GeographyThe commune is at the entry of the Estuaire of the Gironde, on Right Bank. On the Littoral , one finds five conches, fine sand bays surrounded by cliffs limestones, whose vastest, Large Conche, is spread on close to 2 600 Mr. C' is towards - 6000 that these conches was papered of extremely fine sand (180 µm) which isolated them from the Marais.
LocalizationRoyan is located on the littoral Atlantique, to 60 km in the south of La Rochelle and a hundred km in the north of Bordeaux.
DistrictsThe city is divided into districts with architecture and the different functionalities.
The districts of the Park and Pontaillac, offset and built along beaches, are made up large balneal villas of the beginning of the 20th century, and are primarily residential.
LocalitiesThe commune also has many localities which, for the majority, tend to be integrated in districts of the city following the fast urbanization of the coast.
Communes borderingName of the commune (distance from center in center, as the crow flies)
GeologyRoyan is built on a plate of rocks Calcaire dating from the Crétacé (approximately 150 million years). The formation of the estuary and cliffs and conches date of there is approximately 65 million years at the time when the birth of the the Alps and the the Pyrenees has ruffled the layers of limestone.
A light seismic risk relates to the commune which is located not far from the fault of Oléron. September 7th 1972 the Séisme of Oléron of a Magnitude of 5.7 produced some damage in the area and could be felt until in Paris region. The last seism felt in date, always on this fault, a magnitude of 4.7, took place on April 18th 2005.
The commune is surrounded by the marshes of Pontaillac, Pousseau and Belmont.
ClimateThe climate is of type oceanic: the Pluviométrie is high in autumn and in winter and the winters are soft. The summer remains moderate thanks to the breaks marine. The Ensoleillement of the Charente-Maritime is best Atlantic littoral.
Cyclone of December 1999The Charente-Maritime is the French department which was hard touched by the cyclone Martin of December 27th 1999. The national records of recorded winds were reached with 198 km/h on island of Oléron and 194 km/h with Royan. The harbor buildings, wood and infrastructures and of communication on the commune have sudden heavy damage.
As of the Prehistory, the site of Royan was occupied: cut Silex put at the day by excavations attest some. The Celtes started to emphasize the Presqu'île (in the Antiquité, Royan was a peninsula between the Gironde and the vast estuary of the Seudre). The Romains develop the culture of the Vigne, the breeding of oysters and the technique of the salt-water marshes. Tibulle celebrates its coast in connection with the victory of Messala and Ausone built a residence there. In 418, the Visigoths arrive in front of Saintes. To protect itself, Royan surrounds by Palissade S in 419, date on which it is mentioned this city for the first time in an old man cartulaire. Gregoire de Tours mentions a usurpation of the church of Royan by the Visigoths Ariens. In the summer 844, the Viking S go up the Gironde, plundering all on their passage.
The Middle Ages
At the beginning of the 11th century, calm a precarious cost, the peninsula slowly reappears under the impulse of small seigniories and of the Abbaye S. Between 1050 and 1075, the priory of Saint-Vivien the Holy ones builds the Prieuré of Saint-Pierre on the plate with two kilometers of the borough. This fixes a small hamlet. In 1092, the abbey of Large-Safe the installs another priory, that of Saint Nicolas's Day, not far from the borough. This one is on the rock of Foncillon, at the seaside. Joined with the borough, small a Château protects the bottom from the beach of Large Conche which is used as port. At the end of the 11th century, already, the activity Portuaire is important. Many the Gabare S which borrows the Gironde makes there stopover in waiting of winds or favorable currents. The lord of Didonne benefits from it then to make pay a tax with all Bateau stopping with the foot of the Château.
In 1137, Aliénor of Aquitaine wife the king of France, Louis VII. Royan forms integral part of the duchy of Aquitaine and passes under the direct control of king de France. But in 1152, Aliénor divorces and marries Henri Plantagenêt which becomes king of England in 1154. Royan passes then under English control. The king of England makes consolidate defenses of the borough. He is then protected by solids Muraille S and one builds a Donjon. The various taxes paid by the ships since the 11th century are codified by the lords of Royan. Code which one finds a trace gone back to 1232 under the name of Coutume of Royan . The May 20th 1242, Henri III, king d' Angleterre, unloads in Royan with 300 knights. It is in war against Louis IX (holy Louis). Beaten with Taillebourg, the English preserve, by the treated of Paris, the control of the south of the Saintonge, of which Royan.
In 1355, during the War One hundred Year old, the Prince Noir, heir to the throne of England, occupies Saintonge. It reinforces defenses of Royan which becomes a large borough managed by twelve aldermen and twelve advisers. At the end of the One hundred Year old war, in 1451, the area of Royan is definitively French, but in ruins.
