La Possession

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La Possession
An aerial view over La Possession and Le Port
An aerial view over La Possession and Le Port
Coat of arms of La Possession
Coat of arms
Coordinates: 20°55′35″S 55°20′09″E / 20.9264°S 55.3358°E / -20.9264; 55.3358Coordinates: 20°55′35″S 55°20′09″E / 20.9264°S 55.3358°E / -20.9264; 55.3358
Country France
Overseas region and department Réunion
Arrondissement Saint-Paul
Canton La Possession
Intercommunality Territoire de la Côte Ouest
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Vanessa Miranville
Area1 118.35 km2 (45.70 sq mi)
Population (2011)2 30,911
 • Density 260/km2 (680/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 97408 /97419
Elevation 0–2,940 m (0–9,646 ft)
(avg. 17 m or 56 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.

La Possession is a commune in the French overseas department of Réunion. It is located on the northwest side of the island of Réunion, between the capital of Saint-Denis and the commune of Le Port.

To the territory of this commune belongs the major part of the valley of Mafate, a caldera of the extinct Piton des Neiges volcano. It is part of the Réunion National Park.


Historically the territory of the commune of La Possession belonged to the commune of Saint-Paul until 1895.

  • 1675: First settlements by Jean Marquet (a creek has been named after him).
  • 1699: Concessions for planting sugar cane attributed to Texer de Mota, a Portuguese from India
  • 1730-1767: Construction of Chemin Crémont first paved walkway to the islands capital Saint-Denis
  • 1797: Concession of Rivière des Galets attributed to Dr Rivière.
  • 1833: Construction of a chapel, later replaced by a church
  • 1834: Still belonging to the commune of Saint-Paul, Réunion the territory of the futur commune becomes special section.
  • 1849–1854: Construction of the La route de la Montagne (Mountain road) - first reliable road connection to Saint-Denis.
  • 1860: Construction of the lazaret of La Grande Chaloupe that becomes the quarantine station of Réunion.
  • 1872: Claims by the population for installation of a new commune
  • 1881: A petition is addressed to the regional council.
  • 1882: Begin of the construction of the railway Saint-Denis - Saint-Pierre and the harbour of Le Port.
  • 1886: First steamers enter the new harbour the Pointe des Galets
  • 1890: Creation of the commune La Possession
  • 1895: A part of the territory at the Pointe des Galets was split off to become the commune of Le Port..
  • 1976: Inauguration of the new coastal highway to Saint-Denis.
  • 1976: Closure of the railway Saint-Denis - Le Port


Historical population of La Possession
(Source: INSEE[1])
Population7 62610 11211 00215 61421 90426 24230 167
From the year 1962 on: No double counting—residents of multiple communes (e.g. students and military personnel) are counted only once.


Most of the caldera of Mafate belongs to the territory of the commune of La Possession. Hiking trails lead to this valley from Dos d'Âne and along the river Rivière des Galets. Another popular hiking trail, chemin Crémont, leads from La Possession to Saint-Denis, via La Grande Chaloupe.

At La Grande Chaloupe the partly restored lazaretto and the former train station can be visited. They have exhibitions about the history of the Réunion railroad, the lazaretto and engagement in Réunion.


  • several Gîtes in the valley of Mafate


There are three collèges and one lycée in the commune:

Sister cities[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]