|population||855,961 (January 1, 2018)|
|Population density||341.9 inhabitants / km²|
|gross domestic product||€ 14.4 billion (2010)|
|Gross domestic product per inhabitant||€ 17,520|
|Department||Reunion Island (974)|
|President of the Regional Council||Didier Robert|
|President of the General Council||Nassimah Dindar|
|Time zone||UTC + 4|
Reunion [ la ʀeynjɔ ] or short Reunion (full French name Île de la Réunion, German as "Island of the meeting"; the names, see below ) is an island in the Indian Ocean , the politically Overseas Territory and a region of France forms and thus belongs to the European Union . Until 1794 the island was called Île Bourbon, under Napoleon Île Bonaparte, then until 1848 again Île Bourbon .
Réunion is just under 700 km east of Madagascar and, along with Mauritius 200 km away and Rodrigues, is part of the Mascarene Islands , a group of islands that was discovered by Pedro Mascarenhas in 1511 .
The island has an area of 2503.7 km². It is almost oval in shape and 50 to 70 kilometers in diameter. This corresponds roughly to the area of the Saarland or Vorarlberg . The size of the small side island Petite Île off the south coast with 0.02 km² (2.24 hectares ) is negligible.
The island was formed about three million years ago when the Piton des Neiges volcano rose from the Indian Ocean. A volcanic chain , the highest peaks of which are the Piton des Neiges (3070 m) and the still active Piton de la Fournaise (2631 m) and which was created by hot-spot volcanism , runs across the entire island. In the interior of La Réunion there are also three basins, the Cirques Salazie , Cilaos and Mafate . The latter is very remote and can only be reached on foot or by helicopter.
The originally fourth large basin of Marsouins was filled with lava and now forms the Forêt de Bélouve. The Plateau de Bébour extends east of the Piton des Neiges, south of the Cirque de Salazie. However, it was buried at an angle due to unusually heavy erosion caused by localized, extreme precipitation (around 5000 mm annually). Impermeable layers lead them to the source of the Marsouin in the Takamaka Valley, where the island's only storage hydropower plant went into operation in 1964. It bears the name of the Takamaka tree ( Calophyllum tacamahaca , French Takamaka of the skin ), which is endemic to the Mascarene .
With more than one eruption per year, the Piton de la Fournaise is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is therefore under permanent surveillance. Since the active volcano borders the Piton des Neiges in the west, its lava always flows towards the east, down to the Indian Ocean. The most serious outbreaks to date:
- In 1998 around 1000 quakes per hour were measured.
- In 2007 the volcano spat so much lava that the bypass was overflowed again and the island grew by a few square kilometers.
- The last major eruption began on February 4, 2015, followed by further eruptions on May 17, 2015 and August 24, 2015. This eruption also blocked the coastal road between St. Philippe and Bois Blanc.
The climate on Réunion is tropical and humid in summer, with a rainy season from December to March. There are very different microclimates on the island. The east coast is very rainy, the west coast partially has a steppe climate.
Nowhere on earth does it rain more than La Réunion in a day or a few. On March 15 and 16, 1952, a total of 1870 mm of precipitation was measured in 24 hours on the east coast. In 2007, 3929 mm of rain was measured within three days - a world record for each of the periods of time mentioned. For comparison: Austria has an average annual precipitation of around 1170 mm and Germany of around 700 mm. Despite the high amount of precipitation, the sun shines on Réunion for an average of 2000 hours a year.
The average temperature on the coast in summer (December to March) is 30 degrees Celsius. In winter 20 degrees Celsius are measured. At high altitudes, the temperature can drop to 15 degrees.
At the summit of the Piton des Neiges at 3000 meters above sea level, temperatures can drop below zero, but despite the name (“summit of snow”) it only snows very rarely there.
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Saint-Denis
Every year around twelve cyclones occur in the Indian Ocean and last an average of three weeks. However, not all of them come to the island. In the southern Indian Ocean, cyclones occur during the summer months of the southern hemisphere (December to March). The cyclones can be dangerous to La Réunion because they bring a lot of wind, rain and high seas. In the center of a cyclone, the wind speed is up to 300 km / h. The cyclone that killed the most people was in 1948. 165 people were buried in their homes.
