Pouancé

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Pouancé
The castle of Pouancé
Coat of arms of Pouancé
Coat of arms
Pouancé is located in France
Pouancé
Pouancé
Location within Pays de la Loire region
Pouancé is located in Pays de la Loire
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 Segré
Area1 48.97 km2 (18.91 sq mi)
Population (2006 estimate)2 3,192
 • Density 65/km2 (170/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET (GMT +1))
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
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 former commune in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France. On 15 December 2016, it was merged into the new commune Ombrée d'Anjou.[1] It is located on the border of 4 French departements: Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne in the north, Ille-et-Vilaine in the north-west, and Loire-Atlantique in the west.

During the Middle Ages, Pouancé was situated on the 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 Brittany". The town retains its partially preserved city walls, some of its city gates and its medieval castle, which is 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, and is made of red slate and stands 5 meters tall.

After the discovery of pieces of tegulae in a wood, it is assumed that a Roman kiln existed, and along with it, a Gallo-Roman settlement.

The earliest location of a settlement on the territory is believed to be the village of Saint-Aubin, about one kilometre from the center of Pouancé. In the walls of Saint-Aubin's church (which dates from the 12th century) the remains of a Merovingian sarcophagus were found.

The first known lord of Pouancé was Manguinoë, from 990 to 1037. It is believed that he built the first castle, which was constructed 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 castle, the first towers were built, and the village was fortified. When the fortress was complete, it consisted of 15 towers and 3 defensive walls.

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

During the Hundred Years' War, Pouancé was besieged twice: first in 1432 by John VI, Duke of Brittany, who was allied with English and Scottish troops. The second time was in 1443, by John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset. However, the city managed to resist both times, and the attackers were forced to retreat.

During the 16th century, Pouancé was also famous in Anjou for its forges. The French royal navy commissioned the forges for several thousand 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).[2] Others make its derived from the Celtic pouleum (a hill, or a butte). The first mention of Pouancé dated from 1050, when the town was named Poenciacum and Pautiacum. As time passed by, Pouancé bore the following names:[3]

  • 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 silver and pale green, second and third green and silver.

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

Quarterly, first and fourth are a pale green, second and third green and gold.
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]

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[4] et INSEE[5]

Places of interest[edit]

Twin cities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Arrêté préfectoral 7 December 2016 (in French)
  2. ^ À travers l'histoire de Pouancé, Alain Racineux, Yves Floch Mayenne, 1983, page 22
  3. ^ Histoire de Pouancé et des environs, Henri Godivier, seconde édition 2006, Le Livre d'Histoire, page 19
  4. ^ "Des villages Cassini ... - Dossier "INDEX"". ehess.fr. 
  5. ^ "Insee - Conditions de vie-Société - Population et logements par commune depuis le recensement de 1962 (1961 pour les Dom) à 1999 - Population et logements par commune depuis le recensement de 1962 (1961 pour les Dom) à 1999". insee.fr.