Rare 17th Century Painting Deformed in Botched Restoration Job

Rare 17th Century Painting Deformed in Botched Restoration Job


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Yet another piece of valuable Spanish religious art has been destroyed in a botched restoration job. The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables, is a 1678 AD oil painting by Spanish artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, depicts the Virgin Mary gazing towards the heavens. A private art collector in Valencia, Spain, who owns a copy of the artwork, regretfully paid a furniture restorer 1,200 euros (US$1350) to work on the copy, but the restorer completely disfigured her face. Following this incident, which joins the ranks of a long line of botched restoration jobs, conservation experts in Spain have called for a review of heritage laws.

Some Politicians Don’t Give a Damn

Murillo’s work depicted the Virgin Mary dressed in blue and white with her hands crossed over her bosom, standing on the Moon as she looked towards the heavens. According to an article in The Daily Mail the Spanish art collector who lives in Valencia “was shocked” after the furniture restorer destroyed the delicate face of the Virgin Mary, leaving it “unrecognizable” despite having made two attempts to fix it, both of which only made it worse.

Dr. Fernando Carrera is a professor at the Galician School for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage. When speaking about the botched restoration, he told The Guardian : “I don’t think this guy – or these people – should be referred to as restorers. They're bodgers who botch things up.” Dr. Carrera, who used to be the president of Spain's Professional Association of Restorers and Conservators (Acre), also made reference to the fact that the law allowed people without the necessary skills to conduct restoration projects. “Can you imagine just anyone being allowed to operate on other people? Or someone being allowed to sell medicine without a pharmacist's license? Or someone who's not an architect being allowed to put up a building?" he asked in The Guardian . In describing the root of this problem, Dr. Carrera also declared that "some politicians don't give a t*ss about heritage.”

Ecce Homo by Elias Garcia Martinez was destroyed in 2012 by a botched restoration attempt. (Left; Public Domain . Right; CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )

Jesus the Beast and Other Botched Jobs

A July 2019 Artnet article features “the 17 most bizarre and completely outlandish art restoration fails of all time”. This illustrious award is given to another now infamous failed restoration of a painting in the town of Borja, located in northern Spain. In August 2013, pensioner Cecilia Giménez sought permission from her priest “to touch up” a 120-year-old fresco, “Ecce Homo” (“Behold The Man”) by Elías Garcia Martínez, that was located in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mercy. However, Giménez’s good intentions backfired when the amateur artist all but obliterated Jesus’ face, transforming him into what locals describe as beastly. Locales even likened the altered fresco to “a monkey or a hedgehog”, according to The New York Times .

  • Three 500-year-old Holy Statues Damaged in Botched Restoration Job
  • Like New: Locals and Experts Re-Chalk a ‘Rude’ Giant on a Hill
  • Vandalism at Ancient Sites, Who Really Cares Anyway?

Unforeseen in the “Ecce Homo” case was the sharp increase in tourists visiting the region . Ever since this botch job hit the headlines all over the world, over 150,000 curious visitors have paid €1 ($1.13) to view the “masterpiece”. Furthermore, Giménez has become a local hero and was commissioned to design logos for the local winery, and the distorted face of Jesus “the beast” even features on the towns lottery tickets.

Colombian Transsexual Saint Causes Controversy

Also ranking high among the very worst restorations mess-ups, is the “glammed-out” Saint Anthony of Padua in Colombia. Also known as Anthony of Lisbon, Saint Anthony of Padua was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. The statue was unveiled last year at a church in Soledad, Colombia, after the parish had sent it out for repairs due to termite damage. When the statue was returned the members of the church were “horrified” to find that their 150-year-old sculpture had been given an over-the-top garish facelift, with both the saint and baby Jesus in his arms porting excessive black eye shadow, blush, and lipstick.

The ‘restoration’ of St. Anthony of Padua in Colombia. (Juan Duque via Artnet)

This botched restoration is thought to have cost just $328. The artwork's new effeminate appearance, practically “deformed the original features of the saint”, according to former secretary of culture, Giovanni Montero when speaking to local news outlet Semana. In an All World Report article one church goer explained: “He is no longer the same patron that I have prayed to for the last 12 years, they applied eye shadow, blush and even gloss on his lips, he looks effeminate.” Another parishioner said the makeover had turned San Antonio into “a saint of modern times, a transsexual saint.”


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The Rush to Therapy

We’re all born late. We’re born into history that is well under way. We’re born into cultures, nations and languages that we didn’t choose. On top of that, we’re born with certain brain chemicals and genetic predispositions that we can’t control. We’re thrust into social conditions that we detest. Often, we react in ways we regret even while we’re doing them.

But unlike the other animals, people do have a drive to seek coherence and meaning. We have a need to tell ourselves stories that explain it all. We use these stories to supply the metaphysics, without which life seems pointless and empty.

Among all the things we don’t control, we do have some control over our stories. We do have a conscious say in selecting the narrative we will use to make sense of the world. Individual responsibility is contained in the act of selecting and constantly revising the master narrative we tell about ourselves.

The stories we select help us, in turn, to interpret the world. They guide us to pay attention to certain things and ignore other things. They lead us to see certain things as sacred and other things as disgusting. They are the frameworks that shape our desires and goals. So while story selection may seem vague and intellectual, it’s actually very powerful. The most important power we have is the power to help select the lens through which we see reality.

Most people select stories that lead toward cooperation and goodness. But over the past few decades a malevolent narrative has emerged.

That narrative has emerged on the fringes of the Muslim world. It is a narrative that sees human history as a war between Islam on the one side and Christianity and Judaism on the other. This narrative causes its adherents to shrink their circle of concern. They don’t see others as fully human. They come to believe others can be blamelessly murdered and that, in fact, it is admirable to do so.

This narrative is embraced by a small minority. But it has caused incredible amounts of suffering within the Muslim world, in Israel, in the U.S. and elsewhere. With their suicide bombings and terrorist acts, adherents to this narrative have made themselves central to global politics. They are the ones who go into crowded rooms, shout “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” and then start murdering.

When Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan did that in Fort Hood, Tex., last week, many Americans had an understandable and, in some ways, admirable reaction. They didn’t want the horror to become a pretext for anti-Muslim bigotry.

So immediately the coverage took on a certain cast. The possibility of Islamic extremism was immediately played down. This was an isolated personal breakdown, not an ideological assault, many people emphasized.

Major Hasan was portrayed as a disturbed individual who was under a lot of stress. We learned about pre-traumatic stress syndrome, and secondary stress disorder, which one gets from hearing about other people’s stress. We heard the theory (unlikely in retrospect) that Hasan was so traumatized by the thought of going into a combat zone that he decided to take a gun and create one of his own.

A shroud of political correctness settled over the conversation. Hasan was portrayed as a victim of society, a poor soul who was pushed over the edge by prejudice and unhappiness.

There was a national rush to therapy. Hasan was a loner who had trouble finding a wife and socializing with his neighbors.

This response was understandable. It’s important to tamp down vengeful hatreds in moments of passion. But it was also patronizing. Public commentators assumed the air of kindergarten teachers who had to protect their children from thinking certain impermissible and intolerant thoughts. If public commentary wasn’t carefully policed, the assumption seemed to be, then the great mass of unwashed yahoos in Middle America would go off on a racist rampage.

Worse, it absolved Hasan — before the real evidence was in — of his responsibility. He didn’t have the choice to be lonely or unhappy. But he did have a choice over what story to build out of those circumstances. And evidence is now mounting to suggest he chose the extremist War on Islam narrative that so often leads to murderous results.

The conversation in the first few days after the massacre was well intentioned, but it suggested a willful flight from reality. It ignored the fact that the war narrative of the struggle against Islam is the central feature of American foreign policy. It ignored the fact that this narrative can be embraced by a self-radicalizing individual in the U.S. as much as by groups in Tehran, Gaza or Kandahar.

It denied, before the evidence was in, the possibility of evil. It sought to reduce a heinous act to social maladjustment. It wasn’t the reaction of a morally or politically serious nation.

David Brooks, New York Times


Contents

Neighbouring communes Edit

Location Edit

Cherbourg-en-Cotentin is located at the northern tip of the Cotentin Peninsula, in the department of Manche, of which it is a subprefecture. At the time of the 1999 census the city of Cherbourg had an area of 6.91 square kilometres (2.668 sq mi), while the city of Octeville had an area of 7.35 km 2 (2.838 sq mi). The largest city in the Department of Manche, it is the result of the merger of the communes of Cherbourg and Octeville. The amalgamated city today has an area of 14.26 km 2 (5.506 sq mi). Cherbourg is situated at the mouth of the Divette [fr] and at the south of the bay between Cap Lévi [fr] to the east and Cap de La Hague to the west, Cherbourg-Octeville is 120 km (75 mi) from the English coast.

Cherbourg and Octeville-sur-Cherbourg once belonged to the deanery of La Hague, delimited by the Divette. In 1786, a part of Equeurdreville joined Cherbourg, during the construction of the port, and then in 1802, a portion of Octeville. Since 1811, the "mielles" [dunes] of Tourlaville, commune of the deanery of Saire, are integrated into the Cherbourg territory known as the quarter of Val-de-Saire where the Pasteur Hospital [fr] and the Saint-Clement Church [8] were built. Thus, Cherbourg-Octeville lies both in La Hague and in the Val de Saire. [9]

Like all Chantereyne and the area of the Mielles, the Cherbourg territory was reclaimed from the sea. Built at the level of the sea, the town developed at the foot of the Roule mountain (highest point of the old town) and la Fauconnière. Octeville is a former rural municipality, composed of hamlets, whose settlement extended from the 19th century and whose territory is highly urbanised since 1950, especially around the ZUP [fr] of the Provinces and the University campus.

