Before 1966 the bottom of the gulf was a swamp. That year, François Spoerry (designer of the Tower of Europe in Mulhouse), who died in 1999, began the creation of what was to become Port-Grimaud today
This is a 90-hectare complex that hosts about 500,000 visitors a year (around the 100th place for tourist sites, in free access, the most visited in France in 2000).
The coast has always been frequented, and particularly towards the hamlet of Saint-Pons les Mûres, crossroads of important tracks and landing stage for the village of Grimaud. The area where Port-Grimaud extends was made up of a few marshes and the alluvial plain of the Giscle.
These areas were only used for agricultural or hunting purposes. It was not until the 1960s that this coast was the object of interest for the tourist development.
It was in 1964 that the architect François SPOERRY bought the land to build the dream of every sailor: own a house with his boat moored at the end of his garden. Once this principle is defined, he imagines a village where the land and the sea intertwine. Marked by the traditional architecture, which he finds more "soft" than the large real estate projects of his time, it offers houses of Provence style but also Mediterranean influences.
During your visit, a number of elements are to be seen absolutely. Outside the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, one should discover:
- Picturesque scenery
The facades sometimes have trompe l'oeil, simple architectural motifs (columns, oculus, capitals), or statues or figures such as this Provencal leaning from its balcony, Place du Marché.
In this same place, one discovers a series of drawings in calade. They evoke the nature of the businesses in front of which they find themselves.
- The Place of June 14
This place, located in the first block of construction of Port-Grimaud bears this name in reminder of the date of obtaining the license to build the Cité Lacustre, which was not easy, as the oppositions were strong
- Place François Spoerry and the Fontaine Magistrale (in Port Grimaud 2)
The buildings on this square have beautiful blue and white ceramic decorations. The monumental fountain decorated with Azulejos features a portrait of the founder of Port-Grimaud.
This lacustrine city is an example of architectural success, it was labeled in 2002 "heritage of the twentieth century" by the Ministry of Culture.