Place:Île-d'Aix, Charente-Maritime, France


Alt namesIle-d'Aixsource: Family History Library Catalog
Ile-de-Résource: Family History Library Catalog
Île-d'Aixsource: WeRelate abbreviation
Coordinates46.013°N 1.172°W
Located inCharente-Maritime, France
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Île-d'Aix is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department off the west coast of France. It occupies the territory of small island of Île d'Aix in the Atlantic. It is a popular place for tourist day-trips during the summer months.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

During the Roman period, it seems the island was connected to the continent at low tide. It finally took its current shape around 1500.

In 1067, Isembert de Châtelaillon gave the island to the order of Cluny. A small convent was established, which depended on St Martin in Île de Ré.

At the end of the 12th century, France and England fought for the possession of the island. Until 1286, the island was located at the boundary between the French and the English Saintonge, formed by the estuary of the Charente River. During the Hundred years war, Aix became English for about 15 years.

In the 16th century, during the French Wars of Religion, the island became Catholic and then Protestant.

In 1665, nearby Rochefort was established as a strategic harbour for the Kingdom, leading to the construction of many fortifications in the area. Vauban built numerous fortifications on the island, which Ferry completed in 1704.

During the Seven Years' War (1756–1763) the British captured the island in 1757 and destroyed its ramparts as part of the attempted Raid on Rochefort, before withdrawing several weeks later. The island of Île-d'Aix was again captured by British forces in 1759 following the Battle of Quiberon Bay, and occupied until the end of the war in 1763. The fortifications were then rebuilt by several French officers, including Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, the author of Les Liaisons dangereuses.

During the French revolution, in 1794, the island was used as a prison for the suppression of religious opponents, in which hundreds of priests were left to die in moored prison-boats.

Napoleonic period

Napoleon famously visited the island in 1808 and gave directions to reinforce the fortifications. He ordered the construction of a house for the commander of the stronghold (today's "Musée Napoléon"), and the construction of Fort Liedot, named after a colonel killed in the Russian campaign.

In 1809, the Battle of the Basque Roads (French: Bataille de l'Île d'Aix) was a naval battle off the island of Aix between the British Navy and the Atlantic Fleet of the French Navy. On the night of 11 April 1809 Captain Thomas Cochrane led a British fireship attack against a powerful squadron of French ships anchored in the Basque Roads. In the attack all but two of the French ships were driven ashore. The subsequent engagement lasted three days but failed to destroy the French fleet.

In 1815, from 12 to 15 July, Napoleon also spent his last days in France at Ile d'Aix, after the defeat at Waterloo, in an attempt to slip past a Royal Navy blockade and escape to the United States. Realizing the impossibility of accomplishing this plan, he wrote a letter to the British regent[1] and finally surrendered to HMS Bellerophon, which took him to Plymouth before transferring him to Saint Helena.

Research Tips

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Île-d'Aix. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.