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Colbert and the Nièvre

Colbert and the Nièvre – Act 2 Arrival of Jean-Baptiste Colbert in the Nièvre

17 October 2019

360 years ago, on October 16 1659, Colbert wrote to Mazarin from Entrains-sur-Nohain to tell him about his arrival in the Nièvre and how expansive and beautiful the Duchy was. This journey follows the acquisition of the Duchy of Nevers by Cardinal Mazarin (July 11 1659) who sent Colbert in the Nièvre to appraise its potential and to take possession of it.


Colbert quickly realized the strategic interest of the Duchy which had more than 200.000 hectares of forest including a large part of oaks. As a matter of fact, oak was at that time very important because it was used for the construction of vessels and for the development of forges for the needs of the army.



Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Colbert by Philippe de Champaigne and extract from the Cassini map

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