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Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (French pronunciation: ​, lit.: Saint Marys of the Sea; Provençal Occitan: Li Santi Mario de la Mar) is the capital of the Camargue (Provençal Occitan Camarga) in the south of France. It is a commune in the Bouches-du-Rhône department by the Mediterranean Sea. Its 2012 population was 2,495, though it can swell to 500,000 during the summer holidays. It covers the second-largest area of all communes in Metropolitan France, smaller only than that of neighbouring Arles.

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
Aerial view of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
Coat of arms
Location of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
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Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
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Coordinates:43°27′10″N4°25′43″E /43.4528°N 4.4286°E /43.4528; 4.4286Coordinates: 43°27′10″N4°25′43″E /43.4528°N 4.4286°E /43.4528; 4.4286
CountryFrance
RegionProvence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
DepartmentBouches-du-Rhône
ArrondissementArles
CantonArles
IntercommunalityCA Arles-Crau-Camargue-Montagnette
Government
• Mayor(2021–2026)Christelle Aillet
Area
1
374.61 km2 (144.64 sq mi)
Population
(Jan. 2018)
2,157
• Density5.8/km2 (15/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
• Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
13096 /13460
Elevation0–6 m (0–20 ft)
(avg. 4 m or 13 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
Fortified church of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
Ritual bath during the Romani pilgrimage of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.

Contents

The town is situated in the Rhône river delta, about 1 km east of the mouth of the Petit Rhône distributary. The commune comprises alluvial land and marshland, and includes the Étang de Vaccarès, a large lagoon. The main industry is tourism. Agriculture is also significant, and ranchers have raised horses and cattle unique to the Camargue; some of the bulls are used for bull-fighting and for the course camarguaise. There is bus service to Arles, 38 km away.

The village was noted as "Ra" (see below) in the 4th century AD by the Roman geographer Rufus Festus Avienus. In the 6th century, the archbishopric of Arles was active and created a monastery or church in the town, named St. Mary, a favorite of the fishermen. The village became known as Notre-Dame-de-Ratis (Our Lady of the Boat - being used in ratis, or boat) in reference to the three Marys arriving by boat. (Droit, 1963, 19). The name was later changed to Notre-Dame-de-la-Mer (Our Lady of the Sea, a synonym for the Virgin Mary).

The current Church of the Saintes Maries de la Mer was built from the 9th to the 12th century, as a fortress and a refuge. It can be seen from 10 km away. It has a fresh water well inside, for when the villagers had to take shelter from raiders. In the 9th century, the town suffered raids from the Mediterranean Sea by the Vikings and later from the Saracens. In the 15th century, someone "discovered" the relics of Mary of Clopas and Mary Salome, who were said to have arrived there by sea (together with Mary Magdalene). The 500th anniversary of this event was celebrated in the 20th century by Pope John XXIII.

In 1720, the town was spared by the plague. During the anti-clerical fervor of the French Revolution, the church was partially destroyed and the stones recycled.

In 1838, the town was renamed Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, after the three Maries (Marys) of its Catholic and local history. Shortly afterward, the pilgrimage (see below) was instituted. A narrow-gauge railway line to Arles operated from 1892 until 1953.

In 1888, Van Gogh made several paintings of the seascape and the town. In the early 20th century, the town was a literary and artistic center, with visits inter alios from such figures as American writer Ernest Hemingway and Spanish painter Picasso. The vicinity was used as a setting for various films.

Since the second half of the 20th century, the population has increased. Retired people and holiday accommodation largely supplanted the fishermen and farmers, with a corresponding political shift to the right in elections.

See also: The Three Marys

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, an ancient town in the marshes of the Camargue, where the Rhône meets the Mediterranean Sea, is named after The Three Marys — in French, Marie Madeleine, Marie Salomé and Marie de Cléophas —, a group of three women closely linked to Jesus, as according to the gospels they came to his sepulchre three days after the Crucifixion and were the first witnesses of his Resurrection. The designation "de-la-Mer" (of the sea) derives from a medieval tradition that after Jesus' Resurrection, The Three Marys escaped the Christian persecution in Palestine and travelled across the sea by boat, living in the Camargue the rest of their lives and helping to bring Christianity to France.

