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—  City  —
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Skyline of Chatillon at night.
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Region Bayonne
Prefecture Chatillon
Municipality Chatillon
Founded 3rd September, 1746 (Current Town Charter)
Founder Antoine Desalines
Legislature Chatillon City Council
 - Mayor Madeline Le Perret
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 - Urban Template:HidFormatting error: invalid input when rounding km2 (Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "{". acres)
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Population (2012)
 - City 1,850,475
 - Density
 Urban 340,110
 - Urban density
 Metro 1,510,365
 - Metro density
Demonym Chatillais
Time zone UTC +3
 - Summer (DST) UTC +4 (UTC)
Postal Code Span 1016-1020
Area code(s) 503, 515

Chatillon is a port city in western Valcluse, along the eastern coast of the Prekovi Sea. It is the largest city within the Bayonne region and one of the largest cities along the Prekovi Sea. It is also the second largest city in western Valcluse, behind Valence.

The city can trace its history back to a small fishing village established by Hugemont culture as early as 3000BC. It became an important trading post during the time of the Kingdom of Pannonia where it remained and grew as an important trading post. Karskar, Magyar, Prekovi and francophone Van Luxemburger peoples would settle the region periodically, establishing a number of overlapping settlements and towns. The Van Luxemburgers would have the greatest impact on the city, not only founding the current town charter from which modern Chatillon arose, but also it's culture and its working language. In 1746, Chatillon became part of the Van Luxemburger Empire until independence in 1800, when the city became part of the new independent republic.

Since then, the city has grown substantially in terms of importance and wealth. It remains the largest and wealthiest city in the region as well as one of the most important ports on the Prekovi Sea.



Chatillon is located on the western coast of Valcluse, on the eastern shore of the Prekovi Sea. The main part of the city is located at the foot of a shallow bay known to the locals as the Baie des Crabes (Bay of Crabs) owing to the large population of freshwater crabs inhabiting the bay. Most of the land steadily rises from the sea to an average altitude of six meters above sea level, with variations rising higher. The land to the north of Chatillon rises to an altitude of over 30 meters above seal level and forms large bluffs and cliffs at the head of the short Carentan Peninsula. The land remains largely flat or rolling to the east and south along the coast.

Most of Chatillon is located at the head of the Bay of Crabs although several adjoining towns and the port are located outside of the urban area. The affluent suburbs of Villefranche and Martinière sit on the headlands of the Carentan Peninsula and overlook most of the center of the city as well as the beachfront. On the other side of the bay is the main port of Chatillon, known as the Nouvelle Porte (with the Old Port located at the eastern foot of the Carentan headland) and the mostly working class suburbs of Nouvelle Havre and Péchières. Chatillon's CBD and a large number of other suburbs are located immediately behind the waterfront, where the Old City is located.

The flat nature of the terrain has allowed for Chatillon to spread outwards. Like many other cities in Valcluse, the lack of geographical constraints has meant that the city has less population density than others. The city is smaller than others in Valcluse geographically despite being the third largest of the "Big Four" cities in terms of population.


Chatillon has a humid continental climate according to the Köppen climate classification system. It has maritime influences owing to the city's proximity to the Prekovi Sea. The city is also located further south than other major cities in Valcluse.

All four seasons are experienced in Chatillon. Summer lasts between June and August, autumn between September and November, winter between December and February and spring between March and May.

Summer is warm and humid with rainfall occurring throughout the summer months. This is because Chatillon lies outside of the rain shadows cast by the Carpathians. Winds during the summer are predominantly from the south where it is much warmer. Average median temperatures are between 18-21°C with highs between 23-26°C. Temperatures such as these are mild compared to other cities in Valcluse and are due to the persistent year round breezes off the Prekonati Sea.

