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L'Île-d'Elle is a French commune located in the Vendée department in the Pays de la Loire region. Its inhabitants are called the Nellesais. L’Île-d’Elle is located about 24 kilometers northeast of La Rochelle in the Marais Poitevin. The municipality is located in the gusset of the confluence of the river Vendée (western municipal boundary) in the Sèvre Niortaise (southern municipal boundary). L’Île-d’Elle is surrounded by the neighboring communities of Le Gué-de-Velluire in the north, Vix in the east, Saint-Jean-de-Liversay in the south-east and Marans in the south and west.



The Saint-Hilaire church.
The Gouffre is a hydraulic structure built in 1663 when the marshes were drained: by siphon, the Vix canal passes under the Vendée river, which flows into the Sèvre Niortaise. The stone structure is supported by foundations on piles.
Étang de la Sablière is a former sand quarry dug and used for the development of the ballast for the Nantes La Rochelle railway line, filled with water in the twentieth century and connected by a small canal to the Vendée river.

L'Île-d'Elle in the arts
L'Île-d'Elle is quoted in Aragon’s poem, The Conscript of the Hundred Villages, written as an act of intellectual Resistance in a clandestine manner in the spring of 1943, during the Second World War.




The town is an old limestone island located in the Gulf of Pictons. She was Gallo-Roman INSULA de ELLA (archeology: Gallo-Roman villa locality of La Gueriniere - many shards of decorated sigillea and gray pottery. Many TEGULEA. Bronze and coins).

The oldest name of the village is INSULA DE ELLA in the eleventh century, in a bull of Pope Célestin III in 1197. Also Priory of ELLIS, in 1317. The mention of L'Île-d'Elle appears on a deed dated 1377 concerning a transfer of cens by the lord of Marans, to Pierre Maingy for his accommodation located at La Guérinière in Ile-d'Elle, this document on parchment is in the departmental archives of the Vendée.

The village was set up as a parish in 1655 and was, until the Revolution, an integral part of the territory of the seigneury of Marans located four kilometers away in the smallest province of France: Aunis. The last lord of Marans to date, the Marquis d'Aligre, integrated L’Île-d'Elle into the Marquisate of Aligre (18th century).

During the Revolution, L’Île-d'Elle became a commune of Vendée by decree of 11 January 1791.



The municipal territory of L'Île-d´Elle covers 1,920 hectares. The average altitude of the town is 3 meters, with levels fluctuating between 1 and 60 meters.

Located on a rocky limestone promontory, the village overlooks the Marais Poitevin. The town is bathed by the Vendée which marks the limit with the department of Charente-Maritime as well as by the Sèvre Niortaise.


Demographic evolution

In 2018, the town of L'Île-d'Elle had 1,507 inhabitants. From the twenty-first century, actual censuses of municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants took place every five years. All other figures are estimates.

In 2008, the municipality occupied 6,984th rank at the national level, while it was at 6,563rd in 1999, and 132nd at the departmental level out of 282 municipalities.

The evolution of the number of inhabitants since 1793 is known through the population censuses carried out in L'Île-d'Elle since that date. From the twenty-first century, actual censuses of municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants took place every five years. For L'Île-d'Elle, this corresponds to 2008, 2013, etc. The other “census” dates (2006, etc.) are estimates.