The COTENTIN PENINSULA (French pronunciation: ), also known as
the CHERBOURG PENINSULA, is a peninsula in
* 1 Geography
* 2 History
* 2.1 Roman
* 3 Economy * 4 Culture * 5 References * 6 Other sources
The Cotentin peninsula is part of the
Armorican Massif (with the
exception of the Plain lying in the Paris Basin ) and lies between the
estuary of the Vire river and
Mont Saint-Michel Bay. It is divided
into three areas: the headland of
Cap de la Hague , the Cotentin Pass
(the Plain ), and the valley of the Saire River (
Val de Saire ). It
forms the bulk of the department of
The largest town in the peninsula is
The western coast of the peninsula, known as the Côte des Îles
("Islands Coast") faces the
The oldest stone in France is found in outcroppings on the coast of Cap de la Hague, at the tip of the peninsula.
Cotentin was almost an island at one time. Only a small strip of land in the heath of Lessay connected the peninsula with the mainland. Thanks to the so-called portes à flot (fr), which close at flood and open at ebb and which were built in the west coast and in the Baie des Veys, on the east coast, the Cotentin has become a peninsula.
The CôTE DES HAVRES lies between the Cape of Carteret and the Cape of Granville. To the northwest, there are two sand dune systems: one stretching between Siouville-Hague and Vauville , the other one stretching between Cap of Carteret and Baubigny .
The peninsula formed part of the Roman geographical area of Armorica
. The town known today as
King Alan the Great of
Meanwhile, Vikings settled on the Cotentin in the ninth and tenth
centuries. There are indications of a whaling industry there dating to
the ninth century, possibly introduced by Norsemen. They were
followed by Anglo-Norse and Anglo-Danish people, who established
themselves as farmers. The Cotentin became part of
Hundred Years War
The town of
Valognes was, until the
World War II
The peninsula's main economic resource is agriculture. Dairy and vegetable farming are prominent activities. Along the coast, aquaculture of oysters is a growing industry. Cider and calvados are produced from locally grown apples and pears.
The region hosts two important nuclear power facilities. At
Flamanville there is a nuclear power plant , where the second European
Pressurized Reactor in the world is being constructed, with
commissioning delayed to 2016 or later. COGEMA
La Hague site , a large
nuclear waste reprocessing and storage complex operated by
Areva NC ,
is located a few miles to the north, at Beaumont-Hague. The facility
stores all high level waste from the French nuclear power program in
one large vault. Nuclear industry provides a substantial portion of
jobs in the region. The roads used for transport of nuclear waste have
been blocked many times in the past by environmental action group
There are two important naval shipyards in Cherbourg. The state-owned shipyard DCNS has built French nuclear submarines since the 1960s. Privately owned CMN builds frigates and patrol vessels for various states, mostly from the Middle East.
Tourism is also an important economic activity in this region. Many
tourists visit the
D-Day invasion beaches, including
After quitting political life, the political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) retreated to the family estate of Tocqueville where he wrote much of his work.
Due to its comparative isolation, the peninsula is one of the remaining strongholds of the Norman language , and the local dialect is known as Cotentinais . The Norman language poet Côtis-Capel (1915-1986) described the environment of the peninsula, while French language poet Jacques Prévert made his home at Omonville-la-Petite. The painter Jean-François Millet (1814-1875) was also born on the peninsula.
The Norman language writer Alfred Rossel , native of Cherbourg, composed many songs which form part of the heritage of the region. Rossel's song Sus la mé ("on the sea") is often sung as a regional patriotic song.
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* ^ Rolet, J.; Jegouzo, P.; Ledru, P.; Wyns, R. (1994).
"Intracontinental Hercynian Events in the Armorican Massif".
Pre-Mesozoic Geology in France and Related Areas IGCP-Project 233:
195–219. doi :10.1007/978-3-642-84915-2_20 .
* ^ Bay of Écalgrain and Bay of Cul-Rond Website "Lithothèque de
* ^ Les Parcs Naturels Régionaux. Editions Gallimard. Page 176.
* ^ hydraulic heritage : les portes à flot (französisch)
* ^ P. Chesnel, Le Cotentin et l'
Avranchin sous les ducs de
Normandie, 911-1204, 1912, noted in
C. Warren Hollister , Henry I
(Yale English Monarchs), 2001:51ff and map, xviii; there were two
brief interludes when it was declared a countship .
* ^ DeSmet, W.M.A. (1981). "Mammals in the Seas: General papers and
large cetaceans. Whaling During the Middle Ages.".
* ^ Twelve essential old Scandinavian words (old Norse) in
* Renaud, Jean: Les Vikings et la Normandie (Ouest-France. 2002) ISBN 2-7373-0258-7 * Renaud, Jean: Les dieux des Vikings (Ouest-France. 2002) ISBN 2-7373-1468-2
Coordinates : 49°30′N 1°30′W / 49.500°N 1.500°W / 49.500; -1.500
* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 246607433 * GND :