La Seyne-sur-Mer, French Riviera

La Seyne-sur-Mer is a French commune located at the edge of the Mediterranean in the department of Var in the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. It is part of the Toulon Provence Mediterranean metropolis (TPM). La Seyne-sur-Mer owed its development mainly to shipbuilding, the city having housed one of the largest shipyards in France.

Overlooking the west of Toulon harbor and the Mediterranean, the town has a marina and a fishing port. Part of it is a seaside resort with its Sablettes district. The neo-Provençal houses of Les Sablettes, built after the war, are by the architect Fernand Pouillon.

The name of La Seyne comes from a reed that grew in this marshy area, at the bottom of the bay which also bathes Toulon. This plant was called sagne, hence the name of La Seyne. As specified in the chapter of mayors of the town, the hamlet of La Seyne once belonged to Six-Fours, mother town.

Shortly before the French Revolution, unrest rose. In addition to the fiscal problems present for several years, the harvest of 1788 had been poor and the winter of 1788-89 very cold. The election of the Estates General of 1789 had been prepared by those of the Estates of Provence of 1788 and of January 1789, which had helped to bring out the political class oppositions and to provoke a certain agitation.

It was at the time of writing the notebooks of grievances, at the end of March, that a wave of insurrection rocked Provence. A riot of frumentary origin occurs in La Seyne on the 26th and March 27. She sticks to threats against the wealthy, but with a certain staging, since a coffin is brought, to the dismal sound of the drum, in front of the door of one of the people targeted by the riot. He is then warned of having to prepare to die. This riot succeeds in obtaining the abolition of a tax, the stake.. First, to calm the population, the lord send an army detachment. Then legal proceedings are launched, but the sentences are not carried out, the taking of the Bastille as the Great Fear disturbancescausing, by way of appeasement, an amnesty in early August.

The siege of Toulon is a military conflict which takes place from September to December 1793.. After a reconnaissance, Napoleon Bonaparte conceives a plan which plans to take the forts of Éguillette and Balaguier , on the hill of Cairo , to then prohibit the pass between the small and the large harbor harbor, which would cut maritime supplies , necessary for the besieged.

The 19th century
The latter have existed for more than two centuries, the activity of the first Seynois shipyard is attested in 1711; Originally, it was a site building small wooden boats. They then known a strong expansion during the first half of the xix th century, and it was during this period that has developed the use of metal in the construction of boats.

Thus, from the beginning of the xix th century, a potentially polluting industrial activity (use of hydrocarbons and metals) is present in the site area.

In 1848, the sites were enlarged over several thousand m², employed 1,300 people and assembled numerous ships.

From 1855, the company Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée (FCM) took over the management of the industrial site. This company was undergoing a major boom in the construction of ships, both civilian and military. A report from the Navy archives of 1884 identifies the FCM shipyards as the most important in France, by their surface (14.6 ha) and the length of their quays (almost 1 km). They indeed have 10 construction holds whose size allows the FCM to build the largest boats of the time.

These large ships are ocean liners and ocean freighters that provide connections between Europe and the rest of the world. At that time, the report pointed out 2308 workers employed in the shipyards.

The 20th century
Other major equipment works began shortly before the First World War, with the installation of two enormous caissons to obtain in 1927 the largest basin in the world. The FCM thus retained the management of the site until the day before their liquidation in 1966.

The yards change their names as they take over and take the name of Naval and Industrial Constructions of the Mediterranean (CNIM). Like other French yards in decline, the CNIM tried to refocus their activities by exploiting technological niches less exposed to international competition, in particular the construction of special ships, LNG carriers, refrigerators, floating barges and equipment for oil rigs.

During the Second World War, an aerial bombardment resulted in theApril 29, 1944partial destruction of construction sites and the site. TheAugust 17, 1944, underwater mines then lead to greater destruction of construction sites.

However, they will be rebuilt and enlarged in 1949 to reach 25 hectares and a seafront of 1,400 meters. The name CNIM was adopted in 1966. It was the first company on strike in the department during May 68 in Provence.

In 1973, on the eve of the oil shock, the La Seyne-sur-Mer shipyards employed more than 5,000 people. After the repeated strikes of the 1970s, the rapprochement and the sinking of the Chantiers du Nord and the Mediterranean (the Normed) after the failure of the negotiations, it is proceeded to the merger of France-Dunkirk, the Shipyards of La Ciotat and CNIMs. The name CNIM as an establishment in La Seyne-sur-Mer managed to survive outside of shipbuilding. New activities are created to diversify with the construction of numerous escalators, in service in Paris and in several lines of the Hong Kong metro, were built by CNIM.

