|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (December 2008)|
|Motto: Advocata nostra, ora pro nobis|
|Region||Pays de la Loire|
|• Mayor (2004–2008)||Louis Guédon|
|• Land1||8.83 km2 (3.41 sq mi)|
|• Population2 Density||1,800/km2 (4,700/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||85194 / 85100|
|Elevation||0–26 m (0–85 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.
Les Sables-d'Olonne (pronounced: [lɛ sabl dolɔn]) (French 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 department.
The Vendée Globe yacht race, which takes place every four years, starts and ends at the Sables-d'Olonne.
Points of interest
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 (1903–1966).[why?]
The history of Sables-d'Olonne has been linked with the Atlantic Ocean ever since its foundation in 1218 from Havre (harbor) d'Olonne by Savary I de Mauléon, the lord of Mauléon, Sénéchal of Poitou and prince of Talmont.
- In 1472, Louis XI 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, the city supported the Republic, unlike the surrounding Vendée. 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, Bressuire, Saumur, and Tours, 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.
Les Sables-d'Olonne is a sister town of
- Schwabach, Germany since 1975
- Sliema, Malta since 2005
- Trapani, Italy
- Worthing, United Kingdom since 1998
- Communes of the Vendée department
- The town is where Les Vacances de Maigret[clarification needed] by Georges Simenon took place.
- City council website (French)
- Les Sables-d'Olonne, Vendee Globe Race (in English)
- Les Sables-d'Olonne Tourist Board (French)
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