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Criel-sur-Mer is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France.GeographyA town of farming, tourism and light industry situated in the valley and at the mouth of the river Yères, some 12mi northeast of Dieppe. The commune is served by the D16, D940 and the D925 roads. As with much of this coastline, huge chalk cliffs look out over the English Channel. At Criel, they rise to 107m.HistoryCriel gets its first mention in 1059, as “Criolium”. First cited in 1326, the port was still operating in 1584, but has since closed.In the 19th century, an amateur archeologist, Father Cochet, found traces of a Gallo-Roman site. It was the chef-lieu of a canton during the French Revolution.Criel remained essentially a village of fishermen and farmers until the arrival of the railway in 1872. The existence of the railway station helped establish two elegant seaside resorts here, one near the mouth of the Yères and the other at the suburb of Mesnil-Val. This was the golden age of the Normandy beach resort, that served as the prototype for Trouville, Cabourg and Deauville. In 1902, Criel took the name of Criel-sur-Mer. The casino was lost in a storm in 1914 and the railway station didn’t survive the First World War. Tourism really took off with the advent of paid leave in 1936. Alongside Le Tréport, Criel was the nearest beach to Paris, easily accessible in the 1950s.
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