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Surzur (Municipality, Morbihan, France)


Last modified: 2005-12-24 by ivan sache
Keywords: morbihan | surzur | surzhur | scallops: 3 (yellow) | ermines: 2 (black) | flowers: 3 (white) |
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[Flag of Surzur]

Municipal flag of Surzur - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 26 June 2005

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Presentation of Surzur

The municipality of Surzur (in Breton, Surzhur) is located 15 south-east of Vannes in the beginning of the paeninsula of Rhuys, 6 km east of the Gulf of Morbihan. The name of the municipality might come from the Latin anthroponym Sartor or Sartorius.

Flint axes found in the villages of Kerlan, Lambré and Brarun, as well as bronze axes found in Tregof, all kept today in the Morbihan Archeological Museum in Vannes, show that the region of Surzur was already settled in the Neolithic period.
Three 5 m high menhirs (erected stones) stand near the village of Bergard. Two 5-6 m long ruined stone funerary galleries, locally called roches aux fées (fairies' rocks), can be seen in the coppice of Talhouët. A dolmen and two fallen menhirs are found near the village of Vinihy. All these remains date back to the Celtic period.
After the conquest of Gaul, the Romans designed in Brittany (then called Armorica) ways paved with granite stone. The main way was the Vannes-Nantes way; a secondary way (diverticulum) linking Blain to Port-Navalo, traditionally called Conan's way, crossed Surzur. In 1835, a farmer found near the remains of the way a 1 m high, cylindrical milestone made of granite. The milestone bears the writing Imp. Caes. - Piavonio - Victorino - Pio Felici - Aug.; it is therefore dedicated to Emperor Victorian (268-270).

The Bretons settled the region in the VIIth century and the Christian religion flourished in Brittany. The parish of Surzur is very ancient; it included in the past the villages of la Trinité and Noyalo and the priory of le Hézo, founded around 1247. Surzur belonged to the fief of the Bishop of Vannes and the Sénéchaussée of Vannes. The parish was made of some 20 small feudal domains. The municipality of Surzur was founded in 1790.
The manor of Pérénès (XIVth century) successively belonged to the families of Rosnharo, Lescouble (XVI-XVIIth century) and Lescoët. It was purchased in 1900 by the Garaby de Pierrepont family and used during the Second World War as the Kommandantur by the German troops. The castle of Grégo (XVth century) is owned by the family of Virel. General Henri de Virel (1898-1945) was a leader of the German anti-resistance; he was arrested by the Gestapo in April 1944 and died in the camp of Strassfurt on 5 March 1945, short before the Liberation. The manor of Cohanno (in Breton, Kohanneu, the owls; XVIIth century) was inhabited by the painter and writer Xavier de Langlais, who funded the restoration of the chapel Sainte-Anne de Grappont.

The St. Symphorien's church of Surzur is the only Roman church in the country of Vannes to have kept its original plan (Latin cross). Xavier de Langlois painted in 1935 a Blessed Virgin in Celtic style for the Rosary chapel. Saint Symphorien was martyrized in Autun (Burgundy) in 180, under Emperor Marcus Aurelius; his "history" is related in a document dated from the end of the Vth century and might be only a legend. St. Symphorien was removed from the official list of the saints of the Roman Catholic church in 1969. However, St. Symphorien ranked among the national saints, along with St. Denis and St. Privat, in the Merovingian times, and his cult spread to France, Belgium and Germany. Bishop Eupronius built the saint's funerary basilica and founded an abbey in Autun around 450-490, on the place of the execution of the saint. Twenty-seven French municipalities are named after him (as well as the football stadium of the FC Metz!).


Ivan Sache, 26 June 2005

Municipal flag of Surzur

The municipal flag of Surzur, as communicated by the municipal administration, is white with the municipal arms. The shield is white with a wavy blue chief charged with three yellow scallops, a red bend charged with three white flowers and two ermine spots, recalling of course Brittany. The shield is flanked by two wheat spikes; a yellow scroll placed below the shield bears the name of the municipality in black letters.

Arnaud Leroy & Ivan Sache, 26 June 2005