Meteorologists constantly follow the movements in the sea around the island and issue appropriate warnings if there is danger. Danger level orange means that there is danger for the next 24 hours. Schools are closed, but economic life continues as normal.
Red alert is issued a few hours in advance in the event of immediate danger. It is then strictly forbidden to stay outside or even in the mountains or by the sea.
After the cyclone there is what is known as a phase of caution . The cyclone is dispersing, but risks to the population still remain. Economic activities are resumed, schools are still closed.
The largest cyclones in the island's history were:
- 1733: Two ships sank due to the heavy swell.
- 1806/07: Very heavy rains hit the island and even destroyed the coffee plantations on the west coast.
- 1932: A very small but very aggressive cyclone that mainly hit the west coast killed 90 people.
- 1948: One of the most dangerous cyclones in history. There were 165 deaths, many houses destroyed and a protracted economic crisis. The estimated wind speed was over 300 km / h.
- 1980: Cyclone Hyacinthe , while not as strong, brought heavy rains that caused landslides. 25 dead were counted. Within twelve hours, 1170 mm fell in Grand-Ilet (in the Salazie valley ) and 6083 mm of precipitation was measured over 15 days on the Piton de la Fournaise volcano.
- 1989: Cyclone Firinga , which mainly raged in the south, killed seven people due to strong winds and a lot of rain.
- 2002: Cyclone Dina particularly affected the north of the island. Some roofs and the army’s high-altitude radar system were destroyed. Thanks to the meteorological records, warnings could be issued early enough so that no human life was affected. Wind speeds of over 250 km / h were measured, an estimated 300 km / h.
- 2007: Cyclone Gamede grazed the island at a distance of 300 km, the north was particularly affected. It took a few weeks to repair the damage caused by the heavy swell and the heavy rain. Within four days, 4869 mm of precipitation fell at the weather station at Cratère Commerson , setting a new rain world record for the 96-hour period.
- 2013: Cyclone Dumile just passed the island on January 3rd and 4th. Heavy rainfall along with the storm severely damaged the infrastructure. Roads were impassable for a long time and some places were without electricity for several days. Dumile achieved Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale .
Most of the island is used for agriculture or is inhabited by humans. A third of the island is still overgrown with native plants, and a good 800 endemics are known. Due to the importation of European animal species such as rats, cats, dogs and pigs ( biological invasion ), some animal species became extinct on Réunion. Before the colonization, numerous sea turtles used the island to lay their eggs. After being exterminated in the last century, they are now slowly returning from the neighboring islands and laying their eggs in the sand of the sheltered beaches.
A national park was established on Réunion in March 2007 on an area of around 1750 km² . It is very diverse and offers alpine mountain terrain, plateaus, jungle, rivers and sandy beaches. The diversity of plants was created, among other things, by isolations in the deeply rugged relief of the volcanic mountains. The core zone of 105,447 ha , around 40% of the island's surface, was declared a World Heritage Site on August 2, 2010 .
The marine fauna around Réunion includes several species of coral and a rich fish world in the open ocean. The shallow water and fringing reefs are severely threatened and subject to strict, staggered use. Starfish , crabs , hermit crabs , box fish , butterfly fish and surgeon fish but also poisonous fish such as lionfish and stone fish live in the shallow water of the island . Beyond the coral reefs along the reef edges and in the open sea live perch , sea turtles , rays , tuna , spearfish and sharks .
Since 2011 there have been several shark attacks off Réunion , mostly on the west coast of the island. As of December 2019, fourteen of them were fatal.
On January 1, 2018, there were 855,961 inhabitants on Réunion, which corresponds to a population density of 341.9 inhabitants per km². Rapid population growth is expected over the next few decades.
Origin of the inhabitants
Réunion was uninhabited until the middle of the 17th century. In the course of the French colonization, French settlers came to the island, who dragged slaves there from Madagascar, East Africa and India for the plantation economy ( Bourbon vanilla , sugar cane ). With the end of slavery on Réunion in 1848, around 60,000 free slaves received the same status as that of the around 35,000 citizens up to then. Cheap labor for agriculture was now recruited from India, Africa and China. The descendants of the former colonial settlers and slaves form a relatively homogeneous society and are collectively referred to as Creoles (créoles) . The mingling known as métissage and the peaceful coexistence of all population groups are seen today as creating identity for all Réuniona travelers .