In 1458, Marie de Valois (1444 - 1473), illegitimate oldest daughter of Charles VII and Agnes Sorel wife Olivier de Coëtivy, count of Taillebourg. She brings in dowry 12.000 ecus, and the châtellenies of Royan and Mornac. In 1501 Charles of Trémoille by his marriage with Louise de Coëtivy, becomes baron de Royan. At the 16th century, the wars of religion make rage, and almost all large captains of the time like Henri de Navarre, the future Henri IV, and the lord of Brantôme (which will become prior of Saint-Pierre-of-Royan) make the war under the walls of the Citadelle. In 1592, Henri IV sets up the city in marquisat for the benefit of Gilbert of Trémoille. At the beginning of the 17th century, the duke of Épernon estimates that “it is one of the best places for its size which was in France”. Since the edict of Nantes, Royan is a fortified town Protestante under Henri III. The strengthened city undergoes a seat in 1622 directed by Louis XIII. The garrison goes. But it is Richelieu which, in 1631, makes shave the ramparts and the houses of the borough. The city then becomes a small fishing port and a station of pilots.
After the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes the major part of the population emigrated, especially in Holland and persecutions continued until under Louis XV. After the storm of 1735 carried the embankment of its harbor navigation was not restored before the 19th century.
As of February 1790, one elects a Municipal council and the city becomes Chef-lieu of canton. The Terreur is hardly sensitive, few notable are worried.
Empire and beginnings of the sea bathings
Royan becomes a center of convalescence for the soldiers of the Large army. Auberge S open. The inhabitants take the practice to rent rooms with the soldiers. No street skirts the beach, the Mer penetrating everywhere, it is necessary to be protected from the billows, almost each house opposite the beach has a Jardin with a thick low wall. The port is dry with low tide. A small dam is built in 1810.
Towards 1816, the sea bathings develop, imported of England by the last emigrants. Royan, thanks to its beaches and its Climate, allured the first estivants. Usually town of reception, it receives holiday makers in majority of Bordeaux. In 1819, with the Steamer the Garonne , but especially starting from 1821 with the Gironde and the Swallow , the first steamers with paddle wheels make a regular service Bordeaux - Pauillac - Royan in summer. These boats do not even accost in Royan, but with cliffs of Foncillon which one calls Plataine . The transshipment of the travellers is done using boats.
The paving of the streets begins in 1816 and is completed only in 1826. In July 1819, the mayor Raymond Labarthe sign the first ordinance regulating the sea bathings, which prohibit to bathe naked in the beaches bordering the houses and which reserves the beach of Foncillon to the women. The beaches are arranged. In 1820, it is interdict “to wash the pigs, the horses and other cattle with the sea at the time when one takes the baths”. In 1836, one cuts a staircase with very the rock to facilitate the landing of the boats. Towards 1845, engineer Botton makes wrap cliff of Foncillon inside the port. In 1847, engineer Lessore builds the outline of the first casino. Under the Second Empire, the city makes great great strides. In 1854, one installs the first public lighting. Between 1850 and 1870, the number of estivants passes from 9.000 to 17.000, the population of 3 329 with 4 500 inhabitants. Royan becomes a great regional seaside resort. Trade, considered casino, large coffees modernize it. The August 28th 1875, the first train coming from Paris arrives at Royan, which gives very an other dimension to the station. In twenty years, of 1875 with 1895, the city becomes one of the seaside resorts most luxurious of the coast océane. “All-Paris” gives itself to it appointment and its fame largely exceeds the French borders. Starting from 1885, new allotments with the Park and Pontaillac cover sumptuous villas. New a casino is inaugurated in 1885. It dominates the beach of Foncillon and is the work of the architect of Bordeaux Alfred Duprat. In 1895, one requires of the Parisian architect Gaston Redon to build, in edge of the beach of Large Conche, another casino. It is advised to him “to leave free course to its imagination and not to haggle neither over space, nor over the proportions”. In August 1895, the largest casino of France is inaugurated.
After the war of 1914-1918, the balneal activity begins again. In 1922, the municipality obtains the classification of the city like “health resort of summer”. In 1939, Royan counts more 12 000 inhabitants and receives close to 200 000 tourists.
