History of the Oleron Island

In prehistoric times it seems that Oléron Island was linked to the continent. Findings offlint blades confirm the presence of people here in the ice age. During this time Oléron was also inhabited by wild boars and deer.

Until the early Middle Ages there is a lack of anthropological evidence. Around that time Oléron was in the hands of Geoffroy Martel and then the Ducs d'Aquitaine.From that point on and until the middle of the 15th century the island was alternatively the possession of the French and the British. The second half of the 15th century marks the start of a period of violence. The Gabelle Rebellion broke out (the salt-producing folk's revolt over a new hefty tax system) and then the European wars of religion erupted. Oléron's strategic position made it a place of conflict between Catholics and Protestants. La Rochelle's fall in 1628 marks the end of this period of bloodshed.

The French Revolution though not affecting Oléron Island greatly saw its name changed to "Liberté".

A turning point in the island's modern history is the laying of the road network linking Château d'Oléron to Saint-Denis-d'Oléron.

From 1940 until 1945 Oléron was occupied by German forces, once again due to its strategic location. The island was liberated when French troops landed during the night of April 30th

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