People from Madagascar and East Africa are called Cafres , the later Indians, depending on their creed, Zarabes (Sunni Muslims from Gujarat ) or Malbars ( Tamils , Hindus and Christians). The Sinoi once came from China, the P'tits blancs or Yabs are agreements between impoverished French colonial settlers, the grands blancs agreements between the French landowners. With a discriminatory aftertaste, the French coming or originating from France are referred to as Les Zoreils or Zoreilles (origin not clear: "red ears"?) Or more recently as Z'oréols (mixture of Zoreils and Créols ). The neutral Les Métros , which alludes to the “metropolis”, European France, is therefore used more frequently .
Because the French constitution prohibits the collection of ethnic data, only estimates are available. According to this, around 45% of the population today are mixed descendants of Malagasy and African slaves, around 25% Indian (around 24% Malbars and around 1% Zarabes ), around 25% European and around 3% Chinese .
In 2017, 14.7% of the population were not born in Réunion.
Creole on Réunion is closely related to the French-based Bourbonnais Creole languages of Mauritius and the Seychelles , as the islands were all colonized by France, at least initially. The speakers of the creolophonic islands of the Indian Ocean can understand each other with a little practice, but Réunion Creole occupies a special position, as it is even closer to the French standard in many structures than the other Creole languages. Some linguists therefore consider it not fully Creole or "half-Creole"; the transitions between clearly Creole language and French that is only regionally colored are often different from speaker to speaker.
Occasionally, Asian and African languages are still used, such as Tamil , Gujarati , Chinese and Malagasy , which were preserved or newly learned by the former plantation workers from South Asia, China and Africa or their descendants. However, they hardly play a role in public life and are restricted to the family, cultural or religious areas of the respective population groups.
The vast majority of the population professes Christianity , predominantly the Roman Catholic faith ( 86% ), there are Hindus and Muslims among the population of Indian origin , and the numerous immigrants from Mayotte and the Comoros also belong to Islam . The majority of the residents of Chinese descent have adopted Christianity, but there are also members of Buddhism and Chinese folk religions.
The island, which was still uninhabited at that time, was sighted for the first time by Arab seafarers who gave it the name Dina Maghrabin ("West Island"). The Portuguese navigator Pedro Mascarenhas landed there on February 9, 1507, the name day of St. Apollonia . The island then appeared on the maps of the Portuguese under the name of Santa Apolonia . Around 1520, remembering its discoverer, Réunion and the neighboring islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues were conceptually combined to form the Mascarene archipelago .
At the beginning of the 17th century, the later Île de La Réunion became a stopover for English and Dutch ships on their way to India . Eventually the French landed on the island, which they owned in 1640 on behalf of King Louis XIII. declared a French possession: The king came from the noble Bourbon family and consequently the island was baptized Île Bourbon (Bourbon Island). The first permanent settlers settled in around 1665. The governor of the island from 1735 to 1745, Bertrand François Mahé de La Bourdonnais , made a decisive contribution to the further development of the Île Bourbon. On 19 March 1793, the island was during the French Revolution in Reunion renamed. The meaning of the new name is unclear; perhaps it refers to the union of revolutionaries from Marseilles with the National Guard in Paris on August 10, 1792 and the subsequent assault on the Tuileries . After Napoleon I decided to officially resume slavery on the island, it was named Île Napoléon in his honor , but when the British occupied the island in 1810, they again used the old name Bourbon, which was also used after the fall of Napoleon and the return of the Island to France in the Paris Peace and Friendship Tractat from May 1814 and in the Congress of Vienna 1815 until the end of the Bourbon era through the French February Revolution of 1848 and the final abolition of slavery on the island. Since then, the island has been called Réunion again . Only the bourbon vanilla reminds of the old name .
The return to France, agreed in 1815, only happened because the island did not have a port at that time. This has only existed since the creation of a port area in Le Port in the second half of the 19th century .
The most important branch of the economy is still agriculture , especially the production of cane sugar and rum , as well as various fruits such as bananas , pineapples , lychees and vanilla . However, La Réunion is economically heavily dependent on France and the EU : imports to Réunion exceeded exports by fifteen times in 2007.