It is important to mention that the La Seyne lift bridge was included in the additional inventory of historic monuments, by decree ofNovember 3, 1987, and constitutes, with the large quays, the only vestiges of this shipyard (an elevator, newly integrated, allows you to admire the view from its summit). The centenary of its construction is celebrated in 2017.

In Provence, on the shores of the Mediterranean and facing the harbor of Toulon, La Seyne sur Mer, a tourist town, promises you successful holidays all year round. On the sea side, you will discover the famous rock of “Deux Frères” from the largest beach of La Seyne “Les Sablettes”, or you will dive into its crystal clear waters while initiating yourself to scuba diving in complete safety! Rent a sailboat or motorboat and explore our unspoiled coastline. The lights and colors enchant you. On the forest side, these are grandiose and unspoiled landscapes that will be available to you. The Corniche Merveilleuse which will allow you to access the summit of the Cap Sicié massif from where you can admire an exceptional panorama of the coast and the islands. It is sheltered from the soft shade of the pines and oaks of the Janas Forest that you can enjoy your leisure time with family or friends (hiking, cycling, adventure trail in the trees, water park, horse riding…).

In history, this charming seaside resort offers you its diversity and its richness with a heart of Provencal town which testifies to more than 500 years of naval construction. Let yourself be surprised by Tamaris, a luxurious seasonal resort created by Michel Pacha but also by mythical military fortifications like Fort Balaguier and even Fort Napoléon.

Stopover in Sanary. Well anchored between Six Fours les Plages, Bandol and Ollioules, Sanary sur Mer offers you a typically Provencal getaway. On the fishing port or in the alleys of the village, let yourself be tempted for a day by this postcard.

On the port to meet maritime traditions. Take a walk along the quays to discover the small traditional fishing boats called “sharp”. These colorful wooden boats with small singing names, the Mistigri, the Fanny, the Jojo Dede… charm all visitors. In the morning in good weather, you can see the fishing bosses return to the port to sell their fish on their bench, along the quay. Sea bream, red mullet and sars mix with girelles and other scorpion fish which usually make up fish soup. Sea trips on the “sharp” are possible during traditional festivals.

A village with Provencal charm. Take the pedestrian alleys of the city center, you will find fashion boutiques, craft stalls, as well as art galleries. Sanary has also become a stronghold for shopping fans in the Var. On the port facing the sea, it is the Romanesque tower, dating from the thirteenth century, erected for the defense of the bay which dominates. It houses the Frédéric Dumas Diving Museum where you can discover objects and documents related to the history of scuba diving and the 3 Mousquemers, Taillez, Cousteau and Dumas. Facing the port, the Neo-Byzantine facade of the Saint Nazaire church is the starting point for the “Stations of the Cross” or climb of the oratories which offers a remarkable view of the city. At the top, the chapel of Notre Dame de la Pitié, nestled on the hill of Portissol, was once guarded by a hermit…

To the rhythm of the Provencal markets. Nothing better than the Provencal markets to discover the local products of our region: olive oils, tapenade, Provencal fabrics, shuttles, colorful fruits and vegetables… The large Wednesday morning market in Sanary is a must: it is also elected “Most beautiful market in France” at the end of a national competition organized by TF1 in 2018. Strolling along the market stalls while admiring the colorful peaks of the marina is a must, not to be missed under any circumstances. Do not hesitate to go there very early, especially in summer, because it is very crowded. In July August, take advantage of the freshness of the evening to go with the family to discover the craftsmen of the night market.

Culture and heritage

Michel Pacha Institute
The masterpiece of architect Paul Page (inaugurated in 1899), the institute is a magnificent monument with an oriental-style facade on the edge of Lazaretto bay.

Heritage House
The house dates from the 17th century and has been altered several times.

Fort of Éguillete
Built between 1672 and 1680, then perfected by Vauban to complete the protection of the harbor.

The Path of Memory – Historic Center
Heritage trail of 10 terminals in the heart of downtown districts and alleys from the Navale park to the heights of the original districts.

