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Le Grau-du-Roi (Municipality, Gard, France)

Last modified: 2012-03-31 by ivan sache
Keywords: gard | grau-du-roi (le) | port-camargue | stars: 3 (yellow) |
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[Flag of Grau-du-Roi]

Flag of Le Grau-du-Roi - Image by Ivan Sache, 8 March 2010

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Presentation of Le Grau-du-Roi

The municipality of Le Grau-du-Roi (8,173 inhabitants in 2007; 5,473 ha), located on coastal Camargue 10 km south of Aigues-Mortes, is the only access of the department of Gard to the Mediterranean Sea.

Le Grau-du-Roi is named for a grau, a narrow, natural channel linking a coastal pond or a laguna to the sea. The Royal grau was the opening to the sea of the 6 km-channel that linked the Royal port of Aigues-Mortes to the sea.
The grau was consolidated and rectified several times, which boosted the development of a small fishers' hamlet, detached from Aigues- Mortes to form the municipality of Le Grau-du-Roi in 1879. In the beginning of the 20th century, the fad of sea bathing slowly reached the village; the sea resort developed only when the Nîmes- Aigues-Mortes railway was completed; on 26 April 1924, Le Grau-du-Roi was granted the title of "Health and Seaside Resort" by a Presidential Decree.
Le Grau-du-Roi maintains the guardians' traditions of Camargue by organizing every spring the beaches' abrivado, a cavalcade involving 40 bulls and 20 horses, watched by more than 100,000; this event marks the beginning of the taurine season in Le Grau-du-Roi.

In 1963, the French State launched the Racine Plan, aimed at developing summer mass tourism in - then nearly desert - coastal Languedoc. The architect Jean Balladur (1924-2002; a cousin of the former Prime Minister Édouard Balladur) was commissioned to design cheap, innovative and environment-friendly sea resorts; in his "pyramidal" style, he designed La Grande-Motte, located a few kilometers west of Le Grau-du-Roi, and Port-Camargue, a "borough" of Le Grau-du-Roi. The building of Port-Camargue, started in 1967 with the draining of the marshes and the eradication of mosquitos, ended in 1985. With 4,600 moorings, the marina of Port-Camargue is one of the biggest in Europe.


Ivan Sache, 8 March 2010

Flag of Le Grau-du-Roi

The flag of Le Grau-du-Roi, hoisted in front of the town hall (photo), is vertically divided blue-yellow.
The colours of the flag are taken from the municipal arms (image and blazon), Parti au premier, d'or chargé en pointe de deux poissons de gueules rangés en pal et au chef d'une grappe de raisin feuillée au naturel; au deuxième d'azur chargé d'un lion d'or lampassé de gueules; un caducée d'argent brochant sur la partition ("Per pale, 1. Or in base two fishes gules per pale in chief a grape leaved proper, 2. Azure a lion or langued gules, a caduceus argent overall").

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 8 March 2010

Société Nautique Grau-du-Roi-Port-Camargue

[SN Grau-du-Roi]

Burgee of the SNGRPC - Image by Ivan Sache, 11 September 1999

The burgee of the SNGRPC, as shown graphically on the club's website, is blue with three yellow stars placed horizontally.

Ivan Sache, 11 September 1999