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Coordinates: 45°07′43″N 0°39′40″W / 45.128611°N 0.661111°W / 45.128611; -0.661111

Commune of Blaye

Blaye dockside.jpg
Blaye dockside with its grain elevators
Location
Blaye is located in France
Blaye
Administration
Country France
Region Aquitaine
Department Gironde
Arrondissement Blaye
Canton Blaye
Statistics
Elevation 0–41 m (0–130 ft)
(avg. 7 m/23 ft)
Land area1 6.42 km2 (2.48 sq mi)
Population2 4,666  (1999)
 - Density 727 /km2 (1,880 /sq mi)
Miscellaneous
INSEE/Postal code 33058/ 33390
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Blaye, unloading dock c. 1905

Blaye is a commune and sub-prefecture in the Gironde department in Aquitaine in south-western France. Its inhabitants are called Blayais or the Blayaises.

Contents

Geography

Blaye is located on the right bank of the Gironde estuary (which is some 3 km (1.9 mi) wide at this point), close to the A10 autoroute, 56 km (35 mi) north of Bordeaux. There is a rail line with occasional freight trains, but no passenger services. A small ferry crosses the Gironde to Lamarque, in Medoc.

History

In ancient times Blaye (Blavia) was a port of the Santones. Tradition states that the hero Roland was buried in its basilica, which was on the site of the citadel. It was early an important stronghold which played an important part in the wars against the English (who burnt it in 1352) and the French Wars of Religion (when it was the site of a Spanish naval victory in 1593). The duchess of Berry was imprisoned in its fortress in 1832-1833.

The town was formerly named Blaye-et-Sainte-Luce and was renamed Blaye in June, 1961.

Sights

The town has a citadel built by Vauban on a rock beside the river, and embracing in its enceinte ruins of an old Gothic château. The latter contains the tomb of Charibert II, king of Aquitaine, and son of Clotaire II. Blaye is also defended by the Fort Paté on an island in the river and the Fort Médoc on its left bank, both of the 17th century.

The citadel of Blaye, its city walls, the Fort Paté and the Fort Médoc (the latter in nearby Cussac-Fort-Médoc) were listed in 2008 as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as part of the "Fortifications of Vauban" group.

Economy

Blaye has a small river-port, mainly used for grain exports. Fine red wine is produced in the district, in the AOC Cotes de Blaye. A large nuclear power station with four reactors[1] is located nearby.

Education

Several schools are located in Blaye [1].

Public schools include:

  • Ecole Maternelle Pierre Bergeon
  • Ecole Maternelle Lucien Grosperrin
  • Ecole Elementaire Pierre Malbeteau
  • Ecole Elementaire Andre Vallaeys

Miscellaneous

The town has tribunals of first instance and of commerce.

See also

References

External links

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Simple English

Blaye is a commune. It is found in the region Aquitaine in the Gironde department in the southwest of France.


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