The bordering communes are Tourlaville to the east, Équeurdreville-Hainneville to the west, La Glacerie to the south and southeast, Martinvast to the south, and Nouainville and Sideville to the south-west.

Geology Edit

Located at the end of the Armorican Massif, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin retains traces of the geologic formation, deformed granites and metamorphic schists of the Precambrian of Hercynian orogeny by the folding of the arkoses of the Cambrian and Armorican sandstone and shale of the Ordovician. These folds result in layers of sandstone tilted 45° towards the north-east on la Fauconniere (including "La Roche qui pend" ['the hanging rock']) and the Montagne du Roule [fr] . [10] These two cliffs are due to sea erosion in the Quaternary. The retreat of the sea then gave way to sand dunes and tidal marshes, destroyed by the urbanisation of the 17th and 19th centuries, identical to those of Collignon in Tourlaville. [11]

These rocks in the soil have been used for centuries in several ways: Crushed granite extracted in Querqueville and arkoses of Becquet, have been used for the manufacture of rubble (moellon [fr] ) and blocks squared for lintels. The greenschist, whose colour comes from chlorite and sericite, are used mainly for roofing in Nord-Cotentin, but also masonry in Cherbourg. The Armorican sandstone of the Montagne du Roule is used for rubble and rockfill. Most of the many quarries, which opened in the metropolitan area for building the harbour wall, are now closed. [11]

Hydrography Edit

Cherbourg-en-Cotentin is bordered by the sea. The construction of the port of trade, from 1769, accompanied by the diversion of the Divette [fr] (the mouth of which was located at the current exit of Port Chantereyne) and the Trottebec (from the territory of Tourlaville) gathered in the canal de retenue, along the Avenue de Paris and Rue du Val-de-Saire.

The streams of the Bucaille and the Fay, which watered the Croûte du Homet, disappeared in the 18th century [12] during the construction of the military port.

Climate Edit

Cherbourg-en-Cotentin has a temperate oceanic climate. Its maritime character causes high humidity (84%) and a strong sea wind, commonly stormy but also low seasonal variations of temperature and few days of frost (7.3). [13] The combined effect of the wind and the tides can generate a rapid change of weather in a single day, with sun and rain which can be a few hours apart. [14]

The influence of the Gulf Stream and the mildness of the winter allow the naturalisation of many Mediterranean and exotic plants (mimosas, palms, agaves, etc.) which are present in the public and private gardens of the city, despite average insolation. [14] The climate is similar to areas much further north in Great Britain and Ireland due to the moderation. Summers are far cooler than expected by French standards.

Climate data for Cherbourg (Gonneville) 1981–2010 averages, extremes 1959–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.9
(58.8)
18.7
(65.7)
22.4
(72.3)
23.9
(75.0)
28.6
(83.5)
31.6
(88.9)
33.7
(92.7)
33.2
(91.8)
29.3
(84.7)
27.0
(80.6)
20.8
(69.4)
15.9
(60.6)
33.7
(92.7)
Average high °C (°F) 7.8
(46.0)
7.8
(46.0)
9.9
(49.8)
11.8
(53.2)
14.9
(58.8)
17.7
(63.9)
19.8
(67.6)
19.9
(67.8)
18.0
(64.4)
14.8
(58.6)
11.0
(51.8)
8.5
(47.3)
13.5
(56.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.7
(42.3)
5.5
(41.9)
7.3
(45.1)
8.8
(47.8)
11.7
(53.1)
14.3
(57.7)
16.4
(61.5)
16.6
(61.9)
14.9
(58.8)
12.1
(53.8)
8.7
(47.7)
6.4
(43.5)
10.7
(51.3)
Average low °C (°F) 3.5
(38.3)
3.2
(37.8)
4.6
(40.3)
5.7
(42.3)
8.5
(47.3)
10.9
(51.6)
13.0
(55.4)
13.3
(55.9)
11.8
(53.2)
9.4
(48.9)
6.4
(43.5)
4.2
(39.6)
7.9
(46.2)
Record low °C (°F) −12.3
(9.9)
−9.9
(14.2)
−4.6
(23.7)
−3.1
(26.4)
0.1
(32.2)
2.9
(37.2)
6.0
(42.8)
6.3
(43.3)
3.5
(38.3)
−0.6
(30.9)
−4.0
(24.8)
−8.8
(16.2)
−12.3
(9.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 100.8
(3.97)
69.6
(2.74)
69.8
(2.75)
61.8
(2.43)
58.1
(2.29)
49.1
(1.93)
46.4
(1.83)
51.4
(2.02)
74.4
(2.93)
111.6
(4.39)
113.1
(4.45)
113.6
(4.47)
919.7
(36.21)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 14.5 11.4 11.6 10.1 9.4 7.9 7.9 8.2 10.1 14.7 15.9 15.1 136.8
Source: Meteo France [15]
Comparison of weather conditions
City Sunshine (hrs/yr) Rain (mm/yr) Snow (days/yr) Storm (days/yr) Fog (days/yr)
Cherbourg-Octeville [13] [16] 1538 692.3 5.1 5.3 26.6
National Average 1973 770 14 22 40
Paris 1661 637 12 18 10
Nice 2724 733 1 29 1
Strasbourg 1693 665 29 29 53
Brest 1605 1211 7 12 75

Routes of communication and transport Edit

Road Edit

Historically, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin is at the western end of Route nationale 13, which runs through the city by the "Rouges Terres" and the Avenue de Paris, from La Glacerie. In the 1990s, a deviation from the road, now European routes E03 and E46, referred traffic through La Glacerie and Tourlaville on a three-way axis from La Glacerie, to the Penesme roundabout at Tourlaville and then a dual carriageway to a roundabout located between Collignon Beach and the Port des Flamands. An extension to Cherbourg is in the works, with the doubling of the bridge over the Port des Flamands, to ensure a continuity of the dual carriageway to the commercial port in Cherbourg.

The old Route nationale 801 [fr] (reclassified as D901), which connects Cap de la Hague to Barfleur, crosses the city from east to west.

After the completion of the bypass east of the agglomeration, a western bypass project is under study, and a 'zone' corresponding to the future final route has been selected. Similarly, upgrading to a dual carriageway for access of Maupertus Airport is envisaged.

The D650 is used to connect Cherbourg to the west coast of the Cotentin peninsula. Departing from Cherbourg, the D650 takes a southwesterly direction to Les Pieux and then along to join the Côte des Isles (the Channel Islands coast) to Barneville-Carteret. In the approach to Cherbourg, this road has undergone development, in recent years, with amenities (roundabouts, traffic lights, urban development) by virtue of the peri-urbanisation of the communes in its path.

With the awarding of autoroute status to the RN13 in 2006, the work of upgrading to motorway standard between Cherbourg and Caen is being undertaken over a 10-year period. [17] The construction work of the RN13 at the entrance of the Cherbourg agglomeration (locality Virage des Chèvres) was completed in early 2009.

Sea Edit

Cherbourg-Octeville is a port on the English Channel with a number of regular passenger and freight ferry services operating from the large modern ferry terminal and has a major artificial harbour. The following operators currently run services from the port:

    to Poole (1 sailings daily) and Portsmouth (up to 2 sailings daily, summer only). to Rosslare (3 sailings weekly). to Dublin (2 sailings weekly). to Portsmouth (1 sailing weekly in summer only).

Cherbourg-en-Cotentin has previously had services operated by the following operators:

    to Southampton (up to 2 sailings daily). Withdrawn in 1996. to Portsmouth (up to 2 sailings daily by conventional ferry and up to 3 by fast ferry during the summer). Withdrawn in 2005 following a business review. to Rosslare (up to 3 sailings weekly) and Dublin (weekends only during the summer). Dublin service withdrawn in 2004 and Rosslare service sold to Celtic Link. to Guernsey and Jersey. Operated in 2007 but cancelled in 2008 due to lack of customers. to Rosslare (3 sailings weekly). Service sold to Stena Line.

The port welcomes some 30 cruise ships per year including the largest, thanks to a cruise terminal built in 2006 in the Gare Maritime de Cherbourg, which had opened in 1933 on the Quai de France next to the Cité de la Mer. Frequently, cruise ships which have planned for another destination have taken refuge in the port, for protection from the frequent storms.

Conventional cargo ships berth in the eastern area of the docks on the Quai des Flamands and Quai des Mielles. During the construction of the Concorde prototypes in the 1960s, some sections built in the United Kingdom passed by ferry through Cherbourg, for transfer to Toulouse.

Rail Edit

The Paris - Cherbourg railway line, operated by Réseau Ferré de France, ends at Cherbourg railway station, which opened in 1858 and welcomes a million passengers every year. [18] This line continued, at the beginning of the 20th century, up to the resort of Urville-Nacqueville and was complemented by the Tue-Vâques [fr] which served from Cherbourg to Val de Saire between 1911 and 1950. Today, the Intercités Paris-Caen-Cherbourg line is the most profitable in its class with profit over €10 million per year despite numerous incidents and delays. [19]

Regular services operate to Paris-Saint-Lazare via Caen using Intercités stock, local TER services operate from the station to Lisieux via Caen and to Rennes via Saint-Lô. Intercités services to Paris-Saint-Lazare take three hours on average.

From July 2009 to December 2010, a TGV Cherbourg – Dijon service operated, via Mantes and Roissy TGV. With one daily round-trip, it operated experimentally for three years and gave the people of Cherbourg direct access by rail to France's primary airport. The service ceased prematurely, as the minimum threshold of passenger traffic was not met. [20]

As well as a main line station there was also the Gare Maritime Transatlantique station. This now forms part of the Cité de la mer.

