Acadians at Cherbourg, France 1775

The name of Cherbourg appears for the first time in 1026 in the deed of donation of the castle by the Duke Richard II to his future wife. Like most European villages it has had a long and sometimes tumultuous history. The Manche area was inhabited from the Palaeolithic era on. After the Celts came the Gauls, the Romans, the Saxons, the Franks and the Scandinavians.

In 1686, at the request of Louis XIV, Vauban came to Cherbourg. He noted that the town was vulnerable only from its seaward side and suggested important defence works that were undertaken in 1688. However, the following year, Louvois, the War Minister, decided to suspend the work. He ordered the demolition of the castle and the fortifications that were falling into disrepair: Cherbourg was no longer a stronghold.

At that time, the harbour consisted solely of a lagoon with a stable bottom where forty vessels could anchor but there was no protection for this natural harbour as shown by the aftermath of the battle known as the La Hougue in 1692.

From 1739 to 1744, on the orders of Louis XV, the town was given a commercial port that, in 1758, in the course of another Anglo-French conflict, was entirely destroyed. It didn't open to traffic again until 1789.

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Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
Acadian & French Canadian Ancestral Home
2004 - Present

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