The town hall in Machecoul
|Region||Pays de la Loire|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Didier Favreau|
|Area1||66.62 km2 (25.72 sq mi)|
|• 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.
- in Loire-Atlantique: Bourgneuf-en-Retz, Fresnay-en-Retz, Saint-Même-le-Tenu, Saint-Mars-de-Coutais, Saint-Lumine-de-Coutais, Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu, La Marne, Paulx
- in Vendée: Bois-de-Céné.
- 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).
Machecoul has a weekly street market where one can buy roasted poulet noir, the black chicken of Challans.
Machecoul is twinned with:
- Ühlingen-Birkendorf, Baden-Württemberg, Germany;
- Shifnal, Shropshire, United Kingdom;
- Valea Drăganului, Transylvania, Romania.
Machecoul was the birthplace of:
- Gilles de Rais (1404–1440), noble, soldier, and one time brother-in-arms of Joan of Arc. He was later accused and ultimately convicted of torturing, raping and murdering dozens, if not hundreds, of young children.
- Marc Éliard (born 1958), bass player of the new wave/rock band Indochine.
- Cédric Michaud (born 1976), marathon speed skater.
- Mickaël Landreau (born 1979), professional football (soccer) player.
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