Noirmoutier

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Noirmoutier
Noirmoutier Island SPOT 1275.jpg
Noirmoutier Island image from satellite Spot
Noirmoutier is located in France
Noirmoutier
Noirmoutier
Geography
LocationAtlantic Ocean
Coordinates46°58′N 2°13′W / 46.967°N 2.217°W / 46.967; -2.217Coordinates: 46°58′N 2°13′W / 46.967°N 2.217°W / 46.967; -2.217
Area49 km2 (19 sq mi)
Length19 km (11.8 mi)
Width6 km (3.7 mi)
Highest elevation20 m (70 ft)
Highest pointNo named
Administration
France
RegionPays de la Loire
DepartmentVendée
ArrondissementLes Sables-d'Olonne
Demographics
Population9,590
Pop. density195.76/km2 (507.02/sq mi)
Ethnic groupsFrench people
Official nameMarais Breton, Baie de Bourgneuf, Ile de Noirmoutier et Forêt de Monts
Designated2 February 2017
Reference no.2283[1]
The Passage du Gois leading to the island of Noirmoutier.

Noirmoutier (also in French: Île de Noirmoutier) is a tidal island off the Atlantic coast of France in the Vendée department.

History[edit]

Noirmoutier was the location of an early Viking raid in 799, when raiders attacked the monastery of Saint Philibert of Jumièges in 799.[2]

The Vikings established a permanent base on the island around 824, from which they could control southeast Brittany by the 840s. In 848, they sacked Bordeaux. From 862 until 882, Hastein used it as a base from which he raided Francia and Brittany.[3]

Noirmoutier was the site of several campaigns in the War of the Vendée, as well as a massacre [4] and the place of execution of the Royalist Generalissimo Maurice D'Elbée, who faced the firing squad seated in a chair due to wounds accumulated from an earlier battle.

St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier was born on this island on 31 July 1796.

Geography[edit]

The island comprises ten localities and four distinct Communes of France. Its length is approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi), and its width varies from 500 metres (1,600 ft) to 15 kilometres (9.3 mi). Its area of 4,877 hectares (12,050 acres; 48.77 km2; 18.83 sq mi).

Noirmoutier is referred to as the Island of Mimosas, due to the temperateness of its climate, which allows for the flowering of Acacia dealbata (mimosa) year-round. The island is predominantly salt marsh and salt banks, sand dunes and evergreen oak forests.

The communes of the island are grouped into a communauté de communes. The communes are:

The island has been a site of uninterrupted human inhabitation since prehistoric times, and is a popular tourist destination.

Parts of the island have been reclaimed from the sea. In 2005 it served as the finish of the Tour de France prologue.

Transport[edit]

The island is most notable for the Passage du Gois, a paved-over sandbank with a length of 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi),[citation needed] one of the routes that connect the island to the mainland. It is flooded twice a day by the high tide. Until the early 1970s, a ferry service operated across the Strait of Fromentine between the La Fosse pier on the island and Fromentine pier on the mainland. This was superseded by the construction of the Noirmoutier Bridge, inaugurated in July 1971.

Events[edit]

Every year, a foot race; the Foulées du Gois, is held across it, starting at the onset of the high tide.

Infrastructure[edit]

In response to an effort by the French government to add offshore wind projects to the national grid, a 496 MW wind farm is being developed near the island, with a planned commissioning date of 2021.[5]

Climate[edit]

Noirmoutier experiences an oceanic climate typical of the west coast of France. Both the winters and summers are heavily moderated by the surrounding Atlantic Ocean. There is a low degree of diurnal temperature variation throughout the year, especially in the winter. There is considerably more precipitation in winter compared to summer.

Climate data for Noirmoutier Island, Vendée
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.9
(62.4)
17.5
(63.5)
22.9
(73.2)
27.5
(81.5)
31.3
(88.3)
36.0
(96.8)
37.0
(98.6)
37.0
(98.6)
33.0
(91.4)
27.1
(80.8)
20.5
(68.9)
16.1
(61.0)
37.0
(98.6)
Average high °C (°F) 9.3
(48.7)
9.8
(49.6)
12.5
(54.5)
14.9
(58.8)
18.4
(65.1)
21.5
(70.7)
23.4
(74.1)
23.5
(74.3)
21.4
(70.5)
17.4
(63.3)
12.9
(55.2)
9.9
(49.8)
16.2
(61.2)
Average low °C (°F) 4.7
(40.5)
4.5
(40.1)
6.4
(43.5)
8.0
(46.4)
11.3
(52.3)
13.9
(57.0)
15.7
(60.3)
15.8
(60.4)
13.9
(57.0)
11.5
(52.7)
7.7
(45.9)
5.2
(41.4)
9.9
(49.8)
Record low °C (°F) −10.0
(14.0)
−7.7
(18.1)
−6.0
(21.2)
0.0
(32.0)
0.5
(32.9)
6.0
(42.8)
10.4
(50.7)
9.5
(49.1)
7.0
(44.6)
1.7
(35.1)
−4.0
(24.8)
−8.0
(17.6)
−10.0
(14.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 70.1
(2.76)
56.6
(2.23)
49.4
(1.94)
52.1
(2.05)
52.2
(2.06)
34.2
(1.35)
38.6
(1.52)
31.5
(1.24)
56.9
(2.24)
85.2
(3.35)
80.9
(3.19)
78.4
(3.09)
686.1
(27.02)
Average precipitation days 12 10 10 10 9 7 6 6 9 12 12 13 116
Mean monthly sunshine hours 87 136 182 226 255 291 274 259 233 149 107 112 2,311
Source: Météo France - Period 1981-2010 - Extremes since 1959.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Marais Breton, Baie de Bourgneuf, Ile de Noirmoutier et Forêt de Monts". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ Sawyer, Peter. "The Viking Expansion." The Cambridge History of Scandinavia, Volume 1: Prehistory to 1520. 105.
  3. ^ Forte, Angelo; Oram, Richard; Pedersen, Frederik (2005). Viking Empires. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 60–62. ISBN 9780521829922.
  4. ^ Guillet, Rémi (September 10, 2015). Noirmoutier : Une île qui séduit. Lulu.com. p. 27. ISBN 9791090226395.
  5. ^ "496MW French Offshore Wind Farm Gets New Layout". Offshore Wind. Retrieved 1 August 2016.

External links[edit]