The tourism develops slowly, but is more in the shadow of Mauritius , which has more beaches have and because of the more common English language is preferred by non-French tourists. Travelers come mainly from European France, Mayotte and Mauritius and focus on hiking or sports vacations. The fringing reefs are strongly threatened, subject to a regulated, strictly staggered use and - zonally restricted - target of recreational divers ; Most of the diving centers are located in the four centers of Saint-Gilles-les-Bains , Saint-Leu , Saint-Pierre and Étang-Salé-les-Bains . Since August 2010, the volcanic landscapes of the Cirques and Remparts in the interior of the island, about 40% of the area of the island, have been classified as UNESCO World Natural Heritage .
Réunion wants to completely cover its energy needs by 2025. In 2006, 40% of the energy demand was met from renewable energy sources.
Unemployment and unrest
In the outskirts of the cities - as in the European part of France - social hot spots have formed, in Chaudron there were riots in 1991 and 1994. In February 2012 there were violent riots with Molotov cocktails and tear gas for several consecutive nights. Numerous security forces were injured and nearly 100 demonstrators were provisionally arrested. Numerous shops and public facilities were looted during the riots that had spread to several towns on the island. The starting point were protests by truck drivers who had protested against high gasoline prices with barricades in front of an oil depot. The protests on Réunion were directed against the rise in the cost of living. The unemployment rate was over 30% in 2008, making it the highest unemployment rate in France. Ten years earlier the rate was 40%. In addition, youth unemployment on the island was around 60% in 2012.
Local radio has been operated by Radio Ô (part of Radio France d'Outre-Mer (RFO)) since 2008 and is also available on the Internet as a live stream . Some private broadcasters can also be received via Internet live stream.
Transport and infrastructure
In 1878 the construction of a meter-gauge railway line between Saint-Benoît and Saint-Pierre via Saint-Denis began and was put into operation in 1882 with a length of 127 km. It was shut down in the 1960s.
Due to the increasing traffic load on the coastal road, the construction of a new regional light rail , called the Tramtrain, from Saint-Benoît to Saint-Paul was discussed. It should have run inside the city as a tram and outside as a regional train. One or more tunnels should have crossed the mountain range between Saint-Denis and La Possession . The project was abandoned in 2010 in favor of expanding the bus network.
The main traffic route on the island is the ring road, which connects the largest settlements along the coast. The geographical concentration of traffic on this ring road, together with the high density of cars, leads to major traffic problems.
In the north-west and south, the route is two-lane and partly laid out on an artificial plateau in front of the steep coast. In order to relax the everyday traffic jams between St. Paul and Etang Salé, another four-lane route is being built between the west and south of the island - the Route des Tamarins . This street is to be roofed over in parts and equipped with photovoltaic systems. With costs of over one billion euros, this construction is one of the most expensive road constructions in the European Union. The line is open to Étang Salé (as of November 2009). Between Saint-Benoît and Saint-Pierre, La Réunion is crossed by a connecting road in a south-westerly direction - this route leads over the plateau between the two volcanic massifs.
Réunion International Airport is located ten kilometers east of Saint-Denis in the north of the island. It is named after the fighter pilot Roland Garros , who was born on La Réunion. Pierrefonds Airport is located in the south of the island and offers the island good connections to Mauritius, among other things.
Réunion is a French overseas department (département d'outre-mer) with the department number 974 and at the same time a French overseas region (région d'outre-mer) . The official language is French . The département and the region are territorially identical, but the general council of the département and the regional council exist as separate self-governing bodies and each exercise those competences that fall within the competence of the départements or the regions in France. In turn, matters falling within the competence of the French central government are subordinate to the Prefect .
Since 1972, Réunion has gained greater independence from France through further rights. Since 1997, the island has also been a so-called région ultrapériphérique , an area in the outermost edge of the European Union . The capital of Réunion is Saint-Denis , with around 145,000 inhabitants also the largest city on the island.
Since Réunion is a French overseas department, the euro is the official currency there. Due to the location of Réunion in the time zone CET +3, the island was the first point on earth where on January 1, 2002 it was possible to officially shop with the euro.
