|Subprefecture and commune|
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Yves Foulon|
|Area1||7.56 km2 (2.92 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,600/km2 (4,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|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.
It is a popular swimming destination on the Atlantic coast 55 kilometres (34 mi) southwest of Bordeaux, in the Landes forest. It has a sandy 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, the architectural style of many of the older houses built there. It is a Victorian style that was criticized for generations, but is now considered to be charming.
The town of Arcachon is 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 (1.9 miles) long, 500 metres (1,600 feet) wide, reaching 110 metres (360 feet) in height, and moving inland at rate of 5 metres (16 feet) a year.
Arcachon is twinned with:
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 in 1954. Composer-organist Charles Tournemire died here in 1939. Composer Louise Talma was born here in 1906.
The writer and journalist Sylvie Caster was born in Arcachon in 1952.
- Van Wyen, Adrian O. (1969). Naval Aviation in World War I. Washington, D.C.: Chief of Naval Operations. p. 65.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wood, James, ed. (1907). "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Arcachon.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Arcachon.|
- Official web site
- (in English) Dune du Pyla site
- Arcachon web site
- Aerial view of the Dune du Pilat
- Air photography of Arcachon
- Live Camera Arcachon