The three saints Mary Magdalene, Mary Salome and Mary of Clopas are believed to be the women who were the first witnesses to the empty tomb at the resurrection of Jesus. After the Crucifixion of Jesus, the Marys were said to set sail from Alexandria, Egypt with their uncle Joseph of Arimathea. According to a longstanding French legend, they either sailed to or were cast adrift - arriving off the coast of what is now France, at "a sort of fortress named Oppidum-Râ". The location became known as "Our Lady of the Boat" (French: Nôtre-Dame-de-Ratis) - being used in ratis, or boat). The name was later changed to Notre-Dame-de-la-Mer. In 1838, it was changed to Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.

Today, aside from being a working class summer beach destination with a picturesque Romanesque fortress-church, Church of the Saintes Maries de la Mer, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is known in France for the celebrations it holds for each Mary's feast, in May and October. The feast days in May draw large numbers of Roma Catholics and others from France and beyond — typically 25,000-40,000 people all together — to the town for a week. The high points at that feast include a ritual when a painted reliquary chest, said to contain the bones of the Saintes Maries, is ceremoniously lowered from its high perch to the altar for veneration, and when the crypt is left open so that the statue of another figure, the Roma's own Saint Sarah, can be honored. On successive days, Romas and a large crowd process statues of Sara and the Saintes Maries from the church to the beach, carrying them right into the sea.

The Roma pilgrimage for the dark-skinned Saint Sara is said to have possibly been the Egyptian servant of the three Marys. In another version, Sara was a local woman who welcomed the three Marys on their arrival. A statue of Sarah is in the crypt of the church, which also encloses a 4th-century BC taurobolic altar once dedicated to the cult of the Indo-Iranian god Mithras, although a likely Celtic origin is claimed.

