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Bourges, the center of France, really?

Know it, the yellow vests, Bourges is absolutely not the center of France. The city is not even the geographical heart of the Center-Val de Loire region, it is at the midway of nothing more than a phantom impression that can be had by looking at a map.

If the yellow vests want to meet in the center of France, we will have to choose. Eight municipalities claim the title. Without going back to Roman Gaul, the first serious candidate was Bruere-Allichamps, in the Cher where, from the end of the XVIIIe century, the lord of the land planted a marker to mark the blow. His intuition was confirmed a century later by the calculations of Adolphe-Laurent Joanne, a geographer who made his measurements in a France without Alsace and the Moselle and without counting nor the curvature of the globe nor Corsica or the islands. So wrong. It does not matter: on the A71, there is a rest area "Center of France Bruère-Allichamps" (meaning Clermont-Orléans). So, the yellow vests, direction Bruère-Allichamps, 565 inhabitants. Meet in front of the terminal, RD 2144.

It was not until 1993 that the National Geographic Institute, the IGN, decided to seriously calculate the location of this famous center. Not to mention Corsica, it is located in Vesdun (Cher), municipality of 575 inhabitants whose mayor has installed a commemorative mosaic in the middle of the village, unable to do so in the exact place, namely a field in which "The owner does not really want to come for a walk", says the mayor quoted by Le Figaro. Blunder on your buttocks, the yellow vests.

Including Corsica this time, the IGN then fell on Nassigny, in Allier, 190 inhabitants. The mayor, says the article of the Figaro cited above, "Had the village blacksmith make a map of France made of metal, sealed on a stone marker at the edge of a field". We apologize, the yellow vests, but we did not find the exact location.

So, already three. And the other five? Well, everything depends on the method of calculation. There is the method of the "barycentre", which we are not able to describe but which brings into the dance Farges-Allichamps, Saint-Amand-Montrond and Saulzais-le-Potier, all in the Cher. Another method, the "center of the minimum circle" and there, it is Tranzault (Indre) which is in the center. While with "the center of the largest circle included", one falls on Saint-Palais in the Cher.

Next file: the center of the European Union, not easy either.

Sibylle Vincendon



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