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Marseilles (Municipality, France): Yacht clubs

Part 3: L'Estaque

Last modified: 2010-11-13 by ivan sache
Keywords: estaque (l') |
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Presentation of L'Estaque

L'Estaque is the northernmost borough of Marseilles. Named after the Provencal word estaco, "a stake" (to tie up boats), the place was already known in the 13th century, being listed on a document dated 30 November 1294 kept in the Archives of the Major Cathedral.
Until the middle of the 19th century, L'Estaque was a small, isolated fishers' village. The building of several tileries in the neighbouring villages of Saint-André, Saint-Henri and Mourepiane caused the set up of a small commercial fleet in L'Estaque and the settlement of workers of several nationalities. In the early 20th century, L'Estaque became an industrial center, with chemical plants, mines and shipyards. The population increased from 287 inhabitants in 1972 to 13,536 in 1931.

The painter Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) visited L'Estaque for the first time in summer 1870. He stayed in the village several times until 1886, painting 27 scenes representing L'Estaque (Cézanne was a very thorough and slow painter). In 1877, he was visited by his friend Émile Zola (1840-1902), who portrayed L'Estaque in his novel Naïs Micoulin.
On Cézanne's tracks, the "fauve" painter Georges Braque (1882-1963) stayed at L'Estaque in winter 1906-1907, came back the next year with his friend Othon Friesz and, again, in summer 1908; he painted then "The House at L'Estaque" (Bern Museum), considered as the invention of cubism - the critic Louis Vauxcelles compared the painting to "a heap of small cubes". Raoul Dufy (1877-1953), staying with Braque at L'Estaque, also painted a few landscapes of cubist inspiration.

Once a famous sea resort with luxurious hotels, L'Estaque declined together with industry and fishing. Considered as a picturesque fishing port surrounded by industrial wasteland, L'Estaque reappeared as the main "character" of the movie Marius et Jeannette (1997) directed by Robert Guédiguian (b. 1953), the most famous of a series of movies shot at L'Estaque (Dernier été, 1980; Rouge midi, 1985; À la vie, à la mort, 1995; Àl'attaque !, 2000) with the very same core group of actors (Ariane Ascride, Gérard Meylan, Jacques Boudet, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Yann Trégouët, Pascal Roberts...) L'Estaque is also famous for the childrens' choir Harmonie, founded in 1993 by the Armenian opera singer Gayané Hovhannisyan for all "her" children, that is those from L'Estaque.

Source: L'Estaque website

Ivan Sache, 2 May 2010

Société Nautique de l'Estaque Plage (SNE)

[Burgee of SNE]

burgee of SNE - Image by Ivan Sache, 2 May 2010

The burgee of the SNE is blue with a white ascending diagonal stripe charged with the red letters "SNE".

Ivan Sache, 2 May 2010

Société Nautique Estaque Mourepiane (SNEM)

[Burgee of SNEM]

Burgee of SNEM - Image by Ivan Sache, 2 May 2010

The borough of Mourepiane, located on a small hill dominating the seashore and the small fishing port of Saumaty, was once quite isolated from Marseilles downtown. Its beach was protected by a watch tower, later replaced by a defense battery and a lighthouse. When the new port of commerce of Marseilles was built, the beach of Mourepiane was replaced by the Mirabeau Basin, the North Outer Harbour and the Mourepiane railway station. A big oil depot was installed at Mourepiane, which was attacked during the night of 25 to 26 August 1958 by a commando of the "Special Operations" division of the Algerian independentist party FLN; the blaze lasted ten days, inaugurating violent actions by the FLN in Marseilles. Marseille-Mourepiane is now a main container terminal of the port of Marseilles.

The SNEM is another yacht club, mostly oriented to racing, based in L'Estaque borough.
The burgee of SNEM, as shown on the plaque placed on the door of the club house, is white with three vertical red stripes and the black letters "S", "N", "E" and "M" in the white stripes.

Ivan Sache, 2 May 2010