The Second world war and the rebuilding
After the armistice of 1940, Royan is in zone occupied and integrated into defenses of the “Atlantic Wall”. But between 1943 and 1944, the city is also reinforced to prevent a terrestrial attack. During the summer 1944, constitutes the “pocket of Royan” which contains approximately 5.000 German soldiers. The September 12th 1944 the catch of Rochefort locks up the Germans and makes it possible to begin the seat of the city. In spite of the orders of evacuations, approximately 2 000 inhabitants remain there. The January 5th 1945 towards 4:00 of the morning, by -5°C, 354 bombers of USAF since a height of 2 500 meters of altitude, pour more than 2.173 tons of bombs on the downtown area. The bombardment proceeds in two waves, the first started with 4:10 and lasted 20 minutes, the second with 5:20 and lasted 30 minutes. The heart of the city, of the station with Foncillon, is destroyed, the unusable port, the shredded beaches, the casinos in ruins. All that made the reputation of the seaside resort does not exist any more. 85% of the downtown area disappear, 442 Royannais and 35 Germans will find death. One will count surroundings a thousand of casualties. Seven allied planes will be lost during the raid. The historian Howard Zinn tells in documentary the Howard Zinn: You Can' T Be Neutral One has Moving Train , (the United States, 2004) how it has, like American, helped to bombard this city where apparently was used for the first time of the Napalm.
After the war, the destruction is such as Royan is useful, with other cities, of research laboratory on town planning. In August 1947, it is the project of installation of the town planner Claude Ferret who is accepted. The architecture of the rebuilding wants to be revolutionary. Modern Esthetism, influenced by the tropical current, illustrated in Brazil by Oscar Niemeyer. The use of structures in Reinforced concrete, makes it possible to release from new volumes of dwelling open to the air and the light. The straight broad outlines dominate, of the cubic volumes softened by curved surfaces or lines. All privileges a release towards the sea whereas towards the interior, the prospect is closed by the market. Work lasts ten years. With the beginning of the year 1960, the rebuilding is almost finished. The city reappears of its ashes, more ordered, more rigorous, especially more functional while being of a revolutionary esthetics for the time.
The city has a potential of important lodging, of a marina of almost 1 100 places, of schools of veil. The city tries out since the beginning of 2006 service of bus with stop with the request (the Network very royannais), which is not without pointing out the late project Praxitèle.
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IntercommunalityRoyan forms part, as 30 other communes of the circumference royannais, of the Communauté of agglomeration Royan Atlantique.
Budget and taxation
Twinning and co-operation
The Economy of the commune is primarily turned towards the estival tourist activities.
The commune has fabrics economic adding up 1186 Companies, 652 Trade and 413 Service providers.
Antenna of the Chamber of commerce and industry of Rochefort and Saintonge.
Culture and inheritance
CultureThe museum of Royan is installed in the district of Pontaillac since 2004. It presents the history of the city since Antiquity until the second world war and the architecture of the years 1950.
GastronomyThe local products are:
- products of the ground: the Charente-native Melon, the asparaguses of Blayais, the Aillet, and even the kiwis.
- products of the vine: Charente-native Local wine, Pineau of Charentes, Cognac.
The marketBuilt in 1955 by the architects L. Simon and A. Morisseau and engineer Rene Sarger. It is a round hull in concrete veil eight centimetres thickness. It rests on thirteen peripheral fulcrums without any interior pillar. It is of a diameter of 52,40 meters, its height in the center is of 10,50 meters. It was used as model for the design of the market of Nanterre and CNIT of Defense close to Paris. It was restored in 2003. The district surrounding it had not moved since the years 1950, it is in the course of restoration until May 2006.
The Palate of the congressesBuilt in 1957 by the architect of Bordeaux Claude Ferret. Of a cubic geometry softened by the oblique movement of staircases external and by the subtle overlap of internal convex walls. Largely open on the estuary of the Gironde by a wall very out of glass, it was increased later on on the gardens, in the shape of a transparent cube.
PontaillacThe district of Pontaillac owes its birth with the fact that in 1850, Jean Lacaze, contractor of Bordeaux, had noticed that the beach received full whip the blade the broad one. With an aim of speculating, it there made water analyzes, and asked concession of the Tanne S of Pontaillac the prefecture of the La Rochelle. However, the analyzes were carried out by his/her friend Mr. Cheylack and this one preceded it. Jean Lacaze had to share the concessions with 8 other owners, after negotiations and judgment, it ends up having the dunes in 1855. In March 1856 was posed the first stone of the Jean-Lacaze villa, become hotel of Europe today, then the large hotel of Pontaillac and the private vault of Lady-in-the Assomption. The church Our-Lady-of-Angels was set up in 1891. The ways were created enough broad to make it possible the wind to air the forest.
