Salin-de-Giraud, "our history in the Camargue"
Salin-de-Giraud, "our history in the Camargue"

Salin-de-Giraud, "our history in the Camargue"

Heritage and history
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Between land, sea and salt, discover the different stages of the history of an unusual village in the Camargue, Salin-de-Giraud!
Young village born in the industrial era, Salin-de-Giraud is the story of two companies and their workers' cities. It is also the memory of those people who peopled it, peoples of the sea, peoples torn from their land, peoples coming from all sides and all gathered around its heritage and wealth. Come discover the history of the "coron du sud" and browse this scripted itinerary: Reading totems and silhouettes in Chinese shadow line the course.

13 points of interest

  • Patrimony and history

    Solvay district

    The Solvay coron was built between 1896 and 1902 by the Belgian company having imported its red brick architectural model. Salin is nicknamed "coron du sud" because of these dwellings designed on the model of the working cities of the north. This model reproduces the hierarchy of the enterprise, from the director's house to the workers’accomodation. Impregnated with paternalism, the Solvay company built for its employees, among others things, a hospital, a school group but also arenas.

  • Patrimony and history

    The arenas of the village

    Built in the twentieth century, the arena of Salin-de-Giraud is part of the social arsenal that the Solvay factory had set up for its staff. The workers from Gard wanted to have a place for their passion for bulls. The friar poet Carle Naudot, foreman at the Solvay factory, created the bullfighting club Prouvenço Aficioun to animate this enclosure, one of the first buildings of its kind in Provence. Today, arenas are a nerve center for the socio-cultural activity of the village.

  • Patrimony and history

    The corons

    The architects and planners of Solvay have drawn ex nihilo a working-class city that looks like corons from the north. A coron is a group of dwellings typical of Western European regions where workers live with their families. Unlike the working class, the houses are terraced and an alley separates the corons located opposite. The factory is usually located near the workers' accommodation.. The corons are one-storey dwellings with a small vegetable garden at the rear.
  • Patrimony and history

    The old hospital

    Ernest Solvay was a social precursor, he integrated a system of social security. As a result, workers at Solvay benefited from health and social protection. Ernest Solvay's hygienist project is reflected in the landscape by equipment such as the hospital and bath-showers. A doctor and a midwife were hired. In addition, a pharmacy was developed and social funds were proposed. The social adventure of the Solvay factory is associated with its industrial history.
  • Patrimony and history

    The sports district

    The workers live in difficult conditions and to avoid any revolt the employers developed a social policy in the mid-nineteenth century. The worker becomes dependent from his company who offers him a housing. The company organizes leisure activities : the music, the library but also the sport. Impregnated with paternalism, the Solvay group took early initiative to organize leisure, a way to ensure the cohesion of employees, the sports bar is present in this neighbourhood.
  • Patrimony and history

    The Carle Naudot square

    It was here that people from Solvay and Péchiney met. In balls, at school. For a long time, the Carle Naudot square was the only link between the two parts of the village. C. Naudot worked at the Solvay design office. He was a municipal councilor and special assistant of the village, he is also at the origin of the bullfighting club (1901). Photo-ethnographer, the steel silhouettes scattered around the village are made from Saliniers photographed by C. Naudot.
  • Patrimony and history

    The catholic church of Salin-de-Giraud

    The Catholic Church, which belongs to the Compagnie des Salins, is made of lightweight material. The chapel, with its single nave, rests on concrete walls punctuated by buttresses. The chapel was built in 1934-1935 and is covered by a low vault in broken cradle. In the era of industrial paternalism, workers are encouraged to practice the Catholic religion. Concerning education, the Péchiney society uses religious education, the Solvay group chooses secularism.
  • Patrimony and history

    The Péchiney district

    The Péchiney district has a less structured and organized organization than the Solvay district. It is more the result of a policy of temporary development and reoccupation of vacant buildings. Less structured, this district gave way to individual and collective initiative. So we can meet with DIY sheds, gardens in front of the house, shortcuts. It is possible to walk and walk from one street to another without forcing the privacy of its inhabitants.

  • Patrimony and history

    The Adrien Badin square

    In 1900, Adrien Badin was hired at the Salindres factory (Gard) by M. Péchiney. An essential figure in the development of the Company, he is appointed director after the departure of Mr. Péchiney. He established a system of retirement and health protection for his workers, he built "modern" cities. The company will experience a rapid development, from 3 to 12 factories in 1917 ! One of the neighbourhoods will long be called Badinville. A statue has been erected in his memory.