Bus Edit

The Compagnie des transports de Cherbourg (CTC) was created in 1896, connecting the Place de Tourlaville and the Place du Château by a tramway [fr] in Cherbourg, then to Urville. After the German occupation and bombardment of the tram depot, the use of buses took over, and it was not until 1962 that the network had several lines. From 1976, the Communauté urbaine de Cherbourg supported the jurisdiction of public transit. Management of the public service is delegated to Keolis, the CTC took the name of Zephir Bus in 1991. [21]

The network covers the whole of the metropolitan area. In recent years, a night bus service has also been created.

Cherbourg-Octeville and its suburbs are also served by the Manéo departmental bus service.

Air Edit

The Cherbourg – Maupertus Airport, located in Maupertus-sur-Mer, serves the city. Its 2,440 m (8,010 ft) runway hosts charter flights. After stopping the daily service to Paris by Twin Jet, in spring 2008, a new link with Caen and Paris started with Chalair on 27 October 2008. [22]

With 40,500 passengers in 2007, the airport had lost 30% of its commercial passengers, and 10% of its total traffic over a year. [23]

Heraldry Edit


From the Empire, the coat of arms was accompanied by external ornaments: Mural crown with five rounds of argent, crest crossed fess a caduceus bypassed same on which are suspended two scallops used as mantling, one dexter olive, the other sinister oak, argent knotted and fastened by strips of azure. They also contain a Croix de guerre 1939-1945 with natural palm, appended at the point of the shield and surmounting the croisure strips. [24]

The origin of the coat of arms is disputed.

According to Victor Le Sens, it is of religious origin: Fess argent charged of stars represents the belt of the Virgin Mary, one of the two patrons of the city and the number of stars, like the bezants, evokes the Trinity, the other patron of the city. The bezants would be the expression of the redemption of the captives, illustrating the participation of the notables of Cherbourg on the Third Crusade. The coat of arms of Cherbourg dates from the late 12th century, at the time of the Crusades. [25]

According to M. Le Poupet, which relies in particular on the works of Vulson de la Colombière and Ségoing, the content of the coat of arms evokes the maritime trade of the city, the bezants - traditional furniture of the arms of ennobled financiers - represent wealth and fortune, while the star shows peace and prudence. The sable signifies prudence and constancy in adversity, the azure denotes activity and the seas. M. Canel had explained before him that the bezants and stars respectively illustrated trade and sea port. [26]

The stars, absent from the armorial of d'Hozier in 1697, [26] were added in the 18th century. Under the Empire, the coat of arms was completed by a free area of second-class towns which is to dexter azure to an "N" of or, surmounted by a pointed star of the same, brocading at the ninth of the escutcheon. [25]

Regarding the external ornaments, the mural crown symbolises protection and happiness, the caduceus of trade and business, the olive tree of peace, the oak of strength, recalling the role of both the military and commercial port. The argent means that Cherbourg was a second class city under the Empire. [24]


It was the logo of the municipality until the merger with Cherbourg, which then took the logo of Cherbourg.

Today, the municipality of Cherbourg-Octeville uses a logo, entitled "mouette musicale" [musical seagull]. Initially adopted by Cherbourg, it consists of a gull, symbolising the maritime character of the town, on a musical stave, evoking the musicality of the port: "The cry of the seagulls that dance between sky and sea, the mermaids of ships and the melodious song of the waves". [27]

Origins and toponymy Edit

The date of Foundation of Cherbourg can not be set precisely, although several local historians, including Robert Lerouvillois, trace the origin of the city to Coriallo (for *Coriovallo) of the Unelli. According to Pierre-Yves Lambert, the Celtic element corio- means "army, troop" and the element vallo- similar to the Latin vallum, would be "rampart, fortification". [28]

Mentioned on the Tabula Peutingeriana (c. 365), in the Antonine Itinerary and the Gesta de Fontenelle ("In pago Coriovallinse", 747-753), Coriallo, Latinised then as Coriallum, hosted a Roman garrison during the late Roman Empire, and the recovered remains would be the village between Cherbourg and Tourlaville, on the Mielles. [29]

The Cotentin Peninsula was the first territory conquered by the Vikings in their 9th-century invasion. They developed Cherbourg as a port. After the Anglo-Scandinavian settlement, a new name appeared there in a still Latinised form: Carusburg Castellum (1026-1027, Fauroux 58) then Carisburg (1056–1066, Fauroux 214), Chiersburg (William of Jumièges, v. 1070), Chieresburg (Wace, Roman de Rou, v. 1175). [30] Carusburg would mean "fortress of the marsh" in Old Norse kjarr (marsh), and borg (castle, fortified town) [31] or "city of the marais" in Old English ker (bog) and burgh (town). The element kjarr / ker is also found in Normandy in Villequier and Orcher. According to François de Beaurepaire, it comes rather from the Old English chiriche (spelled ċiriċe, Church) or [tch] is reduced to [s], as the commune of Chirbury, in the County of Shropshire, formerly also spelled Chirichburig (915) and Chiresbir (1226). [30]

The name of Octeville appears meanwhile, in 1063, in a Charter of William the Conqueror about allocations made to the Collegiate Church of Cherbourg. [32] It means: "the rural area of Otti", a Scandinavian male name also found in Octeville-l'Avenel, Octeville-sur-Mer and Otby (Lincolnshire, Ottebi, 11th century).

Cherbourg is also the name of a Canadian township, located between Matane and Les Méchins, which gave its name to the communes of Saint-Thomas-de-Cherbourg, merged in 1954 into Les Méchins, and Saint-Jean-de-Cherbourg. This name, including the proclamation date of 7 May 1864, could be due to the impact by the local newspapers of the inauguration of the military port by Napoleon III in 1858. [33] Cherbourg is also the name of a town in Queensland, Australia.

Middle Ages Edit

The Cotentin, conquered by Quintus Titurius Sabinus in 56 BC, [34] was divided between the pagus constantiensis ("County of Coutances") and the pagus coriovallensis ("County of Coriallo"), within Gallia Lugdunensis. Coriallo housed a small garrison and a castrum was built on the left bank of the Divette as an element of the Litus saxonicum, after Saxon raids at the beginning of the 4th century. [29]

In 497, the village was sold with all of Armorica to Clovis. It was evangelised by Saint Éreptiole [fr] in 432, then by Saint Exuperat, Saint Leonicien, and finally Saint Scubilion in 555. [35] In 870, Saint Clair [fr] , landing in Kent, was ordained priest of Cherbourg and established a hermitage in the surrounding forest. [36]

After several Norman raids in the 9th century, Cherbourg was attached to the Duchy of Normandy along with the Cotentin, in 933, by William Longsword. The Danish King Harold moved there in 946.

In the face of English threats, Richard III of Normandy strengthened the fortifications of the castle at the same time as those of the other major strongholds of Cotentin. In 1053, the city was one of the four main cities of the Duchy of William the Conqueror to receive an annuity in perpetuity for the maintenance of one hundred needy. [37]

In 1139, during the struggle for succession to the Anglo-Norman Crown, Cherbourg fell after two months of siege to the troops of Stephen of England before being retaken in 1142 by Geoffrey of Anjou, whose wife, Empress Matilda, three years later founded the Abbaye Notre-Dame du Vœu [fr] . [36]

During the conquest of Normandy by Philippe Auguste, Cherbourg fell without a fight in 1204. The city was sacked in 1284 and 1293, the abbey and the Hôtel-Dieu looted and burned, but the castle, where the population was entrenched, resisted. Following these ravages, Philip the Fair fortified the city in 1300. [36]

Its strategic position, a key to the kingdom along with Calais as a bridgehead for invasion by the English and French, the town was much disputed during the Hundred Years' War. Having one of the strongest castles in the world according to Froissart, it changed ownership six times as a result of transactions or seats, never by force of arms. The fortress resisted the soldiers of Edward III in 1346.

In February 1354, Cherbourg was transferred by Jean le Bon to Charles II of Navarre, called the Bad, with the bulk of the Cotentin. [38] The city was of Navarre from 1354 to 1378, and Charles II stayed in Cherbourg on several occasions. In 1378, the city was besieged by Charles V as the rest of the Norman possessions of the King of Navarre, but in vain. Navarre troops who had dropped the County of Évreux and the Cotentin were entrenched in Cherbourg, already a difficult taking, and defended it against French attacks. [39] In June 1378, having lost ground in Normandy, Charles II of Navarre rented Cherbourg in 1378 to Richard II of England for a period of three years. Bertrand du Guesclin besieged it for six months using many machines of war, but abandoned the siege in December 1378. [40] The King of England then refused to return the city to the Navarrese, despite the efforts of Charles II. It was only his son Charles the Noble who recovered it in 1393. In 1404, it was returned to Charles VI of France, in exchange for the Duchy of Nemours. [41]

Fallen in 1418 to the hands of the English, Cherbourg, the last English possession of the Duchy of Normandy after the Battle of Formigny, was released on 12 August 1450. [36]

On 28 April 1532, Cherbourg was visited with great fanfare by Francis I and the dauphin. [36] At that time, Cherbourg was described by Gilles de Gouberville as a fortified town of 4,000 residents, protected by drawbridges at the three main gates which were permanently guarded and closed from sunset until dawn. Inside the city walls, the castle, itself protected by wide moats and equipped with a keep and twelve towers, was south-east of the city. Outside and to the south of the city walls, the suburb along the Divette was frequented by sailors. [42]

