A strategic place for the defence of Bordeaux and the kingdom of France, Blaye and its region were the object of many covetous desires and thus had a rich and eventful history from the Neolithic period until the 19th century. The Romans, from the1st century onwards, appreciated the gentle way of life in the region by settling there, as shown by the presence of the Gallo-Roman villas of Plassac, rich witnesses of this past. Charlemagne returned from Roncesvalles and deposited the remains of his nephew Roland, Count de Blaye, in the Saint-Romain basilica, which is now partly destroyed. In the 12th century, it was the homeland of the troubadour Jaufré Rudel, who went to Tripoli to find his beloved Mélissinde, to whom he dedicated his distant loves. After the Hundred Years' War, the city was relatively calm and Blaye was marked in the 17th century by the passage of the Sun King. The latter, sensing the English threat coming, asked Vauban to rebuild the town to transform it into a citadel between 1685 and 1689. In 1832, Her Royal Highness Marie-Caroline, Duchess of Berry, stayed for a while in the Pavillon de la Place, after having tried to raise Provence and Vendée against Louis-Philippe, in the name of her son the Duke of Bordeaux. In the 19th century, the ancient Blavia was nicknamed the "bolt of Aquitaine" because of the military role it played in defending Bordeaux against the English. It then became the Star and Key of Aquitaine, still the city's motto.

To see / do Blaye

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  • Sea crossing
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