André Diedrich

Enthusiasm for heritage

« Ile de Ré reveals its hidden charms to those who tune into it »

Born in Saint-Martin-de-Ré and returning to live there in his retirement, ever since he was 17 years old André Diedrich has been a passionate collector of postcards and old photos, of which he has an impressive collection which numbers some 12,000 items.

What is your personal attachment to Ile de Ré ?

I was born in Saint-Martin-de-Ré. My father worked in Vert Clos as an oyster farmer and my mother was a teacher at the girls’ school. I stayed on Ile de Ré until I was 11, before moving to the Paris area for family reasons. I returned to the island regularly for my holidays.

Do you have a favourite time of the year on Ile de Ré ?

I love Ile de Ré, so I love all of its seasons. I really adore the spring – its smells, its flowers, the meadows and the cycle paths – but I also love the autumn. In the spring and the autumn the climate here is gentle and the colours of nature are extraordinary.

Is there a magical place on Ré that you won't find anywhere else ?

I really like Saint-Martin-de-Ré because I know it so well and visit it throughout the year, I enjoy walking around the salt marshes, on the beaches and in the villages;

I’m always looking out for new things, and you can always discover them if you tune into your surroundings. Whether I’m in a town or village or on one of my walks in the heart of nature, I like to rediscover the island’s beauty all the time.

How would you describe Ile de Ré in just a few words ?

Ile de Ré is worth discovering, it has a lot to offer, and it has many hidden surprises besides the typical tourist attractions. You have to tune into the island to get the most out of it.