Réunion

The selectable images and pictures below illustrate information related to Réunion. Réunion (previously Île Bourbon) is a French island with a population of about 800,000 located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about southwest of Mauritius, the nearest island.

Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other overseas departments, Réunion is also one of the 27 regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic with the same status as those situated on the European mainland.

Réunion is an outermost region of the European Union and, as an overseas department of France, is part of the Eurozone.

History

Before the arrival of the Portuguese in the early sixteenth century, there is little to Réunion's recorded history. Arab traders were familiar with it by the name Dina Morgabin. The island possibly features on a map from 1153 AD by Al Sharif el-Edrisi. The island may also have been visited by Swahili or Malay sailors.

The first European discovery of the area was made around 1507 by Portuguese explorers, but the specifics are unclear. The uninhabited island may have been first sighted by the expedition led by Dom Pedro Mascarenhas, who gave his name to the island group around Réunion, the Mascarenes. Réunion itself was dubbed Santa Apolónia after a favorite saint, which suggests that the date of the Portuguese discovery may have been February 9, her saint day. Diogo Lopes de Sequeira is said to have landed on the islands of Reunion and Rodrigues in 1509.

Over a century later, nominal Portuguese rule had left Santa Apolónia virtually untouched. The island was then occupied by France and administered from Port Louis, Mauritius. Although the first French claims date from 1638, when François Cauche and Salomon Goubert visited in June 1638, the island was officially claimed by Jacques Pronis of France in 1642, when he deported a dozen French mutineers to the island from Madagascar. The convicts were returned to France several years later, and in 1649, the island was named Île Bourbon after the House of Bourbon. Colonization started in 1665, when the French East India Company sent the first 20 settlers.

"Réunion" was the name given to the island in 1793 by a decree of the Convention with the fall of the House of Bourbon in France, and the name commemorates the union of revolutionaries from Marseille with the National Guard in Paris, which took place on 10 August 1792. In 1801, the island was renamed "Île Bonaparte", after Napoleon Bonaparte. The island was invaded by a Royal Navy squadron led by Commodore Josias Rowley in 1810, who used the old name of “Bourbon”. When it was restored to France by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the island retained the name of "Bourbon" until the fall of the restored Bourbons during the French Revolution of 1848, when the island was once again given the name “Réunion”.

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Weather trend (Reunion)

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Close places of interest

L'Âme de la France (5.65 km)

L'Âme de la France (“The Soul of France”) is the name given by the French sculptor Carlo Sarrabezolles to three identical monumental statues that he executed in three different materials during the interwar period, the first in plaster in 1921, the second in stone in 1922, and the last in bronze in 1930. 3.2 metres tall, they represent a female warrior with naked breasts raising her arms toward the sky.

Geography of Réunion (7.19 km)

Réunion is an island in Southern Africa, in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. It is an overseas region of France. The total area of the island is 2,512 km², of which 10 km² is water. The island has a coastline of 207 km. The maritime claims of Réunion include an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles, and a territorial sea of . Climate The climate in Réunion is tropical, but temperature moderates with elevation. The weather is cool and dry from May to November, and hot and rainy from November to April.

Col de Bellevue (8.11 km)

The Col de Bellevue is a mountain pass on the RN3 road which runs across the Indian Ocean island of Réunion.

Dimitile (8.38 km)

Dimitile is a mountainous zone on the island of Réunion, located towards its southern end.

Trou de Fer (8.64 km)

The Trou de Fer ("Iron Hole") is a canyon on Reunion Island, off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The primary river flowing through the gorge, which is up to deep, is the Bras de Caverne River, which is a tributary of the Rivière du Mât. The canyon has two distinct parts; a large crater, which is fed by six prominent waterfalls, and a narrow slot canyon at its outlet, which constitutes most of the canyon's length. Canyon starts with the waterfall of Bras Mazerine stream and after some 1.4 - 1.8 km from the left side joins the main - Bras de Caverne stream.

Other mentions of Réunion

Mafate

The Cirque de Mafate is a caldera on Réunion Island (France; located in the Indian Ocean). It was formed from the collapse of the large shield volcano the Piton des Neiges. The very remote and inaccessible cirque was settled in the 19th century by maroon slaves (i.e. slaves who had escaped from their masters), then later by poor white laborers. It owes its name to one maroon leader. Geography The cirque is entirely enclosed by mountains, especially tall cliffs, known as remparts, save for the sole river exiting, the Rivière des Galets ("river of the pebbles").

Mascarene Islands

The Mascarene Islands (or Mascarenhas Archipelago) is a group of islands in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar consisting of Mauritius, Réunion and Rodrigues. The collective title is derived from the Portuguese navigator Pedro Mascarenhas, who first visited them in the early sixteenth century. The islands share a common geologic origin in the volcanism of the Réunion hotspot beneath the Mascarene Plateau and form a distinct ecoregion with a unique flora and fauna.

Mascarene Plateau

The Mascarene Plateau is a submarine plateau in the Indian Ocean, north and east of Madagascar. The plateau extends approximately 2000 km, from the Seychelles in the north to Réunion in the south. The plateau covers an area of over 115,000 km² of shallow water, with depths ranging from 8150 m, plunging to 4000 m to the abyssal plain at its edges. It is the largest undersea plateau in the Indian Ocean. Geography The northern part of the Mascarene plateau includes the Seychelles and Agaléga Islands.

Mauritius

Mauritius, officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about off the southeast coast of the African continent. The country includes the islands of Mauritius, Rodrigues, east of the principal island, the islands of Agaléga and Saint Brandon. The islands of Mauritius, Rodrigues and the French department of Réunion form part of the Mascarene Islands. The area of the country is 2040 km2, its capital is Port Louis. The first Portuguese explorers found no indigenous people living on the island in 1507.

Roland Garros Airport

Roland Garros Airport, formerly known as Gillot Airport, is located in Sainte-Marie on Réunion, The airport is east of Saint-Denis; it is named for the French aviator Roland Garros who was born in Saint-Denis. Roland Garros Airport is the hub of Air Austral and served 2.067.764 passengers in 2012. Facilities The airport resides at an elevation of above mean sea level. It has two asphalt paved runways: 12/30 measuring and 14/32 measuring . If constructed, the Réunion Tram Train will link the airport to the capital Saint-Denis and Saint-Paul.
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Sources

Text based information has been extracted from various Wikipedia entries. Weather data is provided by OpenWeatherMap. Location distances have been calculated based on Wikipedia information. Thanks to the services of Google Maps, BING and OSM (Open Street Map) for map related material.

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