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by Arnaud Leroy
The small city of Pouldergat (3,000 inhabitants, 2,995 ha) is located in the southwesternmost part of Brittany (Cornouaille), sixth kilometers south of the port of Douarnenez, once the French capital city of sardine and the first city in France to have elected a Communist mayor.
The name of the city of Pouldergat (known in 1126 in Latin as Plebe Sancti Ergadi, St. Ergat's parish, and in Breton as Plodergat) recalls its founder St. Ergat. According to Mr de la Villemarque (in Revue de Bretagne et de Vendée, 1887), Ergat (aka Argad) belonged to the tribe of Corisopites, who lived in Northern Brittany; he was the son of the bard Loumarc'h, King of the small state of Argouët, and he was himself a bard. The local tradition in Ploudergat claims that Ergad lived in the village of Kerdergat, located one km southwest of Ploudergat. There are, however, no historical nor hagiographical details on St. Ergat's life, whose name has only survived in a few place names, such as Pouldergat, Tréouergat (the churches of the two villages share the saint's relics), Pouégat and Plouégat.
Ergad and his fellows probably settled in the V-VIth century in the south of the bay of Douarnenez, then hardly inhabited. They founded there a plou (Breton name for a parish, from Latin plebe) in a former pagus (Roman administrative circonscription) limited in the east by the brook of Riz, in the north and west by the bay of Douarnenez, and in the south by the bay of Audierne and the river of Pont-Croix. In the medieval charts, this territory was still called pagus cap-sizun, and included eleven settlements, Pouldergat being the larger of them.
A chart dated 1126 (published in the Bulletin de la Société Archéologique du Finistère, 1905) is the oldest known source for the parish of Pouldergat. In 1121, Robert, Bishop of Cornouaille, awarded the priory of St. Tutuarn, located on the Tristan island, off Douarnenez, two thirds of the Plodergat tithe and one third of the funeral fees and the grants given to the parish church on Easter day. The chart prescribing these rights was written in 1126 and signed by Conan, Duke of Brittany.
More details on the Gallo-Roman and Christian religious buildings and the manors in Pouldergat can be found in the Monographie de la Commmune de Pouldergat, written by Gaston Conen de Saint-Luc (1840-1920; Deputy of Finistère from 1885 to 1889). The book is available in the Departmental Archives of Finistère (16 J).
The parish church of Pouldergat, dedicated to St. Ergat, is made of several parts, built between the XIth and the XIXth centuries. The nave of the church has Romanic pillars and arcs; the choir was built in the XIVth century in the local style called école de Pont-Croix; the flat chevet dates back to XVth century; the bell-tower was erected in the late XVIth century; the southern chapel and the sacristy are probably from the XVIIIth century. In 1850-1854, the whole church was revamped: in order to manage the difference of width between the nave and the choir, chapels were added to form an unfortunate pseudo-transept. A sculpted stone from the XI-XIIth century, showing two dancers, was recently found during the revamping of the bell-tower. The most interesting piece of furniture in the church is a rare polychromous stone statue of St. Yves (XVIth century).
The more recent history of Pouldergat, from the Ancient Regime to 1940, is related in the book Labourerien an douar hag ar mor, published by the local association Amzer Gwechall.
The port of Pouldavid seems to have been separated from the municipality of Pouldergat in 1919 and incorporated into the neighbouring municipality of Douarnenez. Pouldavid was a wealthy port of commerce in the XVth-XVIth centuries, later a fishing port in the XIXth-XXth centuries.
Source: Municipal website
Ivan Sache, 24 October 2004
The municipal flag of Pouldergat, as photographied there by Hervé Prat, is blue with a yellow cross. A black ermine spot is placed horizontally, pointing to the hoist, in the middle of the cross. Three red chevrons pointing to the center of the cross are placed in each side of the horizontal arm of the cross. Similarly, two red chevrons pointing to the center of the cross are placed in each side of the vertical arm of the cross.
I guess that the flag is derived from the municipal arms of Pouldergat but I have not found any information on those arms.
Ivan Sache, 24 October 2004Red dog casino