Good cities

The Heraldry of France
Ryan Shuflin
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Good cities

Postby Ryan Shuflin » 21 Jan 2013, 22:49

What exactly is a good city?

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Re: Good cities

Postby JMcMillan » 22 Jan 2013, 00:31

Assuming you're referring to the French expression "bonne ville," French Wikipedia explains that:

Classiquement, une bonne ville est dans l'Europe du Moyen Âge une ville bénéficiant d’un statut particulier marqué par une relation privilégiée avec le roi, ce qui implique un degré minimum d’indépendance par rapport à d’autres seigneurs.

Or, in English, "Classically, a 'good city' in medieval Europe was a city enjoying a special status marked by a privileged relationship with the king, one which implied at least a degree of independence with respect to other lords." It goes on to say that under the First Empire, the term was revived as an honorific designation. In 1821 this designation was granted to 40 cities: Abbeville, Aix-en-Provence, Amiens, Angers, Antibes, Avignon, Besançon, Bordeaux, Bourges, Caen, Cambrai, Carcassonne, Colmar, Cette, Clermont-Ferrand, Dijon, Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Metz, Montauban, Montpellier, Nancy, Nantes, Nîmes, Orléans, Paris, Pau, Reims, Rennes, La Rochelle, Rouen, Strasbourg, Toulon, Toulouse, Tours, Troyes, Versailles, and Vesoul.
Joseph McMillan
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Marcus Karlsson
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Re: Good cities

Postby Marcus Karlsson » 25 May 2013, 11:24

This status was during the Kingdom symbolised heraldicly by the use of a chief Azure showing three fleur the Lys Or. During Napoleon the Chief was Gules with three Bees Or. After the fall of the Empire the Fleur de Lys chief was reinstated and can be seen today. Apart form the Chief Napoleon also decreed that the Bonnes Ville should use the following external ornaments to thier Arms: on the Shield an Eagle issuant from a mural Crown all Or, around the shield a wreath half of Oakleaves and the other half of Laurelleaves all Or bound Gules and suspended from a Rod of Mercury Or resting fesswise on top of the Shield.

Not All the Bonnes Villes of the Napoleonic Empire was situated within the Modern day French Borders, here the Arms granted to the German City of Mainz, which as Mayence was incorporated into France in Napoleonic Times. Under the chief one can see the historical Arms of Mainz: Argent a Cross between two Wheels all Gules.

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