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Notre Dame Academy and Convent

Le Puy-Notre-Dame

Le Puy-Notre-Dame or Le Puy is a commune situated in the département of Maine-et-Loire and the région of Pays de la Loire. The village is built on the hill of Puy.

Its inhabitants are known as Puechens.

History

Protohistoric traces have been found.

Le Puy (Podio beatae Mariae in the 7th century had become known as Puy-la-Montagne by 1793 and the hill of Puy as Mary's Mountain. William 9th, Duke of Aquitaine is reputed to have brought back a waistband of the Virgin Mary from the Crusades and deposited it in the church. His granddaughter Eleanor of Aquitaine founded a collegial church to honour the relic which, according to legend, facilitated pregnancies and male offspring. Louis XI founded a chapter about 1480 and this became a site of pilgrimage the Sunday after September 8, the Nativity. The relic can still be viewed here.

The town became a stop on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela (17th century houses used by the pilgims still exist).

Its location between the territories of the Counts of Anjou and Aquitaine lent it strategic importance and traces of an encircling town wall remain.

Places

  • Subterranean refuges exist under the town and Sanziers;
  • Presshouse at the Château du Lys in Sanziers;
  • Subterranean dovecote at La Hupponnière;
  • Cavier mill in ruins;
  • Ancient Franciscan convent chapel (barn).

Agriculture

Local agricultural production is mixed with vineyards (15 km²), orchards and market gardening taking place alongside pasture and woodlands. Beekeeping also takes place. The Cave Saint-Maur in Sanziers is well worth a visit for its mushroom production. Local A.O.C wines are Anjou, Saumur, and sparkling Saumur.

Administration

List of successive mayors
Date of election Identity Capacity
2008 Jean-luc Clayes

Miscellaneous

Puy derives from the Provencal word "Puech", meaning an isolated hill.

See also

External links (in French, unless otherwise indicated)

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