Snow begins to fall during autumn with the first snowfall of winter usually recorded around November, although snowfall occurring in October is not unusual. Most snow falls between December and March during the height of winter. Snowfall in Chatillon is predominantly lake effect although winter storms and blizzards from the north do also bring snow. Temperatures are below freezing throughout the summer months, save for one or two weeks in early December and late February. Cold air masses can sometimes bring daily high temperatures as low as -15°C although these days are few. During the warmer periods, sleet and freezing rain sometimes falls. Additionally, during winter, ice can form on the Prekonati Sea. This ice lasts between December and March and rarely achieves a thickness that threatens shipping.

Spring and autumn last between March-May and September-November respectively. The temperature lag experienced during summer means that warm temperatures and summer-like weather extends for a whole months into autumn. Warm temperatures can extend well into October in some instances. Unlike spring, the temperature lag means that the chance of snow is not present until late October, when cooler temperatures and night often allow for snow to fall. Snowfall properly does not begin until November. Spring experiences a similar temperature lag, but it is present around March, when snowfall is still common place and daily temperatures are just above freezing. Warmer temperatures do not begin until April and snow can fall during any time in spring, although it is more common in early spring than it is in late spring.

Chatillon's highest recorded temperature is 38.8°C, which was observed on July 7, 1988. It's lowest temperature is -28.3, observed on January 23, 1976.

Climate data for Chatillon, Valcluse
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −1
Daily mean °C (°F) −4
Average low °C (°F) −8
Precipitation mm (inches) 74.3
Snowfall cm (inches) 31.0
Avg. precipitation days 16 12 13 13 13 11 11 11 10 11 14 13 148
Avg. snowy days 11 9 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 9 41
Source: Météo Valcluse


Chatillon was the capital of the Bayonne region until 1905 when the capital was moved south to the city of Châteroux. It is the capital of Chatillon Prefecture which is composed of the city's metropolitan area. The prefecture is then split into six municipalities.

The Chatillon Metropolitan Council is the main administrative body in Chatillon. Composed of four elected councilors from the urban are of Chatillon itself and six councilors from the surrounding municipalities. The council is chaired by an elected mayor. The incumbent is Madeline Le Perret who was elected in 2010.


Chatillon's economic activities have primarily revolved around its position as an important trading post on the Prekovi Sea. Trade, shipbuilding and repairs are the mainstays of the economy in the city. It has also seen an increase in the tourism and manufacturing sectors. The economy is also primarily a service based economy. The city contributes 9% to the national economy and 60% to the regional economy annually. The city also has the third largest GDP per capita of Valcluse's "Big Four" cities at ₣181,070 ($47,650). It also has a GDP of ₣57.7 billion ($15.2 billion) as of 2013.

Trade has traditionally played an important role in Chatillon's economy. The city has become the primary logistical hub for cargo and transportation in western Valcluse due to its position roughly halfway along the western coast. Its sea trade is limited, however, to coastal and trans-coastal shipping within the Prekovi Sea. Trade is conducted with Prekonate, Anaskaya and Jungastia.

Manufacturing and food processing are big employers within Chatillon, with heavy industry company SNFL operating a locomotive manufacturing and overhall plant in the east of the city which maintains and builds locomotives for Valclusian railway customers, including CFNV. Valcluse's biggest sawmill and second largest fiberboard and paper mill is located in Chatillon, employing 1,500 people. The plant, which supplies western Valcluse and neighboring Jungastia with processed timber, fiberboard and paper is owned by Perreaux, a large forestry company. A motor vehicle component factory, which sells parts to domestic and international vehicle manufacturers, is also located in the city.

Tourism only accounts for 15% of the total GDP of Chatillon. The sector is one of the city's fastest growing and today employs nearly 5,000 directly and nearly 20,000 in associated indirect industries. In 2012, the Chatillon City Council introduced a plan to spend nearly ₣5.7 billion ($1.5 billion) in extra funding for marketing and the upgrade of the city's tourism areas and hotels.

