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Port Grimaud (Var)
Port Grimaud is located four miles south-west of Saint-Tropez. Built in a Venetian style, the mainly traffic free town is popular with boat owners as most properties come with their own berth.
Port Grimaud was conceived by the architect Francois Spoerry (1912-1999) who also created the tower of Europe at Mulhouse and several other projects. He was inspired by the rich cultural and architectural heritage of the Mediterranean area combining the provencal “art de vivre” with the most progressive construction methods. The birth of the village of Port Grimaud started with the acceptance of planning permission on 14 June 1966. One of the loveliest squares in the village is the Place du 14 Juin which commemorates this historic date.
Four years before in 1962, Francois Spoerry discovered this marshy areas which was then just used by the hunters of Grimaud. At that time any shipping was impossible due to shallow water and building on the land was impossible also.
Yet Francois Spoerry undertook the creation of what later became Port Grimaud. First with an opening to the river Giscle then from 1969 directly to the sea.
Today Port Grimaud is composed of more than 2400 buildings, 1100 of which are individual houses. There are more than 2,000 boat moorings, 7 kms of canals, 12 kms of piers and the village has a total area of more than 90 hectares and receives approx 500,000 visitors per year.
Each house in Port Grimaud is individual style and no two are alike. Even the paint colours of the houses and shutters are individually registered in order to be able to preserve the original colours when the house exteriors are repainted.
The church of Port Grimaud, St Francis of Assisi, where Francois Spoerry is burried was inspired by the churches of Ste Marie-de-la-mer in Camargue and of Martigues.
24000 tons of rocks were necessary to build the embankment. Its curved shape gives better protection against the waves.
Port Grimauld was declared a registered monument of the 20th Century on 28 Nov 2000.