The Pont des Chantiers
The Pont des Chantiers was built in 1917 by the company Daydé, to allow the railway to access from the PLM station of La Seyne the site of the former shipyards.

Domaine de Fabrégas
The Domaine de Fabrégas, property of the Conservatoire du Littoral since March 2011, has been entrusted to the management of the City, which ensures its maintenance, surveillance and guarding.

Tamaris district
Upmarket health resort imagined and created ex nihilo by Michel Pacha from 1880 (development of communication routes, a set of 70 villas in neo-classical oriental and…

Rue du Graff
Street art break in La Seyne Are you in downtown La Seyne? Don’t miss the now famous “Rue du Graff”.

Peyras battery
Built in the heights of the Cap Sicié massif in 1879, its mission was to protect the space between Les Sablettes and the open sea. Today, Peyras remains the only battery of…

The Porte des Chantiers
Characteristic of the Louis XIII style revisited during the Belle Epoque. During the shipyards, the workers passed under this arch of white stones and pink bricks in order to join their…

Hamlet of Sablettes
19th century seaside resort. Bombed by the Allies in 1944 and rebuilt between 1950 and 1953 by Fernand Pouillon, the hamlet of Les Sablettes offers visitors an exceptional view of the…

The Path of Memory – La Navale
Museum tour of a dozen panels dedicated to the memory of the La Seyne Shipyards from the Porte des Chantiers to the Levant Bridge.

Church of Our Lady of Bon Voyage
The Notre-Dame de Bon Voyage church, built in 1674 on the shore of the port where it welcomed the departure and return of sailors. In 1892, the architect Paul Page, added a style facade…

Balaguier Museum
Built in 1634 then reinforced by Vauban, this cannon tower protects the harbor of Toulon by crossing its lights with those of the Royal Tower.

Fort Napoleon
Built between 1812 and 1821 on the order of the Emperor Napoleon. He would never take part in combat, except in 1944 during the liberation of our territory.

Railway Technology Museum
Free guided tours by appointment. Equipment relating to steam traction, electrical and signaling.

Villa Sylvacanne
On the site of the bay of Lazaret, in the Tamaris district, stands the villa of Robert Rougeul, engineer of arts and manufactures and director of the shipyards of Port-de-Bouc.

Religious heritage
The Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Voyage church: built in 1674, it is one of the oldest monuments in the town. The Provencal campanile gothic style lingered xvii th century is on the additional inventory of historic monuments. The bell from 1689 is classified as movable object. Inside this place of worship, the organ mechanics, an instrumental part built by François Mader , is classified as a movable object, as well as the gilded wooden statues of Saint Paul and Saint Peter. The reliquary bust of St. Eloi (Allard, 1819) and the altarpiece of the xvii th century depicting the Battle of Lepanto.
A pedestrian forecourt (located in front of the entrance to the Martini car park) adorns the neo-Gothic facade of the church, once offered by Michel Pacha.
A few decades ago, the church square was surrounded by a metal grid which has since been removed to facilitate traffic. It is said that once fishermen tied their boats to the bars of this grid because the shallow sea came near the church. Neighborhoods have since been built on the sea, keeping the port and fishing boats away.
Notre-Dame-de-la-Mer church
The Evangelical Pentecost Church, Protestant
The monument to the Just
The chapels of the Institution Sainte-Marie and its organ.
The chapels of Saint Vincent and his music school organ.
The chapels of Bonne-Garde, known as Notre-Dame-du-Mai
The chapels of Notre-Dame-de-Balaguier.

Industrial and maritime heritage
The lifting bridge: it was commissioned from the Daydé company in 1913. It entered service in 1920 and allowed access to the railway to the site of the old shipyards without crossing the city center. Since 1986, the lifting bridge, emblem of the city, remains erected towards the sky. Registered in the additional inventory of historic monuments, its restoration and lighting started in 2007 and ended onJune 26, 2009. Since this restoration, it has had an elevator which allows reaching the belvedere at a height of 40 m. In the 1 st floor is held an exhibition of engines once used to allow the bridge to switch, and that allowed to pass the loaded freight trains to supply the shipyards. It has LED lighting.
The tug Le Laborieux.
The Jules Verne carousel.

Military heritage
The fort Balaguier: Bonaparte on the ledge, it annually hosts various exhibits.
The fort of Eguillette, it is from this fort that the second lieutenant Napoleon Bonaparte, will liberate Toulon from the English.
The Fort Napoleon: it hosts various exhibitions and cultural events including a jazz festival during the summer.
The Peyras Battery.

