Île de Ré

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Île de Ré (formerly also Île de Rhé, Île de Rhéa or Île de Rhea - in English Isle of Rhé) is an island off the west coast of France near La Rochelle, on the northern side of the Pertuis d'Antioche strait.

This island is completely flat; it is 30 km long and 5 km wide. A 2.9 km bridge, completed in 1988, connects it to La Rochelle on the mainland.

Contents

Administration

Administratively, the island is part of the Charente-Maritime département, in the Poitou-Charentes région.

The island is divided into 10 communes, from East to West: Rivedoux-Plage, La Flotte, Sainte-Marie-de-Ré, Saint-Martin-de-Ré, Le Bois-Plage-en-Ré, La Couarde-sur-Mer, Loix, Ars-en-Ré, Saint-Clément-des-Baleines, Les Portes-en-Ré.

History

During Roman times, Île de Ré was an archipelago made of three small islands. The space between these small islands was progressively filled, by a combination of human activity (salt fields gained from the sea) and siltage.

In the seventh and eighth centuries the island, along with Oléron, formed the Vacetae Insulae or Vacetian Islands, according to the Cosmographia,[1] Vaceti being another name for the Vascones, the reference is evidence to Basque (Gascon) settlement or control of the islands by that date.

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