ZOOM on Longues sur mer
LONGUES SUR MER : « The three steeples » City
Longues-sur-Mer is a rural and coastal parish, rich in natural and architectural heritage.
2011 was marked by the 150th anniversary of the 1861 Act which unites the parishes of Marigny and Fontenailles with Longues which will become Longues sur mer in 1924.
Longues-sur-Mer is the largest parish of the district of Ryes: it covers an area of 3100 acres (1229 hectares) for a total population of 693 inhabitants. Just for information, Bayeux covers an area of 1800 acres (711 hectares). It is twinned with the parish of St Mary-of-Jersey. Each year, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit this major work which is part of the Atlantic Wall. The German artillery battery is composed of 4 bunkers equipped with 150 mm naval guns with a 19.5kilometres range and a fire command post on top of an impressive cliff.
The battery is a major work of the Atlantic Wall fortifications where scenes from “ Le jour le plus long “ and “ Le tambour “ were shot. The Battery is owned by the conservatory of the Coastal Space and shores and listed “ historical monument “ on October 25th 2001 by the Culture Minister. The “Intercommunal” Tourism Office located on the site organizes guided tours and contributes to the reputation of Longues-sur-mer.
From the coastal path, you have an exceptional view of the jagged marl-limestone cliffs. Naturalists will discover lots of species of marine birds and rare plant species. “Le chaos de Marigny” a natural site and “feue demoiselle de Fontenailles” show ground movements and the intense erosion of the coastal fringe.
The religious architectural heritage is rich as well: Ste Mary Benedictine Abbey which is a private property opened to visitors on Thursday afternoons, the remains of the church of Fontenailles bombed in 1944, the bell called Fontenailles, dated 1202, is said to be the oldest in France. It is kept at the Baron Gérard museum. The cemetery gate is also listed historical monument.
Besides its beautiful coastal scenery and its rich architectural heritage, Longues-sur-mer offers a pleasant living environment, various activities and shops.
Located within bow shot from Bayeux, the village stands out thanks to its shops: a butcher’s, a baker’s, a restaurant and a “bar tabac” Le Longuais. Its local farms provide free range eggs, tasty fowls and delicious Norman beverages.
Its community is active : guest houses, B and Bs welcome tourists.
The village center is alive with its shopkeepers, Joseph Briard primary school, the town hall, the library and its steeple situated in the parish of Notre dame des Flots.
If you happen to take the secondary road to Port-en-Bessin, you will catch a glimpse of Bayeux cathedral looming on the horizon. The Episcopal city is not far away.
Key numbers (source INSEE) :
Total population 2009 : 680 on January 1st 2012
Main lodgings : 263
Secondary homes : 57
Calvados Habitat homes : 19
shops : 4
farms : 11
elevation of Longues-sur-mer town hall:51 metres