Le Musée Ciotaden


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Armoiries 1647                                                   Armoiries 1675

The beginning

La Ciotat was created, as an independant community, by the Charter of March 1429. Its name “ La Cieutat “, which means the town, comes from the memory of the antique "Civitas" (city) which stood here and of which a few rare romains are left.

 Armoiries 1650                                                        Armoiries 1669

La Ciotat of the 15th and the 16th centuries was reduced to "Dintre", a small space limited to our current streets : Maréchal Foch, François Donzel, La Callade.
The 17th century, on the contrary, was the golden century for La Ciotat which built its church and chapels and extended itself to the current limits.
It was the century of the triumphant beliefs which manifested themselves through brotherhoods (e.g. : Pénitents) and through congregations (e.g.: Capucines, Bernardines, Ursulines for women, Capucins, Servites, Minimes, Oratoriens for men).

Armoiries 1702                                                 Armoiries 1720

The XVIII th and XIX th centuries

During the 18th century, the middle class of La Ciotat developped their patrimony through trade and navigation. The fishermen formed a powerfull unit, furthered by their tribunal.
The Revolution was greeted with fervour by the "petit peuple" of shipworkers and farmers, and by craftsmen who gathered in the "Club des Antipolitiques", affilied to the Club of Marseille (Friends of the Constitution).
La Ciotat, on the edge of the Mediterranean, endured the Franco-English war which lasted from the Directory to the Empire.
The Restoration and the Second Empire, even if they brought peace, saw La Ciotat depopulated and poorer, at least until the creation of the "Service Maritime des Messageries Nationales".
In 1835, one doubles the capacity of the port by building the pier of Bérouard. An industrialist: Louis Benet, there installs a factory of steam engines and will launch in 1836, in collaboration with Vence, the naval manufacturer ciotaden, the first French vapor steamer of the Mediterranean. Ruined by the Revolution of 1848, it yields its workshops, in 1851, with the Maritime Service of the National Transport (which will become Impériales in 1853 then Maritimes in 1871).

Armoiries XIXeme                                                 Armoiries XXeme

This is the era in which La Ciotat gradually modernised itself.
The railway reached La Ciotat in 1854. The Marseille-Toulon line was finished in 1859. In 1861, the town was illuminated by gas whereas electricity was installed in 1890.
In 1887, a railway line linked the town of La Ciotat to the Paris-Lyon-Marseille line.
1895 saw the brillant invention of two adopted citizens, the brothers Louis and Auguste Lumière : Cinematography.
La Ciotat constructed its schools, its open-air market, its fishermongers, its public garden.
In 1910, some citizens of La Ciotat invented “la Pétanque”.
The "Messageries Maritimes"”, then the "Société Provençale de Constructions Navales"(S.P.C.N.) and the "Chantiers Navals de La Ciotat"(C.N.C.)(the shipyard of La Ciotat) assured constant and profitable work.
Alas! The two world Wars(1914-18)-(1939-45) badly damaged La Ciotat in casuelties and destructions.

With the end of the second world war, Ciotat counts 13410 inhabitants, they will be 30000 after the expansion of "the thirty glorious ones" in 1975. In 1982, the state amalgamates the building sites of Ciotat, Seyne and those of Dunkirk: it is the "NORMED". But the crisis which begins will be right of this company and the last launching of ship in Ciotat will take place in 1987. The city, disaster victim by unemployment, sees decreasing its population during this end of XXeme century. In this beginning of XXIeme, if the city could not yet find its industrial strength of antan, various establishments of new companies in sectors various and innovating (maritime or different) and its tourist attraction show the sign of a revival for this old woman and courageous city.

Armoiries de l'association