Cherbourg was not affected by the wind of the Reformation that divided Normandy, consolidated and heavily guarded by Matignon [fr] , Henry III thanked his defense against the troops of Montgomery, as lieutenant-general of Normandy and Governor of Cherbourg in 1578, and then marshal the following year. The bourgeois also remained loyal to Henry III and Henry IV, when Normandy was mostly held by the Catholic League. [36]

17th to 19th century Edit

To complement the two major ports of Brest on the Atlantic Ocean and Toulon on the Mediterranean Sea, Louis XIV wished to build a new port on the side of the English Channel, facing England, in order to shelter the passing ships. In 1686, Vauban offered to strengthen the fortifications of Cherbourg, and close Cherbourg Harbour with two sea walls, but preferred La Hogue for the establishment of a major military port. [43] Fortifications and the castle development work began the following year but were stopped by the King in December 1688, influenced by Louvois and fear of English attacks. [29] In the absence of these fortifications, the population of Cherbourg attended to the destruction of the three ships of Admiral Tourville at the end of the Battle of La Hogue. [29]

The commercial port dug at the current position of the place Divette between 1739 and 1742, was devastated in August 1758 by an English attack under the orders of General Bligh and Admiral Howe. During the Seven Years' War, the British briefly occupied the town after the Raid on Cherbourg in 1758. The British destroyed military buildings and warehouses before departing. With the development of a new pool of trade in 1769, Cherbourg - a longstanding commercial port of minor importance, a city without a university or cultural activity, regularly looted, and having weak relations with Paris - acquired a weight in the Cotentin which translated, on the eve of the French Revolution, by the creation of networks of sociability by the middle-class united in associations - such as the Cherbourg Royal Academic Society [fr] in 1755 and the lodge "Faithful mason". The population increased from 800 feus (4,000 inhabitants) in Cherbourg and 95 in Octeville, around 1715, to 7,300 people in Cherbourg by 1778. [44]

Louis XVI decided to relaunch the project of the port on the English Channel. After many hesitations, it was decided in 1779 to build a 4 km (2.5 mi)-long sea wall between île Pelée and the tip of Querqueville, using a method developed by Louis-Alexandre de Cessart, a pier of 90 wooden cones of 20 m (66 ft) by 20, filled with masonried rubble, connected by iron chains. The first cone was immersed on 6 June 1784, and the King attended the launching of the ninth cone [fr] on 22 June. But the technique did not withstand storms, and it was abandoned in 1788 in favour of scuttling of old warships and a rockfill to lost stones that had been touted by La Bretonnière. However, the reduction of subsidies and the revolutionary events slowed work down, until its suspension in 1792.

First Consul Bonaparte wanted to turn Cherbourg into a major military port, for the invasion of the United Kingdom. He charged Joseph Cachin with the resumption of the work of the sea wall, the digging of military outer harbour, and the construction of the new arsenal. After a visit in 1811, Napoleon made Cherbourg a maritime prefecture, a chef-lieu of the Arrondissements of the Manche department and the seat of a court of first instance.

The work of the central sea wall, interrupted again between 1813 and 1832, ended in 1853, the east and west sea walls in 1895. The Charles X docks (begun in 1814 - 290 × 220 × 18 metres) and Napoleon III (started in 1836 - 420 × 200 × 18 m) of the military port were respectively opened on 25 August 1829, in the presence of the Dauphin, and 7 August 1858, by the Imperial couple. The work of the sea wall was concluded by the construction of the small harbour (Homet sea wall, 1899-1914 and sea wall of the Flemings, 1921-1922).

The work of the port led the intensification and spread of a modernising and developing Cherbourg, while contractors, owners, and local merchants were getting richer. Rural village housing scattered in hamlets made up around large farms (La Crespiniere, La Prevallerie, Grimesnil, La Gamacherie, etc.), connected between them and the Saint-Martin Church by a network of paths, Octeville became chef-lieu of the canton in 1801 (Decree of 23 Vendémiaire, year X) and also its population, to increase by the influx of workers who came to build the port of Cherbourg and work at the Arsenal. After the creation of the Route des Pieux (current Rue Salengro and Rue Carnot), the town was formed around an homogenised street-village then urbanising at the beginning of the 20th century. [32]

On 16 August 1830, King Charles X, dethroned, departed into exile from the military port of Cherbourg aboard the Great Britain, leaving room for the July Monarchy. [36] After seeing anchor in its harbour of Le Luxor carrying the Obelisk of Luxor in August 1833, Cherbourg welcomed the return of the remains of Napoleon to France aboard the Belle Poule. On 4 August 1858, an equestrian statue of Napoleon by the sculptor Armand Le Véel, was erected on the occasion of the visit of Napoleon III to the inauguration of the railway line from Cherbourg to Paris.

On 19 June 1864, a naval engagement in the American Civil War was held off the coast of Cherbourg: The warship of the Confederates, the CSS Alabama was sunk by the ship of the Union USS Kearsarge after two hours of fighting [see the Battle of Cherbourg (1864)], under the eye of thousands of spectators, who had arrived by train for the inauguration of the casino. Visualizing the fight from a sailboat, Manet immortalised it in The Battle of the Kearsarge and the Alabama. 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 CSS Alabama.

Early 20th century Edit

From 1847, the geographical and technical properties of the port of Cherbourg attracted shipping companies linking European ports to the east coast of the United States. At the end of the 1860s, the ships of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company and the Hamburg America Line anchored in the harbour before crossing the Atlantic. [45] After leaving Southampton, England, the RMS Titanic made its first stop at Cherbourg on 10 April 1912, [46] during its maiden voyage, where an additional 274 passengers embarked. In 1913, Cherbourg received 500 ships and 70,000 passengers. [47]

On 31 July 1909, tsar Nicholas II and French president Armand Fallières met officially in Cherbourg to reinforce the Franco-Russian Alliance.

During the First World War, traffic was completely suspended. Cherbourg became the place of arrival for equipment and the British and American troops, and for departure on leave and injuries. The military port experienced an increase in activity, and the garrison stationed at Cherbourg was reinforced. The port infrastructures were developed to receive coal and oil required for the conflict. Traffic doubled, reaching 600,000 tons in 1918. [47]

Transatlantic transit resumed in the aftermath of the war with the British, American and Dutch transatlantic companies. To welcome the best stopovers, the Chamber of Commerce built a deep water port, a new ferry terminal, and an area dedicated to loading, unloading and storage of goods in the field of Mielles. Cherbourg became the first port of migration in Europe, and Cunard Line, White Star Line and Red Star Line companies united to build the Hôtel Atlantique [Atlantic Hotel] intended to receive emigrants before crossing. At the same time, the downtown was renovated, especially in the architectural projects of René Levesque, Drancey and René Levavasseur [fr] . However, the 1929 crisis put an end to the transatlantic peak.

Second World War Edit

During the Second World War (1939–1945), the German Army occupied north of France and fortified the coastline against invasion. As a deep-water port, Cherbourg was of strategic importance, very heavily protected against seaborne assault.

The Germans arrived on the outskirts of Cherbourg on 17 June 1940, towards the end of the Battle of France. Two days later, the City Council declared the city open, and Generalmajor Erwin Rommel, commander of the 7th Panzer Division, received the surrender of the city from the hands of the maritime prefect, Vice-Admiral Jules Le Bigot [fr] , who had earlier destroyed submarines under construction at the arsenal and East Fort.

Four years later, Cherbourg, the only deep-water port in the region, was the primary objective of the American troops who had landed at Utah Beach during the Battle of Normandy. The Battle of Cherbourg was required to give the Allies a point of logistic support for human resupply and material of the troops. American troops encircled the city on 21 June 1944. At the end of furious street fighting and bitter resistance from the Fort du Roule, Generalleutnant Karl-Wilhelm von Schlieben, Konteradmiral Walter Hennecke and 37,000 German soldiers surrendered on 26 June to Major General Joseph Lawton Collins, Commanding General (CG) of the U.S. VII Corps. After a month of demining and repairs by American and French engineers, the port, completely razed by the Germans and the bombing, welcomed the first Liberty ships and became, until the victory of 1945, the busiest port in the world, with traffic double that of New York. [48] It was also the endpoint of the gasoline which crossed the English Channel via the underwater pipeline PLUTO (Pipe Line Under The Ocean), and the starting point of the Red Ball Express, truck transport circuit to Chartres.

Cherbourg was returned to France by the Americans on 14 October 1945. It was cited in the Order of the Army on 2 June 1948 and received the Croix de guerre with Palm.

Postwar Edit

The wartime destruction was mainly concentrated around the military port in Cherbourg, but had hit 60% of Octeville. Thanks to the urgency of the port reconstruction, economic activity resumed quickly. Cherbourg, headed by former SFIO Minister René Schmitt [fr] , built much social housing. The postwar boom led to the modernisation of the economy and a greater role for female employment. Under the leadership of General de Gaulle, Cherbourg became the hub of nuclear ballistic missile submarine construction from 1964, including the first, Le Redoutable, which was launched in 1967. [49] Félix Amiot's shipyard Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie, specialised in military armaments, became famous during the Christmas of 1969 in an episode of the Cherbourg Project.

