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Ouistreham (Municipality, Calvados, France)

Last modified: 2021-07-06 by ivan sache
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Flag of Ouistreham - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 19 March 2021

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Presentation of Ouistreham

The municipality of Ouistreham (self-styled Ouistreham-Riva Bella; 9,250 inhabitants in 2018; 995 ha) is located 15 km north-east of Caen.

Ouistreham emerged around the St. Samson church and the tithe barn and developed towards the shore, in the north. Once a peasants and fishermen's village, Ouistreham experienced the development of its port thanks to the extraction and export of Caen stone, a light creamy-yellow Jurassic limestone.
Io protect the mouth of the Orne from English attacks, three redoubts were built in 1779 in Ouistreham, Colleville and Merville, according to Vauban's plans. These redoubts were disarmed in 1816; the new private owner of Ouistreham redoubt transformed it into a mansion.
In 1866, a first estate was built in the dunes by Mr. Longpré, corset manufacturer in Caen, who named it "Belle Rive" (Nice Shore). Noticing the similarity between sunset on the Ouistreham shores and in Italy, a painter coined the named "Riva Bella". Dunes and swamps were gradually replaced by estates while a casino was built. At the very beginning of the 20th century, a seaside resort developed around luxurious estates and leisure facilities, thalassotherapy and casino.

During World War II, Ouistreham was occupied by German troops. From 1942, the beach area became a no man's land; 123 estates by the sea were razed and 80 concrete structures as well as an artillery observation post overlooking the beach, "the big bunker", were built. On 6 June 1944, the seizure of the post secured Sword Beach's landing point. French Commando No. 4 led by Captain Philippe Kieffer then advanced to the Bénouville (Pegasus Bridge) and Ranville bridges and thus operated the junction with the paratroopers of the 6th DAP (British Airborne) after street fighting in Ouistreham.

Olivier Touzeau, 19 March 2021

Flags of Ouistreham

The flag of Ouistreham (photo, photo) is white with the municipal coat of arms, "Tierced per pale, 1. Gules three lions passant guardant or dimidiating, 2. Gules two lions passant guardant or, 3. Or on a lion rampant sable a crozier or in pale a chief azure a sailing ship between an escallop and an estoile argent". The trident on the mural crown is another version of the naval crown, Neptune's attribute of Neptune replacing ship's sails.

Olivier Touzeau, 19 March 2021

Société des Régates de Caen-Ouistreham

[Flag]         [SRCO burgee]

Flag and burgee of the SRCO - Images by Ivan Sache, 19 December 2009

The SRCO (website) was established in 1892, as the Société des Régates de Ouistreham (SRO) by Geoerges-Auguste Thierry, owner of the sailboat Daphné, who acquired an estate of Ouistreham. His son, George-Paul Thierry, would succeed hims as the club's president for more than 30 years (1925-1961.
The club was renamed to SRCO during the Second World War, when deep-sea yachting was prohibited and the club's activity restricted to the basins of the ports of commerce of Caen.

The flag of SRCO (photo, photo) is red with a blue diamond charged with a white star. The companion burgee is a triangular version of the flag.

Ivan Sache, 3 July 2021