Part of Vire-Normandie
Vire from the Place du Château
|22.50 km2 (8.69 sq mi)|
|o Density||490/km2 (1,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||85-225 m (279-738 ft) |
(avg. 134 m or 440 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Vire (French: [vi?]) is a town and a former commune in the Calvados department in the Normandy region in northwestern France. On 1 January 2016, it was merged into the new commune of Vire-Normandie.
The town is located on the river Vire.
In 1123, Henri I Beauclerc, King of England and Duke of Normandy, had a redoubt constructed on a rocky hill top, which was surrounded by the Vire river. The redoubt was stoned square at the bottom to assure the defense of the Duchy of Normandy against any attacks from Brittany or Maine.
This stone work would be later, At the beginning of the 13th century, Saint Louis ordered that the existing stonework be supplemented with exterior ramparts. However this second precinct was only finished at the beginning of the 14th century.:7
At the end of the Middle Ages, the village prospered; first with leather, and then with textiles During the Hundred Years' War, Vire was plundered in 1368 by large military companies, and delivered to the English in 1418. The English occupation would end in 1450 and would be brutal to the inhabitants. The execution of Hugues Vaux, owner of the largest farm of the village, after refusing to give up his farm to the English sergeant Fields, caused grief and concern amongst the population. Some inhabitants nevertheless benefited from the English occupation. Eugène Vergny, who provided Fields with information about the movement of the French troops, received the property of Vaux after his execution.
During the reign of Louis XIII of France, because a number of Fortifications of the Middle Ages served in rebellions by the Huguenots in particular, the castle and its precinct were dismantled on orders of Richelieu.:7
During the 19th century, the village did not respond well to the Industrial Revolution and went into an important recession.
On June 6, 1944, during the Second World War, around 8:00 pm, like many Norman cities and villages, Vire suffered heavily from the British bombings, and 95% of the town was destroyed. One of the two target marking flare groups was out of alignment and much of the bombing fell across the town of Vire. The Master Bomber in charge of the operation identified the problem and issued corrections to the incoming aircraft. Much of the bombing from the first wave of aircraft fell across the town of Vire killing many of the inhabitants. It was a distressing night for many families.
The reconstruction after the Second World War began in the 1960s.
Vire is connected to Saint-Lô and Cherbourg-en-Cotentin via RN 174 and to Caen via RD 577 and A84. Vire is also connected to Granville, Villedieu-les-Poêles, Flers, Argentan, Dreux and Paris via RD 924.