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Loué (Municipality, Sarthe, France)

Last modified: 2021-07-14 by ivan sache
Keywords: loué |
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Flag of Loué - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 11 April 2021

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Presentation of Loué

The municipality of Loué (2,084 inhabitants in 2018; 1,585 ha) is located 30 km west of Le Mans.

Loué emerged on a Gallo-Roman estate owned by Laudius. The village is first documented, as Loiaco, in a document from the 10th century. The old registers of the bishops of Le Mans (10th century) list Loiacum.
The priory of Loué ("prior de loc") was established in 1218 by Raoul, Viscount of Beaumont, for the Couture abbey. It was known in 1508 as "prioratus de loueyo in campagna", therefore the name of the village at the time, Loué en Champagne ("in the countryside", without any connection with the region of Champagne).
The domain of Loué was transferred in 1518 to the Montmorency-Laval by a a marriage. Subsequent owners were the Prieur and Le Clerc families.
François Reichenbach (1921-1993) shot in 1964 in Loué the short film La douceur du village, which was awarded the Short Film Palme d'Or in the Cannes Festival.

In 1958, local breeders established standards for the traditional production of poultry and eggs. Five decades later, 1,050 Loué farmers produce every year 28 million of poultry (3% of the national production) and 25 million of egg boxes (1% of the national production). Animals are fed with local crops covering 27,000 ha, while outdoor rearing areas (at least 4 m2 per animal) cover 9,000 ha. Rearing buildings, lit with natural light, should not hoouse more than 11 animals per m2. Chickens are raised for at least 84 days against 40 for standard breeding. Hens are fed every year with 50 tonnes of oyster shells aimed at increasing the egg resistance, while some 20 natural plant extracts are used to feed and heal poultry. Quality of the production and respect of the norms is ensured every year by 25,000 internal and external audits.
[Official website]

The protected geographic indications "Volailles de Loué" (files) and "Œufs de Loué" (files) cover a big area, including the whole of the departments of Sarthe and Mayenne and more restricted, adjacent areas of the departments of Eure-et-Loir, Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, Maine-et-Loire, and Orne.
The Loué breeders strongly rely on original communication campaigns, for instance, during the FIFA World Cup 2018, posters featuring farmer Didier Guillets as "Didier des Champs" (Didier in the Fields), playing on his resemblance with Didier Deschamps, the coach of the French national football team.
[France 3 Pays de la Loire, 3 July 2018]

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 14 July 2021

Flag of Loué

The flag of Loué (photo, photo) is white with the municipal coat of arms, "Chevronny of eight or and gules a chief azure three crayfishes or palewise". The shield is surmounted by a mural crown and supported by two roosters standing on two wheat sheaves crossed in saltire.

"Chevronny of eight or and gules" was the coat of arms of the Viscounts of Beaumont, once lords of Loué. The recumbent statue of Raoul de Beaumont, located "in a chapel adjacent to the abbey church of Estival" (the abbey of Notre-Dame d'Étival-en-Charnie, located in Chémiré-en-Charnie, founded in 1210 by Raoul), as represented on a plate (image) released in 1695 by Louis Boudan, represents Raoul holding a shield "Chevronny of eight or and gules". The colors of the shield appear to have been added by the engraver.

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 14 July 2021

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