Cacherel Comes Home: Fashion giant Cacharel will return to Nîmes this year in style with the opening of a new shop designed by none other than Jean Nouvel, the hugely influential architect. The Cacharel brand was created by local entrepreneur and designer Jean Bousquet in 1958. Having fallen out of fashion for a little while, M Bousquet aims to revive the brand by appealing to a younger audience. Jean Bousquet, Mayor of Nîmes from 1983 – 1995, feels that many luxury brands have abandoned the city and he hopes by welcoming Cacherel back home, it will start a revival of interest.
New Twentieth Century Heritage Site: Le Grau du Roi-Port Camargue has just been designated a Twentieth Century Heritage site. In the Seventies, Port-Camargue was created as a new district of Le Grau du Roi, well known as the principal Mediterranean fishing port of France. It has received this new award due to four particular features – the harbour master’s office, the Quai d’Honneur district, the Marinas 1 district and the Espiguette Sicarex Entav. The town was designed by the Jean Balladur architectural firm that was also responsible for La Grande Motte in Languedoc-Roussillon. Contemporary history is reflected in the design – curved balconies producing the shape of de Gaulle’s nose for example. There is also a unique water purification system that was introduced (replicated in the port of Dubai) and the interaction with nature is a distinct feature.
Lussan joins the ranks of Most Beautiful Villages of France and Village de Charactère: Lussan joins Aigueze, Montclus and Roque/Cèze as one of the Most Beautiful Villages of France and Village de Charactère. Perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the plateau of the Cevennes, the medieval ramparts that surround the village typically feature narrow streets and fine stone houses that lay testament to the rich history of the silk industry that dominated the local economy until the nineteenth century. The fifteenth century castle now houses the town hall and is classified as a Monument Historique. It is close to two important geological features – the menhir Pierre Plantée and the gorges of Concluses.
Protestants Unite: As The Gard was home to a quarter of France’s protestants at one time, the area is celebrating 500 years of Protestantism throughout the year. Events will take place all over the department from the Maison des Illustres, once home of the only ever Protestant President of the Republic, Gaston Doumergue, to the Desert Museum – which was built around the houses of the main Protestant protagonists and where every year on 1st September Protestants from all over Europe gather to commemorate the Desert Assembly. From the Cevennes to the Camargue, the Gard has one of the richest troves of Protestant history in the country.