Le Jean Bart

Vue aérienne du Jean Bart

Our history

Espace Tourville > Our history

The construction project of a ship of the line, representative of the great navy of Louis XIV finds its roots in the years 1982-1985, when Christian Cardin declared to the maritime affairs of Cherbourg, the discovery of the wrecks of 6 vessels lying off the port of Saint Vaast La Hougue, some cable lengths from the east coast of Cotentin. These wrecks are the remains of part of the fleet of Admiral Tourville, which had been armed by Louis XIV in the spring of 1692.

Afterwards, Christian Cardin nurtured the project of reconstructing one of these great ships which had been the glory of the French Navy, and created in 1992, the Association Tourville with the objective of constructing a 1st rank vessel of the 17th century. It would be the centre of interest of a craft village, itself integrated into a historic leisure park, presenting the corsairs and the navy of Louis XIV.

To legitimize the creation of the construction site of the vessel, it was necessary to give the vessel a symbolic name in honour of a great sailor of the navy of Louis XIV. The Tourville Association members naturally chose that of Jean Bart, the emblematic Dunkirk corsair of the 17th century.

The major stages of the Tourville Association's project :


Discovery of the wrecks of La Hougue


Creation of the ARIESH and authorization of archaeological surveys


Inauguration of the Maritime Museum of Tatihou, and birth of the Tourville Association


Launch of the Tourville project at Grande Synthe


Inauguration of the Espace Tourville in Gravelines and laying of the keel of the Jean Bart .


creation of SARL Tourville Développement, commercial subsidiary of Association Tourville

Download " Tourville mon Histoire ", a biography of the Tourville project written by Christian Cardin, founding president of the Tourville Association.