Arcachon (French: [aʁ.ka.ʃɔ̃] ; Arcaishon in Gascon) is a commune in the southwestern French department of Gironde. It is a popular seaside resort on the Atlantic coast 55 kilometres (34 mi) southwest of Bordeaux, in the Landes forest. It has a sandy beach and a mild climate said to be favourable for invalids suffering from pulmonary complaints. Arcachon is twinned with:* Aveiro, Portugal
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Yves Foulon|
|7.56 km2 (2.92 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,500/km2 (3,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||0–45 m (0–148 ft) |
(avg. 8 m or 26 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
In 1857, Emperor Napoleon III signed an imperial decree declaring that Arcachon was now an autonomous municipality, coincidentally, the railway line extension from Bordeaux to Arcachon had been completed that same year. At that time, Arcachon was scarcely more than a forest of pine trees, oaks and strawberry trees (arbutus), with no road links and few real houses, with a population fewer than 400 people, mostly fishermen and peasants. In earlier years, when some hygienists began to recommend sea bathing, three sea establishments were laid out by investors to attract the Bordeaux bourgeoisie and other wealthy people. This was the beginning of a new lifestyle, and some of the locals got the opportunity to claim their independence from La Teste-de-Buch, which owned their properties, in order to found a "free" new town, Arcachon.
Arcachon is known for the "Arcachonnaise", the local name for an Arcachon villa, the architectural style of many of the older houses built there. It is a Victorian style that was criticized for generations, but is now considered to be charming.
At its southern entrance from the Atlantic Ocean, Arcachon Bay is crowned by Europe's largest sand dune, the Dune du Pilat, nearly 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) long, 500 metres (1,600 feet) wide, reaching 110 metres (360 feet) in height, and moving inland at rate of 5 metres (16 feet) a year.
- Humbert Balsan - Film producer, was born in Arcachon in 1954.
- Carmen Bernos de Gasztold - Poet, was born in Arcachon in 1919.
- Sylvie Caster Writer and journalist, was born in Arcachon in 1952.
- Alexandre Dumas - Writer, once lived in Arcachon's Ville d'Hiver.
- Ramón Emeterio Betances - Puerto Rican politician, spent close to six months at Arcachon shortly before his death in 1898.
- Jean Périsson - composer, was born here in 1924
- Louise Talma - Composer, was born here in 1906.
- Charles Tournemire - Composer-organist, died here in 1939.
- "Populations légales 2016". INSEE. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- "L'Histoire de la ville d'Arcachon". Ville-arcachon.fr. 2018.
- Van Wyen, Adrian O. (1969). Naval Aviation in World War I. Washington, D.C.: Chief of Naval Operations. p. 65.
- "Dune du Pilat – Europe's Largest Sand Dune". The French Atlantic Coast.com. 2018.