" Miles of salt flats, then this Tiny Town"

Malcolm Chant

Joined September 2008

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(Driving along miles and miles of open salts flats, then into view appeared this Tiny City, inside was a complete modern town)

During the Middle Ages, the town had a very rich history, with many important events. It was also the capital of the Pays Guérandais, an ancient region of the Duchy of Brittany.

In 1343 during the Breton War of Succession, following Guerande’s capture by troops commanded by Charles of Blois, approximately 8000 inhabitants were massacred in its streets, burned in their homes or in the Church of Saint Aubin. Jean of Montfort demanded that the town be properly protected, by improving its fortifications. Work started soon after and continued for more than a century, with the town’s architecture adapted to reflect the latest developments in siege and artillery. It was not until 1488, or 145 years later, that the ramparts, by then complete, were inaugurated during the reign of Duke François II (father of Anne of Brittany), only a few months before his death.

At the end of the Breton War of Succession, peace was finally concluded before the high altar of Saint Aubin on Holy Saturday in 1365. In this the first Treaty of Guérande, Joanna of Penthièvre abdicated her disputed claims to the Dukedom in favour of john V of the House of Montfort. A modified form of Salic law was introduced in Brittany as a result.

The second Treaty of Guérande (1381) established Brittany’s neutrality in the Anglo-French conflict, was accorded between John V and Charles VI, King of France. The old walled town (known in French as vieille ville) is surrounded by nearly intact ramparts and has four fortified gates (the largest of which is a 15th-century châtelet known as Porte Saint-Michel) as well as ten towers.

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