Saint-Nazaire's "Belle Epoque" by the seaside

The fishing cabins strut out into the sea.
An invitation to rest before walking on...
The promenade is extremely popular both with locals and tourists.

Fishing cabins and a work of art

Here the paths designed for walkers and cyclists are getting larger, trees and a lawn give the area a well-kempt look, and two cafés in a very contemporary design make the idea of a halt quite irresistible. The view over the bay and the bridge of Saint-Nazaire at the horizon is thrown in for free!

For many people, the particular charm of this part of the promenade comes from the fishing cabins to be discovered here. Most of them are scrupulously entertained, and come to life when their owners, weather and tide permitting, come and fish. It’s a very simple method: the big square fishing nets attached to the cabins, called “carrelets”, are lowered into the water and after some time cranked up again, with –or without- a good catch. The Loire-Atlantique region comprises approximately 200 fishing cabins; their owners pay an annual fee for the right to occupy public space on the shore.

By the way if you feel as though you were walking on a sea wall, this is not just an impression. The promenade of Sautron, as this neighbourhood is called, was created in the early 20th century, when the new harbour entrance, the Southern lock, was built. Tons of dug-out earth were brought here to create this embankment even if it meant putting an end to the beach of Sautron which was quite popular at the time. All that is left of this beach now is a thin strip of sand, where you can walk when the tide is low and where the fishing cabins have been put up.

Still walking at a leisurely pace you arrive at the Villès-Martin head with its exquisite sculpture by British artist Peter Logan. On the other side of the head, another beach stretches languorously in the sun. Did you bring your hat, sunglasses and towel? Nothing to hesitate about, then!

 

A proud gallery of fishing cabins.