Historical population
YearPop.±%
17931,000
1800644−35.6%
1806783+21.6%
1821530−32.3%
1831543+2.5%
1836837+54.1%
1841910+8.7%
1846669−26.5%
18511,013+51.4%
18561,083+6.9%
18611,000−7.7%
18661,006+0.6%
1872951−5.5%
1876926−2.6%
1881918−0.9%
18861,159+26.3%
18911,025−11.6%
18961,446+41.1%
YearPop.±%
19011,531+5.9%
19061,439−6.0%
19111,413−1.8%
19211,352−4.3%
19261,567+15.9%
19311,723+10.0%
19361,564−9.2%
19461,687+7.9%
19542,207+30.8%
19622,179−1.3%
19682,244+3.0%
19752,120−5.5%
19822,045−3.5%
19902,232+9.1%
19992,479+11.1%
20082,294−7.5%
20122,495+8.8%
View of Saintes-Maries by Vincent van Gogh, 1888, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands (F416).
  • Arènes des Saintes Maries de la Mer is a prominent bullfighting ring, staging festivals throughout the summer.
  • The windsurfing Canal (Canal de Vitesse) where 8 Outright World Sailing Speed Records were set between 1988 and 2009 is on the outskirts of the town. The first by British speed windsurfer Erik Beale 40.48 knots and last by French windsurfing legend Antoine Albeau at 49.09 in 2009.
  • Vincent van Gogh painted several paintings here, including Street in Saintes-Maries in 1888.
  • Hermann-Paul died here in 1940, two days before the French capitulation to Germany in the Battle of France.
  • Tori Amos wrote a song, "Marys of the Sea", inspired by Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, most notably Mary Magdalene.
  • Mick Softley wrote a song called "Just Flew In On A Jet Plane," featured on his Sunrise/Streetsinger album, in which he refers to flying "from Montpelier, from the festival of gypsies, at Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, and in a church in the village, 1000 candles glow, for Magdalene of the sea, from 2000 years ago".
  • Bob Dylan claimed to have composed the song "One more cup of coffee," included on his album Desire while visiting the Roma festival in 1975 on his 34th birthday.
  • Czon the Swedish artist did a portrait of Sara La Kali here 2018.
  • CocoRosie's Sierra and Bianca Casady have created several albums at their mother's farm in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.
  1. "Répertoire national des élus: les maires". data.gouv.fr, Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 9 August 2021.
  2. "Populations légales 2018". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2020.
  3. Landy, Thomas M. (23 May 2018). "Gypsy and Camarguaise Catholics in France honor the Saintes Maries and Ste. Sara with processions to the sea". Catholics & Cultures. Retrieved2018-05-28.
  4. (Droit, 1963, 19)
  5. "Saintes Marie de la Mer: The Church". Office of Tourism. Retrieved2013-12-06.
  6. Wineyard, Val. "Saintes Maries de la Mer". I Write about Mary Magdalene. Retrieved2015-01-13.
  7. "Arènes de Saintes Maries de la Mer : organisation de sepectacle". www.arenesdessaintesmariesdelamer.com (in French). Retrieved14 October 2018.
  8. "Biou and Toros Feria, Camargue". www.saintesmaries.com. Office de Tourisme des Saintes-Maries de la Mer. Retrieved14 October 2018.
  9. "500 Metre".
  10. Droit, Michel. (1963). Carmague. Ernest and Adair Heimann (trans.). London: George Allen and Unwin.
  11. Letter, BJorner website. Note: At a concert (Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California, 13 November 1978), he introduced the song thus: "Thank you. I once went to the South of France on my birthday to a festival of gypsies down there. They had come from all over the world. Anyway, I got mixed up with someone and wrote this song."
  12. "Czon & Underground will take over: Min vän: Romernas Skyddshelgon Sara la Kali, Sara e Kali, Svarta Sara, Saint Sarah - i Saintes Maries-de la Mar". 2018.
  13. "CocoRosie: A Ghost is Stillborn"(PDF). CMJ. Retrieved2021-08-03.
Wikimedia Commons has media related toLes Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
Saintes Maries de la Mer Language Watch Edit Saintes Maries de la Mer French pronunciation sɛ t maʁi de la mɛʁ lit Saint Marys of the Sea Provencal Occitan Li Santi Mario de la Mar is the capital of the Camargue Provencal Occitan Camarga in the south of France It is a commune in the Bouches du Rhone department by the Mediterranean Sea Its 2012 population was 2 495 though it can swell to 500 000 during the summer holidays It covers the second largest area of all communes in Metropolitan France smaller only than that of neighbouring Arles Saintes Maries de la MerCommuneAerial view of Saintes Maries de la MerCoat of armsLocation of Saintes Maries de la MerSaintes Maries de la MerShow map of FranceSaintes Maries de la MerShow map of Provence Alpes Cote d AzurCoordinates 43 27 10 N 4 25 43 E 43 4528 N 4 4286 E 43 4528 4 4286 Coordinates 43 27 10 N 4 25 43 E 43 4528 N 4 4286 E 43 4528 4 4286CountryFranceRegionProvence Alpes Cote d AzurDepartmentBouches du RhoneArrondissementArlesCantonArlesIntercommunalityCA