Port of Chatillon

With 7,300 employees, the Port of Chatillon is the largest employer in the city. It is a major trading port on the Prekonati Sea and the largest fishing port in western Valcluse. The port itself is the fourth busiest in Valcluse in terms of shipping and third in terms of TEU's handled, with just over half a million TEU's passing through the port annually. Additionally, the Port of Chatillon is an important transfer point for natural gas, oil and minerals such as coal and iron ore. It's estimated that nearly one quarter of annual imports and exports that pass through the port are raw minerals.

Other important goods that pass through the Port of Chatillon include forestry products such as treated timber, fiberboard, paper and woodchips, agricultural products such as grain and livestock, motor vehicles and heavy machinery. It's estimated that the value of freight passing through the port is nearly $30 billion annually, about a third of which is returned to the port in profits.


Shipbuilding had been an integral part of the city's economic growth throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries as well as the first half of the 20th century. The construction of boats in the area is known to have dated back to pre-civilization times but shipbuilding as a commercial industry did not begin in earnest until the latter half of the 16th century with the arrival of Morivaine settlers and the establishment of Chatillon's port. The first shipyard was established in 1685 and others were periodically established afterwards. The industry began to flourish in the 1790's and continued until the mid-1850's. Chatillon was once the largest shipbuilding port in the Prekonati Sea and once possessed the largest dry docks. Economic troubles in the mid 1960's severely affected the shipyards and there were four left in operation by 1970, down from 13 in 1960.

Today, shipbuilding in Chatillon continues albeit in smaller operations than previously. The largest company operating in the area is Dufort Heavy Industries which runs the Prekonati Sea's largest dry dock. The company maintains and manufactures a number of large commercial ships for customers in Jungastia, Anaskaya, Prekonate and Valcluse. Dufort also maintains a contract with the Ministry of Defence to maintain and build naval vessels for Valcluse's Western Fleet. A number of smaller, independent operators also build and maintain boats. These are mainly for fishing and pleasure craft.



Chatillon's public transport system is administered by the Réseau des Transports Chatillais (Chatillais Transport Network), known by the acronym RTC. It is a private company owned and partially funded by the Chatillon City Council. RTC is responsible for the provision and maintenance of the city's bus and train fleets as well as the rails, bus stops and stations in both systems. In addition, RTC contracts tram and additional bus services out to Couria.

Bus services are run under the Transcar brand, which runs both urban and interurban buses. Transcar operates a fleet of around 670 buses operating within the city center and immediate suburbs. It also provides services between stations in the city and the outer suburbs as well as extended services to surrounding towns. These services operate alongside those of Couria, who operate purely suburban services around the outer suburbs of Chatillon. They also operate buses to extended towns and villages outside of the metropolitan area. Transcar buses are incorporated into the VCarte smart card system whereas Couria buses are not.

Chatillon is the largest city in Wilassia without an underground rapid transit system. Instead, the city relies upon six lines of commuter rail and five lines using trams. The commuter rail lines are operated by RTC under the "Réseau des Chemins de Feu Urbaines" (Urban Railway Network) or RCFU. The lines were built between 1965 and 1998 and a seventh line is currently under construction, with trains expected to be running by 2020. The entire network is electrified and runs on overhead currents of the same voltage as regular CFNV trains. This is to allow trains running on commuter routes to use the same tracks in certain areas as inter-city passenger trains. The majority of the rolling stock dates from the 1980's, with refurbishments in 2005. RFCU trains carry half a million passengers daily.

There are four commercial tram lines within the city. Run by Couria, they are the only transport network not run by the RTC to be part of the VCarte smart card system. The trams currently operate in circular routes around the CBD as well as the inner eastern suburbs. In addition, a historical tram service runs within the Old Port area of the city. It is independently operated and is uses for tourism purposes.


