topographical position of the town caught the attention of Louis XIV, who first resolved to make it a supply warehouse for the fortified towns; a plan was drawn up but its execution was postponed. In 1674, the Marquis de Renel, on the order of Louis XIV, seized Lure. The defeat of the German princes deprived the abbey of its natural protectors and the town was incorporated on 10 August 1679 to Franche-Comté and France.
Around this time, Lure was poorly populated and poorly built. Besides the monastery, which was built across the lake, the main buildings in the town were the Capuchin Convent and the old Town Hall dating back to the 13th century. In 1764, the Benedictine monks were succeeded by a chapter of noble canons , which were expelled in 1789 after the French Revolution. The canons built the beautiful residences of the chapter almost adjacent to the abbey. The St. Martin church, built in the downtown between 1740 and 1745, occupies the site of the first church built in 1556 and devastated by fire in 1720. In 1796, the beautiful abbey church adjoining the abbey was sold stone by stone. The remains of the town walls were demolished, which ended an eight-century long religious power.

Olivier Touzeau, 30 May 2021

Flag of Lure

The flag of Lure (photo, photo, photo, photo) is white with the municipal logo, which is derived from the arms, "Azure a sun or".

The arms of Lure, said to date back to, at least, 1545, are first documented on a seal used in 1636, kept in the Departmental Archives of Doubs.
The Armorial Général assigned completely different arms, "Gules three towers argent on a base vert ensigned by three fleurs-de-lis or" (image), which were never used. Lure probably used its traditional arms until the French Revolution.
On 17 February 1815, the Municipal Council applied for the re-establishment of the arms used since "immemorial time", as a sun or on a background azure with the Latin motto "Indique nos tuere" (Protect Us From All Sides). The application claims that the arms were granted by the "old kings of France", which is not correct since Lure was incorporated to France only in 1674 (and soon assigned brand new arms).
The motto on the arms is probably an invocation of God's protection, represented by the sun, source of heath and light, therefore of life. and prosperity. God is referred to as "the sun of justice" in the Book of Malachi, 4:2 ("But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays").
The sun is also featured in the arms of three other towns in Franche-Comté: Dôle, Luxeuil and Marnay.
Municipal website]

J. Gauthier (Les sceaux et les armoiries des villes et bourgs de Franche-Comté, 1883) reports seals of Lure featuring a sun dated 19 February 1636, 31 March 1663, 1761 and 1781.

Olivier Touzeau, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 30 May 2021

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