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Keywords: morbihan | malestroit | discs: 9 (yellow) | crown: mural (yellow) |
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by Arnaud Leroy
Source: InterCeltic Festival in Lorient
Malestroit (the "s" should not be pronounced) is a small city of 2,500 inhabitants, located in the department of Morbihan. The city is located on the river Oust, there part of the Canal from Nantes to Brest which crosses Brittany.
The first mention of a castrum (fortified camp) in Malestroit dates back to 987. In the Middle-Ages Malestroit was one of the nine Breton baronies. On 19 January 1343, during the Hundred Years' War, King of France Philippe VI and King of England Edward III signed in the Madeleine Chapel the "Truce of Malestroit", which proved to be very short-lived.
The city has kept several Gothic and Renaissance buildings, and is therefore nickname "the pearl of the Oust". The St. Gilles' church is famous for its portal showing the traditional representations of the four Evangelists. St. Matthew's young man rides St. Mark's lion, whereas St. Luke's ox stands on a socle decorated with St. John's eagle. It is said that around 15 h (U.T.), the shadows of the ox and the eagle draw on the wall behind them the silhouette of Voltaire.
During the Second World War, the French Resistance was very active in the area of Malestroit. Mother Yvonne-Aimée (1901-1951), who was in charge of the Malestroit convent from 1927 to 1951, was awarded after the Liberation the title of "National Heroin" by General Audibert, the leader of the Resistance movements in Brittany, and General de Gaulle. During the occupation of the convent by the German troops, the nun treated both German wounded soldiers and wounded Resistance members hidden in the secrete parts of the convent. On 18 June 1944, severe fighing opposed French resistants and SAS commandos to the German troops a few kilometers west of Malestroit. This event (and others) is commemorated by the Museum of Breton Resistance. Several inhabitants played their own role in the movie La Bataille du Rail by René Clément (1946), which describes the acts of the local Resistance movements.
Ivan Sache, 31 August 2002
The flag of Malestroit is a white with the municipal coat of arms in the middle. This flag is proudly used by the Celtic Circle of Malestroit, the local folkloric group.
Ivan Sache, 31 August 2002Red dog casino