Story of the bay
Discover the History of La Baule ...
More than 100 years ago, on May 11th, 1879, the first train from St Nazaire to Croisic stopped in a place called La Bôle, in the middle of sand dunes fortified by pine trees.
The train station seen here, with fleas, to service the village of Escoublac, the space between Pornichet, Guérande, and Pouliguen relied directly on this line.
The Burial of Escoublac and the Planting of the Pines
This village once located on the site of Guérande, around the Abbey of Marmoutier (1050 AD), changed sites in 1779 to flee the frequent and dangerous sand storms prevalent at the end of the 18th century.
Many said that the inhabitants of Escoublac had been the engineers of their own misfortune because they had pulled out all of the plants that had protected the dunes in order to let there sheep graze on larger areas.
The village of Escoublac had to abandon the coast and establish their new village a kilometer from the old, now covered in a shroud of sand (the actual location of the big dune).
During the Restoration, sand storms persisted so the Public Service encouraged the « planting of the dunes ».
The work was considerable:
They had to re-plant the 700 hectares of dunes that constitutes the coasts line of the ancient islands of Croisic, Batz sur Mer, Pouligen, and also the Guérandais plateau.
They dream was finally realized, for the western part by the Société Benoit who re-named this area « La Baule », and for the rest by the Société des Dunes, brought to life through the generous contribution by a businessman from Nantes named Mr. Brethault
Out of the joint efforts of the planting of the dunes and the creation of the train station, the town of La Baule was born.
The Birth of La Baule
Until 1879, the town of Escoublac was barely touched by the tourist phenomenon present in Croisic since the 1830s.
Also, two Parisians, Misters Hennecart and Darlu, representing the society in charge of the construction of the train tracks, were impressed by the site around the Escoublac train station, the heart of a 700 hectare pine forest, directly situated on an oval shaped 8 kilometer bay
They decided to by 40 hectares around the La Bole dunes to create a new town. Using a combination of their knowledge of business enterprises and the commercial industries in the surrounding Guerande area, they had all the pieces they needed to set up a new resort.
The Era of Rapid Development
The First World War that stopped all tourism activity for five years had unexpected effects on the region surrounding La Baule.
Recession and Renewal
The crash of 1929 hurt the resort of La Baule. Private investments were suspended indefinitely and international tourism disappeared completely.
The Shield of La Baule
In the course of its history, the town had created two different shields. The first shield was created by Adrien Grave in 1951. He displayed on the crest the splendor of the beach and the winding curves of the bay.
On top of the black and white crosses of Brittany, a symbol of French royalty, the ornamental crown has four gaps which represent the old town of Escoublac. The leaves of the oak are a solely decorative feature. Under the black and white coat of arms of France, the gold Brittany sun sits in the blue, azure, sky, above the sandy beaches of La Baule, designed in the same rich gold. For the motto, they called upon Guy de la Morandais, the writer that first proposed the words:
Labor, land, and sea, shining as one
This literally meant to say that La Baule, farming, the sun, and the sea all shined together.
Under the advisement of a Benedictine monk, the verb was conjugated in the subjunctive present: fluserunt was replaced by its subjunctive present tense to become fulgeant.
So that labor, sun, and sea burn together
A second version of the shield appeared in 1996. The oak leaves that encircled the first shield were replaced with pine branches.