Machecoul

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Machecoul
Machecoul is located in France
Machecoul
Machecoul
Coordinates: 46°59′38″N 1°49′18″W / 46.9939°N 1.8217°W / 46.9939; -1.8217Coordinates: 46°59′38″N 1°49′18″W / 46.9939°N 1.8217°W / 46.9939; -1.8217
Country France
Region Pays de la Loire
Department Loire-Atlantique
Arrondissement Nantes
Canton Machecoul
Intercommunality Machecoul
Government
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Didier Favreau
Area
 • Land1 66.62 km2 (25.72 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Population2 5,732
 • Population2 density 86/km2 (220/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 44087 / 44270
Elevation 0–36 m (0–118 ft)
(avg. 5 m or 16 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Machecoul is a commune in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France.

Its 5,732 inhabitants are called Machecoulais.

Geography[edit]

The commune of Machecoul is surrounded by the following communes:

Sights[edit]

  • Gallo-Roman Wood Lighthouse ("Phare à Bois").
  • 8th Merovingian sarcophagi.
  • Many old mills.
  • 11th century Notre-Dame-de-la-Chaume abbey.
  • Former 13th century Romanesque church.
  • La Trinité church (1881).
  • 11th century Cahouët Bridge ("Pont de Cahouët"), wrongly said "Roman Bridge" ("Pont Romain")(it does not date from Roman times). Small bridge over the river Falleron.
  • Castle of Machecoul (also known as "Castle of Gilles de Rais" ("Château de Gilles de Rais") or "Bluebeard's castle" ("Château de Barbe-Bleue")): close to the town centre are the ruins of the 13th-century castle of the town, once owned by the infamous child-murderer Gilles de Rais (1404–1440). Nowadays, on summer evenings, one can partake of a son et lumière show telling his story.
  • The "Auditoire" (18th century). Former court main hall (central part), which was built in 1755.
  • The Lime Kiln ("Four à Chaux") (1857). Located on Saint-Michel Island, rich in limestone. Restored in 2001.
  • Les Halles (1885).
  • The Hippodrome des Chaumes (1885).
  • The former Segin Distillery (1886).

Economy[edit]

On the edge of town is the Gitane bicycle factory. Fans of the Tour de France will recall the Breton cyclist Bernard Hinault riding for them in the 1970s.

Machecoul has a weekly street market where one can buy roasted poulet noir, the black chicken of Challans.

Twin towns[edit]

Machecoul is twinned with:

People[edit]

Machecoul was the birthplace of:

See also[edit]