Tour de France 2016

The Heraldry of France
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Chris Green
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Chris Green » 19 Jul 2016, 10:13

Today, Tuesday, is a rest day for the cyclists, and as those of us who have followed them on Eurosport will attest, boy do they need it!

No rest for your President however. I thought I would show you the simple, yet rather clever arms of the town of Saint-Aubin-Sauges, which is near Neuchatel:

Image

Try to blazon it as a single coat and it isn't easy. Try it! But the solution, at least according to Wiki, is to treat it as two arms impaled:

Impaled, per pale Argent and Gules a Rose counterchanged, and per pale Argent three bars Gules and Gules a Rose counterchanged.


It may be, though I can find no evidence of it - yet - that one of the impaled arms was that of Saint-Aubin and the other of Sauges, prior to their merger in 1888.
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Chris Green » 20 Jul 2016, 09:05

Wednesday's stage takes the Tour southwards through Switzerland passing through Reutigen whose arms bear an unusual charge, which on research turns out to be the letter H:

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Blazon: A Letter H crossed Or.


According to a contributor to the "Flags of the World" web-site:

The letter "H" ending with a cross on the flag of Reutigen comes from the arms of Hans Schütz who established the sovereignty of Reutigen in 1480.


Later the cyclists pass through Chateau d'Oex which was the first town in Switzerland to receive British sick or injured POWs from Germany during WW1. Its arms are:

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Blazon: English: Gules, a tower embattled Or, a wall embattled of the same in the dexter, surmounted by a Crane Argent. Francais: De gueules à la tour crénelée d'or, adextrée d'un mur crénelé du même surmonté d'une grue essorante d'argent.


Shortly before the mountainous finish, the road passes through Martigny (famous for being the place where I watched the 1966 World Cup final on TV). Its arms are sort of canting, a hammer in French being "un marteau".

Image

Blazon: Gules a Lion rampant Argent bearing a Hammer Or.


Personally, I think lions look better when they are armed and langued of a different tincture.
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Chris Green » 21 Jul 2016, 08:30

Today, Thursday, the Tour is back in France and the riders undertake a time-trial through the mountains between Sallanches and Megève.

The arms of Sallanches are:

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Blazon: English: Gules a chevron wavy reversed Argent. Français : De gueules au chevron ondé versé d'argent.


Megève's arms are not as illustrated in Wiki, but I found this link:

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMC8QJ_CoA_City_of_Megeve_Kurpark_Oberstdorf_Germany_BY

Image

Blazon: English: Azure a Ram's head caboshed Argent a Chief Or. Français : Pavé d’azur à une tête et col de chèvre au chef d’or.
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby JMcMillan » 21 Jul 2016, 13:55

If I'm understanding the French on this page correctly, the arms in Chris's post are properly those of the former lords of Megève, and in 2005 the municipality officially adopted a variant with the chief argent: D'azur à la tête de chèvre d'argent; au chef du même.

Image

http://armorialdefrance.fr/page_blason.php?ville=14055
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Chris Green » 21 Jul 2016, 14:17

So it seems. Shame they didn't tell their twin town of Oberstdorf.
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby JMcMillan » 21 Jul 2016, 14:39

Chris Green wrote:It may be, though I can find no evidence of it - yet - that one of the impaled arms was that of Saint-Aubin and the other of Sauges, prior to their merger in 1888.


Chris's hypothesis appears to be correct, according to an article "Notes sur les Armoiries de la Béroche" in the Nov-Dec 1889 issue of Archives héraldiques suisses (now Archivum Heraldicum). At the risk of being corrected by someone more fluent in French, I think it says that prior to the 16th century, Saint-Aubin's arms were Per pale Argent and Gules a polecat (!) passant Sable, while those of Sauges were almost identical, Per pale Argent and Gules a wolf passant Sable. In 1561, after the five communes of the Béroche signed a treaty of combourgoisement (reciprocal citizenship?) with Bern, Saint-Aubin replaced the polecat with a rose, taken from the arms of the town of Estavayer, with which it had previously been combourgeoise. It seems that at some point the other communes of the Béroche followed suit, and by the time of the article the district as well as each of the then-four communes (with the merger of Saint-Aubin and Sauges) bore a red and white field with a rose counterchanged.


