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Lanton (Municipality, Gironde, France)

Last modified: 2012-10-09 by ivan sache
Keywords: gironde | lanton | taussat | cassy | cross: saltire (white) | saltire (blue) | anchor (red) |
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[Flag of Lanton]

Flag of Lanton - Image by Ivan Sache, 17 October 2011

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Presentation of Lanton

The municipality of Lanton (5,966 inhabitants in 2007; 13,619 ha) is located on the Arcachon Bay, 30 km north-east of Arcachon. The municipality is made of the four villages of Lanton (capital), Blagon, Cassy and Taussat.

Lanton was located on a secondary branch of the Way of St. James, called the English Way or the Seashore Way. This branch started from the Our Lady of Land's End in Soulac, north of Bordeaux, and headed to Basque Country along the dunes bordering the Atlantic Ocean. The Lanton parish church, built in the 12th century during the climax of the St. James pilgrimage, is considered as the oldest church in the Arcachon Bay.

The Certes domain, whose territory also stretches over the neighboring municipality of Audenge, is a typical example of the early attempts of industrialization of the Arcachon Bay. Originally made of sterile "salt pastures", the domain was transformed in salt marshes in the late 18th century by the Marquis de Civrac, "captal" (lord) of Certes. The protection of the marshes from the Bay's waters required the building of a huge dyke; it is believed that some two millions tons of earth were used. Originally producing 1,000 tons of tax-free salt per year, the Certes salt marshes were originally very profitable until the powerful salt producers from Charente obtained the taxation of the Certes salt, causing the bankrupt of Civrac in 1773.
The domain was abandoned by its successive owners until 1843, when the Fourierist engineer Ernest Valeton de Boissière (1811-1894, biography) transformed it into a fish farms. Remembered as the benefactor of the villages of Lanton and Audenge, Boissière imagined a complex system to transfer fresh and salty water between the different fish ponds. Fish farming is no longer significant in the domain, which was purchased by the Conservatoire du Littoral et des Rivages Lacustre and transformed into a 400-ha nature reserve managed by the General Council of Gironde.

Lanton was the landing place of the gas balloon Zénith, ending a famous flight that lasted 22 h 40, then the world's record, on 23-24 March 1875. The expedition was related in La Nature - Revue des sciences et de leurs applications aux arts et à l'industrie, No. 97: 293-298, 10 April 1875 (facsimile), by the chemist and pioneer of ballooning Gaston Tissandier (1843-1899), founder of La Nature; the Zénith was manned by Théodore Sivel, Joseph Crocé-Spinelli, Claude Jobert, Gaston Tissandier and his brother Albert. Sponsored by the Société française de navigation aérienne, the flight allowed several observations and experimentations in physics and chemistry; the balloonists also tested several new navigation and measurement devices and probes.
The success of the first Zénith flight encouraged Sivel, Crocé-Spinelli and G. Tissandier to attempt a new flight, aimed at exploring higher layers of the atmosphere. Unaware of the rarefaction of oxygen with elevation, the three balloonists fainted when reaching 8,000 m. The probes proved that the balloon reached 8,600 m before crashing down, causing the death of Sivel and Crocé-Spinelli. The accident was related by G. Tissandier in La Revue Scientifique, 24 April 1875 (facsimile).

Taussat, originally a small fishing and oyster-catching port, developed as a sea resort in the 19th century. Several villas were built between the shore and the pinewoods, most of them having been preserved until now. The most famous guest of Taussat was the painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901, biography). Tired of his dissolute life and immoderate use of alcoholic beverages, he stayed several times in the "Villa Bagatelle" between 1890 and 1901. A good swimmer and rower, Toulouse-Lautrec used to fish with a domesticated cormorant, which he carried on his fist, as his father did with a falcon. On 15 August 1901, while staying in Taussat, Toulouse-Lautrec was struck down by an apoplectic fit; his mother brought him back on 20 August to the Malromé family manor, where he died on 9 September.

Ivan Sache, 17 October 2011

Flag of Lanton

The flag of Lanton, hoisted on the town hall, is white with the municipal logo in the middle.
The logo of Lanton is made of the name of the municipality in black capital letters, except the "A" made of an orange sail and the "O" made of an orange sun disk, place above a blue base. "VILLE DE" (Town of) is written vertically on the left of the logo.

Ivan Sache, 17 October 2011

Yacht clubs in Lanton

Club Nautique Taussat-Cassy

[Flag of CNTC]

Flag of CNTC - Image by Ivan Sache, 2 June 2009

Club Nautique Taussat-Cassy (CNTC) is based at the Old Port of Taussat.
The flag of CNTC, part of the club emblem, is red, quartered by a thin white saltire and with the white letters "C", "N", "C" and "T" in the respective quarters.

Ivan Sache, 2 June 2009

Yachting-Club de Taussat

[Flag of YCT]         [Burgee of YCT]

Flag and burgee of YCT - Images by Ivan Sache, 7 July 2012

Another yacht club existed in Taussat in the beginning of the 20th century. The Yachting-Club de Taussat (YCT) was registered on 11 February 1901, as affiliated to the Yachting-Club d'Arcachon; each of the two clubs was a regular member of the other, sending a delegate to the respective club's general assembly, but the two clubs were managed in total independence.

The statutes of YCT contain a description, with images, of the club's emblems.
The flag of YCT is "a red square, a blue cross and red letters". The drawing placed just below the written description shows a rectangular white flag quartered by a blue saltire, in the respective quarters the letters "Y", "T", and "C", and an anchor, all red.
The burgee of YCT is "of triangular shape, a white background, a blue compass and red letters". The drawing placed just below the written description shows a white pennant with a blue chevron, along the hoist the red letters "YC" placed vertically, at fly a red letter "T". The dimensions of the burgee are given as 0,50 m x 0.90 m for a 10-ton boat; "the owners of yachts below 10 tons can proportionate the dimensions of the burgee at their own will, depending on the size of the boat". A side note says that a template burgee for a 10-ton boat is available at the seat of the yacht club.

A postcard shows the club's flag hoisted on the beach of Taussat.

Oddly enough, Article 1.4 of the Statutes prescribe that all members should be of French nationality. We know that at the same time, the Club Nautique de Nice welcomed foreign members.
Article 3.3 say that only the regular members of the club, thus excluding honorary and benefactor members, are allowed to use the club's burgee on their yacht.

Source: Statutes, regulations and photos of the YCT

Ivan Sache, 7 July 2012