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Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

Le Touquet-Paris-Plage
Letouquet1.JPG
Le Touquet celebration
Le Touquet-Paris-Plage
Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

Coordinates: 50°31′07″N 1°35′42″E / 50.5186°N 1.595000°E / 50.5186; 1.595000Coordinates: 50°31′07″N 1°35′42″E / 50.5186°N 1.595000°E / 50.5186; 1.595000

Country France
Region Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Department Pas-de-Calais
Arrondissement Montreuil
Canton Montreuil
Intercommunality Mer et Terres d'Opale
Government
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Daniel Fasquelle
Area
 • Land1 15.31 km2 (5.91 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Population2 5,355
 • Population2 density 350/km2 (910/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 62826 / 62520
Elevation 0–42 m (0–138 ft)
(avg. 5 m or 16 ft)

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.

Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, commonly referred to as Le Touquet, is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France. It has a population of 5,355.[1]

Le Touquet has a reputation as the most elegant holiday resort of northern France, the playground of rich Parisians, with many luxury hotels.

Since the mid-1990s, Le Touquet’s villas have become extremely fashionable amongst architecture lovers throughout Europe, rediscovering the “folie” of seaside architecture of both the Roaring Twenties and the 1930s. The most famous local architect is Louis Quetelart, whose style was named after him: Louis Quetelart Style.

History

The resort was created in 1876 by Hippolyte de Villemessant (1812–1879), founder and owner of the Paris newspaper, Le Figaro. Then this was an area of wild sand dunes and forest - part of a hunting estate. Its name came from a Picard word meaning ‘corner’, and was originally applied to the area of coast nearby. It became known as “Paris by the sea”, and strict building regulations encouraged the most talented architects to create imaginative and innovative developments.

Le Touquet and the wealthy British

In 1903, an Englishman bought the land, and set out to sell properties to the rich from across the English Channel. In 1909, H. G. Wells and Amber Reeves fled to Le Touquet in an abortive elopement. The two returned to Britain after a number of weeks, though Amber later gave birth to Wells's daughter, Anna-Jane Blanco White, after the relationship ended.

During most of World War I Le Touquet was home of the Duchess of Westminster's (No 1 British Red Cross Society) Hospital for wounded British troops. All the 142 British Commonwealth war graves in Le Touquet's Communal Cemetery in Avenue de 18 Jun are from the hospital. The graves occupy a plot by the cemetery entrance. (The cemetery also contains French and Italian war graves.) In the same cemetery a wooden obelisk was erected by the commune's lifeboatmen in honour of the British.[2]

In the 1920s, Noël Coward and the “smart set” from England spent weekends here, and commissioned more outstanding villa designs echoing traditional and ultra-modern domestic styles. Today the town tourist office offers organised trails to see outstanding examples of 19th and 20th century domestic architecture, which are now preserved and protected. Sayaji Rao III Gaekwar of Baroda also owned a house here.

Miscellaneous

Inland from the beach, hotels, a casino and a horse racing course, a wide range of sports, particularly golf are offered. The Casino de la forêt provided the inspiration of the casino of Royale-les-Eaux in Casino Royale.

Every year in February, a motorbike and quad race called 'Enduro' is held where bikes race along the beach and through the dunes.

Notable people

Le Touquet was the birthplace of Christian Ferras, violinist.[3]

Twin towns

Le Touquet participates in international town twinning; its current partners are:

Transportation

Le Touquet is served by Le Touquet - Côte d'Opale Airport.

See also

References

  • INSEE commune file

External links

  • Le Touquet town council website
  • Le Touquet Swimming Pool 'Aqualud'
  • Expert view of Le Touquet hotels and attractions
  • Photos of the market

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