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Cancale (Municipality, Ille-et-Vilaine, France)

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by
Keywords: ille-et-vilaine | cancale | ship: terre-neuva | oyster | eagle: double-headed (black) |
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[Flag of Cancale]by Ivan Sache, coat of arms by Pascal Vagnat

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Presentation of Cancale

Cancale is a city of c. 5,000 inhabitants, located at the western end of the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel and c. 15 km east of Saint-Malo.

In the past, Cancale was an important fishing port, famous for its terre-neuvas, which sailed to Newfoundland (in French, Terre-Neuve) fishing banks.

The other important resource of Cancale is oyster-farming. The local oysters were totally destroyed in 1920 by a mysterious disease. Nowadays, the oyster spat is imported from the south of Brittany and oysters are kept into 360 ha of sea parks. The plancton specific to the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel gives the Cancale oysters their typical taste. According to Petit Larousse Illustré, cancale can be used as a common name for a Cancale oyster. A bronze statue entitled 'The Oyster Washers' has been placed in front of the city hall as a tribute to the women who worked in very harsh conditions in oyster parks.

Cancale is also famous for the bisquine, a sailing ship with a flat bottom adapted to the shallow waters of the Bay.

Cancale is the birth city of Jeanne Jugan (1792-1879), founder of the congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor (Petites Soeurs des Pauvres).

Cancale is the starting point of the marathon of the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel. The specificity of this race is that the arrival can be seen from the start and from everywhere on the route.

Ivan Sache, 25 June 2001

Description of the flag

The flag of Cancale can be seen at the entrance of the city and on a beacon in the port. It is made of the municipal coat of arms placed on a green field, with CANCALE written in white letters above the shield.

The coat of arms shows inter alia a terre-neuva sailing ship and oysters. The green shade of the sea is slightly lighter than the green shade of the flag field.

Ivan Sache, 25 June 2001

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