- Marans, Charente-Maritime
Town hall and church steeple Administration Country France Region Poitou-Charentes Department Charente-Maritime Arrondissement La Rochelle Canton Marans Mayor Bernard Ferrier
Statistics Elevation 0–13 m (0–43 ft)
(avg. 6 m/20 ft)
Land area1 82.49 km2 (31.85 sq mi) Population2 4,634 (2008) - Density 56 /km2 (150 /sq mi) INSEE/Postal code 17218/ 17230 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.
It is connected to La Rochelle by the Canal de Marans à la Rochelle. The inhabitants of Marans are known as marandais.
Marans is the most northern town in Charente-Maritime, and is sometimes considered to be the "gateway to Aunis", the former province in which it has always belonged since its creation.
Marans is a pleasant town on the river Sèvre niortaise which is a fishing port and a busy tourist trap. Being located north of La Rochelle, it has close relations with the latter to which it has much to owe for its rapid urban and economic growth.
The etymology of Marans is believed to be from the Latin, mare ante which means before the sea.
From the 7th century, monks settled in the Gulf, which had been drained by numerous canals.
In the 10th century, the first castle was built after the barbarian attacks. By the 11th century, a small market town had gathered around the castle and the priory of Saint-Etienne, depending on the Maillezais Cathedral. The octagonal bell-tower dates back to the 14th century. The priory was pillaged during the French Wars of Religion, and the rebuilding started in 1605.
In the 13th century, as well as the 16th century, the Benedictine monks would drain out the land by digging canals. The development of these lands greatly contributed to the enrichment of the town. During the reign of Henry IV of France, Dutch specialists helped in the work of the lands.
In 1307, the castle could hold 2000 soldiers and 300 to 400 horses in case of danger.
In 1589, Henry IV captured Marans after a 4 day siege. It was then used as a place of safety for the Protestants.
Between 1627 and 1628, during the Siege of La Rochelle, Louis XIII of France stayed at Marans. Cardinal Richelieu reassured the castle for fear of occupation by the reformed troops after the departure of the royal guards. The last towers were demolished in the 18th century.
In 1659, the Sire of Breuil, count of Marans, donated part of his castle for the building of a Capuchin convent.
The port for a long time specialised in the trade of grains, the Sèvre Niortaise being just as navigable as Niort at that time.
Marans was famous until the early twentieth century for the red bean of Marans and its fairs in honour of these specially local beans.
French Revolution to Contemporary France
The first municipal council (conseil municipal) was elected February 3, 1790. The temple at Saint-Étienne was made into a "Temple of Reason". In the 19th Century, the commune didn't want to begin conservation work (Mayor's letter of 1845 to the Prefect). In 1885, the municipal council decided to build a new church, and consequently the community started the clearing of the ruins of the priory in Saint-Étienne, keeping only the clocktower which had been decreed a historical monument in 1921.
Historical population of Marans, Charente-Maritime 1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851 1856 4400 3902 3764 3997 4041 4557 4713 4860 4645 4586 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896 1901 1906 4510 4534 4284 4527 4736 4927 4609 4515 4387 4459 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954 1962 1968 1975 4427 3828 3707 3575 3584 3377 3711 3680 3833 3987 1982 1990 1999 4289 4170 4375
Communes of the Canton of Marans Andilly | Charron | Longèves | Marans | Saint-Ouen-d'Aunis | Villedoux France | Poitou-Charentes | Charente-Maritime | Arrondissement of La Rochelle | Canton of Marans
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