Pouancé

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Pouancé
The castle of Pouancé
The castle of Pouancé
Coat of arms of Pouancé
Coat of arms
Pouancé is located in France
Pouancé
Pouancé
Coordinates: 47°44′29″N 1°10′30″W / 47.7414°N 1.175°W / 47.7414; -1.175Coordinates: 47°44′29″N 1°10′30″W / 47.7414°N 1.175°W / 47.7414; -1.175
Country France
Region Pays de la Loire
Department Maine-et-Loire
Arrondissement Segré
Canton Pouancé
Intercommunality Communauté de Commune de la région Pouancé-Combrée
Government
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Pierrick Esnault
Area
 • Land1 48.97 km2 (18.91 sq mi)
Population (2006 estimate)
 • Population2 3,192
 • Population2 density 65/km2 (170/sq mi)
Time zone CET (GMT +1)
INSEE/Postal code 49248 / 49420
Elevation 48–108 m (157–354 ft)
(avg. 20 m or 66 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.

Pouancé is a commune in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France. It is located on the border of 4 French departements: the Maine-et-Loire where its belong, the Mayenne in the North, the Ille-et-Vilaine in the North-west, and the Loire-Atlantique in the West.

Since the Middle-age, Pouancé is a true border between Anjou, part of the Kingdom of France, and the independent duchy of Brittany. The city gained the nickname of "Door of Anjou, March of Britanny". Until now, the city keeps its partially preserved city walls, some of its city gates and its medieval castle, the second largest in Anjou.

History[edit]

The menhir of Pierrefrite is one of the only remains from the prehistory in Pouancé region, along with some stone axes and an arrowhead. The menhir is located on the border of the commune of Armaillé et Saint-Michel-et-Chanveaux. The menhir is made of red slate and is 5 meters tall.

After the discover of pieces of tegulae in a wood, it is supposed that a roman kiln did exist, and along with it, a gallo-roman habitat.

The earlier place of settlement on the territory is supposed to be the village of Saint-Aubin, around one kilometre far from the center of Pouancé. In the walls of Saint-Aubin church (12th century) was found the remains of a Merovingian sarcophagus.

The first known lord of Pouancé was Manguinoë, from 990 to 1037. It is supposed that he built the first castle, in a motte-and-bailey style. For defensive reasons, the motte was built one kilometre from Saint-Aubin, on a slate hill. At the end of the 12th century, a medieval village grew up around, the first towers were built, and the village was fortified. The fortress complete, it counted 15 towers and 3 defensive walls.

During the reign of Charles V of France, a permanent tax, the gabelle, was established on the salt. The Anjou became a Pays de grandes gabelles, where tax was heaviest. Because Brittany was exempted of this tax, an important smuggle developed in the border of Anjou and Brittany. In 1343, a greniers à sel (salt granary) was established in Pouancé to store the salt and judge dispute on the tax. The smuggling was so important in Pouancé that a special jail for the faux-sauniers (name for the salt smugglers) was built.

During the Hundred Years' War, Pouancé has been besieged twice: the first time in 1432 by John VI, Duke of Brittany, allied with English and Scottish troops. The second time in 1443, by John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset. But the city managed to resist every time, and the besiegers were forced to retreat.

During the 16th century, Pouancé was also famous in Anjou for its forges. The French royal navy command commission the forge for several thousand of round shots.

After the French revolution, Pouancé became the chef-lieu of a canton. The canton of Pouancé groups together 14 communes.

Toponymy[edit]

The etymology of Pouancé could come from the latin name, Potentius, derived from the latin potens (powerful).[1] Others make its derived from the Celtic pouleum (a hill, or a butte). First mention of Pouancé dated from 1050, when the town is named Poenciacum and Pautiacum. As time goes by, Pouancé born the following name:[2]

  • 1070: Poenci
  • 1080: Castellum Poenci
  • 1090: Poenceiaco
  • 1081-1105: Pontiacum
  • 1078-1105: Poenceium
  • 1132: Poencé
  • 1180: Poentium
  • 1190-1202: Poanci
  • 1207: Pohencetum
  • 1220: Castrum Pouencé
  • 1680: Poencé
  • 1715: Poancé
  • 1720: Povencé
  • 1725: Pouancé

Coat of arms[edit]

Coat of arms of Pouancé
Arms/Standard Description
Blason ville fr Pouancé (Maine-et-Loire).svg

Quarterly, first and fourth argent a pale vert, second and third vert a bend argent.

Blason ville fr Pouancé (Maine-et-Loire)-2.png

Quarterly, first and fourth or a pale vert, second and third vert a bend or.
This variant is the one actually used by the municipality of Pouancé.

Geography[edit]

Geology and hydrology[edit]

The river Semnon forms part of the commune's northern border along with the Araize.

The river Verzée flows southeastward through the southern part of the commune and crosses the town. It forms the lake of Saint-Aubin, then the lake of Pouancé just under the castle, and finally the lake of Tressé.

Climate[edit]


Month Jan Feb March Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high (°C) 7,9 9,2 12,6 15,3 19 22,6 24,9 24,7 21,8 17 11,4 8,4 16,2
Average low (°C) 2,1 2,2 3,9 5,6 8,9 11,8 13,6 13,4 11,3 8,4 4,6 2,8 7,4
Average temperatures (°C) 5 5,7 8,2 10.4 13,9 16,2 19,2 19,1 16,5 12,7 8 5,6 11,8
Months average of precipitations (mm) 62,1 50,8 51,7 44,6 54,4 41,2 43,8 44,9 52,2 59,6 64,5 63,4 633,4
Monthly length of sunlight (hours/month) 70 92 141 179 201 234 248 237 191 129 89 65 1877
Source : Climatologie de 1947 à 2008 - Angers, France

Nearby places[edit]

Governance[edit]

Mayors[edit]

Political tendency[edit]

Demography[edit]

Evolution[edit]

Population numbers by year
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
1,034 1,306 1,915 1,956 2,560 2,765 2,821 2,758 2,895
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
3,001 3,227 3,266 3,273 3,390 3,346 3,502 3,508 3,355
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
3,278 3,198 3,093 2,755 2,762 2,804 2,836 3,218 3,119
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 - -
3,094 3,017 3,165 3,299 3,279 3,307 3,192 - -
Starting in 1962: Population with duplicates - Sources : Cassini[3] et INSEE[4]

Places of interest[edit]

Twin cities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ À travers l'histoire de Pouancé, Alain Racineux, Yves Floch Mayenne, 1983, page 22
  2. ^ Histoire de Pouancé et des environs, Henri Godivier, seconde édition 2006, Le Livre d'Histoire, page 19
  3. ^ Population avant le recensement de 1962
  4. ^ INSEE : Population depuis le recensement de 1962