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Banyuls de la Marenda
Coat of arms of Banyuls-sur-Mer
Banyuls-sur-Mer (France)
region Occitania
Department Pyrénées-Orientales
Arrondissement Ceret
Canton La Cote Vermeille
Community association Albères, Côte Vermeille et l'Illibéris
Coordinates 42 ° 29 ′  N , 3 ° 8 ′  E Coordinates: 42 ° 29 ′  N , 3 ° 8 ′  E
height 0-965 m
surface 42.43 km 2
Residents 4,761 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 112 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 66650
INSEE code


Banyuls-sur-Mer (in Catalan Banyuls de la Marenda ) is a French commune with 4,761 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2017) in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in the Occitania region . It is located in the historic Catalan comarca Rosselló . The residents are called banyulencs .


Banyuls-sur-Mer is on the coast of the Golfe du Lion . The foothills of the Pyrenees , the Monts Albères , drop into the sea here and form a cliff. It borders the French neighboring communities of Cerbère , Port-Vendres , Argelès-sur-Mer and Collioure, as well as Colera , Rabós and Espolla in Spain . The place is particularly known for the sweet wine Banyuls (VDN) named after it , and it also houses the oceanographic institute Observatoire océanologique de Banyuls-sur-Mer with a museum and an aquarium .

Map of Banyuls-sur-Mer


The first written mention of the city dates back to 981, when it was called Balneum or Balneola . In 1074 the spelling changes to Bannils de Maritimo in order to distinguish the city from Banyuls-dels-Aspres , 20 km away . The term Marenda is mentioned in 1197 ( Banullis de Maredine ) and in 1674 ( Banyuls del Marende ). The current Catalan name Banyuls de la Marenda has existed since the 19th century .

The name Banyuls means the presence of a pond in the local language . This actually existed until the Vallauria brook was drained in 1872. The addition of de Maritimo , del Marende , sur mer etc. in the respective language indicates the location on the coast.

Smuggling to and from Spain played a major role in Banyuls-sur-Mer for nearly two centuries . Depending on the needs of the respective epoch, salt , tobacco , silver coins , sugar , rice , cloth and leather were smuggled with almost no impunity. In addition, the population lived mainly from fishing and viticulture . Nowadays tourism is important.

Every year in October, the traditional Fête des Vendanges harvest festival takes place in Banyuls. The highlight is the Déjeuner sur la Plage on Sunday, when thousands of people celebrate the arrival of the barges loaded with grapes.


Maillol's gravestone with his work La Méditerranée in the Maillol Banyuls Museum
  • The sculptor Aristide Maillol (1861–1944) was born in Banyuls and died in his house there, which has been in memory of the artist since 1994 as the Musée Maillol Banyuls . His grave is in the garden of the house.
  • The resistance fighters Hans and Lisa Fittko supported the escape of numerous persecuted victims of the Nazi regime from Vichy France to Spain from Banyuls in 1940/41 .
  • The socialist mayor Vincent Azéma supported u. a. Lisa and Hans Fittko, who used the path known as the smugglers and herdsmen's path over a mountain pass (540 m above sea level) between Banyuls and Portbou as an escape route to Spain; Until his impeachment by the Vichy government, he provided valuable help in rescuing those persecuted by the Nazis. The path had also been organized in the winter of 1939 as an escape route in the opposite direction by General Lister to save part of his units from the franchists.


A hiking trail begins in Banyuls-sur-Mer, on which, with good shoes and some alpine hiking experience, you can follow an old escape route used by the escape helpers Lisa and Hans Fittko during the Nazi dictatorship in about six hours . This “ F-Route ”, named after the Fittkos, from Banyuls-sur-Mer to Portbou, Spain , has been officially named “Chemin Walter Benjamin” (Spanish “Ruta Walter Benjamin”) since June 24, 2007 and is marked as a historical hiking trail to help to remember the German philosopher Walter Benjamin , who took this path under dramatic circumstances while fleeing from the National Socialists on September 25 and 26, 1940 with Lisa Fittko. The Spanish authorities did not allow the fugitive to enter because of a new decree, but wanted to send him back to France, whereupon Benjamin committed suicide on the night of September 26-27, 1940 in the Hotel Francia de Portbou to avoid extradition .

The walk-in landscape sculpture Passagen by the Israeli artist Dani Karavan is reminiscent of this . There is a memorial stone in memory of Walter Benjamin in the Portbou cemetery. In the opera Shadowtime , Benjamin's death was treated musically and scenically by Charles Bernstein (libretto) and Brian Ferneyhough (composition).


  • Aquarium of the Institute of Marine Biology
  • Old Town Hall (with regular art exhibitions)
  • Marina and harbor promenade and Maillols war memorial
  • Old town with the studio houses of Aristide Maillol
  • Villa Maillol with museum and grave
  • Pilgrimage chapel of Notre Dame de la Salette
  • Maillol's sculptures in the city center
  • Church de la Rectorie


  • Mordidyll - Banyuls-sur-mer with Yann Sola . Documentary, Germany, 2017, 26:32 min., Script and direction: Rieke Brendel and André Schäfer, moderation: Friedrich Dönhoff , production: Florianfilm, arte , ZDF , series: Mordsidyll. Thrillers in the French provinces , first broadcast: October 13, 2017 on arte, synopsis by ARD .


  • Bernd Zimmermann: Banyuls sur Mer - Mediterranean gem at the foot of the Pyrenees. epubli, Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-7485-0959-2

Web links

Commons : Banyuls-sur-Mer  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ List of mayors of Banyuls. In: FranceGenWeb. Retrieved January 10, 2018 .
  2. Claudia Diemar: Passages in freedom. The Chemin Walter Benjamin is reminiscent of the philosopher's flight across the Pyrenees exactly seventy years ago. In: Berliner Zeitung . September 4, 2010, accessed January 10, 2018 .
  3. ^ Reiser: Chemin Walter Benjamin, the F-way. In: May 19, 2012, accessed January 10, 2018 .