Last modified: 2012-05-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: yvelines | conflans-sainte-honorine | fleurs-de-lis: 3 (yellow) |
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Flag of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine - Image by Ivan Sache, 1 December 2011
The municipality of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (34,814 inhabitants in 2008; 990 ha) is located 30 km north-west of Paris, on the confluence (Latin, confluens) of rivers Seine and Oise.
Conflans was in the upper Middle Ages a small farmer and fisher's
village. In 876, monks from the Graville abbey, located in Normandy
near Le Havre, secured in Conflans the relics of St. Honorine, martyred in the 3rd century. At the end of the 11th century, the Count of Beaumont, lord of Conflans, built the "old castle", whose square donjon is called today Montjoie Tower.
In the 12th century, the travers (crossing) tax was established for ships sailing through Conflans, which became a significant river port. However, until the 19th century, most villagers lived from agriculture and stone extraction from the "Royal bed" located in a limestone cliff; these stones were used, for instance, to build the Louvre and the Palais-Bourbon in Paris.
In the middle of the 19th century, steam navigation appeared on the
French rivers, several of them being canalized. A chain used for chain
steam shipping was immersed into the Seine, linking Conflans to Paris.
Conflans became the local capital of river navigation. Conflans became
also a popular place of Sunday's leisure for the inhabitants of Paris.
In spite of the decline of inland navigation, Conflans has kept a busy river port (mostly seen from the highway bridge crossing the Seine and dominating the town) where several barges are moored permanently (inland navigation has became so little profitable that several barge owners have no other solution but retiring on their moored barges). The most famous ship moored in Conflans is the chapel-boat Je Sers (locally known as "God's Barge") (website), purchased in 1936 by the Entraide Sociale Batelière, a mutual-aid society founded by Priest Joseph Bellanger (1898-1976). Every year in June, the pardon national de la batelleri" (inland navigation national pilgrimage) is celebrated in Conflans. The Municipal (but of national interest) Inland Shipping Museum of Conflans is the biggest French museum dedicated to river shipping.
The politician Michel Rocard (b. 1930) was Mayor of Conflans-Sainte- Honorine from 1977 to 1994. Michel Rocard was Prime Minister of the French Republic in 1988-1991; he considered that his best act when governing France was the negotiation of the Nouméa Agreement, which prevented a civil war that seemed unavoidable in New Caledonia. He was succeeded (1944-2001) as Mayor of Conflans by Jean-Paul Huchon (b. 1946), also President of the Regional Council of Île-de-France since 1998.
Source: Municipal website
Ivan Sache, 1 December 2011
The flag of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (photo) is white with the greater arms of the town in the middle.
The arms of Conflans Sainte-Honorine are "Gules a pall argent a chief
azure three fleurs-de-lis or". The shield is surmounted by a blue-white-red mural crown and surrounded by branches of olive and oak. The War Cross is appended to the arms.
The arms are canting, the pall symbolizing the confluence of rivers Seine and Oise.
Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 1 December 2011