However, the mayor of the time, the count of Grandière, saw in Pontaillac a rival. The creation of direct way towards Royan was difficult. Until 1862, the boulevard of Cordovan was the single service road of the city, and it took twenty years to obtain the agreement of the creation of the avenue of Paris by the mayor of Royan Frederic Garnier. One believed good also to give to the streets the name cities from which the many tourists came. The casino of Royan and the Russian mountains of Pontaillac were two great attractions of this time.
April 4th 1984 was signed a convention which put an end to competition between Royan and Pontaillac.
VillasIn the districts of the Park and Pontaillac, there still exists of many balneal villas built between 1890 and 1930.
An industrialized house of the architect Jean Proven, built in 1952, is always visible in edge of coast, near the Palate of the Congresses.
The Saint-Pierre church
It is the only old monument of the city. The Abside was replaced at the 13th century by a flat Chevet. The square bell-tower goes back to this same time. The Romance frontage was destroyed at the time of the wars of religion. Very damaged during the bombardments of 1945, it was restored during the rebuilding of the city. The church is registered with the historic buildings since 1928.
The Notre-Dame churchBuilt in three years by the architect Guillaume Waistcoat and engineers Bernard Laffaille and Rene Sarger, it was finished in 1958. This construction 45 22 meters meters is long and broad. Its roof in “saddle of horse” has a 10 cm thickness. The parabolic Voûte supported by vertical pillars out of V reaches 36 meters at the ends, and 28 meters in the center. The frayed bell-tower rises with 60 meters. It is surmounted by a cross of six meters. It is mainly made up of rough concrete.
The church can contain until 2 000 people.
The Orgue is “large sixteen feet” builds by Robert Boisseau in tin hammered. It has 47 plays, that is to say more 3 500 pipes. This instrument is from now on, just like the church which shelters it, classified as “Historic building” since 1988. Its holder is since 1966 the organist, chief of chorus and type-setter Jacques Dussouil.
The stained glasses are the work of the Master-glassmaker Henri Martin-Granel.
Implemented quickly in a preoccupation with an economy, the concrete was too quickly degraded. The Bell-tower and its Beffroi were restored of 1994 with 1996. The repair of the stained glasses was finished in 1999.
The templeBuilt in the street of Aunis in 1956 by the architects Marc Hébrard, Baraton and Bauhain. He replaces the old temple destroyed by the bombardment of 1945. Between 1945 with 1956, the Protestant community of Royan made use of a provisional temple out of wooden, offered by the Church of Lausanne. This temple was then moved to be installed with Bramble-the-Baths where it is used the summer.
It is located near a parochial cemetery Protestant going back to 1773.
The architectural elements are ordered around a square delimited by a gantry from where a Campanile emerges frayed.
The church of the ParkBuilt in 1952 without any pillar in the middle of the nave. The structure is supported by large buttresses interior, semi-elliptic out of concrete and integrated into the walls. Above the gate, an immense ceramics tympanum represents the Assomption.
In the neighborhoods
- Zoo of Palmyre
- Headlight of Cordovan (17th century)
- Talmont, one of the “more beautiful villages of France”
- Mornac-on-Seudre, one of the “more beautiful villages of France”
Equipment or services
Urban transportThe Station the SNCF of Royan is the terminus of a line connecting the city to Saintes, Angouleme and Niort (correspondences TGV for Bordeaux and Paris). In season, trains directly connect Paris to Royan (a Coral Intercités return ticket of day, at the beginning of the station of Paris-Austerlitz, and a night train)
EducationThe city includes/understands six nursery schools, six public elementary schools and private, two public colleges and deprived, a college of mainstream education and a college of vocational training.
The city also shelters the Center Audivisuel de Royan for the Study of Languages (CAREL): center pioneer in the language teaching by audio-visual technologies of point, open in 1966.
HealthRoyan has an hospital (urgencies, long stays, 171 beds, old people's home).
MarketThere exist two principal markets: the central market and the market of the park.
EnvironmentRoyan makes party of the cities and villages flowered " four fleurs".
Personalities related to the communeDragonnades. In 1685, it emigrates towards England. In 1715, it buys a plantation in Virginia where it dies in 1728. 1863. Engineer and member of the Academy of Science. It worked out a theory of the turboshaft engines and is the inventor of the first centrifugal fan of mine (1890), of the multicellular steam turbines with action, of accumulators of vapor simultaneously with the intermittent steam engines to actuate turboalternators, turbopumps, or turbocompressors, compressors atstrong compression ratio, pumps with very strong flows, Turbocompresseur S pulled by exhaust fumes of the engines of the planes used in aviation in 1917. In 1925, he spoke with his son about the next drive about the planes by turbocompressor (developed secretly by its team in 1942). He dies in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1930.
Gallery of images
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