Le Touquet

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Le Touquet-Paris-Plage
Le Touquet-Paris-Plage - Dunes au nord de la plage (2).JPG
Coat of arms of Le Touquet-Paris-Plage
Coat of arms
Le Touquet-Paris-Plage is located in France
Le Touquet-Paris-Plage
Le Touquet-Paris-Plage
Coordinates: 50°31′07″N 1°35′42″E / 50.5186°N 1.595000°E / 50.5186; 1.595000Coordinates: 50°31′07″N 1°35′42″E / 50.5186°N 1.595000°E / 50.5186; 1.595000
Country France
Region Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Department Pas-de-Calais
Arrondissement Montreuil
Canton Montreuil
Intercommunality Mer et Terres d'Opale
Government
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Daniel Fasquelle
Area
 • Land1 15.31 km2 (5.91 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Population2 4,538
 • Population2 density 300/km2 (770/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 62826 / 62520
Elevation 0–42 m (0–138 ft)
(avg. 5 m or 16 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.

Le Touquet-Paris-Plage (pronounced: [lə 'tu.kɛː 'pa.ʀi plaʒ] le-TOO-kay-PA-ree-plaajh), commonly referred to as Le Touquet, is a commune near Boulogne-sur-Mer, in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France. It has a population of 5,355[1] but welcomes up to 250,000 people during the summer.[2]

Le Touquet has a reputation as the most elegant holiday resort of northern France, the playground of rich Parisians, with many luxury hotels.

Since the mid-1990s, Le Touquet’s villas have become extremely fashionable amongst architecture lovers throughout Europe, rediscovering the “folie” of seaside architecture of both the Roaring Twenties and the 1930s. The most famous local architect is Louis Quetelart, whose style was named after him: Louis Quetelart Style.

History[edit]

Hippolyte de Villemessant (1812–1879), founder and owner of the Paris newspaper, Le Figaro. At the time it was an area of wild sand dunes and forest - part of a hunting estate. Its name came from a Picard word meaning ‘corner’, and was originally applied to the area of coast nearby. It became known as “Paris by the sea”, and strict building regulations encouraged the most talented architects to create imaginative and innovative developments.

Le Touquet and the wealthy British[edit]

In 1903, an Englishman bought the land, and set out to sell properties to the rich from across the English Channel. In 1909, H. G. Wells and Amber Reeves fled to Le Touquet in an abortive elopement. The two returned to Britain after a number of weeks, though Amber later gave birth to Wells's daughter, Anna-Jane Blanco White, after the relationship ended.

During most of World War I Le Touquet was home of the Duchess of Westminster's (No 1 British Red Cross Society) Hospital for wounded British troops. All the 142 British Commonwealth war graves in Le Touquet's Communal Cemetery in Avenue de 18 Jun are from the hospital. The graves occupy a plot by the cemetery entrance. (The cemetery also contains French and Italian war graves.) In the same cemetery a wooden obelisk was erected by the commune's lifeboatmen in honour of the British.[3]

In the 1920s, Noël Coward and the “smart set” from England spent weekends here, and commissioned more outstanding villa designs echoing traditional and ultra-modern domestic styles. Today the town tourist office offers organised trails to see outstanding examples of 19th and 20th century domestic architecture, which are now preserved and protected. Sayaji Rao III Gaekwar of Baroda also owned a house here.

P.G. Wodehouse lived in Le Touquet from 1934 to 1939.

Sport[edit]

Every year in February, a motorbike and quad race called 'Enduro' is held where bikes race along the beach and through the dunes.

Cycling[edit]

Le Touquet has been host to four stages of the Tour de France. The resort first hosted a stage during the 1971 Tour de France, as the finish for Stage 6b, from Amiens, on 2 July. Following this, the resort hosted Stage 3 of the 1976 Tour de France, on 27 June. This was a 37 kilometres (23 mi) individual time trial which both started and finished at the resort. The following day, Le Touquet was the departure point for the fourth stage, to Bornem in Belgium. The 2014 Tour de France began Stage 4 at Le Touquet on 8 July, with the stage taking a 163.5 kilometres (101.6 mi) route to Lille Métropole.[4]

Miscellaneous[edit]

Inland from the beach, hotels, a casino and a horse racing course, a wide range of sports, particularly golf are offered. The Casino de la forêt provided the inspiration of the casino of Royale-les-Eaux in Casino Royale.

Notable people[edit]

Le Touquet was the birthplace of Christian Ferras, violinist.[5]

Twin towns[edit]

Le Touquet participates in international town twinning; its current partners are:

Transportation[edit]

Le Touquet is served by Le Touquet - Côte d'Opale Airport.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques : Populations Légales 2007 de la Commune : 62826 : Le Touquet-Paris-Plage Retrieved 20 January 2010
  2. ^ Tuesday, July 8th - Stage 4 - Le Touquet-Paris-Plage / Lille Métropole www.letour.fr, July 2014
  3. ^ [1] CWGC Cemetery Report.
  4. ^ "Stage 4: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage to Lille Métropole". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Association Christian Ferras". Associationferras.com. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 

External links[edit]