Civil heritage
The Michel-Pacha Institute for Marine Biology: which is in particular the basis for collecting data from the Antares neutrino telescope
Villa Tamaris, which hosts various exhibitions throughout the year.
The Vasarely fresco, north facade of the town hall
Villa George Sand (former bastide Trucy) and its acclimatization park. The novelist stayed in this villa rented from Albert Trucy, the villa Les Tamarins, fromFebruary 18, 1861 at May 29, 1861for health reasons. This villa no longer exists, it was destroyed in 1975 to make way for buildings. As soon as he returned to his property in Nohant in Indre, George Sand began writing his novel Tamaris, a novel reissued by Boris Touaty.

Cultural facilities
The municipality, under the impulse of its mayor Toussaint Merle initiated in 1967 a municipal School of music, under the direction of Jean Arèse, also deputy conductor of the Toulon Opera. This school will have a great influence through the courses provided, many students becoming professionals, it is currently integrated in the Conservatory with regional influence of Toulon (Toulon Provence Mediterranean).
The Philharmonic La Seynoise is also one of the oldest music companies in the department (founded in 1840).
The Armand Gatti Theater Library (11,000 theater books) is a place of residence, welcoming theater authors.
Café theater La 7e Vague, a place of artistic, cultural and civic conviviality since 1999. (Graeme Allwright, Pierre Vassiliu, Anthony Joubert…)

Natural heritage
Les Sablettes: it is the best known and most popular beach in the city. It is located on the isthmus of the Saint-Mandrier peninsula. It is a long strip of fine sand that stretches from the small port of Saint-Elme to Mar-Vivo, with in recent years the Fernand-Braudel landscaped park of 7.5 hectares.
West of Les Sablettes, the Verne and its rocks decorated with multicolored fishing boats lifted ashore on rails, its sheltered beaches of the mistral as are, in succession, the Fabrégas beach and its black sand as well as the beaches naturists of Jonquet.
Les Deux Frères: two rocks emerging at the tip of Cap Sicié visible from the Sablettes beach and emblematic of the city.
The forest of Janas: remarkable wooded set by its diversity and its conservation. Extending from the town of La Seyne, to Cape Sicié. Cape Sicié geologically schistose, is of the same origin as Corsica and Sardinia. After the collapse of the Mediterranean basin, these three places resisted as islands, or promontory.
Parc du Manteau, former property of Michel Pacha in the Tamaris district.The Château du Manteau, built around 1880 on the plans of the architect Paul Page and of oriental inspiration, was destroyed but the botanical park still exists. There are notably remarkable elements of rockery architecture such as a mill or a reinforced cement fishing boat signed V. Picasse and dating from 1892.
The exotic park hosts remarkable trees with large development (araucarias, coconut palms of Chile) as well as many rare palm trees (caryotas, Kentias,) and tropical which are still cultivated in this garden become the park of a private residence, divided into condominium and closed to the public.
The historic site of the former shipyards : fully landscaped. Inaugurated injanuary 2006, the site of the former shipyards remains a place of memory, symbolized by the renovation of the Porte des Chantiers and soon by the renovation of the lift bridge to an observatory. It bears witness to the city’s industrial and maritime past.

Parks and Gardens
The playgrounds offer a colorful and fun space where children love to jump, climb, whirl. Swings, slides, turnstiles or climbing walls, the parks of Six Fours, La Seyne, Ollioules and Saint Mandrier sur mer benefit from an exceptional geographical location. The Parc de la Méditerranée or the Parc de La Castellane, for example, benefit from strong sunshine throughout the year. Landscaped parks such as Fernand Braudel aux Sablettes and botanical gardens have a wide variety of plant and flower species to discover every season.

Janas Forest
The Janas forest (391 ha) is located south east of the Cap Sicié massif. The place is ideal for family outings, in the shade of Aleppo pines, cork oaks, holm oaks and eucalyptus. Find information on the La Belle Pierre Trail from the Janas car park. Ecobalade will make you discover the natural riches of the place. App offered by “Natural Solutions” and “Toulon Provence Méditerranée”.

