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Town in the department of Mayenne (53)
Population: 6,322 (Changéens, Changéennes), and 117,301 for the 34 communes of the Laval agglomeration community
Personalities: Leb (painter and sculptor), Berthe Marcou (painter and engraver), Famille d'Elva (French nobility, from the 16th to the 20th centuries), Jordi Weiss (boxer)
Specialities: honey from Changé, educational vine.
Sport: Union sportive changéenne (football), Golf de Laval et de la Mayenne
Economy: dairy and cheese industry, metal and mechanical engineering, shops, etc.
Culture: Changé ô jardin (spring and autumn), Les soudeurs dans la nuit (sculpture creation, September)
Labels: Villes et villages fleuris 4 fleurs et prix spécial du jury " Prix de la protection des espaces naturels " / Ville Internet 4@ / Ville sportive 4 flammes / Bien vivre ensemble / Ville Ludique & Sportive / Qualivilles / Démarche Agenda 2030 (Agenda 21 obtained) / Tourisme et handicap / Sur le chemin de la nature / Éco-quartier / Ma commune a du coeur / Ma ville à vélo 2014 / Terre de jeux 2024 / Commune du civisme
Websites: www.change53.fr / www.culture-change53.fr / www.lamayenne.fr / www.m-mayenne.fr / www.mayenne-tourisme.com
CHANGÉ, A STORY
The town hall... in the castle
The locality goes down in history under the Latin name of Cambiacus, then from the Middle Ages it was called Changeium. Around 1697, Miroménil wrote that the region only produced rye, oats and "Breton wheat". After the Revolution of 1789, several Changéens paid with their lives for their participation in the Chouannerie. The castle was built on the vaulted cellars of the ruined Priory - which had been sold as national property in 1790 - at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. Until its acquisition by the commune in 1962 to house the town hall, this castle remained the property of the d'Elva family, of Piedmont origin, established in France under Louis XV, three of whose members held the position of first municipal magistrate for three generations, from 1813 to 1925. The old parish church of Saint-Pierre, in poor condition and considered too small, was demolished to make way for the present building, the construction of which began in 1869 and was not completed until ten years later. In the 18th century, Changé had six lime kilns, some of which still remain. Changé has known various industrial activities: as early as the 14th century, wash houses and cloth laundries in the districts of Bootz and Maillarderie (attached to Laval in 1863); later slate, stone and sand quarries; in the last century, a brick factory and a laundry-dyeing factory with a steam engine; since then, many companies have come to settle in the commune.
CHANGÉ AND CYCLING
Changé, where there are traces of a criterium won by Bernard Hinault in 1980, has regularly been the finishing town of the Boucles de la Mayenne, the last time in 2019, when Uruguayan Mauricio Moreira won. Saïd Haddou (2004), Ramunas Navardauskas (2010) and Andrea Pasqualon (2015) preceded him in the list of stage winners in Changé. Changé is the fourth town in Mayenne to host the Tour de France after Renazé, the town of the Madiot brothers (1987), Mayenne (1995) and Laval (1999).
The current church, in neo-Gothic style, was built between 1869 and 1879 by the architects Renous and Boutreux because the church built in the 12th century was too small. The foundation stone for the new building was laid on 23 September 1869, the nave was erected in 1870, the choir and transept in 1871-72. The tower was never completed, nor was it crowned with the planned stone spire. The interior is also in the pure neo-Gothic style: ribbed vaults on crossbeams, ribs falling on plant capitals and three-sided columns in one piece. The furniture is also in the neo-Gothic style (high altar and altarpiece of Saint Joseph and the Virgin). Inside, the painting Le Songe de saint Joseph by Charles Landelle is listed. There are also six paintings by Jules d'Evry, a Changelical artist, representing an episode in the life of Jesus as described in the Gospels.
The neo-modern Château du Ricoudet owes its construction in 1864 to "a lady's whim". Count Christian d'Elva had received the family castle, now the town hall of Changé, as a dowry. In return, his father, Count Auguste d'Elva, had the Château du Ricoudet built for his wife, Alix de Quelen. Inspired by the Italian villas of the Renaissance, with its massed plan, the projection of its forecourt open onto the river, it offers a wide view of the Mayenne valley from its terrace and its belvedere. The three-storey building has a square belvedere tower to the north, an adjoining greenhouse to the south and a forebuilding with an oriel window (the loggia) to the southeast. The roof is lined with balustrades. It is now used as a guest house.
This 4-hectare wooded area, home to remarkable trees, overlooks the town centre and has a pathway labelled "on the path of nature". In previous centuries, chestnut trees were planted and used for food. In times of shortage, chestnuts were also used to make bread.
The Ondines Park
With its wide lawns, lined with paths appreciated by walkers, this park has more than thirty different species and about fifty trees, including one of the oldest Thuja trees in Europe.
TO DRINK :
In the 16th and 17th centuries, orchards gradually replaced the failing vines. In Mayenne, cider was enjoyed by many generations of day labourers and farm workers... Then cider production declined, becoming marginal. It could have died out if, for several generations, families had not replanted, selected and produced with talent. Today, the Mayenne region stands out for the quality of its ciders, apple juice and apples.
Often awarded prizes at the Salon de l'Agriculture (France’s Farm Fair in Paris), they can be found in restaurants and crêperies, in wine shops and food shops, on local markets... or by visiting Mayenne cider producers.