Musée Paul Valéry, Cimetière marin
Photo 1 shows the western part of Sète and the direction to the Paul VALÉRY museum. He is a famous French writer, philosopher and poet. He was born in 1871 in Sète and died in Paris in 1945.
On the left, the famous cemetery of the city. It was named « Cimetière Saint Charles ». As Paul Valéry wrote in 1922 a famous poem entitled « le Cimetière marin », it was renamed that way after his death.
Photo 2. Another photo of the « cimetière marin »
Georges BRASSENS is another famous citizen of Sète. He was born in Sète in 1921, died in 1981 in a small village not far from Sète, Saint-Gély-du-Fesc. He has been buried in the« cimetière marin ». He is considered both as a singer, a songs writer and a poet. He wrote Supplique pour être enterré sur la plage de Sète”. Actually, he was not buried on the beach but in the Cimetière marin”, just above the beach.
Photo 3. From the Cimetière marin, you can climb to the top of Mont Saint Clair
Photo 4. On top of Mont Saint Clair, chapelle Notre Dame de la Salette stands just by the view point (photos from this view point in the first “things to do” tip of my page).
Phare Saint Louis
Photo 1. Phare Saint Louis (Saint Louis light House) stands at the end of “môle Saint Louis” (Saint Louis breakwater). It was built in 1690.
On the left the “Criée aux Poissons”, better seen on the next photo.
Photo 2. The “Criée aux Poissons” (fish market) has been built in 1970. It is a very busy place. Between 1500 and 3000 batches of fishes are sold every day. It is open for professionals only but visits can be organized by the Tourist Office upon previous booking.
Water jousts is a tradition in the whole Languedoc. However, the Sète jousts are the most popular. The first joust took place in 1666 to celebrate the foundation of the city and of the harbor.
The site of Sète’s Tourist office gives general information about the joutes.
However, if you want to learn more about the %L[www.joutes.com ]Joutes., they have their own special site.
Photo 1. Along the Canal Royal stands the statue of a player
Photo 2. The player stands bare feet on a wooden platform (named “tintaine”), 2 meters above sea level with a wooden shield (“pavois”) and a long spear (“lance”)
Photo 3. The tintaine is set at the rear of a boat, almost like on this photo.
Two rowing boats are playing at a time. Each boat is propelled by 10 rowers, There are strict rules but the idea is to make the opponent fall into the water.
- Water Sports
Maison Joseph EUZET, 17 quai Léopold Suquet
Photos 1 and 2. At 17 quai Léopold Suquet (formerly quai Noël Guignon) stand a house with carved grapes hanging everywhere in the front. It was the house of Joseph, Baptiste EUZET (1860-1945) a wealthy wine broker.
Photos 3 and 4 allow to view better the mosaic between level 2 and 3 with the name of Joseph Euzet, the Greek pattern border above the third level and the carved baskets full of grapes.
- Historical Travel
23, 24, 25 and 27 Quai Noël Guignon
Photo 1. At 23 quai Noël Guignon stands a1910-1920 neo-classical building. I have not got any information about it.
Photo 2. Next door, at 24 an 25 quai Noël Guignon stand two houses that looks a bit older (1880-1890). No information about them neither.
Photo 3. At 27 quai Noël Guignon stands another turn of the century building. No information about it neither.
- Historical Travel
11 quai Noël Guignon
11 quai Noël Guignon stand another amazing house. It obviously has been built later than the previous ones as it is in Art Nouveau style. Moreover, on top, a medallion bears : « ANNO 1910 »
Photo 1. The bottom of the building is not that impressive and it is difficult to look at, as there is little perspective.
Photo 2 shows at the upper level more décor with a colorful ceramic medallion.
Photo 3 and 4 are enlargements of the carvings. They allowed me to find that pinecones (or something looking like pinecones) were everywhere, from bottom to top. Are they really pinecones? I had a doubt, as the leaves do not look like pine needles. Finally, I feel that they are clumsily carved pine needles. In the center there is an odd looking caducea with 2 snakes and the initials AP. When the caducea has one snake, it is Esculape’s and deals with health. When it has two snakes, it is Hermes’s and deal with trade. This is here a Hermes’s caducea.
What does that all mean? Why so many pine cones? Trade of pinecones? That would be ridiculous and moreover, there are no pine forests in the neighborhood of Sète!
- Historical Travel
Monoprix, 7 quai de la Résistance
Photo 1. Monoprix building, 7 quai de la Résistance seems to have been built at the turn of the century. Until 2004, it was named Prisunic, which means exactly the same : one price !