The article is at https://books.google.com/books?id=hBQYA ... &q&f=false.
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Chris Green » 21 Jul 2016, 15:29

I have taken the liberty of editing Mr M's post as there was a large sign saying "image not available".
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Chris Green » 22 Jul 2016, 07:50

On Friday the cyclists depart from Albertville a town artificially created in 1836 by King Charles Albert of Sardinia (who also ruled Savoy). Its constituent parts were the towns of Conflans and L'Hopital (circumflex over the o). The arms of the modern town seem to consist of the old arms of Conflans and L'Hopital. My guess is that the dexter arms were those of Conflans and the sinister those of L'Hopital, but I have not had time to research this.

Image

Blazon: Francais:Parti : au 1) de gueules à la croix d'argent cantonnée à la pointe senestre d'une tour de même, au 2) coupé d'argent et d'azur à l'ancre de sable chargée d'une gerbe de blé d'or, brochant sur le tout.


The finishing line is at the spa town of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains. Its arms seem to suggest that the lion is swimming:

Image
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Chris Green » 23 Jul 2016, 06:27

Today, Saturday, is the penultimate stage of the Tour. Starting from Megève, Thursday's destination (see below), the cyclists make their way through the Savoyard pre-Alps, passing through, but not stopping at Le Reposoir, despite its name meaning "the resting place". Its arms reflect the former importance to the area of the Chartreuse monastery (now a Carmelite nunnery) founded in 1151:

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"Chartreuse" is the French word for "Carthusian" or "Charterhouse". There have been since 1084 some 300 such establishments worldwide of which 25 are still extant. The Carthusian Order, or Order of St Bruno, uses the orb and stars as its identifying mark, though not I think as a CoA.

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The finishing line is at Morzine whose arms are here shown with a covered single-arched bridge, though the accompanying blazon does not mention the bridge being covered. The bridge at Morzine, spanning the River Dranse, did however once have a roof, so the emblazonment is more accurate in this regard than the blazon. But where is the masonry sable?

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Blazon: Français : De gueules à un pont d'une arche d'or, maçonné de sable, posé sur des ondes d'argent mouvant de la pointe, surmonté d'un soleil aussi d'or accosté de deux étoiles aussi d'argent.
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Chris Green » 24 Jul 2016, 07:49

Today, Sunday, sees the last stage of the Tour, from Chantilly in the Département of Oise. Chantilly is famous for its lace, primarily because of the song, originally recorded by "Big Bopper" Richardson and later by Jerry Lee Lewis, than for the material.

Chantilly lace and a pretty face
And a pony tail hangin' down
A wiggle in the walk and a giggle in the talk
Make the world go 'round.


The inhabitants would probably prefer Chantilly to be associated with horses and equestrianism, inextricably linked with the Princes of Condé, whose stables are now the Living Museum of the Horse.

Chantilly's arms are:

Image

Blazon: English: Azure a Hunting-horn bell upwards Or a Chief Gules semy of Trees Argent. Francais: D'azur au cor de chasse d'or, au chef cousu de gueules semé d'arbres d'argent.


The arms of the Princes of Condé were:

Image

For the complexities of the Condé line and its relationship with the Kings of France you will have to rely on Wiki (or a thick tome in French):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princes_of_Cond%C3%A9

Nearing Paris, the cyclists pass through Argenteuil which has curious arms:

Image

I have no intention of essaying the English blazon but the French, if Wiki is to be believed, is:

Parti : de gueules à la couronne dentée d’or remplis d’une fontaine et engrenant quatre pignons d’or posés en son chef, à sa pointe et à ses flancs, ces deux derniers rayonnant chacun de quatre éclairs d’argent et celui du chef accosté de deux demi-vols aussi d’argent, au chef d’azur chargé de la Sainte-Tunique d’argent accostés de deux fleurs de lys d’or.


Why the city fathers of Argenteuil should have brought together the holy tunic (Leviticus 16:4) and an unholy arrangement of cogwheels is a mystery. Mechanical engineers must scratch their heads as to why cogwheels should be emitting sparks. One of the important things about cogs is that they should operate as smoothly as possible, often in an oil-bath.

Lovers of French art will know Argenteuil for its association with such giants as Monet, Renoir and Sisley.
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