Town hall in Vattetot-sur-Mer near Étretat, Seine Maritime, Normandy. Known as a settlement since the Roman times, Étretat had a pretty uneventful history. By the end of the 18th century, before the French Revolution, it was a tiny fishing village only known for its oyster farms supplying seafood to the table of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and wife of Louis XVI. Étretat’s time to shine came in the 19th century when a balneological station was started here which, coupled with the construction of posh villas, helped turn it into a fashionable resort. The exceptional natural beauty of the place stole the show, with white chalk cliffs the main attraction. Located in Pays de Caux’s Côte d’Albatre (i.e. the Alabaster Coast), Étretat is known for some of its most spectacular cliffs. La Falaise d’Aval, la Falaise d’Amont and la Manneporte all boast of naturally formed erosion archs. L’Aiguille (i.e. the Needle) is another notable cliff, a sharp-edged cone rising some 60 meters above water. No wonder that picturesque and dramatic scenery drew the attention of numerous artists, impressionist and realist alike, who came here for inspiration. Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-August Renoir, Gustave Courbet, Henri Matisse and Vassili Polenov are just a few most famous artists who painted local landscapes. Literature big guns had their connections with Étretat, too, including Guy de Maupassant, Maurice Maeterlinck, Algernon Swinburn, Maurice Leblanc and Georges Simenon. Nowadays, Étretat is one of the Normandy’s major tourist destinations [November 27, 2015].
Posted by >Yuri Rapoport on 2018-05-14 16:54:56