Cholet (French pronunciation: ​[ʃɔlɛ], locally [ʃɔle], probably from Latin cauletum, "cabbage") is a commune of western France in the Maine-et-Loire department. It was the capital of military Vendée.

The church in Cholet
The church in Cholet
Coat of arms of Cholet

Coat of arms
Location of Cholet
Cholet is located in France
Cholet is located in Pays de la Loire
Coordinates: 47°03′36″N 0°52′42″W / 47.060000°N 0.8783°WCoordinates: 47°03′36″N 0°52′42″W / 47.060000°N 0.8783°W
RegionPays de la Loire
CantonCholet-1 and 2
IntercommunalityCA Choletais
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Gilles Bourdouleix (CNIP)
87.47 km2 (33.77 sq mi)
 • Density620/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
49099 /49300
Elevation63–184 m (207–604 ft)
(avg. 124 m or 407 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.


In 1906 the population was 16,554, and 54,632 in 2006.


Cholet stands on an eminence on the right bank of the Moine, which used to be crossed by a bridge from the fifteenth century. It is about 50 km southeast of Nantes.


The town owes the rise of its prosperity to the settlement of weavers there by Édouard Colbert, count of Maulévrier, a brother of the great Jean-Baptiste Colbert. It then became an estate of Gabriel François, Count de Rougé and Marquess of Cholet, who developed the city and its economy. The main commercial mall being built this year is named after him: The "Arcades Rougé".

During the early years of the French revolutionary wars, the town found itself at the heart of the counter-revolutionary struggle in the Vendée, culminating in October 1793 with the Battle of Cholet which was won by the republicans and followed by a period of brutal government repression.

Cholet hosted Stage 4 (Individual Time Trial) and was the departure of Stage 5 in the 2008 Tour de France. It is scheduled to host a Team Time Trial stage in the 2018 Tour de France.

According to the Jan 10th 1885 edition of Corbett's Herald, a temporary theatre had collapsed on an audience of 1000, causing 150 fatalities.


A public garden occupies the site of the old castle; the public buildings and churches, for example the Church of the Sacred Heart (1939), are modern.

Megalithic monuments are numerous in the neighborhood.

A textile museum (Musée du Textile) exists to conserve the traditional machines used to create the famous handkerchiefs made in this town, as well as the techniques used to make them and the oral and local history associated with the industry.


There are granite quarries in the vicinity of the town. The chief industry is the manufacture of linen and linen handkerchiefs, which is also carried on in the neighboring communes on a large scale. Woolen and cotton fabrics are also produced, and bleaching and the manufacture of preserved foods are carried on. Cholet is the most important center in France for the sale of fat cattle, sheep and pigs, for which Paris is the chief market.


Cholet Aérodrome serves Cholet. The Gare de Cholet railway station offers regional services towards Nantes and Angers.


SO Cholet is based in the commune.

Cholet Basket is also based in the commune.

Stage 3 of the 2018 Tour de France started and finished in Cholet

Twin towns

Cholet is twinned with:

Notable people

See also


  • INSEE commune file
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Cholet" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 267.

External links

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Arrondissement of Cholet

The arrondissement of Cholet is an arrondissement of France in the Maine-et-Loire department in the Pays de la Loire region. Since the January 2017 reorganization of the arrondissements of Maine-et-Loire, it has 32 communes.

Battle of Cholet

The Battle of Cholet was fought on 17 October 1793 during the French Revolutionary Wars, between French Republican forces under General Jean Léchelle and French Royalist Forces under Maurice d'Elbée. The battle was fought in the town of Cholet in the Maine-et-Loire department of France, and resulted in a Republican victory. D’Elbée was wounded and captured; he was later executed by Republican troops in Noirmoutier. The Royalist insurgent, Charles Melchior Artus de Bonchamps, was fatally wounded in the battle.

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SO Cholet

Stade Olympique Choletais is a French association football team founded in 1913. The club is based in Cholet, Pays de la Loire and play at Omnisports Stadium, which has a capacity of 9000 spectators. For the 2017–18 season, they will play in the Championnat National, the third tier of French football.


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