Au détour des venelles de La Couarde-sur-Mer
Walking/pedestrian in La Couarde-sur-Mer
Warning: Unsecured hours
While exploring the narrow streets of our village, discover the origin of the names of its streets.
Général de Gaulle, Jean Jaurès, Émile Zola… These street names associated with historical figures exist in a great number of French towns. But the streets of La Couarde sur Mer are historical ones too! Together with the Rétais dialect and the history of Île de Ré, the street names will hold no secrets for you!
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1 DEPARTURE : TOURIST OFFICE
Follow the street ‘Rue des Terroirs’ and walk across ‘Rue de la Motte’.
2 STEP 1 : RUE DE LA MOTTE
Continue along the small street ‘Rue de la Plage’ and bear right into ‘Rue des Passeroses’.
3 STEP 2 : RUE DES PASSEROSES
Turn left, continue along ‘Grande Rue’, and bear right into ‘Avenue du Moulin des Sables’.
4 STEP 3 : AVENUE DU MOULIN DES SABLES
Bear right into the street ‘Rue de l’Océan’. Have a look at ‘Rue des Ragoteries’ on the left.
5 STEP 4 : RUE DES RAGOTERIES
Continue along ‘Rue de l’Océan’ and have a look at ‘Rue de Beauregard’ on the left.
6 STEP 5 : RUE DE BEAUREGARD
Bear right into the street ‘Rue Roger Delteil’ and discover ‘Venelle de la Magayante’ on the left.
7 STEP 6 : VENELLE DE LA MAGAYANTE
Numerous fishermen used to live in that part of the village.
Magayant is the former name of the foreshore (estran in French) - the part of the land next to the sea that is between the limits reached by high and low tide. A magayant or a magayante is also by extension the name given to the person fishing from the shore in Île de Ré.
Walk up the street ‘Rue du Ventoux’ facing ‘Rue Roger Delteil’.
8 STEP 7 : RUE DU VENTOUX
Anecdote: in 1709, the inhabitants of the village of La Couarde were called ‘sorciers’. Apart from the mocking attitude, the name was indeed a reflection of the inhabitants’ major character trait.
In fact, the inhabitants of Les Portes en Ré were called ‘Saboureaux’ (small rose-coloured fish with a poisonous thorn on the back); the inhabitants of Saint-Clément-des-Baleines ‘Sauvages’; the inhabitants of Loix ‘Potets; the inhabitants of Bois-Plage ‘Loups’; the inhabitants of Saint-Martin ‘Faquins; the inhabitants of La Flotte ‘Marochons’ (tool used to separate oysters from rocks); the inhabitants of Sainte-Marie ‘Bourrins’, and the inhabitants of Rivedoux were first called ‘Mahométins’ and then ‘Riffins’ (around 1930).
Those names are no more in use except for the inhabitants of the village of Ars who are called ‘Casserons’ (small cuttlefish).
Then bear right into ‘Cours des Poilus’.
9 STEP 8 : COURS DES POILUS
Discover the history of the War Memorial with the tour ‘Découverte de La Couarde sur Mer’.
Turn left and discover the small street ‘Rue du Pont’.
10 STEP 9 : PETITE RUE DU PONT
Continue straight ahead and follow the street ‘Rue du Vieux Marais’.
11 STEP 10 : RUE DU VIEUX MARAIS
Turn right, and then left. Discover the small street ‘Rue de La Raigon’.
12 STEP 11 : PETITE RUE DE LA RAIGON
During the Ancien Régime, the hamlet was divided into at least four districts: ‘Village’, ‘Dizaines de La Raigon’ (or ‘L’Aragon), ‘La Chapelle’ or ‘La Moizandière”. Then, in the 18th century, it was made up of three delimited urban areas – ‘La Raigon’, ‘La Doux’ and ‘La Couarde’. The name would derive from the Spanish ‘Aragon’.
A waterway, also called ‘La Raigon’, could dry out the place towards Les Marattes in the 13th century.
Therefore the name of La Raigon has been used with different meanings over the years.
To reach ‘Rue des Tuileries’, walk up ‘Rue Charles de Gaulle’ and then ‘Rue des Garennes’. Once you have come to ‘Rue des Tuileries’, discover ‘Venelle du Vieux Chai’ on the right.
13 STEP 12 : VENELLE DU VIEUX CHAI
This venelle sheltered a wine warehouse. However no vestige can be found nowadays.
In terms of viticulture, the wine warehouse is the place where vinification (all the processes of converting grape juice into wine) takes place. Some of these steps are necessary such as alcoholic fermentation, and others are used to mature the wine profile as far as aroma and taste are concerned. At the beginning of the 20th century, the economy of the village was based on the growing of grapes whose produce was exported from the port of Saint Martin.
Continue along ‘Rue des Tuileries’, turn left and follow ‘Venelle du Vieux Bourg’.
14 STEP 13 : VENELLE DU VIEUX BOURG
Do you want to know more about our village? Experience the “discovery tour” and join the guided visit of the village every Friday at 11am.
Further details and registrations at Tourist Office 0033 (0)5 46 29 82 93
- 9 meters of difference in height