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Les Mathes - La Palmyre


rue commerçante

This town is composed of two urban parts of which architecture and function are very different : on one side "Les Mathes" is a traditional village around its roman church and on the other side la Palmyre is a seaside resort situated next to "Bonne Anse" Bay. Its inhabitants are called "Mathérons and Mathérones".
La Palmyre came into being in 1960 thanks to Léon Nicolle mayor in Les Mathes. Its inhabitants are called "Palmyriens and Palmyriennes". One of the great attractions in the town is the zoological park which attracts about 800.000 visitors a year. It is the first private zoological park in France and one of the most famous in Europe.

Activities and cultural heritage

   église Saint-Cyr et Sainte-Julitte église Notre-Dame zoo

The lighthouse of La Coubre is situated in the south-west part of the town (have a look above !) The Rest Adler Cosel Battery was built at the place of an old battery belonging to the national marine named “Le Requin”. It was reorganized by the germans at the time of the building ot the Atlantic wall.

The Rest Adler Cosel Battery is situated on the sand dune “Le Requin” at the peak of the town. It was registered as an historic monument on 24th July in 2002.

Saint-Cyr and Sainte Juliette church owes its name to Saint Cyr and his mother Sainte Juliette who were two Christian martyrs in the 6th century. This church was quoted for the first time in a chart dated in 1043. It was depended on Vaux-sur-mer Abbey in the past. In a roman style it was modified through the ages and it is only in the 20th century that it took the actual form. Two little chapels were added in 1880. They take the place of a transept. The apse is very sober with three bays and church windows dated the end of the 19th century. It is arched and made of red fire tree panelling after the alteration work made in 1973. The bell of the church is the only part of the edifice which is classified as an historic monument because it rang the rebellion in 1789.

"Notre Dame" church is a quite strange edifice. It was built in the open air so it is its main particularity. It forms a simple hall with four bays. The frame is composed of maritime pines supported by sandstone pillars. An opening made in the roof above the high altar provides the lighting. A sacristy was made in one of the angles of the choir. It forms a harmonious whole in the dunes in the middle of the pine forest.


les mathes la palmyre en charente maritime

Mairie de la Palmyre
Rue de la sablière
17570 Les Mathes
Phone number: 05 46 22 48 72

Office de Tourisme de La Palmyre
2 avenue de Royan
17570 La Palmyre
Phone number: 05 46 22 41 07


Camping(s) living on this municipality


Sources texts and photos: sites of the city hall, the Office of tourism and Wikipedia
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