Chatillon's urban street network varies in different parts of the city. Much of the old district and the old port has narrow, winding lanes barely large enough to fit a single car. The streets in the CBD and in some inner city suburbs are laid out in a grid style, similar to other cities in Valcluse. Many of the city's suburbs have long and winding streets.

The city is intersected north to south by the A15 which connects the southern border with Jungastia and the northern border with Prekonate. The A15 connects all the cities along the coast in each direction. The A15 forms the principal north-south corridor within Chatillion and also separates the old port and the CBD from the eastern suburbs and the airport. The A15's largest and busiest interchange is located near the halfway point within the city and connects the A15 and the A32.

The A32 is a short section of motorway that bisects Chatillon's eastern suburbs and connects the city with the airport. It serves as a connecting route between the A15 and the A21, which also runs north to south and connects most of the major cities and provincial capitals inland. The A32 is the second busiest stretch of motorway on the entire west coast of Valcluse, after the urban stretch of the A15. The A32 is also notable as the median contains two electrified rail lines used to connect the central station with the airport and beyond.


Chatillon is connected to other cities along the coast and in the interior by three railway lines. The coastal line runs north to south along the coast. However, passenger services are limited to the north and terminates at the port of Frémont. Although the line proceeds directly to the border with Prekonate, passenger and freight services do not proceed across the border. Passenger services to the south do proceed across the border into Jungastia and international services leave Chatillon daily.

Domestic services are provided by CFNV and come in three main forms: high speed, express and regular. A single high-speed line connects Chatillon with Valence in the northeast. Journey times between Chatillon and Valence take around two and a half to three hours. Regular and express passenger trains run north to south along the coast and either proceed directly to destinations in express form or stop at intermediate stations as regular services. Trains depart at intervals between an hour and five hours. Passenger services extend eastwards, with lines splitting to the northeast and south. Popular destinations along eastern lines include Épier, Valenciennes and Montreuil.


Chatillon Antoine Desalines International Airport is the largest and only airport serving the city. It serves around 3.8 million passengers annually, making it the third busiest airport in Valcluse behind Valence International Airport and Lyon Saint Nicolas International Airport. Antoine Desalines International is named after the Morivaine founder of Chatillon, Antoine Desalines.

Located in the southeast of the city, the airport was first established to serve the southwest of Valcluse and become an important regional hub. The airport began construction in 1923 and was finished by 1929, with flights beginning in May 1930. Since then, the airport has expanded five times and had several terminals and runway extension, the latest of which occurred in 2006 when the runway was lengthened to 3,415 meters (11,205 feet) to handle long-haul aircraft. Although Chatillon is not served by any long-haul destinations, the runway extension was justified to serve aircraft that are unable to land in Valence for weather or emergency reasons.

The airport also shares facilities with private aircraft and an advanced flight school. Construction of a secondary runway for private aircraft use as well as to relieve runway congestion at peak times is under consideration. Because of the airport's proximity to suburban areas, the airport is under a curfew from 21:30 until 5:00 on weekdays and 22:00 to 5:00 on weekends and extended public holiday periods.


Chatillon has a total population of 1,850,475 inhabitants as of January 2014. This makes Chatillon the third largest city in the country in terms of population. 340,110 live within the city proper and 1,510,365 live within the metropolitan area of the city. Between 500-700,000 live within the city's outer suburbs with the remainder living in outer towns and cities within the prefecture.

With an average annual population growth of 1.1%, Chatillon is one of the slower growing cities in Valcluse. Immigration to the city is primarily from domestic sources although there has been a recent spike in recent years with foreign immigrants now accounting for 40% of new migrants to the city. Many of these migrants are from neighboring countries in the region.


Chatillion is a multi-ethnic city with some of the largest communities of Slavic and Magyar peoples in Valcluse. 60% of the city's inhabitants are classified as descendants of Morivaine French. 10% are of Van Luxemburger descent and 5% of other French descent. Magyars constitute 9% of the population, with Prekovi Czechs constituting 5% of the population. Russians from Anaskaya constitute 3% of inhabitants. Six percent claim to be of Germanic descent and the remaining two percent are composed of smaller ethnic groups.


