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Saint-Laurent-Nouan (Municipality, Loir-et-Cher, France)

Last modified: 2010-09-25 by ivan sache
Keywords: loir-et-cher | saint-laurent-nouan | posthorn (yellow | fer de moline (white) |
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[Flag of St Laurent]

Flag of Saint-Laurent-Nouan - Image by Ivan Sache, 8 March 2010


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Presentation of Saint-Laurent-Nouan

The municipality of Saint-Laurent-Nouan (4,153 inhabitants in 2007; 6,098 ha) is located 30 km north-east of Blois. The municipality was formed in 1 January 1971 by the merging of the former municipalities of Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux and Nouan-sur-Loire.

Saint-Laurent and Nouan are located on the left bank of river Loire, on a traditional pilgrimage road to Santiago, also the ancient Paris- Bordeaux road. Trade in the villages declined when the modern road Paris-Bordeaux was built on the right bank of Loire (1773), as was, later, the railway line.
Activity resumed in 1963 with the building of the nuclear power plant of Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux, where electricity production started in March 1969. The plant currently operates two PWR reactors; two older UNGG reactors were shut down in 1990 and 1992, respectively.

Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux is the birth place of Vincent Caillard (1758-1843), nicknamed "The Stagecoaches' Napoléon". During the French Revolution, Caillard supervized the revamping of the Paris- Bordeaux road in the department of Loiret. On waste land of Sologne purchased for nearly nothing, he planted timber-producing pines, also expected to drain the marshy soil; Caillard's system was later promoted by Emperor Napoléon III on a much larger scale, contributing to the development and sanitation of Sologne.
A wealthy land owner and trader, Caillard purchased several manors in the region. In 1815, he founded with its associate Pierre Lebrun the Hirondelle (Swallow) stagecoaches' company. At the time, some 3,000 rival companies provided public person and goods' transport. Established in Paris around 1820, Caillard absorbed several rival companies to form in 1826 the Messageries Générales de France. The next year, he set up he partnership with Laffitte to found the Messagerie Laffitte et Caillard, the two co-owners purchasing all the shares of the company. Laffitte et Caillard was the main competitor of the Messageries Royales, operating on 30 roads with 2,500 post houses, several of them being privately owned by the company.
Caillard was succeeded by his sons Marc and Édouard, who contributed to the foundation of the railway companies of Nord and Orléans, respectively.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 8 March 2010


Flag of Saint-Laurent-Nouan

The flag of Saint-Laurent-Nouan, as hoisted in front of the town hall (photo, is white with the municipal arms in the middle.

The municipal arms of Saint-Laurent-Nouan (image and blazon), created in 1994 by J.P. Fernon and J.P. Lapeyre, are Parti, d'azur à un grêlier d'or et de gueules à un fer de moulin d'argent ; au chef-retrait d'argent ("Per pale, 1. Azure a post horn or and gules, 2. Gules a fer de moline argent, a combel argent").
The arms symbolize the merging of the two former municipalities. In the dexter part, the post horn recalls Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux' post houses. In the sinister part, the fer de moline recalls Nouan's Crapaudeau windmill, still operated in the beginning of the 20th century. The narrow white chief represents river Loire.
The Crapaudeau windmill is a moulin cavier (cognate with the German Kokerwindmühle and the Dutch Wipmolen), mostly found in France in Anjou. Today wingless, the Crapaudeau mill has kept only its typical, tronconic masoned base.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 8 March 2010