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Salt marshes, Guérande, http://www.lumen-terra.com/img/lieux/112_Fotolia_pilgrimage_France_-_Marais_salants.jpg

Salt marshes

Natural treasures

Situated in the department of Loire Atlantique, 45 minutes from Nantes and 4 hours from Paris, the salt marshes have brought wealth to the peninsula of Guérande.

They extend over an area of 5000 acres. The present day technique of exploiting the salt marshes goes back to the 9th century.

The creation of the salt works covers several centuries. In 1500 the marshes covered about 80% of today’s surface. Between 1560 and 1660, thanks to the development of maritime commercial trade, 2500 crystallization basins are constructed. The last salt works were constructed around 1800. Today, about 250 people harvest the salt, about 12,000 tons per year.

The Salt Marshes are an outstanding site, a space of great natural beauty that was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 1996

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