Located on the estuary of the Somme, built on a promontory overlooking the Bay of the Somme, Saint-Valery-sur-Somme is a charming medieval city. William the Conqueror and Joan of Arc passed there.
History of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme
Originally, the site of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme was an island, rather steep with the presence of dead cliffs. These last ones made possible the occupation of the man since the prehistory. Thus, the Gallic occupation is attested from the 5th century BC It was not until the 5th century that the great invasions from the North began. It started with the Franks who mingled with the existing populations, fortified by the baptism of Clovis, king of the Franks. At the end of the 9th century, the Vikings land and plunder the region. In the 15th century, the port of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme began to become active thanks to the wine trade. A warship was stationed there for protection. Thus, fabrics of Crézeau, lead salmon, tinctorial plants, wood of Norway are landed. In the 17th century, maritime life is booming. From 1739 to 1785, 106 ships were built by the two shipyards of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme. Due to the growth of the port's activities, the first works are coming into being.
Wars have not spared the city. During the 100 years war, she continues to pass from hand to hand, between the French, the English and the Burgundians. It is in 1431 that Joan of Arc, captive of the English, crosses the city to be burned in Rouen. July 14, 1475, Louis XI burned the city not to give it to the English. It was not until the 15th and 16th centuries that the city was able to regain its prosperity. Only, towards the end of the 16th century, the wars of religion bring again the ruin and the desolation. Real prosperity only begins after these wars. It was in 1785 that King XVI ordered the work of the canal of the Somme. The city is growing on the side of the quays, and the Ferté becomes a very lively and populated area.
The revolutionary period with its bloody passions spared Saint-Valery. No capital execution is recorded. Later, on two occasions, Napoleon came to visit the city to inspect canal construction work. During the First World War, tourism activities were interrupted. However, the English unload goods, goods, and troops. Thousands of workers are used as labor. During the Second World War, Saint-Valery would have suffered 11.5% of destruction. Since then, the activity of the sea baths is no longer practiced. If you are passing through the city, we can provide a day rental service.
Saint-Valery-sur-Somme is nowadays divided into 3 main parts. There is the upper town, the lower town and the Romerel. The upper town and its ancient heritage include the old fortress and the abbey quarter. It overlooks the bay, the flowery alleys and the marina and fishing. As for the lower city, it includes the Ferté, the Courtgaun, the port and the Chantier. For the district of Romerel, it is that of the resort, a more recent district. It is a seaside resort of the kiss of the Somme with a single estuary. Saint-Valery is one of the most beautiful Bays of the World. But it is especially a charming medieval city with the pretty dyke-promenade lined with villas. Saint-Valery-sur-Somme has 43 municipalities and covers 385 km². To discover the different facets of the city, contact our professionally trained drivers.
What to visit in Saint-Valery-sur-Somme?
The Picardie Museum
The museum contains a collection of 6,000 tools gathering 40 trades. It takes you on an incredible journey back in time. Thus, he goes from the locksmith's workshop to the blacksmith, to the shopkeeper's shop. The gramophone is still visible. It is a whole Picard village of the 19th century which is reconstituted. It is thus possible to see the school of this village, its estaminet, its paved lanes and its craft workshops. For a change of scenery, the technique of the manufacture of the mud is explained there. Finally, a Picardy farm is exposed with a hayloft, a cider cellar, a barn and a stable.
Chapel Saint Valery said of the Marines
The Chapel is also called the Chapel of sailors. From the top of its steeple is adorned, not a rooster, but a gull in tribute to sailors. The latter, while sailing, sounded the horn of fog to greet the building. It is located on one of the most beautiful views of the bay. At the foot of the building is the miraculous fountain called Fidelity. It was refitted and fully restored in 2013. The chapel has a Neo-Gothic style with checkered walls of white stones and flint. On its walls many ex-votos appear. They relate to some of the great wars experienced by the city.
It is an ornamental floral and botanical garden in the heart of old town. It is an enclosure surrounded by flint and pebble walls. It dominates the medieval ramparts of the city. This is an old nuns' garden that offers unforgettable moments that combine intimacy, mystery and meetings with gardeners. Indeed, when you enter, you will discover a great tidy and orderly pleasant to see old medieval plants.
The tree climbing Park Salomon
The Salomon Park is located in a site of 3 ha of oak and beech forest. More than 130 workshops await visitors of all ages, such as zip lines, bridges, monkey bridges, Tarzan creepers, nets to cross, etc. They represent courses of accrobranche adapted to the level of each one. Even under 5 years can participate through the Pitchoun course. Of course, adult courses are reserved for the more adventurous. They will have to master their vertigo to cross the obstacle course. It is even organized night evenings from 10 people in the summer.
The Bay of Somme
It is a beautiful place classified by the Great Sites of France. Nature and open spaces await visitors. They offer you magnificent landscapes, a rather impressive ecological diversity and charming towns like Saint-Valery-sur-Somme. In the estuary, it is offered fishing and hiking. Part of the Bay is in the Baie de Somme National Nature Reserve. It is home to more than 300 species of birds. In addition, it is a nesting area for 120 species. It is also possible to find seals. Indeed, the reserve has the largest colony of seals in France. In search of a Saint-Valery-sur-Somme tour, you now know the places you can not miss. Do not hesitate to contact us to book one of our pick-ups.
Request a car service from Paris airport to Saint-Valery-sur-Somme
Saint-Valery-sur-Somme is located in the heart of Picardy, nestled at the mouth of the Somme Bay. The city is 70 km from the Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens and only 49 km from the village museum, Samara. For your information, note that it is 193.7 km from CDG Airport and 226 km from Orly Airport.