Cherborg, France

Cherbourg-Octeville is a city and commune in the Manche department in Normandy in north-western France.

Originally just Cherbourg, it was formed when the city absorbed Octeville on 28 February 2000, and was officially renamed Cherbourg-Octeville.

Cherbourg holds an arsenal of the French Navy.

Cherbourg-Octeville


Cherbourg-Octeville is located in France
Cherbourg-Octeville
Administration
Country France
Region Lower Normandy
Department Manche
Arrondissement Cherbourg
Intercommunality Cherbourg
Mayor Bernard Cazeneuve
Statistics
Land area1 14.26 km2 (5.51 sq mi)
Population2 42,318  (1999)
 - Density 2,968 /km2 (7,690 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 50129
 
/ 50100, 50130
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.
Coordinates: 49°37′59″N 1°37′00″W / 49.633°N 1.6167°W / 49.633; -1.6167
 
Town centre
Napoléon and Marie Louise attending the parade of the squadron in Cherbourg in 1811
Napoléon and the town centre

Cherbourg-Octeville is a city and commune in the Manche department in Normandy in north-western France.

Originally just Cherbourg, it was formed when the city absorbed Octeville on 28 February 2000, and was officially renamed Cherbourg-Octeville.

Cherbourg holds an arsenal of the French Navy.


[edit] Geography

Cherbourg-Octeville is situated at the north of the Cotentin Peninsula. It is in the Manche département (of which it is the sous-préfecture) in the Basse-Normandie région. At the time of the 1999 census the city of Cherbourg had an area of 6.91 km² (2.668 sq mi), while the city of Octeville had an area of 7.35 km² (2.838 sq mi). The amalgamated city today has an area of 14.26 km² (5.506 sq mi).

[edit] Demographics

The combined population of Cherbourg and Octeville at the 1999 census was 42,318 inhabitants. (Separately, the official numbers were 25,370 for Cherbourg and 16,948 for Octeville.) The population of Cherbourg metropolitan area (the aire urbaine de Cherbourg) at the 1999 census was 117,855 inhabitants. The city is now the second largest in the Basse-Normandie region (after Caen), surpassing Alençon, which had been second before the amalgamation. Also, the city is the largest in the Manche département, although Saint-Lô is the préfecture (capital).

[edit] History

[edit] Cherbourg-Octeville

The Cotentin Peninsula was the first territory conquered by the Vikings and Cherbourg became a port.

During the Seven Years' War the town was briefly occupied by a British force in the Raid on Cherbourg in 1758. The British destroyed military buildings and warehouses before departing.

In the Napoleonic era the harbour was fortified to prevent British naval incursions. Underwater obstructions were sunk at intervals across the harbour entrance, and then progressively replaced with piles of masonried rubble. Works began in 1784 and were not concluded until 1850, long after Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

On July 31, 1909, tsar Nicholas II and French president Armand Fallières met officially in Cherbourg to reinforce the Franco-Russian Alliance. Cherbourg was the first stop of RMS Titanic after it left Southampton, England.

On 19 June 1864, the naval engagement between USS Kearsarge and CSS Alabama took place off Cherbourg. In November 1984, the French Navy mine hunter Circé discovered a wreck under nearly 60 m (200 ft) of water off Cherbourg. The location of the wreck (WGS84) was 49°45'147N / 001°41'708W. Captain Max Guerout later confirmed the wreck to be of the Alabama.

The Battle of Cherbourg, fought in June 1944 following the Normandy Invasion, ended with the capture of the city on 30 June.

The Norman language writers Alfred Rossel, a native of Cherbourg, composed many songs which form part of the heritage of the region. Rossel's song "Sus la mé" ("on the sea") is often sung as a regional patriotic song. The local dialect is known as Cotentinais.

[edit] Periphery

La Glacerie comes from the French for glass factory. In 1655, Louis Lucas de Néhou built a glass factory which was provided for buildings like Galerie des Glaces and Château de Versailles. The factory in La Glacerie was destroyed by Allied bombardments in 1944.

[edit] Heraldry

Arms of Cherbourg-Octeville

The arms of Cherbourg-Octeville are blazoned :
Azure, on a fess argent between 3 bezants (Or), 3 mullets of 6 points sable.

 

 

 

[edit] Main sights

[edit] Interesting facts

  • Cherbourg is featured in Ken Follett's popular novel The Pillars of the Earth as the hometown of Jacques Cherbourg, a Frenchman who is washed ashore in England during the European Middle Ages, only to be executed by the English authorities. In the story, Jacques has a son, Jack Jackson, who, as an adult, meets his father's family in Cherbourg while traveling in France.