60 Facts About Cherbourg


Cherbourg is protected by Cherbourg Harbour, between La Hague and Val de Saire, and the city has been a strategic position over the centuries, disputed between the English and French.

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Cherbourg is located at the northern tip of the Cotentin Peninsula, in the department of Manche, of which it is a subprefecture.

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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 and the Saint-Clement Church were built.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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 Cite de la Mer.

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Today, the Intercites Paris-Caen-Cherbourg line is the most profitable in its class with profit over €10 million per year despite numerous incidents and delays.

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Compagnie des transports de Cherbourg was created in 1896, connecting the Place de Tourlaville and the Place du Chateau by a tramway in Cherbourg, then to Urville.

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The argent means that Cherbourg was a second class city under the Empire.

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Today, the municipality of Cherbourg-Octeville uses a logo, entitled "mouette musicale" [musical seagull].

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In 870, Saint Clair, landing in Kent, was ordained priest of Cherbourg and established a hermitage in the surrounding forest.

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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.

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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.

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Cherbourg was not affected by the wind of the Reformation that divided Normandy, consolidated and heavily guarded by Matignon, Henry III thanked his defence against the troops of Montgomery, as lieutenant-general of Normandy and Governor of Cherbourg in 1578, and then marshal the following year.

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Cherbourg 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.

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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.

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Cherbourg became the place of arrival for equipment and the British and American troops, and for departure on leave and injuries.

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Cherbourg became the first port of migration in Europe, and Cunard Line, White Star Line and Red Star Line companies united to build the Hotel Atlantique [Atlantic Hotel] intended to receive emigrants before crossing.

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The Battle of Cherbourg was required to give the Allies a point of logistic support for human resupply and material of the troops.

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Cherbourg was returned to France by the Americans on 14 October 1945.

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Cherbourg, headed by former SFIO Minister Rene Schmitt, built much social housing.

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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.

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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.

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Norman language writer Alfred Rossel, a native of Cherbourg, composed many songs which form part of the heritage of the region.

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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.

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Cherbourg has 10 squares, 59 streets, 12 cul-de-sacs and 5 passages.

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

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Cherbourg had 43,000 inhabitants at the beginning of the 20th century.

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Cherbourg shipowners were absent from significant fishing, including that of cod on the banks of Newfoundland, which was a specialty of Granville.

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Cherbourg 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.

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Cherbourg's industry was then specialised in shipbuilding, as well as in lace-making and the manufacture of rope.

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The late 19th century saw Cherbourg develop an aviation industry, through the company of Felix du Temple, taken over in 1938 by Felix Amiot, another aviation pioneer for the aerospace company of Normandy.

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Cherbourg is the cradle of the Halley family and society, which became Promodes in the 1960s.

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Cherbourg economy derives a large part of its activities from its maritime position.

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Cherbourg indeed has four ports: A military port, a fishing port, a port of commerce and a marina.

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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.

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

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Since 1986, the fifth constituency of Manche, known as Cherbourg, covered the three cantons of Cherbourg-Octeville, and those of Equeurdreville-Hainneville, Saint-Pierre-Eglise and Tourlaville.

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Cherbourg-Octeville 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.

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Cherbourg is historically, with the Arsenal and the port, the main focus of labour and trades unions of the department of Manche.

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However, the Cherbourg workers do not lean towards radical or revolutionary movements, nor to yellow unionism, traditionally preferring the reformist tendencies.

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The correctional court closed after the Act of 17 February 1800 and Cherbourg was made a town and township of the Arrondissement of Valognes.

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Cherbourg-Octeville welcomes the School of the Military Applications of Atomic Energy and the National Institute of Science and Nuclear Technology - remains of the importance of the army in the city - while the School of the Quartermasters is located at Querqueville.

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In cycling, Cherbourg has been a city of arrival for the Tour de France on sixteen occasions: 1911 to 1914, from 1919 to 1929, and finally in 1986.

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Jeunesse sportive de Cherbourg has a male handball team in Pro D2 and a women's team in Nationale 3.

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Work of the seawall and the military port in Cherbourg led many soldiers and engineers, for whom this step was often an important moment in their career.

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Transatlantic port of the 20th century, Cherbourg saw Hollywood stars arrive, such as Charlie Chaplin, who organised his disembarkation in 1952 to a press conference in the gare maritime, critical of the McCarthyist America that he left.

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Cinema then gave Cherbourg another lasting reputation, through the images of Jacques Demy and music by Michel Legrand, in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

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Cherbourg restarted its carnival in the 1980s, heir of the Confrerie des Conards, similar to that of Rouen and Evreux.

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The archives of the maritime district of the Channel and the North Sea are grouped here, and the library of the Navy founded in 1836 in Cherbourg and specialising in maritime history with its 23,000 works.

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However, the most emblematic is undoubtedly The Umbrellas of Cherbourg directed by Jacques Demy, a story about Madame Emery and her 17-year-old daughter Genevieve who sell umbrellas at their tiny boutique.

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Yet long before, at the time of the splendor of the transatlantic liners, Cherbourg was a port of arrival, departure or transit for many stars, including Charlie Chaplin and Burt Lancaster, etc.

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Cherbourg population spoke le haguais, a variant of Cotentinais Norman, while having some specifics regarding the pronunciation of certain words.

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Cherbourg published his Chansonnettes normandes, among which Sus la me became an anthem of the Cotentin Peninsula.

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Le Boue-jaun a Cherbourg-based magazine, published his texts in Norman, and one of three popular Norman universities is based here.

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From 1464, the bakers of Cherbourg held Royal permission to develop their breads based on seawater, thus avoiding paying for the salt and the gabelle [salt tax].

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Cherbourg Harbour is the largest artificial harbour of the world.

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Yet Cherbourg remained a base of the first order of the National Navy, as the seat of the Maritime Prefecture of Manche and the North Sea and of the Maritime Gendarmerie grouping of Manche.

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