Les Sables-d'Olonne

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Les Sables-d'Olonne
Les Sables-d'Olonne
Les Sables-d'Olonne
Coat of arms of Les Sables-d'Olonne
Coat of arms
Motto: Advocata nostra, ora pro nobis
Les Sables-d'Olonne is located in France
Les Sables-d'Olonne
Les Sables-d'Olonne
Coordinates: 46°29′50″N 1°47′00″W / 46.4972°N 1.7833°W / 46.4972; -1.7833Coordinates: 46°29′50″N 1°47′00″W / 46.4972°N 1.7833°W / 46.4972; -1.7833
Country France
Region Pays de la Loire
Department Vendée
Arrondissement Les Sables-d'Olonne
Canton Les Sables-d'Olonne
Intercommunality Olonnes
 • Mayor (2004–2008) Louis Guédon
Area1 8.83 km2 (3.41 sq mi)
Population (2006)2 16,105
 • 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 Les Sables-d'Olonne.


The town is the birthplace of pirate François l'Olonnais.

Points of interest[edit]

Musée de l'Abbaye Sainte-Croix[edit]

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 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-fishing 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, initiating 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 harbour.

Image gallery[edit]

Twin towns[edit]

Les Sables-d'Olonne is a sister town of

See also[edit]


External links[edit]