Arles Crau Camargue MontagnetteGovernment Mayor 2021 2026 Christelle Aillet 1 Area1374 61 km2 144 64 sq mi Population Jan 2018 2 2 157 Density5 8 km2 15 sq mi Time zoneUTC 01 00 CET Summer DST UTC 02 00 CEST INSEE Postal code13096 13460Elevation0 6 m 0 20 ft avg 4 m or 13 ft 1 French Land Register data which excludes lakes ponds glaciers gt 1 km2 0 386 sq mi or 247 acres and river estuaries Fortified church of Saintes Maries de la Mer Ritual bath during the Romani pilgrimage of Saintes Maries de la Mer Contents 1 Geography 2 History 3 Religion 4 Population 5 Sport 6 Notable figures 7 See also 8 References 9 External linksGeography EditThe town is situated in the Rhone river delta about 1 km east of the mouth of the Petit Rhone distributary The commune comprises alluvial land and marshland and includes the Etang de Vaccares a large lagoon The main industry is tourism Agriculture is also significant and ranchers have raised horses and cattle unique to the Camargue some of the bulls are used for bull fighting and for the course camarguaise There is bus service to Arles 38 km away History EditThe village was noted as Ra see below in the 4th century AD by the Roman geographer Rufus Festus Avienus In the 6th century the archbishopric of Arles was active and created a monastery or church in the town named St Mary a favorite of the fishermen The village became known as Notre Dame de Ratis Our Lady of the Boat Ra being used in ratis or boat in reference to the three Marys arriving by boat Droit 1963 19 The name was later changed to Notre Dame de la Mer Our Lady of the Sea a synonym for the Virgin Mary The current Church of the Saintes Maries de la Mer was built from the 9th to the 12th century as a fortress and a refuge It can be seen from 10 km away It has a fresh water well inside for when the villagers had to take shelter from raiders In the 9th century the town suffered raids from the Mediterranean Sea by the Vikings and later from the Saracens In the 15th century someone discovered the relics of Mary of Clopas and Mary Salome who were said to have arrived there by sea together with Mary Magdalene The 500th anniversary of this event was celebrated in the 20th century by Pope John XXIII In 1720 the town was spared by the plague During the anti clerical fervor of the French Revolution the church was partially destroyed and the stones recycled In 1838 the town was renamed Saintes Maries de la Mer after the three Maries Marys of its Catholic and local history Shortly afterward the pilgrimage see below was instituted A narrow gauge railway line to Arles operated from 1892 until 1953 In 1888 Van Gogh made several paintings of the seascape and the town In the early 20th century the town was a literary and artistic center with visits inter alios from such figures as American writer Ernest Hemingway and Spanish painter Picasso The vicinity was used as a setting for various films Since the second half of the 20th century the population has increased Retired people and holiday accommodation largely supplanted the fishermen and farmers with a corresponding political shift to the right in elections Religion EditSee also The Three Marys Saintes Maries de la Mer an ancient town in the marshes of the Camargue where the Rhone meets the Mediterranean Sea is named after The Three Marys in French Marie Madeleine Marie Salome and Marie de Cleophas a group of three women closely linked to Jesus as according to the gospels they came to his sepulchre three days after the Crucifixion and were the first witnesses of his Resurrection The designation de la Mer of the sea derives from a medieval tradition that after Jesus Resurrection The Three Marys escaped the Christian persecution in Palestine and travelled across the sea by boat living in the Camargue the rest of their lives and helping to bring Christianity to France 3 The three saints Mary Magdalene Mary Salome and Mary of Clopas are believed to be the women who were the first witnesses to the empty tomb at the resurrection of Jesus After the Crucifixion of Jesus the Marys were said to set sail from Alexandria Egypt with their uncle Joseph of Arimathea According to a longstanding French legend they either sailed to or were cast adrift arriving off the coast of what is now France at a sort of fortress named Oppidum Ra The location became known as Our Lady of the Boat French Notre Dame de Ratis Ra being used in ratis or boat 4 The name was later changed to Notre Dame de la Mer In 1838 it was changed to Les Saintes Maries de la Mer Today aside from being a working class summer beach destination with a picturesque Romanesque fortress church Church of the Saintes Maries de la Mer Saintes Maries de la Mer is known in France for the celebrations it holds for each Mary s feast in May and October The feast days in May draw large numbers of Roma Catholics and others from France and