From the end of the 1960s, the nuclear industry emerged through the construction sites of the La Hague reprocessing plant and the Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant in addition to submarines of the DCN. A union of trade unions, left-wing activists and environmentalists, formed around the fear of the "nuclearisation" of Nord-Cotentin, crystallised in January 1979 when the Pacific Fisher landed with the first spent nuclear waste from Japan. On the eve of the 1980s, the Cherbourg agglomeration was hit by several violent social conflicts, particularly due to the closure of the Babcock factories. [50]

Turn of the millennium Edit

The major decisions of the public authorities, on which Cherbourg has depended for many centuries, and the nuclear industry, caused a deep economic crisis in the 1990s. The Arsenal was drastically downsized, the Northern Fleet (FLONOR) moved to Brest in 1992, and the maritime hospital [fr] closed. UIE, Burty, CMN, Socoval and Alcatel accumulated social plans or closings. Under the auspices of the urban community [fr] , the agglomeration developed its academic offerings with the IUT of Cherbourg-Manche, the School of Engineers of Cherbourg and a branch of the University of Caen, which complemented INTECHMER [fr] and the School of Fine Arts.

The new millennium began with the creation of a new commune. Cherbourg-Octeville was created on 1 March 2000 through the joining of Cherbourg and Octeville, following a local referendum within "Grand Cherbourg". The city revived its tourist and maritime identity through the Cité de la Mer and the opening to the public of the Redoubtable, and became the home of stopovers for cruises and nautical events. [50] The urban renewal operation [fr] "between land and sea", with an emphasis on the commercial and touristic attractiveness of the city and the Bassins Quarter, as well as the economic specialisation in boating, emerged. Meanwhile, the traditional activities of the port (passengers, freight and fishing) were in crisis. [51]

Miscellany Edit

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

La Glacerie was named for glass factory. In 1655, Louis Lucas de Néhou built a glass factory which produced windows and mirrors for such buildings as the Galerie des Glaces and Château de Versailles. The factory in La Glacerie was destroyed by Allied bombardments in 1944 during the Normandy invasion.

Cherbourg was the first site outside the United States to be designated as an American Civil War Heritage Site by the Civil War Preservation Trust, because a sea battle was fought nearby in 1864 by Union and Confederate warships. See the Battle of Cherbourg (1864).

Urban fabric Edit

Cherbourg originally developed on the left bank of the mouth of the Divette [fr] , around the castle. Traces of the ancient fortress are rare in the modern city the fortification was located in the area bounded by the Rue de la Marine, Quai de Caligny, the Foch, Gambetta, Albert-Mahieu and François-Lavieille streets, and La République and La Trinité squares. The city had five streets: Grande Rue, Rue de la Trinité (today, Tour-Carrée), the Rue du Nouet (to the Blé), the Rue au Fourdray and Rue Onfroy (of trade), and a dozen boëls (alleys). [52] These five medieval streets were transformed into pedestrian streets in the 1980s. Until the destruction of the city walls, the main road called rue de-devant-le-château, was built on its west (east is bordered by ditches) with several houses with arcades, called soliers. After the dismantling of the walls, inside which lived three-fifths of the population, [53] the city extended up to its natural boundaries at the end of the 17th century: the Divette in the east, and Chantereine stream in the west. During the 19th century, it extended to the neighbouring annexed territories of Tourlaville and Équeurdreville. Its rapid growth from the end of the 18th century was spoken of by Jean Fleury, in 1839, in that it "offers almost everywhere the appearance of a new town the old streets occupy little space, and the others are generally large and airy, the fountains numerous [. ]. Cherbourg has 10 squares, 59 streets, 12 cul-de-sacs and 5 passages." [54]

Damaged during all eras, rebuilt in piecemeal, the city has no architectural unity. Shale, extracted from the quarries of the agglomeration, is the traditional material of construction. With widespread coverage in the northern Cotentin, it is also used in Cherbourg for the walls in the city, apparent or often covered with a grayish or sometimes colourful coating. The frames are then Valognes stone (limestone), pink granite of Fermanville, or brick, and the underpinnings Armorican sandstone of the Roule and the Fauconniere. The expansion of the city from the 18th century contributed to the diversity of materials. The use of Caen stone and industrial brick was necessary under the Second Empire, while vernacular architecture disappeared gradually in these years in favour of a more homogeneous and Parisian style. [55]

Cherbourg and its agglomeration has urbanised around the ports and along the coast. With post-war reconstruction and the economic development of the Trente Glorieuses, the city is experiencing a crisis of housing due to the demographic boom, having built on the last vacant land. Indeed, a 1954 report evaluated 1,000 inhabitant families living in slums, and called for 1,500 housing units. Then out of land Cité du Casino in 1957 and the Cité Fougère in 1958, then in 1959 all of the Amont-Quentin, Charcot-Spanel and Cité Chantereyne to accommodate the families of the engineers and officers of the Arsenal. [56]

Port Chantereyne and the Mielles lands are reclaimed from the sea, the Place Divette and Boulevard Schuman are created at the site of the old fairground. However, at that time, the change mainly affected nearby villages that formed an agglomeration in less than forty years. Octeville, a dispersed habitat until the 18th century, and urbanised during the work of the port around a central street, [32] saw the housing estate of the Provinces settle on the heights of la Fauconniere and triple its population in 20 years. Several estates also emerging at Tourlaville, La Glacerie, Querquerville and Equeurdreville, amending the physiognomy of a suburb which densified. [57] This urbanisation resulted in the dilution of the geographic and sociological boundaries of the agglomeration resulting in the creation in 1970 of the urban community [fr] until the merger of Cherbourg and Octeville in 2000.

Following this merger, a plan of urban renewal named "Between Land and Sea" was launched in 2002 on the quarters of Bassins, of the Amont-Quentin and the Provinces to homogenise the territory of the newly alamgamated city. [58] The Bassins quarter, released by the channelling of the Divette and the filling of the retaining channel, is expected to profoundly transform the commercial landscape of the city, carried by the construction of a new shopping centre and the renovation of downtown. On the heights, seven HLM tower blocks are intended for demolition to improve social housing. A 3-star hotel and the relocation of the casino is also planned. [59] At Avenue Carnot, the former Grouard warehouses must leave room for parking and a place through from the wharf from the Quai de l'Entrepôt to the Pasteur Hospital, to 180 dwellings by Presqu'île habitat and ADIM (Vinci company) then 100 extra in a second round of development. [60]

The administrative quarters are:

  • Downtown, historic heart of Cherbourg, with the inner city and the districts of La Polle and the Vœu, dating from the 19th century.
  • The Val-de-Saire, annexed in 1811, beyond the Divette and swing-bridge.
  • Sud-est, corresponding to the districts of du Roule and Maupas, traditionally for workers.
  • The Amont Quentin-Provinces, on the heights of the city, built from the late 1950s (essentially HLM tower blocks).
  • Octeville-Bourg, from both sides of the Salengro and Barbusse streets.
  • Ouest, western part of the former municipality of Octeville.

Since 1996, Cherbourg-Octeville is covered by a sensitive urban zone on the expanded area of the Provinces.

Demography Edit

The construction of the dam and the military port has brought an important flow of workers and soldiers. Cherbourg and Octeville have seen their populations quadruple in a century. Cherbourg had 43,000 inhabitants at the beginning of the 20th century. During this century, Cherbourg lost some 15,000 inhabitants, while Octeville grew continuously, with an explosion in the 1960s and 1970s, during the construction of the housing estates.

According to estimates from INSEE for 2018, Cherbourg-Octeville has 35,545 inhabitants. [1] The agglomeration had 81,989 inhabitants and the urban area 119,555 inhabitants. [61] It is the largest city of the Manche department, and second of Lower Normandy (after Caen), surpassing Alençon, which had been second before the amalgamation. Cherbourg concentrated 7.7% of the departmental population, twice as much as the prefecture, Saint-Lô, while the agglomeration represents 17% and the urban area 23.5%.

The depopulation of the city-centre of the agglomeration was one of the main topics of the campaign for the municipal elections of 2008. In addition to the battle of figures on the number of lost inhabitants, the three candidates, Bernard Cazeneuve (PS), Jean Lemière (UMP) and Hervé Corbin (dissident UMP) indicated a new interest in this problem. The urbanisation of the Grimesnil/Monturbet zone, provided for the coming years, should logically bring extra population, although no one knows if it will be enough to stop the demographic bleeding.

Demographic changes of Cherbourg and Octeville compared, before their merger. [62] [65]

Year 1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851 1856 1861
Cherbourg 10,081 11,389 14,316 15,655 18,043 19,315 23,408 26,949 28,012 38,309 41,812
Octeville 972 850 1,026 1,194 1,309 1,508 1,479 1,735 1,878 2,160 2,346
Year 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896 1901 1906 1911 1921
Cherbourg 37,215 35,580 37,186 35,691 37,013 38,554 40,783 42,938 43,837 43,731 38,281
Octeville 2,275 2,268 2,350 2,482 2,895 3,028 3,352 3,752 4,077 4,193 4,017
Year 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954 1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999
Cherbourg 38,054 37,461 39,105 40,042 38,262 37,486 38,243 32,536 28,442 27,121 25,370
Octeville 3,939 4,054 4,317 4,606 5,421 6,247 9,465 15,977 18,551 18,120 16,948
Number retained from 1962: population without doubles counting [fr]

Today, the neighbouring communes of the metropolitan area (Martinvast, Nouainville, Tonneville, Bretteville, etc.) are experiencing a demographic boost: The framework of life, rural and peaceful, in no way prevents the inhabitants from taking advantage of the infrastructure of the urban community. This problem, which is found in many French towns of this size, has led to the constitution of a Pays du Cotentin [fr] , the urban community who wish to so participate financially in the rich Community of communes of Les Pieux [fr] and the Community of communes of La Hague [fr] .

