Les Halles of Ancenis!

Once again another gem while on my road warrior in my belle France. We do not stop , so much to see, and we are just beginning ::) even with trips in earnest to France since 1990, and living here for 16 years we are short on the wonders of my adopted country.

Let me show you a dandy we saw while driving towards the valley of the kings but in Pays de la Loire territory. This is Ancenis, and its wonderfull belltower covered market or Les Halles d’Ancenis.

As not really written much on the town even if passed by it several times…. let me give you some introduction.

The town of Ancenis is in the department of Loire-Atlantique, no 44 of the Pays de la Loire region. Since January 1, 2019, it is the new town of Ancenis-Saint-Géréon with the old neighboring town of Saint-Géréon. Ancenis was built in 984 on an island whose contours can still be seen thanks to boulevards Joseph-Vincent and Léon-Séché. The wharves demonstrate the importance of past traffic on the Loire river  and the importance of the port of Ancenis. The city is part of the Markets of Brittany (marches de Bretagne). Ancenis is part of the historic Brittany region in the traditional country of the Pays Nantais!  The city is 35 km from Nantes, 50 km from Angers, 50 km from Cholet, and 50 km from Châteaubriant.  Ancenis is connected to the national network by its highway/motorway interchange and its toll on the A 11 linking Nantes to Paris!

A bit of history I like

The old town of Ancenis was founded in 984 by Guérech, son of Alain Barbetorte, Duke of Brittany, or by his wife Aremberge. An earlier Gallo-Roman occupation exists on the current territory of Saint-Géréon, on a higher point of the slopes of the Loire, the Meslières Stones. The foundation of Ancenis is intended to defend the new Breton border created by the victory of Alain Barbetorte on the Normans, including the pretensions of the dukes of Anjou who, as early as 987, besieged the city. In 1468, the Treaty of Ancenis was signed, committing duke François II of Brittany to break his alliances with Charles the Bold and King Edward IV of England.

Tourist office of the Pays Ancenis on Ancenis in English here:  https://www.pays-ancenis-tourisme.com/en/to-see-and-do/visits-culture-and-heritage/towns-and-villages/ancenis-and-its-banks-of-loire/

The nice monument here that caught our attention passing by it was the covered market or halles. Therefore , let me tell you a bit more on it.

The market or halles are the heart of the city center, around which all the shops of the city are installed. They are built on the site of the old market which dated from the 15C, razed in 1859. It is in 1862 that they are inaugurated. They include the covered market, surmounted by a belfry, the whole is of Napoleonic architecture. The halles as they exist today were part of the vast operation Coeur d’Ancenis 2017 (heart center of Ancenis), whose objective was to render the heart of the city more attractive. Thanks to this program that included the creation of a forecourt, the renovation of the facade, the renovation of the roof , the installation of new joinery and the redevelopment of interior spaces, the halles have found all their superb aspect and now offer a new commercial space of 600 m2. This does not prevent market gardeners, poultry farmers, fishmongers, and cheese makers from setting up their market around the halles every Thursday morning !


A bit of history on the covered market or Halles d’Ancenis.

The Ancenis-Saint-Géréon market is already 413 years old. Recognized in the regional commercial landscape, this event has gone through times and historical events. The Duchess of Mercœur, who today has an alley to her name in the Rohan district, is at the origin. The Duchesse de Mercœur was born Marie de Luxembourg, she married Philippe de Lorraine, Duke of Mercœur and Baron d’Ancenis. The latter was appointed governor of Brittany in 1582 by King Henry III and later became leader of the Catholic league which challenged the arrival of Henry IV, of Protestant origin, while wars of religion were raging. In March 1606, she obtained from King Henry IV the patent letters establishing in Ancenis a fair each  year and a market each week, thus giving them a legal existence. The wooden halls (instead of the current halls) have been home to the market since at least the 15C. On September 6, 1623, the Duchesse de Mercœur died at the Chateau d’Anet  (Eure-et-Loir,dept 28). She was buried in the Convent of the Capuchins, at 222 Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris, which she had built.

The city of Ancenis-Saint-Géréon on the covered market of which some of the description above was translated by yours truly! City of Ancenis on the covered market or Halles

There you go my dear readers, another gem as said of my belle France. Hope you enjoy the ride and do ride into the wonders of my France. Ancenis-Saint Géréon in the Loire Atlantique! 

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!



2 Comments to “Les Halles of Ancenis!”

  1. Very interesting. Been in the area several times, but never stopped. Beautiful region too.

    Liked by 1 person

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