Blaye (Template:IPA-fr) is a commune and subprefecture in the Gironde department in Aquitaine in southwestern France.
Its inhabitants are called Blayais or the Blayaises.
Blaye is located on the right bank of the Gironde estuary (which is some Template:Convert wide at this point), close to the A10 autoroute, Template:Convert north of Bordeaux. There is a rail line with occasional freight trains, but no passenger services. A small ferry crosses the Gironde to Lamarque, in Medoc.
In ancient times Blaye (Blavia) was a port of the Santones. Tradition states that the Frankish hero Roland was buried in its basilica, which was on the site of the citadel. It was early an important stronghold which played an important part in the wars against the English (who burnt it in 1352) and the French Wars of Religion (when it was the site of a Spanish naval victory in 1593). The duchess of Berry was imprisoned in its fortress in 1832-1833.
The town was formerly named Blaye-et-Sainte-Luce and was renamed Blaye in June 1961.
The town has a citadel built by Vauban on a rock beside the river, and embracing in its ancient ruins of an old Gothic château. The latter contains the tomb of Charibert II, king of Aquitaine, and son of Clotaire II. Blaye is also defended by the Fort Paté on an island in the river and the Fort Médoc on its left bank, both of the 17th century.
The citadel of Blaye, its city walls, the Fort Paté and the Fort Médoc (the latter in nearby Cussac-Fort-Médoc) were listed in 2008 as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as part of the "Fortifications of Vauban" group.
Blaye has a small river-port, mainly used for grain exports. Fine red wine is produced in the district, in the AOC Côtes de Blaye. A large nuclear power station with four reactors is located nearby.
Several schools are located in Blaye .
Public schools include the following:
- École Maternelle Pierre Bergeon
- École Maternelle Lucien Grosperrin
- École Elementaire Pierre Malbeteau
- École Elementaire Andre Vallaeys
The town has tribunals of first instance and of commerce.
- Bordeaux wine regions
- Communes of the Gironde department
- Town council website (in French)
- Personal website about Blaye (in French)
- Webpage about Blaye Citadel
- Another webpage about Blaye Citadel