Arcachon

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Arcachon
Arcachon Promenade.jpg
Coat of arms of Arcachon
Coat of arms
Arcachon is located in France
Arcachon
Arcachon
Coordinates: 44°39′N 1°10′W / 44.65°N 1.17°W / 44.65; -1.17Coordinates: 44°39′N 1°10′W / 44.65°N 1.17°W / 44.65; -1.17
Country France
Region Aquitaine
Department Gironde
Arrondissement Arcachon
Canton Arcachon
Government
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Yves Foulon
Area
 • Land1 7.56 km2 (2.92 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Population2 11,789
 • Population2 density 1,600/km2 (4,000/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 33009 / 33120
Elevation 0–45 m (0–148 ft)
(avg. 8 m or 26 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.

Arcachon (French: [aʁ.ka.ʃɔ̃] ; Arcaishon in Gascon) is a commune in the Gironde department in southwestern France.

It is a popular bathing location on the Atlantic coast 55 kilometres (34 mi) southwest of Bordeaux in the Landes forest. It has a fine beach and a mild climate said to be favourable for invalids suffering from pulmonary complaints.

Arcachon is known for the "Arcachonnaise", the local name for an Arcachon villa, which is the architectural style of many of the older houses built there. It is a type of Victorian architecture, and was criticized for generations, but is now considered to be charming and deeply human.

Arcachon seen by satellite

The town of Arcachon is only 150 years old. Not long before 2 May 1857, when Emperor Napoleon III signed its official "birth certificate", it was just a forest of pine trees, oaks and strawberry trees (arbutus), with no road links, and home - mostly when the weather was expected to be warm, and more in wood huts than in real houses - to fewer than 400 people, mostly fishermen and peasants. In earlier years, when some hygienists began to recommend sea bathing, three sea establishments were laid out by some entrepreneurs especially for the Bordeaux bourgeoisie and other wealthy people. This was the beginning of a new lifestyle, and some of the locals got the opportunity to claim their independence from La Teste-de-Buch, which owned their properties, in order to found a "free" new town, Arcachon.

At its southern entrance from the Atlantic ocean, Arcachon Bay is crowned by Europe's largest sand dune, the Dune du Pilat, nearly 3 kilometres long, 500 metres wide, reaching 110 metres in height, and moving inland at rate of 5 metres a year.

The area is served by Bordeaux Merignac Airport and the TGV Atlantique.

International Relations[edit]

Arcachon is twinned with:

Population[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1861 736 —    
1866 2,065 +180.6%
1872 3,696 +79.0%
1876 4,981 +34.8%
1881 7,133 +43.2%
1886 8,102 +13.6%
1891 7,910 −2.4%
1896 8,221 +3.9%
1901 8,259 +0.5%
1906 9,279 +12.4%
1911 10,266 +10.6%
1921 10,634 +3.6%
1926 12,261 +15.3%
1931 13,135 +7.1%
1936 13,102 −0.3%
1946 14,603 +11.5%
1954 14,985 +2.6%
1962 14,862 −0.8%
1968 14,986 +0.8%
1975 13,892 −7.3%
1982 13,293 −4.3%
1990 11,770 −11.5%
1999 11,459 −2.6%
2008 11,789 +2.9%

People[edit]

While Arcachon is not home to many well-known figures, the writer Alexandre Dumas once lived in Arcachon's Ville d'Hiver. Puerto Rican politician Ramón Emeterio Betances spent close to six months at Arcachon shortly before his death in 1898. The poet Carmen Bernos de Gasztold was born in Arcachon in 1919. Film producer Humbert Balsan was born in Arcachon on August 21, 1954.Composer-organist Charles Tournemire died here in 1939.

On the other side of the Bassin d'Arcachon is Cap Ferret, a popular resort for celebrities including Zinedine Zidane and Jean Pierre Pernaut, who have holiday homes in the chic resort.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]