Les Sables-d'Olonne
Les Sables-d'Olonne (French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 meaning: "the sands of Olonne") is a seaside town in western France, by the Atlantic Ocean. It is a commune and a sub-prefecture of the Vendée
The Vendée is a department in the Pays-de-la-Loire region in west central France, on the Atlantic Ocean. The name Vendée is taken from the Vendée river which runs through the south-eastern part of the department.-History:...



The Vendée Globe
Vendée Globe
The Vendée Globe is a round-the-world single-handed yacht race, sailed non-stop and without assistance. The race was founded by Philippe Jeantot in 1989, and since 1992 has taken place every four years....

 yacht race, which takes place every four years, starts and ends at the Sables-d'Olonne.

Musée de l'Abbaye Sainte-Croix

Situated in a 17th century building, the museum is devoted to modern and contemporary art. This municipal museum has "Musée de France" status.
Two principal artists represented : Gaston Chaissac (1910–1964) and Victor Brauner
Victor Brauner
Victor Brauner was a Romanian Jewish painter of surrealistic images.-Early life:He was born in Piatra Neamţ, the son of a timber manufacturer who subsequently settled in Vienna with his family for a few years. It is there that young Victor attended elementary school...



The history of Sables-d'Olonne has been linked with the sea ever since its foundation in 1218 from Havre (harbor) d'Olonne by Savary I de Mauléon, the lord of Mauléon, Sénéchal of Poitou
Poitou was a province of west-central France whose capital city was Poitiers.The region of Poitou was called Thifalia in the sixth century....

 and prince of Talmont.
  • In 1472, Louis XI
    Louis XI of France
    Louis XI , called the Prudent , was the King of France from 1461 to 1483. He was the son of Charles VII of France and Mary of Anjou, a member of the House of Valois....

     separated Les Sables d'Olonne from the town of Olonne.
  • In the 17th century, the port of Les Sables d'Olonne was the largest cod-fishng port in France, with 14,000 inhabitants.
  • During the French Revolution
    French Revolution
    The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

    , the city supported the Republic, unlike the surrounding Vendée
    The Vendée is a department in the Pays-de-la-Loire region in west central France, on the Atlantic Ocean. The name Vendée is taken from the Vendée river which runs through the south-eastern part of the department.-History:...

    . Thus it was often besieged, but unsuccessfully, thanks to its port.
  • Its first bathing establishments were started in 1825, intitiating the local tourism industry.
  • On 29 December 1866, the railroad, on the line from La Roche-sur-Yon
    La Roche-sur-Yon
    La Roche-sur-Yon is a commune in the Vendée department in the Pays de la Loire region in western France.It is the capital of the department. Its inhabitants are called Yonnais.-History:...

    , Bressuire
    Bressuire is a commune in the Deux-Sèvres department in France. The town is situated on an eminence overlooking the Dolo, a tributary of the Argenton.-Notable buildings:...

    , Saumur
    Saumur is a commune in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France.The historic town is located between the Loire and Thouet rivers, and is surrounded by the vineyards of Saumur itself, Chinon, Bourgueil, Coteaux du Layon, etc...

    , and Tours
    Tours is a city in central France, the capital of the Indre-et-Loire department.It is located on the lower reaches of the river Loire, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. Touraine, the region around Tours, is known for its wines, the alleged perfection of its local spoken French, and for the...

    , reached Les Sables. Express service to Paris would arrive in 1971.
  • During the night of 27 August 1944, the occupying German army, upon evacuation, destroyed the port and mined the harbor.

Twin towns

Les Sables-d'Olonne is a sister town
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

  • Schwabach
    Schwabach is a German town of about 40,000 inhabitants near Nuremberg, in the center of the region of Franconia in the North of Bavaria. The city is an autonomous administrative district . Schwabach is also the name of a river which runs through the city prior joining the Rednitz.Schwabach is...

    , Germany since 1975
  • Sliema
    Tas-Sliema is a city located on the northeast coast of Malta. It is a centre for shopping, restaurants and café life. Tas-Sliema is also a major commercial and residential area and houses several of Malta's most modern hotels. Tas-Sliema, which means 'peace, comfort', was once a quiet fishing...

    , Malta
    Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

     since 2005
  • Trapani
    Trapani is a city and comune on the west coast of Sicily in Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Trapani. Founded by Elymians, the city is still an important fishing port and the main gateway to the nearby Egadi Islands.-History:...

    , Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

  • Worthing
    Worthing is a large seaside town with borough status in West Sussex, within the historic County of Sussex, forming part of the Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton conurbation. It is situated at the foot of the South Downs, west of Brighton, and east of the county town of Chichester...

    , United Kingdom since 1998

See also

  • Communes of the Vendée department
  • The town is where Les Vacances de Maigret by Georges Simenon took place.

External links

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