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Châteauroux

 

Châteauroux is a French commune, prefecture of the Indre department in the Center-Val de Loire region. In the 2015 census, the town had 43,732 inhabitants. In 2015, the agglomeration community of Châteauroux, which became Châteauroux Métropole on January 1, 2015, had 70,445 inhabitants and the urban area of Châteauroux had 93,202 inhabitants, making it the 85th in France. It is the smallest urban area for a prefecture of a department in the Center-Val de Loire region. It is the first town in the department of Indre, and the fifth in the Center region, behind Tours, the regional capital of Orleans, Bourges and Blois but ahead of Chartres.

The city is particularly known for its football club, La Berrichonne de Châteauroux.

 

Geography

260 kilometers south of Paris, Châteauroux is located in the heart of three natural regions: Champagne Berrichonne, dominated by large cereal farms, Brenne, land of a Thousand Ponds and Boischaut, a bocage devoted to breeding.

The city enjoys a privileged setting with 450 ha of green space, an average of 52 m2 per inhabitant. A remarkable natural and cultural environment that provides a living environment conducive to the development of the inhabitants and businesses of Castelroussines.

 

History

Birth of Château Raoul in 1112. The town of Châteauroux has been preceded in history by that of Déols. The Gallo-Roman presence is attested by sculpted stones, ceramic coins, urns. Around 937, Lord Raoul le Large abandoned his palace in Déols, due to insecurity, or to endow the abbey founded in 917. He had a fortress built on a hill on the left bank of the Indre. From 1112, this castle was named “castle Raoul”, because of the frequent first name among the lords of Déols. The feudal period saw the birth in the shelter of this fortified site a village of artisans and traders.

At the end of the 13th century, the castle was one of the stakes in the struggle between the King of France and the King of England. The last lord named Deols died in 1176 on his return from the crusade. The "principality" of Deols, which stretched from Cher to Gartempe, was stranded to a five-year-old girl, Denise, who was taken to England. In 1188, Philippe Auguste was able to seize the Raoul castle by surprise, and it was not until 1200 that a treaty recognized the king's suzerainty over the land of Deols. Denise and her husband made a solemn entry into their castle.

Creation of the county of Châteauroux in 1498
The Hundred Years' War brought insecurity. In 1356, the Black Prince, son of the King of England, not having been able to take the Raoul castle, burned the city. Looting took place in 1374. The city had to be fortified, which was authorized by the king in 1447. Raoul castle was rebuilt at this time. In 1498, the barony of Châteauroux became a county. But in 1503 came the death of André III de Chauvigny and the succession led in 1519 to the attribution of Château Raoul to the Maison de Maillé, and of the Château du Parc to that of Aumont. Disputes between the heirs did not end until 1612 when Henri de Bourbon, Prince of Condé, bought the two lots. He obtained in 1627 that the lordship be duchy-peerage. His son, the Grand Condé, paid little attention to his heritage, except to send his wife there under house arrest for twenty-four years. Louis XV acquired the duchy in 1737 and donated it in 1743 to the Marquise de Tournelle. Madame de Chateauroux died the following year without being able to make her solemn entry into her town. The royal administration was beneficial for Châteauroux with the creation, in 1751, of the Cloth Factory (Balsan) and the new route of the Paris - Toulouse road. Walks were created (current Gambetta and La Fayette places). Beautiful homes were built.

Châteauroux becomes the capital of the department
The Revolution made Chateauroux, which then had 8,000 inhabitants, the capital of the department. At the beginning of the last century, the resumption of the sheet factory and the creation of workshops for military crews provided work for a working and military population. In 1847, the railway arrived, and, with it, a new development of the city. In 1851, the city had 15,921 inhabitants. It has razed its walls, its doors and even the keep of the castle and has, within the limits of its grant, a vast belt of boulevards. It is still a long way from occupying all this space and the neoclassical town hall of 1821, contemplating the Châteauroux of the time, now turns its back on its city.

The year 1856 was decisive for two reasons. Châteauroux then inaugurated industrial production units. A deputy from Indre, Count Eugène de Bryas, obtained the opening in Châteauroux of cigar workshops which employed 800 people the following year. In 1872, the population exceeded 18,000 inhabitants. Built from 1858 to 1863, La Manufacture des Tabacs in 1873 had 70 managers, 82 workers and… 1,580 workers. The Manufacture des Tabacs completed in 1863, the two breweries, the two foundries, and the garment workshops already made Châteauroux an industrial city.

 

Un industriel de Lodève, Pierre Balsan, rachète la Manufacture du Parc et crée un ensemble parmi les plus importants - six hectares d'usine - et les plus modernes du pays. Renouvelant une industrie du drap aux fondations médiévales, il dote Châteauroux de son deuxième géant économique et emploie huit cents ouvriers en 1872. Sur une population de vingt-cinq mille habitants, trois mille sont employées en 1900 par le comte Eugène de Bryas et mille deux cents le sont par Pierre Balsan (chiffres de 1910).

Les deux dernières guerres ont précipité le développement de la cité. Une usine d’aviation installée en 1936 à Déols et une importante base américaine à la Martinerie, créée entre 1951 et 1967, ont entraîné la construction de cités, de résidences et de maisons individuelles. Aujourd’hui, la création de nouveaux quartiers et de zones de loisirs, la restructuration de la ville, le fleurissement confèrent à Châteauroux son caractère agréable et digne d'une ville de Préfecture.