  • Patrimony and history

    The barracks

    During the First World War, many of the Pechiney Company's workers did not return, so Italian, Greek, Armenian, Spanish and Maghrebi immigrants came to supplement the workforce. The old train linking the city of Arles to Salin-de-Giraud allowed to ensure their arrival. They were installed in the military quarter of Péchiney district which was converted into workers accommodation. It has therefore welcomed a labor force, composed for the most part, of immigrants.
  • Patrimony and history

    The Orthodox Church of Salin-de-Giraud

    The flourishing industry Solvay factories (established in 1895) requires manpower, especially at the time of the First World War when the French are at the front. The Greeks, who arrived between the two wars, settled by family reunification. They kept their customs and religion while integrating themselves into the life of the village. A church for Orthodox worship was built in 1952. The Salins du Midi company will donate it to the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of France in 2009.

  • Patrimony and history

    The industrial village of Salin-de-Giraud

    In the mid-nineteenth century, 10,000 ha were developed by the company Henri Merle (Péchiney thereafter). Solvay settled next. The village of Salin-de-Giraud is born from the double implantation of Péchiney and Solvay in the late nineteenth century and their need for salt. The two companies turned to outside labor, initially from surrounding areas and then of Italian, Armenian and Greek origin, to carry out this painful work of salt exploitation.

  • Patrimony and history

    The Director’s house

    The hierarchy within the Solvay factory is marked by the architecture and the spatial organization of dwellings. The building was organized around the productive system. The director's house, located in front of the factory, is the largest of the houses. The further away the housing is from the factory, the lower the individual is in the social hierarchy. Delivered in August 1898, this house is one of the first houses that was built. It has thirty rooms and enjoys a large park.


Back to the Tourist Office, head to the right. Turn right at the junction to reach the Boulevard de la Gare and continue on the boulevard. Walk along the bull ring and then, at the junction, turn left.
1 - Take the first street on your left, Rue de Provence. Continue straight until you reach the D36 then turn right. Continue along the D36. The old hospital is on the left.
2 - Opposite the old hospital, turn right,rue de la République. Walk along the corons on the left. At the intersection with boulevard des arènes, turn right and then take the first street on your left, rue des écoles.
3 - Take the street on the right to regain the Boulevard de la Gare, then at the intersection with the boulevard go to the left. Leave on the right the Carle Naudot street. At the roundabout, turn left. Continue on the Boulevard de la Camargue for 300 m, pass the Saint-Trophime Catholic Church and continue until Adrien Badin Square. After the bandstand, head to the left on Rue du Jeu de Mail. Continue straight for 400 m in the residential area until the Greek Orthodox Church.
4 - After the Greek Orthodox Church, take the dirt road, about 300 m, to the residential area, Rue de la Bouvine. Take a left onto Rue de la Bouvine to get back to Boulevard de la Gare. At the Boulevard de la Gare, head to the right and continue to the arena.
5 - At the arena, head to the left on rue des Arènes. Take the second street on the right, Rue de la Victoire. At the intersection with the D36, turn right then take the first right to return to the tourist office.
  • Departure : Tourist Office, Salin-de-Giraud
  • Arrival : Salin-de-Giraud
  • Towns crossed : Arles


Altimetric profile


The association "Echappées salinières" wishes to enhance the cultural and natural heritage of Salin de Giraud. This association is at the initiative of the development of information panels and silhouettes.
The proposed route is indicative. The circuit can be done by borough (Solvay, Péchiney ...).
A document locating the points where the signs and silhouettes are located is available at the Tourist Office of Salin-de-Giraud.
Caution on the D36, busy road!

Information desks

Domaine de La Palissade

BP 5, 13129 Salin-de-Giraud (0)4 42 86 81 28

OT Salin-de-Giraud

1 Boulevard Pierre Tournayre, 13129 SALIN DE GIRAUD (0)4 42 86 89 77


Envia transport network : Agglo 10> Arles / Salin-de-Giraud by Gageron and Villeneuve >>;

Access and parking

38 km south-east of Arles, by the D570 and the D36.

Parking :

Stationnement devant l’Office de Tourisme, Salin-de-Giraud

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