Carquefou, anyone?

So here I was in another of my road warrior trips in the west of my belle France. I have passed by here before and even had lunch at the Novotel hotel but this time spent a bit more time in Carquefou, in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 of Pays de la Loire region. Therefore, let me tell what is about Carquefou. For a primer , I first heard of this town when the football/soccer team past the quarter finals of the Coupe de France championship! losing to PSG, and came to see it when passing by…..hehehe often the case to find off the beaten paths trips in my region!!

Carquefou is bordered by the Erdre river, and dotted with numerous mansions built by Nantes notables from the 16C. It is only 10 km from Nantes The neighboring towns are : Nantes, Sainte-Luce-sur-Loire, Thouaré-sur-Loire (see post), Mauves-sur-Loire, Saint-Mars- du-Désert, Sucé-sur-Erdre and La Chapelle-sur-Erdre.

The town of Carquefou is crossed by a road of national importance, the autoroute A11 , called L’Océane (the ocean), which joins the Île-de-France region to Nantes, and which is part of the road axis which connects Paris to the south of Bretagne. Carquefou is served by the Vieilleville interchange no 22, which is located on its territory. This interchange provides access to the A811, which joins the center of Nantes, and the RD 178 which extends this axis to the north at Nort-sur-Erdre, and Châteaubriant. To the south, the town is bounded by the historic link to Angers and Paris, the RD 723. The notable secondary routes are the RD 37 which joins Sucé-sur-Erdre to the north and Thouaré-sur-Loire to the south, the RD 178 which leads from the center of Carquefou to the center of Nantes via the Beaujoire, and the RD 337 which connects the town to Sainte-Luce-sur-Loire via the industrial zone of Carquefou. From Thouare sur loire to Carquefou take the chemin la basse hilliere to D723 road, then left on D37 to Carquefou centre in about 8 minutes. For info we parked by the parking des Dames on rue du 9 août 1944 for free with a blue disk for 1h 30 min.

Info on traffic as this region has become dense already and all going towards Nantes.

City of Carquefou PDF map on finding the parking see P on the map here:

The public transport service is provided by SEMITAN (which only putting up for reference as never taken here). This offers bus lines that lead to the tramway lines in Nantes: bus line 75 serves the center of Carquefou and Fleuriaye passes to the “Beaujoire” station of line 1 of the tramway, then joins the faculties(schools) sector where there are connections with the trams of line 2 at the “Recteur Schmitt”, “École Centrale Audencia” and “Faculté” stations; Line 1 (green) accessible at the Haluchère-Batignolles stop (direction François Mitterrand or Jamet for the city center of Nantes). From Beaujoire stop to Commerce stop (Nantes): about 20 min. line E5 is an express line which allows you to reach the faculty sector from Carquefou with few intermediate stops, it is in correspondence with the trams of line 2 at the stations “Recteur Schmitt”, and “École Centrale Audencia” then ends at the “Fac de Droit” stop. line C6 departs from Chantrerie-Granfes Écoles, at the entrance to Carquefou. This line leaves for Nantes city center. The major drawback of this type of mobility is the time required to travel. Today, it takes 45 minutes to reach the center of Nantes !

For public transports schedules and itineraries best to check on destineo for the whole area around Nantes including Carquefou :

A bit of history I like

In 851, the region came under Breton control, Carquefou was part of the kingdom then of the Duchy of Brittany. In the monarchial system, the territory was part, until the French revolution, of the county and the seneschal of Nantes. In 1341, Carquefou is this year the city is at the heart of War of succession of Brittany . Carquefou and its castle, whose garrison is favorable to Jean de Montfort, undergo the fire caused by Jean II of France, duke of Normandy , son of the king of Philippe VI, at the head of an army of ten thousand men and Jean of Normandy seizes it without resistance. In 1532, following the Union of Brittany to France, Carquefou is integrated into the kingdom of France.

During the French revolution, the majority of the population joined the Chouannerie (countryfolks who fought the revolution for king and God for what is known overall as the war of the West). The town is the scene of fighting in Le Clouet. On August 12, 1795, a republican convoy leaves Nantes and heads for Châteaubriant. This convoy carries 25,000 pounds in cash and 1,100,000 in assignats, weapons and ammunition. There are also six cars loaded with flour and two others filled with rum and brandy. The convoy is escorted by the entire 3rd battalion of Arras, reinforced by a detachment of volunteers from Nantes. The Arras battalion, distinguished itself twenty days earlier at the Battle of Quiberon where it was one of the first to enter the fort Penthièvre.  The Chouans/Vendeen while waiting for help from England which never came. It later took part in the executions of the Breton emigrants (from England) and Chouan prisoners. The fury of the Chouans was extreme against the soldiers of the Arras battalion who had agreed to shoot emigrant and Chouan prisoners during the Quiberon affair while others battalions had refused. Once capture they were executed as well.

Things to see at Carquefou are many but very well spread out in the countryside, need a car. As we walked we passed by a shopping center in open air, what was the old halles or covered market, now it has a sort of city of shops inside nice to walk by; Des Halles.  There is a Caravin wine store, cheese store, restaurant Vesta des Halles, tabac or newspaper stand, meat market, pizzeria, etc.


We were able to see the Church of Saint Pierre et Saint Etienne (St Peter and St Stephen) only this time; see later post.

The Château de la Seilleraye or Sailleraie b1671 .  the Château de l’Épinay, whose construction was in the middle of the 17C. Today it is surrounded by a golf course. The Château de La Couronnerie was built in 1850 and bears the name of a lordship attested in 1398. Château de Maubreuil was burnt down during the French revolution. Purchased and rebuilt around 1815 by the merchant and owner of Nantes corsair ships Félix Cossin, he returned by inheritance to the husband of Cossin’s granddaughter, the Marquis of Dion who, in 1934, sold it to the department. In 1938, a sanatorium was built in the park. In 1972, the buildings of the sanatorium became a functional rehabilitation center. The Château de la Barre dates from the 15C. Its first known lord is called Guillaume Grimaud, secretary to Duke Jean V of Brittany, in 1440. It was rebuilt in the 17C. The Château de la Chambre, from the 16C, and rebuilt in the 18C. In the 19C, Mr. Marchis de la Chambre, mayor of Carquefou, owned the castle. It was bought by M. Binet, director of LU companies (biscuits empire) and his wife Marguerite Écomard, around 1920, and still belongs to this family. The 16C Château de la Bréchetière was acquired and rebuilt in the 19C. The 19C Château Bel-Air has become a restaurant. The Château de la Fleuriaye or Fleuriais b1852 is home to the municipal services in the 21C. The 16C Château de la Bidaudière was greatly altered in the 18C. Purchased by Arthur Écomard, mayor and notary of Carquefou around 1900, it still belongs to the family. The same Arthur Écomard bought the Manoir de la Chaumière in 1892 and then enlarged it. The Écomard family sold it in the 1950s. The neo-Gothic Church of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Etienne was built between 1869 and 1874. For twenty years, it had no steeple. This one, culminating at 66 meters above the ground, was built in 1895-1896. It is located at Place Saint Pierre, which as said we visited.

The city of Carquefou on its history in French:

I rather put this post as a practical information on Carquefou and will do another post with the visit to the Church St Pierre et St Etienne as it is beautiful. Hope you bear with me in showing you the best of my belle France and especially the West , an area that needs to be seen more or as a mouvable feast story, we have the continuation here.

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

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