 

Destinations

Chateau Raoul
Château Raoul is located on Place de la Victoire-et-des-Alliés and rue du Château-Raoul, in Châteauroux, in the Indre department. It dates from the tenth century, and has undergone many alterations and renovations, the last one at the end of 2011. The castle is currently part of the prefect's private residence and is not open to the public. The facade and the roof have been listed as historical monuments since 1927.


Bertrand Museum
The Bertrand Museum is a public museum of fine arts, history and archeology located in Châteauroux, in the department of Indre, France. It is located in the former private mansion of Henri-Gatien Bertrand, general of the First Empire, a building built in the second half of the 18th century and listed as a historical monument.


Couvent des Cordeliers - a former 13th-century Franciscan convent, it now houses part of the School of Fine Arts and contemporary art exhibitions. Located in the historic part of the city and overlooking the Indre valley, it is a pleasant place to walk.


Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions (located in the heart of Balsan Park) - brings together collections based on the theme of Berry culture, as well as rural life in Berry. Photographs, engravings, headdresses, objects of all kinds, bring back the life of the peasants of yesteryear, in the heart of this province of France.

Saint-Martial Church (located a stone's throw from the Bertrand Museum) - Saint-Martial Church is a curiosity in the town of Châteauroux that is worth a detour. Depending on the parish of Saint-Denis, it was built in the 12th century. It is a single nave of Romanesque origin covered with a wooden cradle, lit by trefoil bays open in an arcature of the flat apse. Its Renaissance-style bell tower, built by a bourgeois from Châteauroux, Pierre Vurignon, dates from the last years of the 15th century. This church hides within its walls lithographs discovered during repair work on the altar in 1960. Located to the left of the altar, these lithographs include Latin inscriptions carved in Roman characters. To this architecture is added an artistic treasure dating from the fifteenth century with rarities such as painted wooden statues, representing Saint-Denis, Saint-Thomas, the Virgin, Jesus ... In the 18th century, this church housed the Brotherhood of Saint -Blaise who grouped "les Tixiers" in cloth. Formerly, the small square of the Saint-Martial church traditionally hosted the fires of Saint-Jean.


Saint-André Church - in 1876, while the Berrichons are in mourning (George Sand has just died in Nohant), the town of Châteauroux sees the consecration of the Saint-André Church, the culmination of long years of efforts and work interruptions. Indeed, the idea of ​​the building dates back to the year 1844 when Mr. Grillon, then mayor of the City, decided to rebuild the Saint-André church destroyed at the end of the seventeenth century. It is in 1845, after a vote of the Municipal Council, that the works begin. After twenty years of interruption, work resumed in 1869 with a new project by the departmental architect of Indre, Alfred Dauvergne. But, the war of 1870 once again stopped the work of the Saint-André church. Thus, it was only in 1876 that the building showed its final face at Castelroussins. Despite reduced means, the Saint-André church presents a certain artistic interest. Drawings by Isidore Meyer complement the plans of architect Dauvergne and local industry has benefited from this construction. Indeed, the whole interior is built in local granite for the foundations and in freestone from Ambrault quarries for the works in elevation. The two towers reach sixty meters in height. The total length of the building is 87 meters and can hold 3,000 people. From an architectural point of view, the main church of Saint-André is Gothic in style.


Notre-Dame Church - it was built on the ditch surrounding the old Château-Raoul in 1882. Despite its disadvantageous location (it was built on low ground), this building retains all its charm with its inspired style of the Romanesque church of Issoire and its remarkable architectural details. Indeed, capitals rise successively and those inside each represent a different scene from holy writing (they were executed by M. Girault-Dupin, sculptor in Châteauroux). Notre-Dame Church also has a choir with marble columns and a dome surmounted by a gilded bronze virgin.

 

Founded by the monks of Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys in 1127. Unfortunately, this building was demolished and abandoned. But in the 15th century an agglomeration was created around a modest church, which gave birth to the Saint-Christophe district. A few remains of the old Benedictine abbey of Saint-Gildas can be found near the Colombier in the rue de la Fuie or in the rue des Jeux Saint-Christophe. Each year, the district hosts traditional events such as the Fête des Vignerons (Saint-Vincent) and the automobile pilgrimage created by Abbé Paviot (legendary figure of the district). He had a monumental statue of Saint Christopher sculpted on the church square and placed it above the portal at the turn of the century. His successors maintain the automobile pilgrimage but have moved it to the Saint-Gildas mall.


Ville fleurie - the city of Castelroussine is one of the most beautiful flower towns in France (Distinction: "Quatre fleurs").


Prairie Saint-Gildas (close to the city center) - offers a privileged natural site where you can see herons, bats and nutria.


Equinoxe - media library and national stage, with a program that is both rich and varied (theater, contemporary dance, but also jazz, song, readings) resulting from the important cultural policy dedicated to the only major stage in the city. Equinoxe also hosts the clown festival: "The Thaw Barrier" in January.


Mach'36 - the Châteauroux performance hall which opened its doors at the end of 2007.