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Le Crotoy

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Title: Le Crotoy  
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Le Crotoy

Le Crotoy
The Quai Courbet.
The Quai Courbet.
Coat of arms of Le Crotoy
Coat of arms
Le Crotoy is located in France
Le Crotoy
Country France
Region Picardy
Department Somme
Arrondissement Abbeville
Canton Rue
Intercommunality Authie-Maye
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Jeannine Bourgau
Area1 16.32 km2 (6.30 sq mi)
Population (2006)2 2,361
 • Density 140/km2 (370/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 80228 / 80550
Elevation 2–14 m (6.6–45.9 ft)
(avg. 6 m or 20 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Le Crotoy is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France. The inhabitants are known as Crotellois

The town seen from the beach at low tide.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Places of interest 3
  • Activities 4
  • Occupations 5
  • Personalities 6
  • Population 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Isabella of France, queen consort of England, and her son (later Edward III of England) embarked from Crotoy for Holland and then England in 1326, in order to overthrow their husband and father, Edward II. During the Hundred Years' War the town was alternately under English and French control. Edward III stayed in Crotoy and in 1340 built a very important fortress. Besieged by the English, Crotoy, the last French position in the Bay of the Somme, surrendered on March 1, 1424. After the Battle of Verneuil, Jean II, Duke of Alençon was interned there for three years. Joan of Arc was imprisoned there before being taken to Rouen for trial. During these troubled times, Crotoy was the place of residence of a governor and a garrison. Jacques d'Harcourt was the most famous governor: he defended Crotoy boldly and courageously against the Anglo-Burgundian armies. An eponymous street pays homage to him in the city center.

During the wars of religion, Crotoy took the side of Henri de Navarre. By an edict of 1594, Henri IV relieved the Crotellois from taxes. He stayed in the town on April 18, 1596.

In 1674, under the terms of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, the castle of Crotoy was destroyed.

Le Crotoy was also famous at the beginning of 20th century in the history of aviation, as the site of the Caudron brothers flying school.


Le Crotoy is situated on the D143 and D71 crossroads, on the estuary of the river Somme, some 10 miles (16 km) northwest of Abbeville.
Today, the town is a lively seaside resort whose beach is undoubtedly one of its main assets. It also benefits from the proximity of Marquentera (Park of Marquenterre), an area of natural beauty, with lakes, marshes and a rich flora and fauna.
The beach is highly unusual for northern French beaches in that it faces south.
In terms of wildlife the bay supports a population of seals and shags.

Places of interest

Beach huts at Le Crotoy


There are numerous restaurants in the village and it is well equipped with shops and a petrol station. Bed & Breakfast accommodation is also available.
Le Crotoy is one terminus of the narrow gauge "Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme" (Somme Bay Railway), which is now largely a tourist attraction. Running around the entire length of the bay, this railway connects Le Crotoy with Noyelles-sur-Mer, Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, and Cayeux-sur-Mer and the sands at Brighton Plage.
Main line trains to Paris take about 2 hours and cost about 48Euro return for an adult. They run from the nearby (15 mins by car) station of Noyelles-sur-Mer, which is also a station on the "Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme" narrow gauge railway.

The bay of the river Somme has interesting tides in that they are both fast and have a high rise and fall. At low tide it is possible to walk across the sand and mud flats from Le Crotoy to Saint-Valery-sur-Somme. Care needs to be taken as the tides come in very quickly.


Fishing predominates, both for seafish and shellfish (mostly cockles and mussels) and from the coastal saltmarshes, samphire and sea-aster. Hunting and shooting, for both game and wildfowl provides food for locals and visitors alike. Sheep-rearing, on salty pastures, produces a unique flavour. The sheep of the Somme bay have been credited ‘appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC)’ .


Le Crotoy has had lengthy visits from some famous figures of French history: Joan of Arc (who was imprisoned there), Jules Verne (who wrote 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea here), the perfumer Guerlain who has created in regard of the special shades of blue, purple, violet which cover bay at down his well-known perfume, "L'Heure Bleue ". Several painters as Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Signac, Pierre Risch, and the novelist Colette had also been charmed by Le Crotoy.


Historical population of Le Crotoy
Year 1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006
Population 2343 2412 2429 2347 2440 2439 2361
From the year 1962 on: No double counting—residents of multiple communes (e.g. students and military personnel) are counted only once.

See also



External links

  • Picture postcards from times past
  • Colette at Le Crotoy(French)
  • Site Web sur la commune de Le Crotoy (French)
  • Le Crotoy on the Quid website (French)
  • Le Crotoy, its life and history (French)
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