Cape Sicié Massif
Mediterranean forest on schist soil managed by the National Office of Forests, extending between Brusc (Six Fours) and Fabrégas (La Seyne) of 1600 ha. To discover especially in spring and autumn. Many plant species, some protected… Mediterranean forest on shale soil managed by the National Office of Forests, extending between Brusc (Six Fours) and Fabrégas (La Seyne) of 1600 ha. To discover especially in spring and autumn. Numerous plant species, some of which are protected: cysts, cork oaks, broom, Aleppo pines, junipers, etc.

Without doubt the most beautiful beach in West Var ! With its fine sand, it will delight young and old. The proximity of the Fernand Braudel Landscape Park allows you to cool off in the shade of olive pines when the sun is too hot. You can eat there easily or have a drink. But also for the more athletic to practice activities like sailing, kayaking, paddle or even towed buoys. A stone’s throw from the beach, the charcot promenade offers a marvelous view at sunset.

Sablettes Beach
One of the most beautiful beaches in the region facing the Deux Frères rocks. It is located south of the city before the peninsula of Saint-Mandrier in the tourist district of Sablettes. Over a kilometer long, this fine white sand beach is a victim of its success! There are many beach establishments and restaurants and there is no shortage of beach activities in summer: scuba diving, windsurfing, kayaking, light sailing… sports chalet.

Mar Vivo Beach
Continuing from Sablettes beach, this narrow strip of sand is very popular with families.

La Vernette Beach
Sheltered pebble cove. A few places in the shade of the pines! The place is quiet.

La Verne Beach
Family pebble beach shaded by pine trees, accessible on foot by the coastal path or by car via the Chemin des Canniers. Provide shoes suitable for swimming for sensitive feet. Do not hesitate to take your fins, mask and snorkel to explore the seabed.

Fabrégas Beach
This cove of fine black sand sheltered from the wind is located south of the city. It is appreciated by families because we have walked long enough. It is away from the main road, free parking is located nearby. Scuba diving and dining are available at nearby establishments.

Beef Beach
This pebble beach is located after Fabrégas beach, you have to take the coastal path from the Bœuf area on the Corniche Varoise in low season. From June 15 to September 15, you will also have to take the coastal path from Fabrégas beach.

Saint selon beach
Jonquet beach
Malpasset beach
Naturist beach. These wild beaches with breathtaking views of the Two Brothers is inaccessible until further notice due to numerous landslides on the coastal path.

Cultural events and festivities
Contemporary Circus Festival “January in the stars”, replaced in 2016 by the “Mediterranean Circus Season”, in January at Espace Chapiteaux aux Sablettes.
Jazz festival, in summer at Fort Napoleon.
Festival of Cuban music
“Urban Colors” Festival
“Festival Musiques & Patrimoine en Pays Varois”, Médiathèque des Sablettes, Le clos Saint-Louis, 26 andJuly 27 and 1st and August 2, 2019.

French Riviera
The French Riviera is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from Cassis, Toulon or Saint-Tropez on the west to Menton at the France–Italy border in the east, where the Italian Riviera joins. The coast is entirely within the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France. The Principality of Monaco is a semi-enclave within the region, surrounded on three sides by France and fronting the Mediterranean. Riviera is an Italian word that corresponds to the ancient Ligurian territory, wedged between the Var and Magra rivers.

The climate of the Côte d’Azur is temperate Mediterranean with mountain influences on the northern parts of the departments of Var and Alpes-Maritimes. It is characterized by dry summers and mild winters which help reduce the likelihood of freezing. The Côte d’Azur enjoys significant sunshine in mainland France for 300 days a year.

This coastline was one of the first modern resort areas. It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria, Tsar Alexander II and King Edward VII, when he was Prince of Wales. In the summer, it also played home to many members of the Rothschild family. In the first half of the 20th century, it was frequented by artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Francis Bacon,h Wharton, Somerset Maugham and Aldous Huxley, as well as wealthy Americans and Europeans. After World War II, it became a popular tourist destination and convention site. Many celebrities, such as Elton John and Brigitte Bardot, have homes in the region.

The eastern part (maralpine) of the Côte d’Azur has been largely transformed by the concreting of the coast linked to the tourist development of foreigners from North Europe and the French,. The Var part is better preserved from urbanization with the exception of the agglomeration of Fréjus-Saint-Raphaël affected by the demographic growth of the maralpin coast and the agglomeration of Toulon which has been marked by urban sprawl on its part West and by a spread of industrial and commercial areas (Grand Var).