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Clisson the breton-Italian - Clisson - Loire-Atlantique -

Clisson the breton-Italian

Clisson, very Breton roots....

You are between Nantes, Cholet, and La Roche-sur-Yon, on the border of Maine-et-Loire and Vendée. You are in Clisson, a strategic point for the defence of the Marches of Brittany. And yet... you are in Italy!

So, yes, of course there are the famous Halles de Clisson. Dating from the 14th century, they are among the oldest in France, and their structure is a marvel.

So, yes, of course, there is the famous Pont de la Vallée, which dates from the 15th century, a granite bridge with five arches of unequal dimensions.

So, yes, of course, there is also the Pont Saint-Antoine, also from the 15th century.

So, yes, of course, there is the 11th century Château de Clisson.

And all this is classified as a historical monument.

But then, why Italy?

 

Clisson, an Italian renaissance....

Here, the word rebirth is used in its first sense, namely to be born a second time. Indeed, during the French Revolution, and more precisely during the Vendée Wars, the Clisson Valley was ravaged.

After the convention's decision to launch a mass mobilisation of 300,000 men, Clisson, like many other Breton cities, did not submit to this recruitment.

And, very quickly, the insurrection began, and the Vendeans occupied the city in March 1793.

In May, it is the Republicans who enter the city, massacre and burn houses.

Then, it is the Mayençais, who burn the castle, and other houses.

Finally, it is the famous infernal columns that complete the work.

The city was completely destroyed, to the point of remaining completely deserted for two years.

In the 19th century, two brothers from Nantes, fleeing Italy, settled in Clisson. It is now 1798. Strongly seduced by the charm of the place, all imbued with the architecture of Italy they have just left, they embarked on the reconstruction of the ruined city with, in mind, what they had seen of the Tuscan cities.

The current aspect of the city, unusual for a Breton city, comes from there.

It is now very pleasant and surprising to walk there, and if a rascal sun gives you an eye that day, you will hear the Bretons speak Italian!

Unless you can hear the Parisian accent, since at the beginning of June, for more than 20 years, the "Montmartre à Clisson" festival has been taking place there, with very many participants presenting their paintings, sketches, sculptures...

 

Clisson Town Hall

3 Grande rue de la Trinité

44190 Clisson

02 40 80 17 80

02 40 80 17 66

contact@mairie-clisson.fr

 

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