Cholet

France

Cholet is a French commune , capital of the district , located in the department of Maine-et-Loire in the Pays de la Loire region .

It is the main town of Mauges, south-west of the former province of Anjou, in the immediate vicinity of Loire-Atlantique (former province of Brittany ), Vendée and Deux-Sèvres (former province of Poitou ) . The local architecture and cultural heritage are strongly influenced by this geographical location.

CountryFrance
RegionPays de la Loire
DepartmentMaine-et-Loire
Government
 Mayor (2020–2026)Gilles Bourdouleix (CNIP)
Area187.47 km2 (33.77 sq mi)
Population (2017-01-01)53,917
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)

Economy 

Cholet town center: Les Arcades Rougé shopping area.

Cholet is, despite its average size, a town with a few large industries .

The city saw the birth of many “small and medium-sized enterprises” (SMEs), which allowed the agglomeration to experience industrial dynamism and one of the lowest unemployment rates in France. There is still a lack of tertiary jobs.

The first major industrial activities were focused on textiles. This activity shapes the landscape Cholet and leaves even today traces (weavers’ houses) and innovation (school of fashion, textile museum, offices of enterprises of ready-to-wear as Catimini). 

In addition to these textile activities, there are other industries of national and even international renown:

  • Michelin , Europe’s leading tire production site;
  • Dorel (formerly Ampafrance), childcare articles;
  • Nicoll , plastic accessories for construction;
  • L’Abeille, a subsidiary of the Laiterie de Saint-Denis-de-Hôtel group , drinks (fruit juices, sodas);
  • Thales , civil and military electronics;
  • Charal , Cholet slaughterhouse and meat processing plant;
  • Jeanneau , a subsidiary of the Bénéteau group , and Nicols (in Puy-Saint-Bonnet), shipbuilding;
  • Nadia, manufacture of panels and accessories for road traffic.

In a neighboring town, Pasquier brioches are made .

Cholet is the seat of the Choletais chamber of commerce and industry . Since 2008, the chambers of commerce of Cholet, Saumur and Angers have been grouped together in Angers. Only basic services remain in Cholet (training).

Health 

The hospital center, 1 rue de Marengo, a public health establishment, offers specialized medical consultations in various fields: cardiology, surgery, gynecology, maternity, obstetrics, follow-up and rehabilitation care, psychiatry, hospital, ophthalmology, analysis laboratory of medical biology. In the field of social and paramedical education, the center offers training for childcare assistant, stretcher bearer, medical secretary, nurse, dietitian, medical imaging, tobacco, speech therapist and psychomotor therapist.

The polyclinic of the Park, avenue des Sables is a private hospitalization establishment in medicine, surgery, obstetrics and outpatient chemotherapy. It also has an annex, rue d’Arcole for follow-up care and rehabilitation in stay or day hospital.

Education

Cholet is located in the academy of Nantes .

Schools 

The municipality administers sixteen nursery schools and fifteen public elementary schools; it also has eight kindergartens and eight private elementary schools.

The department manages eight colleges: the public college Georges Clemenceau, the public college Colbert, the private college Jeanne d’Arc, the public college Joachim-du-Bellay, the private college Notre-Dame- du-Bretonnais, the République public college, the Saint-Joseph private college and the Trémolières public college.

The region manages six lycées: the vocational lycée Les Trois Provinces, the vocational lycée Jeanne Delanoue , the Europe-Robert Schuman polyvalent lycée opened in 1971, the lycée Sainte-Marie, the technological lycée and professional La Providence and the versatile Fernand Renaudeau high school.

Municipal Office of Sports

The Municipal Sports Office (OMS), created in 1966 – on the initiative of five leaders of local associations – aims to federate all the sports clubs in the city and to ensure a link between communities, clubs and locals.

In 2015 – while Cholet had 17,000 licensees, or more than a third of Choletais – it brought together 8 college sports sections , 5 high school sports sections , 78 associations representing 67 disciplines plus 2 event racing organizations : the Cholet cycling race -Pays de Loire and a pedestrian race, Les foulées choletaises.

In addition to the classic collective sports grounds and halls (badminton, basketball, football, gymnastics, handball, rugby, tennis, twirling, volleyball), Cholet has specific facilities:

  • GlisséO , complex of skating rinks (a fun track and a competition track, for speed skating ( short track ), figure skating, ice dancing, and ice hockey) and swimming pools (25 m competition  pool , diving pit, fun pools, with slide and pentagliss);
  • Ribou Park (rowing, canoeing, outdoor sports initiation center, climbing, horse riding, mini-golf, windsurfing, fishing, tennis, archery, sport shooting, sailing);
  • the Laurent Bernard climbing wall , Chambord room, used by two clubs: the French Alpine Club and the climbing and mountain sports association  ;
  • the Platoon Skatepark , outdoor skateboard track, located in Ribou Park. Having become dangerous over time, it was demolished in 2010 and replaced, in April 2012, by a new skate park, near Glisséo, for rollerblading, scootering, bmx and skateboardin, etc;

Local Culture and Heritage 

Green spaces 

Cholet has many green spaces: Ribou lake , Verdon lake , Noues pond, Godinière pond, Bois-Rénier pond, Mocrat pond, Moine park, Mail garden , Turpault park, Bois- Forest massif. Lavau, park of the menhir. Every year since March 1966, on the occasion of the Tree Festival, elected officials and interested individuals have planted trees in various public places (parks, streets, schools).

