Saint-Lô: but why is there a boat on this city roundabout?

Saint-Lô: but why is there a boat on this city roundabout?
Saint-Lô: but why is there a boat on this city roundabout?

By Hélène Perraudeau
Published on

May 5, 24 at 9:06

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You have undoubtedly seen it when entering Saint-Lô (Manche) or leaving the town by car: on the Bessin roundabout, is installed… a boat. Rather unusual, at first glance, when you know that the sea is several ten kilometers from the city-prefecture.

In truth, it is not there by chance and it does not refer to the sea but to the Vire.

This is the story of this boat.

At the time of the barges in the Vire

It all started in 2000. The municipality, then managed by François Digard, had a barge built, a flat-bottomed boat. At 19e century, the latter slowly went up the Vire, loaded with stone or tangue (sediments collected from the seaside to improve agricultural land). They were pulled by horses or men using a long rope : the grelin.

In Saint Lô, the barge ended its life on a roundabout. ©Hélène Perraudeau – Côté Manche.

Built mainly in Tribehou, the boats were numerous. Between 1800 and 1854, 168 barges were registered in Carentan. This gives an idea of ​​the scale of the traffic.

It is this rich past that the City of Saint-Lô wanted to honor with the barge Saint-Loise. Built in a few months by trainees from an integration project, it was inaugurated on Monday 1er January 2001.

9 seasons of walks on the Vire

From 2001 to 2009, on sunny days, Saint-Loise delights tourists and locals alike, with a stroll on the Vire to the Rocreuil bridge. A very popular commented river walk. It was also possible from 2002 to rent a pedal boat or a boat.

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Stranded on Mosselman Island

A beautiful adventure that will end on July 24, 2009: the barge is installed in the middle of a bed of sand, on Mosselman Island. Pierced and threatening to sink, she will no longer sail. The fault lies in water leaks, general maintenance considered too expensive and a renovation which would have been even more so. She remained on Mosselman Island for more than five years.

No more barge but a bar barge in the Vire!

In April 2015, the municipality at the time, led by François Brière, decided to move it to the famous Bessin roundabout to decorate it…

But now, Vire welcomes a new boat: the bar barge The Holy Water, deposited in the river on Tuesday April 23, 2024. Its opening should take place around May 9.

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