Joan of Arc was imprisoned her in St Valery Sur Somme in the twin towers in 1430. Theold part of the town above the bay is still testament to her being there.
The views across the bay are lovely albeit flat.
We were lucky enough to see seals in the bay today. It is named the bay of seals!
When walking the pomenade along the river (see first tip), you'll finally end up between the woods and the pastures upon the hill at your left and the river bed at your right. Walk up the hill to reach this beautiful lonely little chapel.
From there you can follow the path to the Medieval town.
Notice the special black silex stones in the construction. This is typical for this region.
Here is a story about this chapel:
In 622, a certain Saint-Valéry was buried here, as he wished. This chapel became a place of pilgrimage for lots of supportes who were attracted by his bones and relics. And what is more, the water of the well seemed to be (!)miraculous. In 1878, the old chapel has been replaced by this one.
It's easy to imagine yourself back in the Middle Ages when walking in this town. I know, life wasn't that easy at that time, but nowadays it seems to be wonderful to live here. Everything is piece and quiet. Only the sound of squawking sea gulls...
The old part of Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme is quite nice to have a short walk in. It has a church that was originally built in the 12th century, but was later destroyed and rebuilt in different phases. And it has a nice gate, and of course a splendid view on the bay.
This collapsed jelley, once has been a tower. The history tells that Harold, an English lord was shipcrecked on this beach around 1055. St-Valéry kept him as prisoner in this tower. No more info about this ambiguous fact.
There is uptown and downtown. Both charming with typical Norman style houses. The small Medieval town, bordering to downtown, is situated on a hill and surrounded by ramparts. The people who live here give a lot of personal attention to their garden. Flowers everywhere...
The picture shows the main town gate to the Medieval part.
Just as more buildings in town, the church also looks like a checkerboard. It is nicely restored.
Too bad the sun was at the wrong side at the moment we passed. The second picture shows the whole church, but into the sun.
There are about 160 seals (that's the number our host at the B&B gave us) in the area, and you have the most chance to see them about 2 hours after high tide, on the beaches outside of the town. We saw a couple of them, but I don't know if we were standing at the best place to see them.
Located in France, the territory known as “of Bay of Somme” extends on 70 km ² between the point from Hourdel in the south and the point from Saint-Quentin-in-Tourmont in north. The Sum, river coastal which gave its name to the department, is thrown in the English Channel at this place.
The bay is mainly made up of two mediums: the slikke, covered by the sea twice a day, the salt meadow or“mollières” who is covered by the sea only at the time of the spring tides. The bay of Somme is recognized today on the international level for its ecological richness; it is in particular regarded as a high ornithological place. Its various zones offer conditions of reception favorable to the sedentary and migrating birds. Lastly, the bay of Somme is also considered by the presence of several seals. Since 1999, the bay belongs to the club of most beautiful bays of the world, as well as bay of Halong or bay of the Mont-Saint-Michel.
Fortifications and history
The origin of our city is extremely old. Its history is directly related to its geographical situation. Its site sheltered within the estuary of the Sum, the presence of dead cliffs made of Valery Saint a place favourable with the occupation of the man.
As of prehistory, the site (then a small island with high tide) was occupied. The Gallic occupation is attested dice the 5th century before J.C. After the Roman conquest (- 52), the Roman presence is quite real on banks of old Bay of Somme. One released a sanctuary with Boismont and discovered a treasure of parts and jewels in Mons Boubert.
During several centuries, a Gallo-Roman “cohabitation” settles in a quite relative peace.
At the 5th century, they is the great invasions come from north, they are the frank ones which settles in our areas and mix with the existing populations.
Towards 500, it is the baptism of Clovis, king of the Frank ones.
The estuary of the Baie de Somme has been recently elected as part of "the most beautiful bays of the world". It is a rich ecosystem with many birds and even seals.
Unfornatly, the bay is progressivly being invaded by sand... and is likely to disappear in the future.
St Valery is one at the heart of the bay. Don't forget to go until the "Cap Hornu" a wild territory at the end of the city where you will get the best view.
Way of build houses
Throughout the Picardy coast, there are many large houses built in a style paticulier. (See the photograph) the majority of them were built in the years 1920. Some are employed like hotel, others for various uses. One of these beautiful houses is the barracks of the gendarmerie located in the principal street (unfortunately I do not have photographs of this last one.)
The Bay of the River Somme
By leaving the medieval city in direction of the vault, don't to hesitate to stroll a little in the neighbourhoods.
Die die you will discover superb panoramas.
With the wire of the hours, you will see the landscape changing with the liking of the tides.
On the other side of the river and bay, is situated the village of Le Crotoy.
The Somme River
Its source is located close to Fonsommes in the department of Aisne at a hundred meters of altitude. Its valley forms a complex whole of river, marsh, ponds and channels.
The river preserves over all its length (245 kilometres) an orientation towards the West or the West-north-west, but it describes many meanders. The Somme is thrown in the English Channel by bay of Somme between Crotoy and Saint-Valéry-on-the-Somme
The Nevers Gate
The gate gives access from the low city to the medieval city. Or carries of bottom was entirely remade at the end of the 17th century.
It is a high construction, with pointed pinion, in likings and rollers at its base, the top is out of bricks. Formerly, this door gave directly on the strike. Above the entry in broken arch, two bays give passage to the arms of a drawbridge.
A stone carries the weapons of the duke of Gonzague-Nevers, surmounted currency “fides”.
The buildings are used as body of guard until the 17th century, then the door becomes the presbytery of the city.
Can you imagine the one market day animation in the Middle Ages, with the horses , the merchants and their goods, the fishermen bringing their fish, all passing by this only gate?