Around 60% of the inhabitants are Christians. Catholicism is the largest Christian denomination in Chatillon, with 50% of Christians in the city Catholics. 30% are Protestants, principally Lutherans. The city also has the largest populations of Baptist and Evangelical Christians in Valcluse and combined compose 11% of all Protestants. Ten percent of remaining Christians are Orthodox and are principally found in the city's Prekovi Czech and Anaskayan Russian population. 35% of Chatillais are atheists or did not identify with any religion, which is the third highest percentage of any city in Valcluse. Three percent of Chatillais identified themselves as Jews and the remaining two percent of other minority religions, most notably Islam and Buddhism.


There are five hospitals located in Chatillon, with the largest being Chatillon General Hospital. The hospital is one of the oldest in the city, being founded in 1848. Chatillon General has 458 beds and is a major hospital within the city's healthcare system and important regionwide. It has a Level 1 trauma center as well as twin helipads on the roof for emergency patients. Chatillion General specializes in trauma and cardiac surgeries but also has facilities for specializing in cardiac and vascular care, neuroscience, burn treatment as well as stroke and rehabilitation. It has the busiest burn unit west of Valence. The hospital has a cardiovascular research center and a rehabilitation center attached to it.

The Chatillon University Hospital is the second largest hospital in the city with 365 beds. It is attached to the University of Chatillon but is administered separately. It is a general services hospital but also specializes in healthcare for women and children. It is the location of the Isabelle Bourbon Children's Hospital, which comprises 117 beds of the main hospital facilities. The hospital has one of the largest neonatal intensive care units in Valcluse and has other facilities for mental health, rehabilitation and developmental pediatrics. It also has one of four child orientated emergency trauma centers in western Valcluse and is the largest of its kind in the region. Like Chatillon General, University Hospital has a helipad for use for emergency patients. Outside of pediatric care, University Hospital also has care facilities primarily for women and has an active breast cancer screening program as well as clinics for infectious diseases, obstetrics and gynecology.

Carentan Hospital is the largest private hospital in Chatillon, with 228 beds. It specializes in cancer care and orthopedics and has the largest cancer research and treatment facilities in the city. Carentan primarily focuses on cancer care services, from screening and diagnosis to treatment, including chemotherapy. It also has the only radiation treatment unit on the west coast. It was founded in 1917 and is one of the older hospitals in the city. Carentan also has the only privately operated trauma center in Chatillon as it deals with a number of emergencies from private customers daily. Currently, Carentan operates under an agreement with the Ministry of Health to provide cheaper care for patients on public health plans in return for government funding to make the difference in loss in profits.

Villefranche Hospital is a specialized hospital dedicated to care of the elderly. Founded in 1890, Villefrance Hospital has 250 beds, making it the third largest hospital in the city. It is also the only hospital in the city that takes in patients through referrals, as it lacks a dedicated emergency room. Along with dealing with chronic illnesses, Villefranche delivers services that focus on dementia, aging, palliative care and rehabilitation. The hospital also focuses on improving the quality of life for senior citizens, including providing advice for healthy lifestyle choices and offering exercise classes for seniors.


Education in Chatillon is managed through the prefecture's government services, with the "Department of Education" implementing government policy and controlling education spending among public schools. There are 117 public primary and secondary schools in Chatillon with an additional twelve independent secondary and primary schools. Chatillon ranks fifth in Valcluse in terms of student achievement in education but has one of the highest truancy rates in the country.

Chatillon is home to several tertiary institutions. The largest and most prominent is the University of Chatillon which has 22,000 students and 2,350 staff. It was founded in 1792 and offers courses ranging from medicinal science to the arts to engineering to anthropology. The university is especially well regarded for its environmental studies, especially studies in marine biology and fisheries.





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