Issoudun is a French commune located in the Indre department, in the Center-Val de Loire region. The town is located in the east of the department of Indre, on the border with the department of Cher.
Located halfway between Bourges and Châteauroux, the biturige city of Uxeldunum, destroyed at the approach of Caesar and rebuilt by the latter is a site occupied since Antiquity without interruption. Two Roman milestones were found in the 19th century, truncated and regrooved to make sarcophagi. According to the deciphered remains of inscriptions, one dates from Nerva and the other from Septimius Severus.
In the eleventh century, the lords of Yssoudun, princes of Déols and sire of Château-Raoul named Raoul, Ebbe (s) or Eudes, minted their own coins. At the end of the 12th century, with the extinction of the family of the lords of Châteauroux-Déols, Issoudun, like their heiress Denise de Déols (1173-1207), was tossed between the crowns of France and England: French in the treaty Azay-le-Rideau in 1189, English in 1195 at the Treaty of Gaillon, Issoudun fell to Philippe Auguste in 1200 at the Treaty of Goulet. Denise's first two husbands were in fact chosen by the Kings of England Plantagenets, Counts of Poitiers and Dukes of Aquitaine (and thereby overlords of Western Berry or Bas-Berry). Through her second husband, André de Chauvigny (1150-1202), the succession of the lords of Châteauroux and Issoudun is accomplished, with their son Guillaume Ier de Chauvigny (1188-1233), father of Guillaume II de Chauvigny (1224- 1270).
But the Capetians gradually bought back the titles of the beneficiaries, for example in 1221 and 1243. On the death of the Count of Poitiers Alphonse in August 1271, Issoudun was definitively attached to the royal domain and the Chauvigny excluded (even if there would be commitments or appanages: thus François d'Alençon, younger brother of Henri III, was appanaged in 1576-84).
Note: we often find that the Lusignans were sires of Issoudun (see weapons opposite), but Exoudun must in fact be understood!
The development of the city led to the establishment of a Franciscan convent (the Cordeliers) in the first half of the thirteenth century.
In the 15th century, the city of Issoudun experienced a growth in the cloth industry, but suffered from an epidemic of plague in 1497.
Issoudun played an important administrative role from the end of the sixteenth century by being the seat of an election (subdivision of the generality of Bourges) and a subdelegation.
The city of Issoudun experienced population growth at the start of the 18th century, as it went from 2,050 fires in 1709 to 2,269 in 1726 (around 10,000 inhabitants).
On July 16, 1730, the big bell of the Saint-Paterne church in Issoudun was blessed. His godfather is Messire Joseph Bellet, abbot commendatory of the Abbey of Notre-Dame d'Issoudun, the godmother Dame Marie de la Roche-Aymon, widow of a noble man Michel Henry Agobert, Sieur Deolanay, king's adviser, provost judge of Issoudun .
In 1783, thunder fell on the bell tower of Saint-Paterne church causing damage estimated at 100 pounds. The lightning spreads through several rooms of the rectory, completely shattering two spans and causing 150 pounds of damage. That year the harvests were abundant.
Honoré de Balzac said: “No offense to Paris, Issoudun is one of the oldest towns in France”.
French Revolution and Empire
During the Revolution, the choice of Châteauroux, then the second city of Berry, as the prefecture of the new department of Indre, harmed the development of Issoudun.
During the Second Republic, Issoudun was one of the cities most favorable to the new regime and to ideas of progress. Upon his election, Prince-President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III) arrested members of so-called "secret" societies whose mission was to spread these ideas and acquire the people in the Social Republic. The main members of "Republican Solidarity" (120 members) were sentenced to prison and deprived of civil rights for two years (including Lecherbonnier, father of the future mayor) in June 1849, and finally jailed after the appeal in November. The unrest was permanent until the coup d'état of December 2, 1851, sometimes dispersed by troops, and the bourgeois national guard dissolved because it was too inactive.