beyond typically 25 000 40 000 people all together to the town for a week The high points at that feast include a ritual when a painted reliquary chest said to contain the bones of the Saintes Maries is ceremoniously lowered from its high perch to the altar for veneration and when the crypt is left open so that the statue of another figure the Roma s own Saint Sarah can be honored On successive days Romas and a large crowd process statues of Sara and the Saintes Maries from the church to the beach carrying them right into the sea 3 The Roma pilgrimage for the dark skinned Saint Sara is said to have possibly been the Egyptian servant of the three Marys In another version Sara was a local woman who welcomed the three Marys on their arrival A statue of Sarah is in the crypt of the church which also encloses a 4th century BC taurobolic altar once dedicated to the cult of the Indo Iranian god Mithras 5 although a likely Celtic origin is claimed 6 Population EditHistorical populationYearPop 17931 000 1800644 35 6 1806783 21 6 1821530 32 3 1831543 2 5 1836837 54 1 1841910 8 7 1846669 26 5 18511 013 51 4 18561 083 6 9 18611 000 7 7 18661 006 0 6 1872951 5 5 1876926 2 6 1881918 0 9 18861 159 26 3 18911 025 11 6 18961 446 41 1 YearPop 19011 531 5 9 19061 439 6 0 19111 413 1 8 19211 352 4 3 19261 567 15 9 19311 723 10 0 19361 564 9 2 19461 687 7 9 19542 207 30 8 19622 179 1 3 19682 244 3 0 19752 120 5 5 19822 045 3 5 19902 232 9 1 19992 479 11 1 20082 294 7 5 20122 495 8 8 Sport Edit View of Saintes Maries by Vincent van Gogh 1888 Kroller Muller Museum Otterlo Netherlands F416 Arenes des Saintes Maries de la Mer is a prominent bullfighting ring staging festivals throughout the summer 7 8 The windsurfing Canal Canal de Vitesse where 8 Outright World Sailing Speed Records were set between 1988 and 2009 is on the outskirts of the town The first by British speed windsurfer Erik Beale 40 48 knots and last by French windsurfing legend Antoine Albeau at 49 09 in 2009 9 Notable figures EditVincent van Gogh painted several paintings here including Street in Saintes Maries in 1888 Hermann Paul died here in 1940 two days before the French capitulation to Germany in the Battle of France Tori Amos wrote a song Marys of the Sea inspired by Saintes Maries de la Mer most notably Mary Magdalene 10 Mick Softley wrote a song called Just Flew In On A Jet Plane featured on his Sunrise Streetsinger album in which he refers to flying from Montpelier from the festival of gypsies at Les Saintes Maries de la Mer and in a church in the village 1000 candles glow for Magdalene of the sea from 2000 years ago Bob Dylan claimed to have composed the song One more cup of coffee included on his album Desire while visiting the Roma festival in 1975 on his 34th birthday 11 Czon the Swedish artist did a portrait of Sara La Kali here 2018 12 CocoRosie s Sierra and Bianca Casady have created several albums at their mother s farm in Saintes Maries de la Mer 13 See also EditCommunes of the Bouches du Rhone department Bac du Sauvage MyrrhbearersReferences Edit Repertoire national des elus les maires data gouv fr Plateforme ouverte des donnees publiques francaises in French 9 August 2021 Populations legales 2018 The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies 28 December 2020 a b Landy Thomas M 23 May 2018 Gypsy and Camarguaise Catholics in France honor the Saintes Maries and Ste Sara with processions to the sea Catholics amp Cultures Retrieved 2018 05 28 Droit 1963 19 Saintes Marie de la Mer The Church Office of Tourism Retrieved 2013 12 06 Wineyard Val Saintes Maries de la Mer I Write about Mary Magdalene Retrieved 2015 01 13 Arenes de Saintes Maries de la Mer organisation de sepectacle www arenesdessaintesmariesdelamer com in French Retrieved 14 October 2018 Biou and Toros Feria Camargue www saintesmaries com Office de Tourisme des Saintes Maries de la Mer Retrieved 14 October 2018 500 Metre Droit Michel 1963 Carmague Ernest and Adair Heimann trans London George Allen and Unwin Letter BJorner website Note At a concert Alameda County Coliseum Oakland California 13 November 1978 he introduced the song thus Thank you I once went to the South of France on my birthday to a festival of gypsies down there They had come from all over the world Anyway I got mixed up with someone and wrote this song Czon amp Underground will take over Min van Romernas Skyddshelgon Sara la Kali Sara e Kali Svarta Sara Saint Sarah i Saintes Maries de la Mar 2018 CocoRosie A Ghost is Stillborn PDF CMJ Retrieved 2021 08 03 External links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Les Saintes Maries de la Mer Tourism office website CatholicsandCultures website Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Saintes Maries de la Mer amp oldid 1038405278, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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