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Mérignac (Municipality, Gironde, France)

Last modified: 2024-04-06 by olivier touzeau
Keywords: gironde | merignac |
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Flag of Mérignac - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 11 April 2022

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Presentation of Mérignac

Mérignac (75,729 inhabitants in 2021; 4,817 ha) is a commune in the Gironde department. It is the largest suburb of the city of Bordeaux.

The name Mérignac derives from the Gallo-Roman word Matriniacus, name of a countryside villa that was the origin of today's town. In the 6th century, the parish of Saint-Vincent was created, the oldest archaeological traces of which evoke a Merovingian cloister from the first half of the 12th century, and the presence of a necropolis in the same place. Only the current Romanesque church, built between 1122 and 1131, remains, itself destroyed and rebuilt several times.

From the High Middle Ages, Mayrinac experienced alternately French, Norman-Angevin and English domination. Still under the regency of the Duchy of Aquitaine in the 12th century, the territory was then invested by two seigniories, defeated in 1274 and which swore allegiance to Edward I of England. Then the territory fell under the influence of Philippe Le Bel in the 14th century, a period during which the signery of Veyrines became the property of Pope Clement V and his family. Again under English domination on May 8, 1360, in application of the Treaty of Brétigny, the territory became more or less French again from the 15th century shortly after the Battle of Castillon (1453), then definitively on the death of the Duke of Guyenne Charles de Valois. in 1472. The vine, reinforced by the English, is the main activity of the village, now spelled Meyrinac. During the Fronde, Meyrinac suffered serious damage following repressive looting by the troops of the Duke of Épernon in 1649. In 1790, Meyrinac became the commune of Mérignac, including the surrounding hamlets. The Bordeaux bourgeoisie set up chartreuses and castles there.

The installation of the Marcel-Issartier aerodrome, in 1910, and its adjoining air base in the 1920s, marked the beginnings of the Mérignac aeronautical industry. A few decades later, Marcel Dassault had the annex of one of his factories installed there, which would become the current Dassault Aviation, next to what is now an international airport. Charles de Gaulle flew from this airport to Great Britain in up in 1939, the Pichey-Beaudésert camp in Méeignac was first used for refugees from the Spanish Civil War before becoming in 1940 one of the many supervised residence centers set up by the regime of Vichy. On October 25, 1940, after the Kommandantur of Bordeaux had sent the internment notice for all the nomads of the occupied territories, the camp received many Gypsy families. Then the German security police ordered, on July 2, 1942, the internment of Jews aged 16 to 45; 459 of them will be transferred to Drancy the same year. After the Second World War, the camp was used for the internment of collaborators awaiting trial, then, from 1946, for that of illegal immigrants, particularly Spanish. It was closed in 1948 as an internment camp, but temporarily housed homeless people until 1956 before being permanently destroyed.

After the Second World War, Mérignac, like the rest of France, experienced a pressing need for housing and new service buildings. In the 1950s, Mayor Robert Brettes began a program of intensive urbanization. Fields,
chartreuses and parks disappear in favor of geometric buildings. The vast Château du Parc was razed in the early 1960s, along with the mansion facing it, replaced by residential towers; social housing, commercial area, offices, hotel area near the airport are emerging. The population thus increased from 20,000 (1946) to 50,000 inhabitants (1975), with the development of a very dynamic industry around, among other things, aeronautics and armaments. Mérignac benefits from a second wave of intense urbanization from the 21st century.

Olivier Touzeau, 11 April 2022

Flag of Mérignac

The flag of Mérignac is white with logo and has undergone several changes. Since 2020, the “M”-design is centered with the word Mérignac below: photo (2022), photo (2020)

Olivier Touzeau, 11 April 2022

Former flags of Mérignac

[Flag]    [Flag]

Former flags of Mérignac - left, 2018-2020 ; right, before 2017 - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 11 April 2022

In the period 2018-2020, the flag of Mérignac was white with the“M”-design at the hoist nad the word Mérignac on its right: photo (2018), photo (2019).

Before 2017, the white flag had the previous “M”-design in the center of the word “Ville de Mérignac”: photo (2008), photo (2012), photo (2016), photo (2016), photo (2017).

Olivier Touzeau, 11 April 2022