Since the merger between Cherbourg and Octeville, in February 2000, the inhabitants are officially called Cherbourgeois-Octevillais. [66] Before, the inhabitants of Cherbourg was called the Cherbourgeois and those of Octeville were the Octevillais. It is likely that, with the merger, the latter disappears gradually in favour of Cherbourgeois. This would be similar to Équeurdrevillais (or sometimes Équeurdrais) for the nearby of Équeurdreville-Hainneville, which merged communes in 1965.

Housing Edit

Cherbourg and Octeville have two different profiles. The first is the city centre, with varied habitat, the other a commune in suburbs, built quickly from the 1960s.

Parks and green spaces Edit

The second half of the 19th century saw the creation of many English-style gardens. The first was due to Joseph Cachin created while he was responsible for the construction of the port, a private garden and a pond near the Divette [fr] , instead of the current railway line leading to the station. [67] The temperate oceanic climate favours the naturalisation of southern and exotic plants such as palm trees, brought back by many Cherbourg sailors and explorers. Then, under the Third Republic, public gardens opened. [67]

Today the city offers several green spaces:

  • The Public Garden [fr] of 1.7 ha (4.2 acres), on the Avenue de Paris, was the first park to be offered to the population, in 1887. At the foot of the Montagne du Roule, it hosts many animals (sea lions, aviaries, deer, etc.). A commemorative site preferred by the municipality, it contains the monument to the dead inaugurated in 1924, the old portal of the Abbey of the Vœu, the bust of Jean-François Millet, and the last town bandstand. Two pavilions of angles constructed in 1889 limit the garden on the Avenue de Paris. [68]
  • The Emmanuel Liais Park 1 ha (2.5 acres) is the former garden of the Mayor of Cherbourg's house, designed in 1881 and opened in 1885. Bequeathed to the city upon his death, it is very wooded and has an observation tower, a plan of water containing water lilies and other aquatic plants and two greenhouses sheltering rare plants, including a rich collection of South American plants brought back from his travels and acclimated by Liais. It is labelled as a Remarkable Garden. [69]
  • The Montebello garden, opened in 1872 in the street of the same name, within the Napoleon III Quarter, was created at the initiative of the Horticultural Society of Cherbourg for its members. Open to the public since its inception, it contains bamboos, camellias and magnolias, and offers a chalet of bricks with beams.
  • The Park of the Château des Ravalet [fr] 12 ha (30 acres), a Cherbourg-Octeville property on the territory of Tourlaville, was developed by the vicomte René de Tocqueville from 1872, with an English garden and a woodland. The park and the greenhouse built between 1872 and 1875, which is home to palm, banana, cactus and lianas have been open since the acquisition by the city of Cherbourg in 1935, and are classified as historical monuments since 4 March 1996. Several water bodies welcome Black Swans and the aviaries are home to rare birds. An artificial waterfall was created in 1921. [68]
  • The Vallon sauvage [fr] [wild valley] contains hedgerows, wetlands, orchards and woodland in the heart of Octeville, in a natural area of 10 ha (25 acres). [11]

A private garden, the Botanical Garden of the Roche Fauconnière, is also listed in the inventory of Historic Monuments since 29 December 1978. [70] Established in 1873, it was embellished over generations by the Favier family. [67]

The commune also has allotments, managed by associations: Vallon Sauvage, Fourches, Roquettes, Saint Sauveur and Redoute, which gives free land to its members.

In 2007, the municipality was awarded four flowers in the competition of flowery towns and villages. [71] The beautification policy, which dates from 1995, resulted in obtaining a first flower, followed by a second in 2000 and third in 2002. It relies on public gardens, heirs to a local botanical heritage of over a century, 10,000 square metres (110,000 sq ft) of flower beds and 240 ha (590 acres) of green space on events such as Le Mois des Jardins et Presqu’île en Fleurs [The Month of Gardens and Peninsula in Flowers], and the annual distribution of geraniums to the resident volunteers.

Historic Edit

At the instigation of Colbert, the guild of drapers was founded on 16 April 1668, the manufacture of cloth produced two thousand pieces per year. [52] Two years earlier, Colbert had also promoted the introduction of the glass factory in the forest of Tourlaville. [72]

In the 18th century, the economic resources came mainly through maritime trade, the preparation of cured meats and the harbour and breakwater works, plus a moribund textile industry. On the eve of the French Revolution, salt was imported from Le Croisic along with British grain, and Littry coal. Exports were mainly to Britain (sheets and cloths) and the West Indies (cattle and mules, fat and salted butter, salted meats, cod, linens and canvas), but also to Le Havre and La Rochelle for wood and coal. Lawful or otherwise exchanges also took place with the Channel Islands (tanbark, grain and wool). Cherbourg shipowners were absent from significant fishing, including that of cod on the banks of Newfoundland, which was a specialty of Granville. 361 workers (1764) and 69 skilled workers (1778) of the factory annually produced (1760) 2,000 fine linens in green and white strip. Cherbourg also had seven producers of starch. [44] Opened in 1793 at the location of the current Lawton-Collins Wharf, the arsenal was moved in 1803 on a decision by Napoleon, within the project of the military port. Sailing ships were built, the first, the brig La Colombe, was launched on 27 September 1797, and then screw-propelled vessels up to the end of the 19th century. From 1898, the Arsenal specialised in the construction of submarines [fr] . The first were Le Morse and Le Narval. Since then, more than 91 vessels have been built there.

L'Annuaire de la Manche [The Yearbook of Manche] in 1829 mentioned several slate quarries in the agglomeration whose product was sometimes exported to Le Havre, two printers, two soda refineries (properties of Mr. Le Couturier and Messrs. Crenier and Co. producing approximately 600 tonnes for Ostend, Dunkirk, Rouen and Paris, Germany and Russia), a sugar refinery (Mr. Despréaux) whose 50 tonnes were sold in the English Channel, a lace factory run by four nuns on behalf of Messrs. Blod and Lange and several tanners. It is indicated that the port trade was based on exportation of mules to Réunion and the Antilles, salted meat of pigs and eggs in Britain, wine and brandies, and the import of Scandinavian, Polish and Russian wood, linseed, and hemp. [73] But its use as a place of war hampered the development of Cherbourg as major commercial port, compared to Le Havre. Ten years later, for these exchanges, Jean Fleury [fr] counted 225 to 230 both French and foreign, from 30 to 800 tons, ships each carrying 6 to 18 crew. He added the maritime buildings and armaments and the export of butter of La Hague, and the total annual trade was estimated at between 4 or 5 million francs, of which one million for the export of eggs to the United Kingdom, and 850 tons of salted meat. [54]

At the beginning of the 20th century, Cherbourg was primarily a military port. The commercial port was modest, always exporting mules to the West Indies and Réunion and local food products to Britain (butter, meats, eggs, cattle, etc.), but also chemical products of soda extracted from kelp, granite from nearby quarries, and important wood and iron from Nord, tar, hemp, and food from the colonies. At this time the port embraced the transatlantic epic. Cherbourg's industry was then specialised in shipbuilding, as well as in lace-making and the manufacture of rope. The late 19th century also saw Cherbourg develop an aviation industry, through the company of Félix du Temple, taken over in 1938 by Félix Amiot, another aviation pioneer for the aerospace company of Normandy. Gradually, workers developed a particular skill in metalwork, both for the submarines of the Arsenal, for aircraft and ships of the Amiot shipyards or Babcock-Wilcox boilers. [74]

In 1916, Nestlé introduced its first French factory in Cherbourg.

The 1960s saw a revival of the local economy through the increase in the female workforce and the decline of agricultural employment in favour of diversification of jobs and a high-tech industry. In 1960, under the leadership of Mayor Jacques Hébert, Hortson was established in the Maupas quarter. One hundred employees manufactured projectors and film cameras, particularly for the ORTF and Russian television. Redeemed, the factory specialised under the name of Thomson-CSF audiovisual in surveillance and medical cameras, then in the production of electronic circuits of computer terminals on behalf of Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie and the Arsenal. Since 1976, it has been dedicated to the production of microwave electronic devices, employing 260 workers in 1979 contracted for radars of the Mirage F1 Army Air and of the Navy Super Etendards, rising to 400 employees at the end of the 1980s, after moving in 1987 into a new modernised factory in Tourlaville. For a decade, the electronic workshop expanded, adding a production line for mobile television relays, and a workshop for mechanical surface treatment. [75] As part of the internal restructuring of Alcatel, the site, which has 300 employees, was sold in 2002 to Sanmina-SCI, which ceased its activity in March 2008. [76] The Compagnie industrielle des télécommunications (CIT), merged the following decade with Alcatel, it also opened an assembly plant for electronic telephone exchanges, at Querqueville in the 1960s. The unit, seen as a flagship of French industry by the new president of the Republic in 1981, was considered unnecessary after the integration of Thomson's telephony division with Alcatel in 1984 and suffered heavy redundancies from the end of the 1980s, before closing in 1997 at the end of a difficult social conflict. [77]

Between the 1970s and 1990s, the two major projects of northern Cotentin, the La Hague reprocessing plant and the Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant, accentuated the industrial development of a city that saw a golden age [50] through what the journalist François Simon called "industries of death", since about two thirds of the local industrial fabric was related to defence and the nuclear industry. [49]

Cherbourg is also the cradle of the Halley family and society, which became Promodès in the 1960s (Continent [fr] hypermarkets, Champion supermarkets). In 1999, Promodès merged with Carrefour. The old buildings of Halley House became the technical centre of the Cachin vocational school, on Avenue Aristide-Briand.

