|Intercommunality||CU Caen la Mer|
|• Mayor (2020–2026)||Romain Bail|
|9.95 km2 (3.84 sq mi)|
|• Density||940/km2 (2,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Origin of the place name
The name Ouistreham derives from Saxon ham, meaning 'village'. There is no clear explanation for the first part of the name. A popular etymology is based on Middle French ouistre (Old French oystre), meaning 'oyster'. Actually most of linguists agree on a Saxon origin, meaning Western or West (though some other linguists have claimed that it derives from the Saxon word meaning Eastern), because of the presence of Saxon speaking settlers from England in Viking Normandy. If we follow this theory, 'Ouistreham' is a homonym of 'Westerham' in Kent.
It has been a trading port since the Middle Ages. The harbour is now a part of "Port de Caen-Ouistreham". Since the beginning of the 20th century, it has been a bathing beach on the "Riva Bella".
On 6 June 1944, No. 4 Commando landed at Ouistreham (codenamed Sword) and fought their way to Pegasus Bridge, with the 177 Free French of the No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando given the honour of spearheading the advance. The assault on Ouistreham was featured in the movie The Longest Day, although the film location for Ouistreham was at the nearby village of Port-en-Bessin.
The port of Ouistreham has a scheduled cross-Channel ferry service to Portsmouth, operated by Brittany Ferries. During 2017, Ouistreham became a new focal point for migrants and refugees trying to cross the Channel, leading the British government to contribute to improved security there.
- "Populations légales 2019". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2021.
- Dunning, James (2003). The Fighting Fourth - No. 4 Commando at War 1940-45. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. p. 133. ISBN 0-7509-3095-0.
- "France town becomes transit point for refugees trying to reach UK". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
- Paris, Adam Sage (2017-10-07). "Migrant influx risks turning French port of Ouistreham into second Calais". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
- "Ouistreham, nouvelle étape dans le rêve anglais des migrants". Le Monde.fr (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-22.
- "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Archived from the original on 2013-11-27. Retrieved 2013-12-26.
- "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 2013-07-11.