Turpault Park.

Cultural events and festivities 

Throughout the year, life in Cholet is punctuated with cultural events:

  • at the end of January, La Folle Journée , a classical music festival;
  • at the end of March, the beginning of April, the Adaptations film festival , created in 2013, honors feature films based on literary works;
  • in April, the French-speaking amateur theater festival Les Arlequins,
  • in April, the carnival. About fifteen floats – 10  m long, 5  m wide and 8 to 10  m high – accompanied by dancing groups, entertainment groups and musical groups, parade through the streets.
  • in May, the Z’allumé;
  • a biennial contemporary dance Effervescence ,
  • end of June, beginning of July: Estijazz, festival of jazz and music from elsewhere, in the open air at Parc de Moine, over a weekend;
  • beginning of July, since 2014: The seeds of artists by the artistic and cultural association La grange aux arts,
  • in July, the Enfantillages , an outdoor festival for young audiences in the Parc de Moine;
  • the summer cicada (Ribou free concerts on Friday nights during the summer),
  • in September, the Choletais short film festival, Hotmilk film makers;
  • in September, the fair-exhibition, in the Meilleraie park;
  • in September, the international airshow. 
  • in December, end-of-year activities: a living nativity scene, created in 1998 and presented outdoors by a hundred volunteers, Christmas market set up in a village setting with Father Christmas’s house, light patterns placed in the streets by the municipal services and the lighting of the houses carried out by their inhabitants;
  • the Neighborhood Festival , a variety of shows of all kinds, which takes place in the Jardin de Verre theater  ;
  • from October to April, season of shows at the Saint-Louis theater, thirty-five professional shows in theater, dance, music, humor, concerts, etc.

Some typical streets 

In addition to the classic street names referring to local or national personalities, Cholet has some characteristic streets either by their dimensions or by their names or their particularities. Important streets include:

  • The rue des Boucheries,
  • Impasse des Grands-Jardins is a narrow lane
  • The rue Huchepie between the boulevard Gustave-Richard and the rue du Devau
  • The rue Saint John Paul II  (formerly Commerce Street) – one of the oldest streets in Cholet
  • The rue des Marteaux
  • The rue de la Tête-Noire, the narrowest in Cholet
  • The rue de Léchelle 

Places and monuments 

Civil buildings 

The new town hall, of modern architecture, designed by a local architect, Francis Pierrès, it is connected by a covered gallery to the media library which bears the name of Léopold Sédar Senghor . 

The town hall,
seen from the mall garden

The tower known as the Grenier à sel was listed as a historical monument in 1969 .

The municipal theater, in neoclassical style, located on Place Travot. Partially damaged by a fire on April 23, 1949 SH 3 , then completely restored, it was decommissioned in 2011 and the interior was transformed into a commercial area. 

The courthouse is built in the second half of the xix th  century on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Monk at the site of the old castle.

An architectural door, formerly located rue Saint Pierre, adorns the entrance to the mall garden.

The Grand Menhir de la Garde, moved from the grounds of the Guard in 1885, now adorns the garden of the mall, in front of the ramparts of the old castle.

Architectural door
at the entrance to the mall garden.

The Pierre Plate de la Pochetière is located in the public park known as the menhir park .

Saint-Louis Theater

The Saint-Louis space brings together the Saint-Louis theater , the Choletais conservatory (music, dance and dramatic art) and the Jean-Sébastien Bach auditorium.

The Saint-Louis theater is a theater, a former convent that became hospital inaugurated in 2012. This room can accommodate more than 851 people including 167 in tier, making it the theater with the largest capacity in Cholet, where many events take place there, its stage being large enough to accommodate an orchestra.

Saint-Louis Theater.

Theater, dance, music 

Cholet is the residential headquarters of the Pays de la Loire regional theater.

The Glass Garden is a concert hall managed by an associative structure created in the 1970s under the name of the Association for the artistic development of the Glass Garden. It replaced a youth and cultural center before being transformed into a performance hall hosting various performances (concerts, plays, dance, circus art, music, song or humorous shows). This room has 224 seats in theater arrangement, 220 seats and 80 places on the mezzanine in cabaret arrangement and 320 standing places plus 80 places in mezzanine in concert arrangement.

The Interlude theater , part of the Jean Guichard space was built to replace the old municipal theater pending the completion of the Saint-Louis intercommunal theater. This room can accommodate theater performances, concerts and conferences and has a capacity of 587 numbered seats plus thirteen spaces for people with reduced mobility.

Museums 

  • In the Museum of Art and History,
  • The Textile Museum
The Textile Museum

Sports 

Cholet, the sportiest city in France in 1972, 2007 & 2014.

Cholet is recognized for its sporting dynamism; it is the only city, in the category of cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants, to have obtained the title of the most sporting city in France three times. 

Contact

City Hall
email
contactville@choletagglomeration.fr
address
Rue Saint Bonaventure BP 32135 - 49321 Cholet Cedex
phone
(33) 02 72 77 20 00