Economic data Edit

In 1999, the economically active population of Cherbourg and Octeville was 18,671 inhabitants in a total population of 42,288 inhabitants. [78]

Cherbourg-Octeville supports an unemployment rate (19.6% in 1999), double that of its job base (9.3% in 2006, a decrease of 1.1% in one year) which itself has the highest unemployment of the basins of employment of the department. At 31 December 2004, there were 3,700 jobseekers. Therefore, the annual average household income is lower than the national average (€13,730 for the city, compared with €15,027 in France) despite an average monthly salary (€1,590 in 2001) highest job growth of the department and higher than that of Caen-Bayeux (€1,550). [17] [78]

Qualification of employment [17]
Number of jobs (%) Employment pool Manche Lower Normandy
Farm workers 5 7.2 5.1
Artisans, merchants and entrepreneurs 6 7.2 6.9
Executives and professionals 8.1 6.5 7.8
Associate professionals 25.2 19.2 19.5
Employees 29 28.8 29.2
Manual workers 26.7 31.1 31.5

Main activities Edit

Cherbourg is the seat of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Cherbourg-Cotentin [fr] particularly manages the airport, the fishing ports of Cherbourg and the trade, and, together with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Centre and Sud-Manche [fr] , the FIM group training organisation.

The Cherbourg economy derives a large part of its activities from its maritime position. [80] Cherbourg indeed has four ports [fr] : A military port, a fishing port, a port of commerce (passenger traffic and cross-border goods) and a marina.

Weakened since the 1990s, the commercial port sees the transit of 110,000 trucks to or from Ireland and Great Britain. Project Fastship, involving container transport from Philadelphia (United States) by high-speed vessels and oped for fifteen years, has been forgotten in favour of the Motorways of the Sea in the context of the Ena (Eurocoast Network Association), with Cuxhaven (Germany), Ostend (Belgium), Rosslare (Ireland) and Ferrol (Spain), with no more effect at the moment. [76]

In recent years, the cross-Channel passenger traffic has declined, with competition from Caen-Ouistreham and the Pas-de-Calais. The withdrawal of the P&O company, which served Poole and Southampton, has left two companies with cross-Channel links: Brittany Ferries to Portsmouth and Poole and Irish Ferries to Rosslare (Ireland). In the first eleven months of 2007 compared with the same period of 2006, passenger traffic declined by 3.84% to 750,000 units, while freight fell 4.43% with 87,000 trucks landed. For comparison, the port had 1.7 million passengers and 138,000 trucks in 1995. [81]

Property, with the Port of Caen-Ouistreham, of the joint association Ports Norman Associates, involving the Regional Council of Lower Normandy [fr] and the Departmental Councils of Manche [fr] and Calvados [fr] , port trade is managed by a joint company of the Chamber of commerce [fr] and Louis Dreyfus Armateurs [fr] . The construction of a terminal dedicated to the traffic of coal from South America and destined for the United Kingdom will put an end to the haemorrhage of the activity of the port. [82]

The fishing industry is affected by the crisis affecting the entire industry, and the port has seen its fleet decline. [76]

Cherbourg was the first French marina by number of visitors in 2007, having 10,117 boats for 28,713 overnight stays in 2007, and the total impact estimated at €4 million for the Cherbourg agglomeration. [83]

A tradition of local industry, shipbuilding is based on the two pillars of the DCNS Cherbourg for submarines and Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN), famous for their speedboats. This sector has been widely restructured over the past twenty years. The military arsenal saw the end of the construction of the Redoutable-class submarines and expanded its customer base, until then exclusively of the Navy, prior to being privatised in 2007. With diesel Agosta submarines, developed since 1994 for Pakistan, and the Scorpène, in collaboration with the shipyards of Cartagena, sold to Malaysia, Chile and India, 25% of the total turnover of the establishment is of foreign origin. Partnerships with Pakistan and India have concluded to make the construction term at home. The CMN, which employed 1,200 people at the beginning of the 1980s, modernised and automated, and now has 500 employees. The company diversified into large luxury yachts, without abandoning the military market, and has signed such contracts with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar through the Franco-Lebanese businessman Iskandar Safa, owner since 1992. [80]

While these two military companies have experienced reductions in loads (the number of jobs at the Arsenal increased from 6,000 including 1,000 subcontracted, in 1988, to 2,600 including 500 subcontractors), and the companies have repositioned in the nautical industry. JMV Industries [fr] , a subsidiary of CMN with 100 employees, built racing yachts. Originally hosted by CMN to build aluminium hulls designed by James Ébénistes (Saint-Laurent-de-Cuves), Allures Yachting has specialised in cruising sailboats. The Allais shipyard, of Dieppe, has established a subsidiary, ICAN, dedicated to civilian boats and pleasure craft. [80]

A network of subcontractors and specialists formed around this hub through Ameris France (established in 1994 under the name of Cap 50 export, specialised in the research and the supply of spare parts for ships and military aircraft), the Efinor group (founded in 1988, specialising in metallurgy, nuclear decommissioning and engineering), MPH (help in project control, 140 employees). At Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue, Facnor has become a global specialist of sailing reels. [84]

The Navy employs nearly 3,000 officials in the agglomeration, especially in the context of administration (maritime prefecture), maritime safety (customs, CROSS, Abeille), logistical support of the French Navy and foreign passage, and of training. [85]

Metallurgy has long represented a large source of employment in the agglomeration. Around the Arsenal and its boilermakers, several metalworking and mechanical industries were formed from the early 1900s. This is the case of the oldest business the city, the Simon Brothers company, founded in 1856, which went from being a mechanical workshop to a steam agricultural machinery manufacturer and then to an agribusiness in a half a century.

Manufacturing guns in 1870 and 1939, the company became a world leader in churns and mixers for the butter industry. [86] Similarly, the Babcock boiler manufacturer was implanted in Cherbourg in the interwar period and closed its doors after a protracted labour dispute, in 1979. Later, the UIE began business in Cherbourg in 1973, for the construction of oil platforms, but closed in 1985. [49]

The food industry, essential in Lower Normandy, is not absent from the employment pool. A farm raising salmon in the harbour, abattoirs handling farmed livestock of Nord-Cotentin, and several processing companies exist. The Simon Brothers (50 employees) have supplied equipment for the cider and dairy industries for more than a century.

Alcatel had two units in the 1980s, one in Cherbourg, then Tourlaville (formerly Thomson-CSF) the other in Querqueville (Alcatel CIT). Both, regarded as flagships of the group, specialised respectively in microwave and electronic telephone exchanges. However, Alcatel decided to close the Querqueville factory in 1997, Codifur then took over part of the business with hundreds of employees. In 2002, it also offloaded the Tourlaville unit to Sanmina-SCI, which relocated its production six years later. Codifur resumed the after-sales service business of Alcatel, or 5% of the initial activity, and a few dozen employees. [87]

Socoval, a manufacturer of menswear of the Cantoni Group from Italy, is the last textile factory of the Cotentin and employs about 100 employees, since the social plan of 2001, which resulted in the loss of about 40 employees.

Economic partners now rely on the "mastery of atmosphere", i.e. the control of contamination from industrial processes, through the Cherbourg-Normandy technopole [fr] created in 2001. Having experience of work involving nuclear risk, it wants to transfer these skills to the food, electronics and pharmaceutical industries. Two courses have been designed for this purpose: A BTS in nuclear maintenance at the Lycee Tocqueville and a DESS in mastery of atmosphere at the Cherbourg School of Engineering.

The urban community, the main commercial centre of the Cotentin, has four hypermarkets covering 26,780 m 2 (288,300 sq ft) [23] - of which one, Carrefour (260 employees), located in the Cherbourg area, represents the third largest private employer of the commune - as well as several large specialist stores. Trade employs nearly 1,400 people in the city centre, [88] but the decline in cross-Channel traffic has caused a big shortfall, exacerbated by the fragile local economy. [76] Although downtown Cherbourg is the main commercial centre of the agglomeration, with 340 establishments, its dominance is lower in the urban community, when compared to Caen towards its agglomeration. Indeed, Cherbourg focuses 35% of commercial activities and 45% of retail trade in the agglomeration, against 40% and 55% for the centre of Caen respectively, particularly two-thirds of the human equipment stores against 90% in Lower Normandy's capital. Grocery chains, equipment and home appliances have left the city centre for out-of-town shopping centres. The number of fast food outlets doubled between 1995 and 2005, while the strength of the traditional catering has stagnated. [89]

Cherbourg-Octeville, the largest city of the department, is the main centre for administration and services for the Cotentin. Health is an important provider of jobs with the Pasteur hospital [fr] (470 beds, second of Lower Normandy, merged since 2006 with the Hospital of Valognes) and the Cotentin Polyclinic. The same goes for the education sector with four public and four private schools, a marine high school and aquaculture, a university campus and several graduate schools. The branches of public enterprises are also located there (EDF, with 120 officers and SNCF, with 50 officers). Public employment represents an important part with, in addition to the hospital and schools, municipal and community staff.

Business service companies are also present in computer science (Euriware, 85 employees), cleanliness (Onet, 240 employees, and Sin&Stes, 100 employees) and advertising (Adrexo, 50 employees).

Cherbourg-Octeville hosts the headquarters of France Bleu Cotentin [fr] public radio, and the departmental daily La Presse de la Manche [fr] (120 employees with his CES press), successor to the Libération de Cherbourg-Éclair [fr] , and subsidiary of the Groupe SIPA - Ouest-France [fr] since 1990. France 3 Normandie boasts a local editorial office in the city Cherbourg's edition of La Manche libre [fr] covers the agglomeration, La Hague and the Val de Saire local television 5050 TV [fr] has installed its headquarters and its main studio in the area.

