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Meschers sur Gironde

Presentation

Estuaire de la Gironde

The inhabitants are called “les Michelais” and les “Michelaises”. It is the main town in the district of Cozes. This ancient little fishermen village became a famous seaside resort at the end of the 19th century when the seabathing was in fashion. Meschers shows a transition between the areas which became quickly urbanized in Royan surroundings (for example Saint-Georges de Didonne...), the towns which compose the outer suburbs of Royan (Semussac) and the rural towns in the hinterland ( Cozes, Arces-sur-Gironde).
Meschers is situated on the Beauty coast and proud of its sandy beaches overlooking the Estuary and often bordered with a pine forest. In the chalky cliffs you will discover cave dwellings in a real troglodytic city ; but you can only visit the caves of Regulus and Matata. There is a nice yachting harbour.

Activities and cultural heritage

   eglise saint saturnin temple protestant grottes de Regulus et matata

Saint-Saturnin church was destroyed at the beginning of the 17th century but the steeple which was built in the 15th century remained. The present sanctuary forms a plan in a latin cross shape. The nave is composed of three bays lit by semi-circular bays which are decorated with quite recent church windows . The front is in the neo-classic style which is bad represented in the region. It is composed of three semi-circular portals which are framed by four doric pilasters.
The steeple is on the left of the front : some marks of gothic arcatures at its base show that the ancient church was set back from the present edifice. The church tower shelters three bells : Jeanne which is a great bell of 675 kg ringing "fa". It is the most ancient. Lucie and Sainte-Radegonde which are smaller have been installed on december 6th in 2000. The first weighs 96 kg rings "fa" (but an octave under Jeanne) and the second weighs 128 kg and rings "in E flat".

The present temple was built in 1842 in an austere style inspired by the neo-classic style which was shared by many monuments at that time. Standing on a podium, it forms a triangular shape lit by a series of semi-circular bays . The wall at the bottom is blind and it is decorated with a big wooden cross. Because it was too cramped a wooden gallery was built in 1863.

Châteaubardon castle : the origins go back to the 15th century but the present buildings are not previous to the 17th century. They stand around a triangular yard which was enlarged in 1821. The buildings form a structure at right angles which is composed of a house built in 1615 at street level and a second one which was a one storied house built in 1740.

The Regulus caves were successively used to reserve the grain, to hide the smugglers. They were also used as a refuge for the protestants, for the poor people, and as open air dance hall ! The troglodytic site was open to the public in 1986. The word Regulus comes from a beautiful French war ship (2 bridges, 3 masts) which was scuttled in front of Meschers to avoid being taken by the British.

Matata caves have been digged into the cliffs and they can be visited : so you will learn the story of this site from the prehistory up to now.

Informations

meschers sur gironde en charente maritime

Mairie de Meschers
38, rue Paul Massy - BP6
17132 Meschers
 
Phone number: 05 46 39 71 00
Email:
Site: www.meschers.com/mairie

Office de Tourisme de Meschers
31, rue Paul Massy - BP11
17132 Meschers
 
Phone number: 05 46 02 70 39
Email:
Site: www.ot-meschers.com

 
 
 

Camping(s) living on this municipality

 

 
Sources texts and photos: sites of the city hall, the Office of tourism and Wikipedia
charente maritime France   tourism in France, charente maritime
 
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