January 1, 2018
population / km²
- List of communes on Réunion
- List of cantons in Réunion
- List of associations of municipalities in Réunion
The University of La Réunion is attended by around 12,000 students, spread across the sites in Saint-Denis, Le Tampon and Saint-Pierre.
December 2005 was rampant in Réunion severe Chikungunya - epidemic . This peaked in February 2006 and slowly subsided by the end of 2006. According to the authorities, 266,000 people, about a third of the population, were infected. Chikungunya was suspected to be the cause of 254 deaths in 2006. Most of the suspected deaths affected elderly people (over 70 years of age).
The epidemic on La Réunion was facilitated by the fact that the virus was previously unknown there and the population previously had no immunity .
The Grand Raid de la Réunion ultramarathon has been held annually since 1989 , with the longest running route, the “Diagonale des Fous” (diagonal of the crazy), crossing the entire island from Saint-Pierre to Saint-Denis - a distance of around 165 km with a good 9500 meters of altitude .
There is the Sega dance music style , which is also popular in Mauritius, and the related Maloya style, which is only practiced on Réunion . Like the Sega, Maloya, which was created among African slaves, combines not only African elements but also elements of Western and Indian music . The percussive accompanying instruments - the cylinder drum oulé , the raft zither caïamb and a triangle, which are part of the ensemble's basic composition , are occasionally supplemented by the bobre musical bow . In the modern version, electric maloya , they are replaced by instruments from western pop music. The maloya is a symbol of the island's cultural identity.
Personalities of the island
- Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais , (1795 / 97–1840), chess master
- Charles Leconte de Lisle (1818-1894), poet
- Edmond Albius (1829–1880), inventor of a process for pollinating the spice vanilla
- Paul Véronge de la Nux (1853–1928), composer
- Ambroise Vollard (1865–1939), art dealer
- Roland Garros (1888–1918), aviation pioneer
- Raymond Barre (1924–2007), politician and economist
- Jacques Vergès (1925–2013) lawyer
- Axel Gauvin (* 1944), writer
- Michel Houellebecq (* 1956 or 1958), writer
- Jean-Louis Prianon (* 1960), long-distance runner
- Tonton David (1967-2021), reggae artist
- Gérald de Palmas (* 1967), singer and composer
- Jackson Richardson (born 1969), handball player
- Laurent Robert (* 1975), football player
- Thierry Lincou (* 1976), squash player
- Daniel Narcisse (* 1979), handball player
- Guillaume Hoarau (* 1984), football player
- Florent Sinama-Pongolle (* 1984), football player
- Dimitri Payet (* 1987), football player
- Jean-Luc Allègre: Le Guide du piton de la Fournaise . Allègre, Saint Gilles-les-Bains 2002.
- Wolfgang Därr: Mauritius, Rodrigues and La Réunion , 2nd, completely updated edition, Bielefeld 2006 Reise-Know-How-Verl. Rump, 2006, ISBN 978-3-8317-1453-7 .
- Jan Specht: LaRèunion (= Preiswert series , Volume 14). Interconnections, Freiburg im Breisgau 2002, ISBN 3-86040-070-3 .
- Daniel Vaxelaire: Guide Encyclopédique: La Réunion . Editions ORPHIE Gérard Paul Doyen, 2010.
- Daniel Vaxellaire: Le Grand Livre de l'histoire de La Réunion. 2 volumes. Ed. Orphie, Saint-Denis 2000 and 2016.
- Joachim Schultz: Tourism - Exotism. Diary of a hike on Reunion Island. Berlin 1985.
- Reunion Regional Council (French)
- General Council of Réunion (French)
- Reunion prefecture (French)
- Reunion Island France's official website (German)
- Comité régional de tourisme de La Réunion Tourist Office (French)
- Tourist Office (German)
- Geography. Retrieved November 20, 2012 (French).
