The result of an agreement with the State and registered with the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), the label "City of art and history" qualifies territories that engage in an active process of knowledge, conservation, mediation and support for architectural quality and the living environment. The city of Royan is thus, classified city of art and history.
The label was awarded to the Charente resort at the end of 2010. This tourist value stamp has enabled Royan to restore visibility to its concrete heritage with its unique aesthetic, built on the ashes of the Second World War.
More than a postcard, the fifties style which emerges from the landscape of Royan now almost serves as a slogan. Bearing nostalgia, the message evokes a time that those under 20 cannot know. It carries with it the design of soft and bold architectural lines. They are associated with exotic and cinematographic atmospheres, reflections of an era of hope, freedom and reconstruction. I'modernist spirit many private villas visible in the resort is often paralleled with the one that French director Jacques Tati used – for artistic purposes – in some of his most famous films, including his 1958 feature “Mon Oncle”.
Promoting the heritage of Royan
The renewed interest in Royan's heritage contrasts with the lack of love with which this same avant-garde heritage had been the target in the 1980s and 1990s, only thirty years after its construction on the ruins of entire neighborhoods once covered with classical buildings, ravaged by the bombings of the last war. Bringing it up to date, which coincides with the awareness of the treasures it conceals, is the fruit of another work of reconstruction, moral and emotional this time. Awarded to the city of Royan in November 2010, the label "City of Art and History" undoubtedly contributed a great deal to this long process of reappropriation.
For a decade, Royan has joined the national network of 200 crowned cities and countries. This distinction was created by the Ministry of Culture in 1985. Royan appears alongside Lorient, Brest and Le Havre, which were also destroyed between 1943 and 1945.
The people of Royan involved
In the country of Royan, this action is reflected in the setting up ofanimations in the form of conferences, exhibitions… The objective goes beyond the mere promotional issue and aims to do educational work. This allows locals, but also visitors who spend their holidays in Charente-Maritime, to take an informed look at thecity planning, to learn about his style and identify his historical value.
The inhabitants themselves are involved through their private projects. The private villas are renovated without being altered. They recover or save the bright and pastel colors of the Royan of the 1950s.
50s villa in Royan
2023 in the Congress Palace will regain its original soul. It is inspired by the spirit instilled in it in 1957 by the architect Claude Ferret. He was inspired at the time by the Brazilian school and more precisely by the Yacht Club of Pampulha, by Oscar Niemeyer. Installed at the Palais des Congrès, a Architecture and Heritage Interpretation Center (CIAP) offers a 500 m² room dedicated to educational activities and two spaces for temporary and permanent exhibitions.