Nieulle sur Seudre

Nieulle sur Seudre is known for the salt-marshes that have formed in the river Seudre. Most of the dwellings are concentrated on a little island in the former gulf of the Seudre and the inhabitants share a kindred spirit.

Introduction :

In fact there are two separate townships – Petit-Nieulle and Grand-Nieulle that were formerly two noble strongholds: the logis de Feusse (Petit-Nieulle) with its 15th century sculpted door and Toucheronde (Grand Nieulle), 18th century, in a delightful setting of greenery.

Bearing in mind their ancestral calling, both villages share the agricultural topography so typical of maritime Saintonge: dwellings built around a courtyard in a fan-shape, with their outbuildings and wells. Windows and doors match their function: vast doors for the wine-cellars, high windows for the hayloft and low doorways for the home. 

In 1990, the population stood at only 507, growing to 710 in 2004 and 1127 in 2010, the highest rate of increase in the area. Such an increase goes hand in hand with agriculture (cattle), oyster-farming and various trades which are currently enjoying a boom. Port-Paradis – truly well named! – is the emblem of local oyster-farming that is in fact quite dispersed.

Sites :

The first Catholic church was not built until 1847; seven years later, the villagers were granted the creation of their own parish and thus built a more robust construction, Notre Dame, dedicated to Sainte Marie de l'Immaculée Conception. Savary, the priest appointed in 1861, was the real motivator of the project and its artisan. He had it roofed and paved with stone; he had a bell-tower built and a stone font, with a cover in fluted tin and a large high altar with a baroque-style canopy. Two large tropical oyster shells were added to serve as holy water basins. 

The protestant church of Nieulle sur Seudre saw the light of day in 1836 in Petit Nieulle thanks to donations, especially those of the rich Garesché family. The façade is sober but has a meticulous sculpted décor where can be read: “Here is the house of God” and “Sound out the scripture of St John, Ch9, v39”. 

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