Port de Saint Martin vue du haut @Lesley Williamson.JPG

Quizz - Petits Pas à Saint-Martin

Walking/pedestrian in Saint-Martin-de-Ré

1.0 km
  • Let’s explore the various faces of the village of Saint-Martin-de-Ré...

  • Let’s explore the various faces of the village of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, its harbour with its 2 docks, and the typical narrow streets steeped with history. Let’s discover this exceptional heritage thanks to the circuit “Visit of Saint-Martin-de-Ré” (approx. 1h) with tour of Vauban’s fortifications.
  • Difference in height
    13.26 m
  • Documentation
    GPX / KML files allow you to export the trail of your hike to your GPS (or other navigation tool)
Points of interest
1 Departure : Tourist Office
You have now reached Saint-Martin Tourist Office. Set out for the village designed by Vauban. At different points of the route you will come upon an asterisk * which means that the words or expressions will be defined under the heading “Tip”. Now, let’s go!
2 Harbour
3 Harbour - To learn more...
Monks developed the island’s first economy by planting grapevines in the 12th and 13th centuries. Today 650 hectares of vineyards produce 30 to 35 hectolitres of wine per hectare, that is to say about 2 million bottles per year. Salt was also one the exported riches. Up to 30,000 tonnes of “white gold” were harvested at the beginning of last century.

Today, the marina comprises 2 docks: the first one directly linked to the sea and the second one – a wet dock- filled with water 24 hours a day. It can accommodate over 200 boats.
4 Convict’s Map
5 Convict’s Map - To learn more...
A convict* was a prisoner detained in the citadel of Saint-Martin-de-Ré between 1873 and 1938. He painted this map whilst in was in detention.

Convicts (prisoners) were sent from the harbour of Saint-Martin to New Caledonia and Guyana. Île de Ré is 31km long and 5km wide (the narrowest part: 70m). It comprises 10 villages and Saint-Martin-de-Ré is its historic capital.

* Tip: A convict is a man sentenced to galleys or hard labour in penal colonies, a prisoner.
6 Sculptures
7 Sculptures - To learn more...
The skull was sculpted by M. Thézard in order to express his discontentment and hatred of World War Two and its atrocities.
8 Church
We don’t know exactly when the church was built. We only know that in 1610 it was already in ruins.

The church was destroyed several times over centuries. First, in 1627, when the town was besieged by the English forces, Maréchal de Thoiras (Île de Ré’s defender) commanded his troops to demolish the steeples of the church in order to prevent the enemy from installing their cannons… In 1696, the Dutch forces launched over 3,000 bombs in the direction of Saint-Martin, and consequently destroy over 300 houses and the church. In 1694, a fire started and the framework and the choir* were completely destroyed.

In spite of the numerous damages, the inhabitants will inexorably try to rebuild and renovate what remains the only Catholic place of worship today.

* Tip: In architecture, the choir, from Greek, khoros, meaning a group of singers, is the area of a church where clergy and members of the liturgical or Gregorian choir may stand either in a cathedral or in a church.
9 Place de la République
This square was built by Vauban in 1685 and replaces the former Catholic cemetery. At that time, this place occupied a strategic position since it was equidistant from the harbour and the two gates to the town (Porte des Campani and Porte de Thoiras). In case of an attack, it permitted the quick deployment of soldiers. It was named successively ‘Place d’Armes’, ‘Place Louis XIV’, ‘Place Louis XV’, ‘Place Nationale’ and finally ‘Place de la République’.
10 Maison de la Vinatière
This half-timbered* house belonged to a wine merchant and there are a few indications of this. But what are they? First the red colour of the shutters remind of the colour of the wine. Then various elements of the façade symbolize grapevines: the statue, the frieze and the coat of arms with its Latin motto meaning “good wine improves man’s heart”.

* Tip: Half-timbered refers to buildings constructed of a timber frame, a house having exposed wood framing.
11 Arrival : Market
12 Le Marché - En savoir plus...
L’ancien bâtiment était un lieu de culte et fut rasé peu de temps après la Révocation de l’Edit de Nantes* (1685). Après deux siècles de tractations entre l’hospice (gestionnaire du bâtiment) et la commune, cette dernière reste la seule propriétaire du marché. Le marché couvert a donc été construit sur un ancien temple protestant rasé après la révocation de l’Edit de Nantes (1685).

* Coup de pouce : 1685, Révocation de l’Edit de Nantes : Par ce nouvel édit, le Roi-Soleil (Louis XIV) signifie qu'il n'y a plus de religion autorisée en France en-dehors de la religion catholique. C'est un coup dur pour la minorité protestante, encore assez nombreuse malgré les brimades et les persécutions antérieures.

Pour plus d'informations, tu peux te rendre à l'Office de Tourisme !
13 meters of difference in height
  • Start altitude : 5 m
  • End altitude : 3 m
  • Maximum altitude : 16 m
  • Minimum altitude : 3 m
  • Total positive elevation : 13 m
  • Total negative elevation : -15 m
  • Max positive elevation : 7 m
  • Min positive elevation : -13 m