I have found that Georges WYBO (1880-1943), a French architect, designed after 1931 more than a dozen Prisunic shops, all over France. However, I doubt that he has been the architect of Sète’s building, much older.
Photo 2 shows the central windows
Photo 3 shows a woman’s head carved on top right of the building.
The style shows clearly that it must have been built around the same time that the Grand Hotel (1882)
- Historical Travel
16 Quai de la Résistance
Photo 1 and 2. Just by the Grand Hôtel, 16 quai de la Résistance, also at the corner with Rue Gabriel Peri but on the other side of stands an equally beautiful building. I have not been able to find any information about it but it should have been built around the same time than the Grand Hôtel (1882). Four caryatids support the balcony.
Photo 3. The entrance is topped by a roaring lion framed by two caryatids. The one on the left wears a winged helmet (symbol of Hermès, the trade god). The one on the right seems to hold a cornucopia on her head (symbol of Ploutos, the wealth god).
Photo 4. The caryatid on the far left is obviously an African girl (travel, trade with Africa ?).
Photo 5. The caryatid on the far right has a Nordic or Slavic look (travel, trade with Eastern Europe ?).
My wild guess is that it might have been a kind of Trade and Industry Chamber, before the Palais consulaire was built. Anybody knows ?
- Historical Travel
Grand hotel, 17 Quai Maréchal de Lattre de Tassign
Photo 1. Le Grand Hôtel is a elegant building standing 17 Quai Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny, along the Canal Royal, at the corner with Rue Gabriel Peri. It was built in 1882 in Belle Époque style but I have not found the name of the architect.
Photo 2 is the entrance into the hotel’s restaurant.
Photo 3 is another shot of the hotel.
Rooms are said to be stylish. Photos are available on the hotel’s web site : GrandHôtel
I was lucky to get this series of photo when one of the boats had hoisted up his nets on top of the mast in order to check them and eventually fix the parts that needed to be mended. Once everything was fine, they began to fold it on the bridge, ready for next fishing party.
- Sailing and Boating
Photo 1. It always surprises visitors to see the fishermen boats right in the city center!
Photo 2. When some of them spread their nets (see next tip) that even add to the landscape!
Photo 3. Fishermen boats are moored on both sides of the Canal Royal.
Photo 1. Canal Royal is the main canal in Sète. It connects the Bassin de Thau to the Mediterranean.
Photo 2 and 3. Most of the houses that frame it were built around the turn of the century. Some parts of the canal are dedicated to small boats, others to fishing boats.
Photo 4. Seafood restaurants are side by side with the fishing boats. No wonder that the seafood is always very fresh!
The « Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Sète-Frontignan-Mèze » (Trade and Industry Chamber of Sète, Frontignan and Mèze) has its seat in a building that locals name « Palais Consulaire and actually the name is carved on its front.
Photo 1. Palais Consulaire was built in 1920 in Art Déco style by Adolphe Dervaux (1871-1945), a French architect that gave his name to the Art Déco luminaries standing around the entrances of the Paris Metro. They are still found around those that have kept there original style.
Photo 2. It has a small clock tower. The clock has always given fantasy hours and is a subject of jokes by natives.
Photo 3. Un top of the entrance, a bas-relief shows a man seated and a woman standing (hmm ! Why not the reverse ?) under a vine, picking grapes.
Photo 4. Palais Consulaire stands at the corner made by Quai de Bosc and Quai Rhin et Danube.
Photo 1 shows the 12 km long beach lined from Sète to Agde with Mont Saint Clair in the background, seen from the south-west.
Photo 2 shows Mont Saint Clair from the North East. Sorry, the weather was not good !
Photo 3 was taken from the summit of Mont Saint Clair and shows the Bassin de Thau with on the other side, Bouzigues on the left and Balaruc on the right.
Photo 4 was taken from the summit of Mont Saint Clair and shows the main canal on the left, a part of the city. In the near background, the industrial suburbs and the harbors. In the far background, on the left, the coastal strip towards Frontignan.
Photo 5 was also taken from the summit of Mont Saint Clair and shows the south, with the old “môle Saint Louis” in the foreground and a modern breakwater further at sea, in the background.
Door knockers and other unusual street furniture.
I love walking around a new place and photographing unusual things that catch my eye.
One day, in France, in Sete, I spotted another of 'my' door knockers and the name on the brass plate on the house, was, "Mme DIANA"!
A nice serendipity moment. The lady herself came out of the house as I was photographing it and we laughed together at the coincidence:-)
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