Last modified: 2022-03-11 by ivan sache
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Flag of Redon - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 1 October 2021
The municipality of Redon (9,287 inhabitants in 2019; 1,509 ha; municipal website) is located 60 km south-west of Rennes.
Redon was probably named on the Celtic word *roton / *rodon, meaning "a ford". The town was indeed founded in 832 by Conwoïon, Archdeacon of the diocese of Vannes, and his disciples on a hill overlooking the confluence of rivers Vilaine and Oust. The local lord, Ratvili, offered a plot where a modest hermitage, made of wooden planks and branches, was soon built. The foundation was supported by Nominoë, governor of Brittany, as a means to increase his power. His son, Erispoé, was crowned king of Brittany in 851 by Conwoïon.
A first stone church was built between 842 and 853, progressively surrounded by religious and civil buildings, prompting the establishment of a new parish; around year 1000, the church was deemed to small.
The Benedictine abbey of Redon, among Brittany's richest religious foundations, exerted a strong economical, political and religious influence all over Brittany and far beyond. The town of Redon was also a main town in the kingdom, then duchy of Brittany. Alain IV Fergent, duke of Brittany from 1084 to 1112, retired in the abbey, where he died in 1119. Henry III, king of England, allied with duke Pierre Mauclerc, stayed in the town for six days in 1230. Duke François II welcomed Louis XI, king of France, in Redon in 1462.
The St. Sauveur abbey church is topped by a church tower erected in the 12th century, considered as Brittany's most emblematic Romanesque monument. The Gothic tower, erected in the 14th century, stands separated from the church building following a blaze that partially destroyed the nave in 1780. The cloister was rebuilt in the 17th century on the ruins of the original cloister.
In the 14th century, Abbot Jean de Traeacute;al fortified the town; the wall was protected by three gates, three posterns and 13 towers.
In the past, ships could sail from the sea up to Redon, which was Rennes' outer port. The ships moored in the tidal port established on river Vilaine, where their cargoes could be transferred on barges and river boats that sailed upstream to Rennes.
After the building of the Nantes-Brest canal, a basin afloat was established in 1836. The canal joins in Redon the Rance-Vilaine waterway, which made of the town the main crossroad of Brittany's waterways. The inauguration of the railway station in 1862 boosted the town's industrial development.
The flag of Redon (photo, photo, photo) is quartered, 1. and 4. White with black ermine spots placed 3 + 2 + 3, 2/ and 3. Blue with a white sailing vessel. The design is derived from the municipal arms, "Azure a vessel argent on a sea of the same a chief argent five ermine spots sable". The Armorial Général shows the arms without the chief (image).
Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 2 October 2021