- French Statistics Institute ( www.insee.fr )
- Decree No. 2014-236 of February 24, 2014 on the delimitation of the cantons in the Réunion (portant délimitation des cantons dans le département de La Réunion), Journal Officiel de la République Française of February 27, 2014, Text 25/149
- Appointment decree of July 31, 2014 , Journal Officiel de la République Française of August 2, 2014, text 91/180
- Les élus du Conseil Régional - La réunion en confiance ( Memento of April 4, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on March 30, 2013
- http://www.cg974.fr/index.php/Les-elus-de-l-Assemblee-Departementale.html accessed on March 30, 2013
- In gratitude for Napoleon's decision to officially resume slavery on the island. See Jan Specht, p. 30 and Meyers Enzyklopädisches Lexikon, Vol. 20, 1977, p. 50
- Eruptions 2015 on the official island homepage
- Travaux de sécurisation du rempart de Bois Blanc dans le Sud de l'île
- Markus C. Schulte von Drach: Earth extreme - a gruesome record. In: sueddeutsche.de . June 25, 2010. Retrieved November 20, 2012 .
- club BERLIN WEATHER MAP e. V. Contributions by the Institute for Meteorology from January 23, 2008 (PDF; 429 kB)
- www.dradio.de AUDIO CONTRIBUTIONS , Ideal for an island - Réunion relies on green energy, January 29, 2009 11:36 am, by Kaps, Bettina, broadcast: Environment and consumers, length: 4:16 minutes
- Réunion, the turtle island ...
- Operational program "La Réunion"
- Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island
- The slave owner Madame Desbassayns (died 1850) is famous and notorious . After the death of her husband, Madame Desbassayns led a cruel regime in Villèle on her extensive coffee and sugar cane plantations, on which slaves had to toil under miserable conditions. This gave her power and prosperity that was unparalleled on the island. Le musée historique de Villèle Museum in a former colonial estate Villèle Excursion destinations in the area ( Memento from April 9, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
- See Code Noir .
- Jan Specht: La Rèunion . 2002, ISBN 3-86040-070-3 , p. 31.
- Live Yu-Sion: Illusion identitaire et métissage culturel chez les "Sinoi" de la Réunion. In: Perspectives chinoises No. 78 2003, accessed on November 20, 2012 (French).
- January Specht: La Reunion . 2002, ISBN 3-86040-070-3 , p. 37.
- Evelyne Tarnus, Emmanuel Bourdon: Anthropometric regular evaluations of body composition of undergraduate students at the University of La Reunion. (No longer available online.) In: Advances in Physiology Education, December 2006, Vol. October 30 , 2005, pp. 248-253 , archived from the original on January 23, 2016 ; accessed on November 20, 2012 .
- Reunion métissée. In: Clicanoo.re. January 1, 2005, accessed November 20, 2012 (French).
- Migration Report 2017. (PDF) UN, accessed on September 30, 2018 (English).
- Origins and Destinations of the World's Migrants, 1990-2017 . In: Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project . February 28, 2018 ( pewglobal.org [accessed September 30, 2018]).
- Daniel Vaxellaire: Le Grand Livre de l'histoire de La Reunion. Vol. 1: Des origines à 1848. Éd. Orphie, Saint-Denis 2000, p. 228.
- John H. Parry : European colonial empires - world trade and world domination in the 18th century . Ed .: Egidius Schmalzriedt. Kindler Verlag, Munich 1972, ISBN 3-463-13686-4 , p. 664 .
- GDP per capita in 276 regions of the EU. Retrieved February 8, 2019 .
- Réunion - Smart Travel. In: de.smarttravelapp.com. March 16, 1952, Retrieved February 8, 2019 .
- Jean-Bernard Carillet, Anthony Ham: Lonely Planet Travel Guide Mauritius, Réunion & Seychelles. Lonely Planet, 2014, ISBN 978-3-8297-2325-1 , pp. 31-32.
- Daniela Eiletz-chewing, chewing Kurt: DuMont Travel Guide Reunion. 3rd edition, Dumont Reiseverlag, 2016, ISBN 978-3-616-42039-4 , pp. 32–33.
- La Réunion: On the way to the island's electrical independence by 2025. Solarenergie-Förderverein Deutschland, December 29, 2006, accessed on November 20, 2012 .
- Severe unrest on a French overseas island . t-online.de, accessed on July 6, 2012.
- Outre-mer réunion - All radio
- Martina Madner: Chikungunya: Der bent man , derStandard.at , August 3, 2012, accessed on January 23, 2013
- Match report (French)
- Maloya: one part of the intangible cultural heritage of Humanity. Témoignages, October 2, 2009