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21 bd Maréchal Juin
LE GRAU DU ROI
30240 - FRANCE
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In 1240, Saint Louis decided to build a city in his kingdom which would have direct access to the Mediterranean Sea.
He decided it should be here in Aigues-Mortes, in an area of marshes, sand and water. Seven centuries later, the fortification still dominates the Camargue, and remains one of the most well-preserved medieval French buildings.
With an area of over 930 km² (360 sq. miles), the Camargue is western Europe's largest river delta (technically an island, as it is wholly surrounded by water). It is a vast plain comprising large brine lagoons or étangs, cut off from the sea by sandbars and encircled by reed-covered marshes which are in turn surrounded by a large cultivated area.
Approximately a third of the Camargue is either lakes or marshland. The central area around the shoreline of the Étang de Vaccarès has been protected as a regional park since 1927, in recognition of its great importance as a haven for wild birds, and was incorporated into the Parc Régional de Camargue in 2008.
The Camargue is home to more than 400 species of birds, the brine ponds providing one of the few European habitats for the greater flamingo. It is also famous for The Camargue Bull and the Camargue horse.
Benefitting from a nature and vegetation unique to mainland Europe, the Camargue is well-known to ornithologists the world over, and can be discovered on foot, on horseback, by bicycle, by safari in a land rover, or by boat all year round.