Jobs in the construction sector are divided between Faucillion (80 employees), Eiffage (75 employees) and Colas (60 employees).

Since its opening, the Cité de la Mer is the tourist engine of Nord-Cotentin. The cruise terminal also attracts liners each year. The marina of 1,500 spaces is the first French port of call (11,000 per year). The capacity of the city was, as of 1 January 2007, 15 hotels and 429 rooms. The casino, owned by the Cogit Group is the 109th in France, with a turnover of €6.7 million. [88]

In 2010, the commune of Cherbourg-Octeville was awarded a 3-star equivalent "Ville Internet [fr] " label [90] and was upgraded to a 4-star equivalent rating in 2012.

Administrative divisions Edit

The city has the central office [fr] of two cantons: Canton of Cherbourg-Octeville-1 (to the west) and Cherbourg-Octeville-2 (in the east, which also includes the town of La Glacerie). Departmental advisors [fr] are the Socialists Frédéric Bastian, Anna Pic, Karine Duval and Sébastien Fagnen.

The arrondissement of Cherbourg has 189 municipalities and 190,363 inhabitants. The sub-prefect is Jacques Troncy, former sub-prefect of Montbéliard, appointed 17 March 2014. [91]

Since 1986, the fifth constituency of Manche [fr] , known as Cherbourg, covered the three cantons of Cherbourg-Octeville, and those of Equeurdreville-Hainneville, Saint-Pierre-Église [fr] and Tourlaville. In the context of the legislative redistricting of 2010, the two cantons of Beaumont-Hague and Quettehou integrated the constituency of Cherbourg-Octeville, becoming the 4th constituency. Despite this redistribution often perceived as advantageous for the right, the outgoing Socialist deputy of the 5th constituency, Bernard Cazeneuve, was re-elected in the first round with 55% of the vote.

Cherbourg-Octeville also has the headquarters of the maritime prefecture of the English Channel and the North Sea, whose authority extends from the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel to the Belgian border. The maritime prefect [fr] is the Vice Admiral of the Squadron, Bruno Nielly. The maritime quarter of Cherbourg (initials: CH) is restricted to the limits of the department.

Since 1971, Cherbourg-Octeville has belonged to the Urban community of Cherbourg [fr] , presided over by André Rouxel since 2012, Mayor of Tourlaville, to which the municipality delegates urban transport, management of space and the quality of life, the environment and development strategies (higher education, research, major projects, and Cité de la Mer, etc.).

The postal codes from prior to the merger of 2000 have been preserved: 50130 for addresses of the former territory of Octeville, 50100 for Cherbourg.

Political trends and results Edit

Cherbourg is historically, with the Arsenal and the port, the main focus of labour and trades unions of the department of Manche. However, the Cherbourg workers do not lean towards radical or revolutionary movements, nor to yellow unionism, traditionally preferring the reformist tendencies. These choices are reflected politically into a strong center-left anchor, dominated by Socialist-radicals and independent Socialists, before whom the SFIO and the Socialist Party are not imposed. [92] Since the Liberation, with the exception of a Gaullist period of 18 years with Jacques Hébert following René Schmitt's [fr] death, the city of Cherbourg has voted in favour Socialist forces.

Similarly, the right won the town hall of Octeville in 1989, for a term, by the division of the left. Since the redrawing of the electoral district of Cherbourg in 1986, covering the urban population of the agglomeration and the rural district of the Canton of Saint-Pierre-Église [fr] , the left-right alternation is the rule in every legislative election.

Presidential elections, results of the second rounds

    [93] (77.28% participation): 60.00% for François Hollande (PS, elected), 40.00% for Nicolas Sarkozy (UMP). [94] (83.27% participation): 52.03% for Ségolène Royal (PS), 47.97% for Nicolas Sarkozy (UMP, elected). [95] (76.82% participation): 86,81% for Jacques Chirac (RPR, elected), 13.19% for Jean-Marie Le Pen (FN).

Parliamentary elections, results of the second rounds (1 round, unique for 2012)

    [96] (54.48% participation), candidates who have collected more than 5% of the vote: 56.57% to Bernard Cazeneuve (PS, elected), 39.23% David Margueritte (UMP), 8.80% for Jean-Jacques Christmas (FN), 5.55% for Ralph Lejamtel (EELV). [97] (61.28% participation): 60.77% for Bernard Cazeneuve (PS, elected), 39.23% Jean Lemière [fr] (UMP). [98] (62.49% participation): 50.78% for Bernard Cazeneuve (PS), 49.22% for Jean Lemière (UMP, elected).

European elections, results of the two scores or more than 15%

    [99] (41.70% participation): 20.59% for Jérôme Lavrilleux [fr] (UMP), 20.38% for Gilles Pargneaux (PS-PRG), 19.85% for Marine Le Pen (FN). (37.63% participation): 24.98% for Dominique Riquet (UMP), 22.51% for Gilles Pargneaux (PS), 14.2% for Hélène Flautre (Europe Écologie). [100] (40.81% participation): 37.75% for Henri Weber (PS), 16.74% for Tokia Saïfi (UMP). [101] (45.52% participation): Cherbourg, 25.12% for François Hollande (PS), 13.98% to Charles Pasqua (RPF), 12.54% for Nicolas Sarkozy, 45.09% of participation Octeville 29.79% for François Hollande (PS), 11.55% for Charles Pasqua (FPN), 8.08% for Nicolas Sarkozy.
    [102] (61.90% participation): 58,27% for Philippe Duron (PS), 31.06% for René Garrec (UMP), 10.67% for Fernand Le Rachinel (FN). [103] (53.71% participation): Cherbourg 42.06% for Jean-Pierre Godefroy (PS), 18.13% for Pierre Aguiton [fr] (UDF), 51.08% participation. Octeville 44.33% for Jean-Pierre Godefroy (PS), 15.50% for Pierre Aguiton (UDF).
    : Canton of Cherbourg-Octeville-Sud-Ouest 54.43% for Michel Lerenard (PS), 15.37% for Alain Estève (DVD), 53.22% of participation [104]Canton of Cherbourg-Octeville-Nord-Ouest 63.03% for Jean-Michel Houllegatte (PS), 36.97% for Jean Lemière [fr] , 39.32% participation [105] : [106]Canton of Cherbourg-Octeville-Sud-Est, 65.69% for Michel Louiset (PS), 34.31% for M Héry, 59.04% participation. : [107] Canton of Cherbourg-Nord-Ouest (2nd round), 56.15% for Jean Lemière, 43.85% for Jean-Michel Houllegatte, 52.35% of participation Canton of Cherbourg-Octeville-Sud-Ouest (1st round), 53.12% for Michel Lerenard, 25.29% for Guillemeau, 52.28% participation. : [108] Canton of Cherbourg-Sud-Est, 65.76% for Michel Louiset, 34.24 percent Ponthou, 41.5% participation.
    : [109] 39.19% for Jean-Michel Houllegatte (PS), 34.06% for David Margueritte (UMP), 15.56% for Jean Levallois (DVD), 11.17% for Ralph Lejamtel (FG), 52.28% participation. : [110] 66.82% for Bernard Cazeneuve (PS), 19.64% for Jean Lemière [fr] (UMP), 13.55% for Hervé Corbin (dissident UMP), 55.48% of participation. : [111] 55.09% for Bernard Cazeneuve, 23.98% for Jean Lemière, 55.57% participation.
    : [112] 43.39% for Yes, 56.61% for No, 68.95% participation.
  • Local referendum on the Grand Cherbourg: [66] Cherbourg 83.72% for Yes Octeville 55.88% for Yes.

List of mayors Edit

With the merging of the municipal councils of Cherbourg and Octeville on 1 March 2000, Jean-Pierre Godefroy (PS), the Mayor of Cherbourg, took the helm of the new administration, and Bernard Cazeneuve (PS), Mayor of Octeville, became the first Deputy. Bernard Cazeneuve was elected Mayor of Cherbourg-Octeville during the 2001 municipal election, and re-elected in March 2008 with 66.82% of the vote. Appointed Minister Delegate for European Affairs in May 2012, he gave way to Jean-Michel Houllegatte the following month. The latter was re-elected following the victory of his list with 51.81% at the second round of the 2014 municipal election.

List of mayors of Cherbourg-Octeville [113]
Start End Name Party Other details
March 2000 March 2001 Jean-Pierre Godefroy PS Technician
March 2001 23 June 2012 Bernard Cazeneuve PS Lawyer
23 June 2012 In progress Jean-Michel Houllegatte [114] PS Territorial official

Municipal administration Edit

The municipal council is composed of 39 members including the mayor and eleven assistants. [115] Thirty Councillors represent a leftist majority, nine represent the opposition. [115]

Budget Edit

The main initial budget for 2007 amounted to €73,994,364, divided between the operating section (€54,126,712) and investment section (€19,867,652). [116] Personnel expenses exceeded half (60%) of operating expenses. Almost all of the resources were fuelled by grants (49%) and tax (44%). [117] Of the seven budgets of the municipal mandate (2001-2007), this budget increased overall by 22% (43% for investments, 15% for operation). [118]

The investment budget is included in the multiannual programme "Unite the city" (2003-2007), presented in December 2002 by Bernard Cazeneuve. It sees a transformation of the newly amalgamated city through refurbishment of the pool and Port Chantereyne, development of the Bassins zone, filling the retaining channel, and the construction of the sailing school. [119] It is mainly financed by borrowing, increasing the debt of the city (the charges multiplied by two-thirds between 2002 and 2007), lower than the average per capita of the stratum. [120]


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Comments:

  1. Gerlach

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  2. Bob

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  3. Mizahn

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