The news of the coup d'etat is known on the day of the 2nd by the
officials, but does not spread until the 3rd. The Republicans
assemble, demonstrate (1,500 to 1,800 people), but, in the absence
of certainties , do not act to take control of official buildings.
News of the defeat of the Republicans in Paris arrived on the
evening of the 4th, and the last rally took place on 625. The two
companies of the 23rd light therefore did not have to intervene. The
repression then begins, with 23 arrests for the city of Issoudun
alone, while power takes hold: the motto Liberty-Equality-Fraternity
is erased from public buildings. Twelve popular and suspicious
cabarets were closed in January 1852. One of the prisoners hanged
himself in a cell; in May, three of the defenders of the Republic
were deported to Algeria. The bookseller Châtelin, a young father,
released after two months, preferred to go into exile in London,
where his work as a bookbinder was officially rewarded. Finally, a
student from Issy-sur-Seine with too advanced ideas from the
Chateauroux Normal School was excluded from the establishment, the
government of the authoritarian Empire especially monitoring the
teachers. Likewise, the teacher of the village of Bordes, Nicolas
Florent, particularly appreciated by the population, giving evening
classes, previously awarded by the Academic Inspectorate, was
dismissed on December 22.
The opposition did not disarm, although in the early years of the Empire only a few convictions for seditious cries could be noted. The Orsini attack in January 1858 led to seven new arrests of opponents; some are deported to Algeria.
Since the end of the 19th century, Issoudun has been an important center of devotion and pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary. It is called the "city of Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Cœur".
From 1875 to 1920, Issoudun was a garrison town for the 68th line infantry regiment with Le Blanc (1st and 2nd battalion in Issoudun, headquarters and 3rd battalion in Le Blanc).
During the First World War, an instruction center for aspiring students was set up at the Châteaurenault barracks. Among them, we note the presence of the future General Kœnig.
Between the end of 1917 and June 1919, the 3rd training center of what would become in 1919 the United States Army Air Service was installed in a neighboring town (Lizeray), after the United States entered the war, in support of the American Expeditionary Force. It is the largest American air base outside mainland France with seven camps, eleven airfields and two field hospitals spread over approximately 1,300 hectares. Served by 7,500 people, 766 fighter pilots were trained there and 171 American soldiers died in these training camps.
The disused Jardon barracks were used in 1938 to house 383 refugees from the Spanish Civil War. Between January 29 and February 8, 1939, more than 2,000 Spanish refugees fleeing the collapse of the Spanish Republic in front of Franco's troops, arrived in Indre. Unlike neighboring departments which call on the municipalities, Indre succeeds in grouping them into only three, then seven centers, which allows better control of this population considered to be dangerous (especially in terms of health). The refugees, mainly women and children, are subjected to a strict quarantine, vaccinated, the mail is limited, the food, if it is little varied and cooked in the French style, is however assured. A gymnasium is converted into an infirmary to treat epidemic victims.
In 1940-1942, Issoudun was a garrison town for the 1st infantry regiment and the 72nd artillery regiment.
In May 1940, the city was the victim of an aerial bombardment causing nearly 110 victims.
On September 10, 1944, the Elster column, which was retreating from the south of France towards Germany, surrendered at Issoudun. The commando of the 3rd SAS, composed of French, receives the surrender.
Since 1950, the Issoudun region has hosted a short-wave radio transmitter center which enables the broadcasting of Radio France Internationale programs abroad, located in the town of Saint-Aoustrille.
In September 2003, as part of the redeployment of the police in France, the Issoudun police station was closed for good. It is now the gendarmerie which ensures security and which sees its strengths increased with the creation of a research brigade, a surveillance and intervention platoon and a motorized brigade. The Issoudun gendarmerie company, until then one of the smallest in the Center gendarmerie region and threatened with dissolution, resumed capital importance in the Indre department.
In 2008 the courthouse of the town was closed permanently.