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Maintenon is a French commune located in the department of Eure-et-Loir in the Center-Val de Loire region. Located in a fertile valley at the confluence of the Eure and the Voise, Maintenon is located in the natural region of the Paris basin at the extreme northern limit of the Beauce, bordering the Thymerais.



Old regime
Located in the Orleans region, the history of the castle dates back to the Middle Ages. It was the first fortress of the vassals and counts of Monfort. Many lords succeeded each other from the tenth to the twelfth century: Avesguaud (978), Germond I (1010), Mainier and his wife Élisabeth (1107), Guillaume de Maintenon (1160), Amaury and his wife Émeline (1160-1210), Hughes de Maintenon followed by several lords Amaury.

The castle itself was built in a Renaissance style from 1509 under the leadership of the owner of the premises, Jean Cottereau, the treasurer superintendent of finances of Louis XII, then under François Ier. When he died in 1530, he left it and the surrounding land to Jacques d'Angennes, Lord of Rambouillet, his son-in-law. His son Louis d'Angennes inherited it in 1562 and became baron de Maintenon.

His heirs sell the property to the Marquis de Villeray-d'Angennes. On December 27, 1674, Françoise d'Angennes wife of Odet de Riantz, marquis de Villeroy, heiress of Charles François d'Angennes, sells her castle and the title of Maintenon for 150,000 pounds to the widow of the poet Scarron, lady Françoise d 'Aubigné who thus becomes Marquise de Maintenon.

From then on, the castle grew and was embellished by major works financed by the king and became a quasi-royal castle. The park was designed by Le Nôtre. Racine often came to meditate there, while Vauban was responsible for the aqueduct. This was never finished due to wars and malaria and the work was abandoned in 1688. The building which was to include three rows of superimposed arches was intended to bring the waters of the Eure from its source to Versailles.

The Maintenon estate then passed into the Noailles family following the marriage of Françoise-Amable d'Aubigné to the Duke of Ayen, Adrien Maurice, son of Marshal de Noailles. King Charles X on the way to exile slept in the castle in 1830.

With an area of ​​one hectare, Maintenon corresponded to two parishes and a collection, the basic fiscal district of the collection of size. Depending on the city of Orleans for the government and the stewardship, it was attached and depended on Chartres at the level of the election (grouping of collections), the subdelegation, for the salt loft, custom, bailiwick as well than for the diocese.

Attached to the deanery of Epernon, Maintenon had for parishes: Saint-Nicolas (the lord of the place, Louis, Duke of Noailles, peer and marshal of France) and Saint-Pierre (for the great archdeacon).

French Revolution and Empire
Chaired by Louis Henry Houy (lawyer in Parliament), the preparation of the Estates General took place on March 1. The deputies were Louis Richer, tax attorney, Louis Henry Houy, Pierre Morice, merchant and Mathurin Lavigne, winegrower. Unfortunately, the book of grievances is lost.

The canton of Maintenon is part of the district of Chartres. In year IX, in accordance with the transformation by the Constituent Assembly of the former divisions of monarchical France into departments, the canton of Maintenon was part of the arrondissement of Chartres, in the department of Eure-et-Loir. There, as elsewhere, civil status passes from the responsibility of the clergy to the administration.

On February 26, 1792, we also witness the sale of national property that had belonged to the clergy, as part of the Church's spoliation of its property.

Another deed of sale dated 22 Floréal, Year III concerning the Noailles succession highlights the situation of a whole nobility forced to emigrate at the time. The very precise description of the farm which is given on this occasion gives a very good idea of ​​its importance. Moreover, it was noted in extracts from the deliberations of the municipal council in 1792 that the succession of Noailles fell to the benefit of the Republic on 26 Frimaire Year II, as well as the decision to cast the bells.

We are also witnessing the deposit at the common house of the registers of baptism, marriages and burials held until then by the "two" parish priests and the appointment of a public officer assigned to their keeping.

The demonstrations of the Republic are multiplying: bonfire to celebrate the success of the French army, song of the Marseillaise, decision to destroy the old coat of arms and purchase of a liberty cap.

Reading a few official acts, such as the one relating to secularization, allows us to better understand this period of great upheaval.


Contemporary period
nineteenth century
Maintenon was occupied by Prussian troops from 1870 to 1871.

Twentieth century
On June 16, 1940, during the second phase of the Battle of France, German soldiers, probably belonging to the 1st German cavalry division, massacred around Maintenon some fifty Senegalese infantrymen, many of them wounded, belonging to the 26th regiment. Senegalese skirmishers.

The city is shaken by the explosion, in the station, of a munitions train on February 18, 1944.

A bombardment, by the Royal Air Force, of the station and the ammunition depot of the city, during the night of April 30 to May 1, 1944, caused the death of 16 civilians and 7 Germans. This event is recalled by an odonym: rue du Premier-Mai-1944.