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Coordinates: 47°59′52″N 2°44′00″E / 47.9977777778°N 2.73333333333°E / 47.9977777778; 2.73333333333

Commune of Montargis

MontargisSeal.JPG
Along the canal in Montargis.jpg
Location
Montargis is located in France
Montargis
Administration
Country France
Region Centre
Department Loiret
Arrondissement Montargis
Canton Montargis
Intercommunality Montargoise et Rives du Loing
Mayor Jean-Pierre Door
(2001–2008)
Statistics
Elevation 82–112 m (270–370 ft)
(avg. 85 m/280 ft)
Land area1 4.46 km2 (1.72 sq mi)
Population2 15,030  (1999)
 - Density 3,370 /km2 (8,700 /sq mi)
Miscellaneous
INSEE/Postal code 45208/ 45200
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Floorplan of the Château de Montargis

Montargis is a commune in the Loiret department in north-central France. The town is located about 110 km (68 mi) south of Paris and 70 km (43 mi) east of Orléans in the Gâtinais.

Montargis is the second largest city in the Loiret, after Orléans. It is near a large forest, and contains light industry and farming, including saffron. Due to its numerous canals and bridges, Montargis sometimes bills itself as the "Venice of the Gâtinais." Though quite modern, it retains a medieval charm in its downtown area.

Contents

Etymology and history

The town is said to be the place where the jealous goddess Juno charged Argus with guarding her rival. Under this account, the name "Montargis" is supposed to derive from the Latin mons argi. Alternatively, Julius Caesar, in his Gallic Wars, mentions a chieftain named Moritas who gave his name to a town in the region. At any rate, the town is known to date to ancient times. Numerous Gallo-Roman artifacts have been found in the area, and many are in the town's Gâtinais Museum.

Later, the town was a stronghold of the Frankish king Clovis I.

Montargis was originally part of the house of Courtenay, who fortified a château on a hill overlooking the town. The town was ceded to the king of France in 1188. In the 14th and 15th centuries, it was a royal residence.

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Hundred Years' War

In 1427, during the Hundred Years' War, the Earl of Warwick besieged the town with artillery, beginning bombardment on July 15. During the siege, the residents of Montargis sabotaged the dikes of numerous ponds in the district, flooding and drowning many of the besieging English. On September 5, a French force of 1600 men broke the siege, led by Jean de Dunois and La Hire, commanders who would go on to lead the army of Joan of Arc. This marked the first important victory by the army of King Charles VII in the war, gratefully remembered by Charles later.

After being wounded in an unsuccessful attempt to besiege Paris in September 1429, Joan of Arc passed through Montargis on her way to Gien.

After the war, Charles VII, rewarded the town for its valor in the war by granting it various privileges. In 1490, his later successor Charles VIII officially declared the town Montargis Le Franc ("Montargis the tax-free"). This title is abbreviated as "MLF" in the official coat of arms (seen in the seal shown here). This privilege was renewed by his successors, and Montargis remained free of taxes for three centuries, until it was revoked during the French Revolution.

Sixteenth century

In 1528, King Francis I granted the town to his sister-in-law, Renée of France, Duchess of Ferrara and daughter of King Louis XII. After her husband Ercole II, the Duke of Ferrara died in 1559, Renée resided at Montargis. She sheltered there Protestant Huguenots fleeing from persecutions in Paris and elsewhere during the 16th century French Wars of Religion.

Dog of Montargis

The most well known legend of Montargis is that of the "Dog of Montargis." In the story, Aubry de Montdidier, a courtier of King Charles V of France, was murdered around 1400 in a forest near Montargis by Richard Macaire, an envious knight. After his death, Mondidier's dog showed a remarkable hostility to Macaire. King Charles decreed a trial by combat in the town between the dog and Macaire, who was armed with only a cudgel. After the dog won the battle, Macaire confessed to the crime and was hanged.[1] A dramatic statue of this fight is in front of the Girodet Museum in central Montargis.

Industry

In the 1880s, a rubber factory was built in Châlette, a district of Montargis. It today employs 2000 workers to produce tires and parts for vehicles and appliances.

Culture

Pralines, the crunchy confection made from almonds in cooked sugar, were first confected in Montargis in the time of Louis XIII. They were originally sold from a shop that still is in business.

Notable people

Twin towns

Montargis is twinned with:

References

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MONTARGIS, a town of central France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Loiret, 47 m. E.N.E. of Orleans by rail. Pop. (1906), 11,038. The town is traversed by the Vernisson, by numerous arms of the Loing, and by the Briare canal, which unites with the canal of Orleans a little below it. It has a church (Ste Madeleine), dating in part from the 12th century and including a fine choir of Renaissance architecture, and still preserves portions of its once magnificent castle (12th to 15th centuries), which, previous to the erection of Fontainebleau, was a favourite residence of the royal family. A handsome modern building contains the town-hall, public library, and museum; in the courtyard is a bronze group, "The Dog of Montargis"; the town has a statue of Mirabeau, born in the neighbourhood. Montargis is the seat of a sub-prefecture, and has tribunals of first instance and of commerce and colleges for both sexes. It manufactures paper, gold chains, rubber, tar, asphalt, chemical manures, woodwork and leather. The town is an agricultural market, and its port has trade in coal, timber, sheep and farm produce.

Montargis was formerly the capital of the Gatinais. Having passed in 1188 from the Courtenay family to Philip Augustus, it long formed part of the royal domain. In 1528 Francis I. gave it as dowry to Renee d'Este, daughter of Louis XII., the famous Huguenot princess; from her it passed to her daughter Anne, and through her to the dukes of Guise; it was repurchased for the Crown in 1612. From 1626 till the Revolution the territory was the property of the house of Orleans. Montargis was several times taken or attacked by the English in the 15th century, and is particularly noted for its successful defence in 1427. Both Charles VII. and Charles VIII. held court in the town; it was the latter who set the famous Dog of Montargis to fight a duel with his master's murderer whom he had tracked and captured.


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