Last modified: 2005-12-24 by ivan sache
Keywords: indre-et-loire | saint-cyr-sur-loire |
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Municipal flag of Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 8 March 2005
The city of Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire (16,000 inhabitants; 1,349 hectares) is located north-west of Tours, across the river Loire: Tours is located on the southern (left) bank of the river, whereas Saint-Cyr is located on its northern (right) bank.
Saint-Cyr is named after a Christian child martyrized by judge Alexander. Having his dayjob, Alexander was sentencing Christians to death when Cyr, aged five, ran into the court and shouted: "I am a Christian, too!". It took half an hour to the judge to catch the child. Since Cyr did not stop yelling he was a Christian, the fed-up judge smashed the child's head against a wall. St. Cyr's cult spread all over Gaul, and there are more than 40 villages and cities named after him in France.
Saint-Cyr was a small fishers' port, built near a ford lined with
stones over the river Loire. It is said that remains of this ford can
be seen when the water of the river is at its lowest. From the XIth
century, the parish of Saint-Cyr belonged to the lords of Amboise.
Short before year 1500, Saint-Cyr was listed among the possessions of
the chapter of the wealthy St. Martin's abbey in Tours. The possession
included the port of Saint-Cyr and the easement over the river.
In summer 1944, Saint-Cyr was severely damaged by Anglo-American
bombings targeting the railway viaduct of La Motte. Most houses of the
borough Les Maisons Blanches were destroyed, including the old
The industrial development of the city started after the Second World War. Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire is now the third biggest city in the department of Indre-et-Loire, after Tours and Joué-les-Tours.
The French novelist Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), born in Tours, was
put in the care of a nurse of Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire until aged four.
Twenty-seven years later, from June to September 1830, he rented there
the house called La Grenadière for himself and his mistress Laure de
Berny. Balzac met Laure in 1821 when he gave lessons to her son. Laure
was 23 years older than Balzac; their outrageous liaison lasted some 12
years. Laure released young Balzac from his oppressing family and
encouraged him to write novels. Balzac portrayed Laure de Berny as
Madame de Mortsauf in Le Lys dans la Vallée. In 1832, it took him only
one night in Angoulême to write the novel La Grenadière, in which he
Un prince peut faire sa villa de La Grenadière et un poète son logis, deux amants y verront le plus doux refuge.
A prince can use la Grenadière as his villa and a poet can use it as his home, whereas two lovers shall see it as the sweetest place of refuge.
Ivan Sache, 8 March 2005
The municipal flag of Saint-Cyr is white with the municipal logotype. The municipal logotype of Saint-Cyr shows the silhouette of the village mirrored in the river Loire.
Dominique Cureau, 8 March 2005