The 36 Communes
City of Sainte-Marie-La-Mer
Sainte-Marie-la-Mer is made up of two parts, on the one hand the historic heart, built around the church of Sainte-Marie, and on the other hand Sainte-Marie-Plage, along the Mediterranean coastline. The commune is situated about 15 km east of Perpignan and 3 km north of Canet-en-Roussillon.
Until the 12th century, two villages coexisted in the area: Sainte-Marie-de-Pabirans, the seat of a Sainte-Marie family in the 11th century, and Saint-André-de-Bigaranes. The territory then passed into the hands of the lords of Canet. In February 1198, King Alfonso II of Aragon authorised Raymond de Canet to fortify one of the two towns of his choice. He decided to equip Pabirans with fortifications, which probably caused the gradual disappearance of Saint-André, of which no trace remains today. The name Pabirans was then gradually abandoned in favour of Sainte-Marie. In 1790, Sainte-Marie became an independent commune.
During the French Revolution, the commune was called Redoute-de-l'Agly and Redoute-Maritime. More recently, the commune, named simply Sainte-Marie, officially took the name Sainte-Marie-la-Mer following a decree from the Ministry of the Interior on 7 February 2017.
Number of inhabitants
The town of Sainte-Marie has approximately 4,834 inhabitants. Its inhabitants are called Saintes-Marinois.