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Carolles History

Building History
The apartment is situated in a lovely building called ‘Le Sextant’ which was built in 1901 and previously has housed the hotel/casino.

War Time
June 1940 saw the first German soldiers arrive at Carolles. Many of the residences were occupied including all of ‘Le Sextant’. There were several bunkers built along the coastline in 1941/42 including one at Pignon Butor (the viewpoint on the cliff near the apartment). The Germans started to leave the area at the start of June 1944 and the area was liberated on July 31 1944.

Cliffs
The cliffs behind the apartment stretch for several km’s south and are between 70m to 85m high. This area was described as ‘the most beautiful kilometre in France’ by Raymond Poincaré.

The Yew Tree
There is a yew tree in front of the church in Carolles with a sign, which when translated, reads “Respect it, it is 754 years old”. The sign was never dated when it was made so the tree will be eternally 754 years old.

It is very difficult to age a tree in a non-destructive way so it is thought that some years ago its age was estimated using various techniques such as growth/year. The age was estimated at 700 to 800 years old so it was decided to call it 750 years old. However it was four years before the sign was made, hence the choice of 754!

Tram
In August 1908 a tram service was introduced connecting Granville to Sourdeval via Avranches. The service was introduced due to the growing tourist industry along the coastline. It closed at the end of 1935 after its use declined due to the increase in the use of the car. The station in Carolles then became the town hall.

To facilitate the tram line a viaduct was built over the ‘Valley of Painters’ which remains today and forms part of one of the many walks around Carolles.

Carolles map

Valley of the Painters
For over a century, painters have been attracted and inspired by this area which has been protected since May 22, 1944. The Valley of the Painters (Vallée des Peintres) is situated 0.5km to the east of the apartment across the main Carolles road.

Valley of Lude
This beautiful area has been protected since August 22, 1973. Legend has it that it was formed by a blow from the sword of Michaelmas Archangel in his fight against Satan. It is also called the ‘Chair of the Devil’. The area is rich in animal and bird life. The Valley of Lude (Vallée du Lude) is situated 1km south of the apartment and cuts through the cliffs to the Port of Lude.

Port of Lude
Exit of the Valley of Lude to the sea. It has never been a real port, except perhaps for the smugglers!

The Cabane Vauban with Mont St Michel in the backgroundCabane Vauban (the Vauban hut)
The Cabane Vauban is situated atop the cliffs approximately 2kms from the apartment. It is a stone building with stone roof which historically acted as a watchtower. There are three similar huts at Champeaux, St Jean le Thomas and Bouillon. The area near the Cabane Vauban was inhabited in prehistoric times. From the Cabane Vauban you get a spectacular view of Mont St Michel across the bay.

 

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