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History and heritage
Port-de-France, renamed Noumea in 1866, was a modest port, with construction beginning in 1854 in an area limited by hills and marshes. It’s on reclaimed land (the city centre, Vallée du Tir, Rivière-Salé, Nou Island among others) and levelled hills (including Conneau and Montagne Coupé) that, in nearly 160 years, the city has developed and grown into such a beautiful capital.
A century and a half after its beginnings, the city so close to Paradise has preserved some of its wonderful architecture, such as the Maison Célières and the Château Hagen. An infinitely rich heritage which adds to the charm and reputation of the capital.
To find out more about Noumea’s history:
Using your smartphone or tablet, find out how the mansion was built, learn about the people who used to live here, explore the architectural details and plunge into the charms of a bygone era. A number of codes indicating points of interest are placed around the gardens and the interior of Maison Célières. Scan the codes during your visit to display information on your device.
To know more
Noumea’s coat of arms
The City of Noumea has a coat of arms composed of symbolic elements of its history and its heritage. The coat of arms has altered over time but has always retained its distinctive characteristics. Today’s version, redesigned in 1991 by heraldry specialist Marcel Pétron, consists of a shield with a ship on a blue background, surrounded by two seahorses and a Cagou bird, with the City’s name inscribed below the shield. This had already been featured on the coat of arms created by Eugène Bizeul, in 1982.
«Blue, with a golden ship with silver sails and a golden sun in the top right, the shield has a silver border. It is crowned by a standing Cagou, wings spread, silver-coloured with red beak, legs and eyes. The word « Noumea » is in black on a golden banner with a red lining. »
The vessel, a slender schooner, symbolises both Noumea’s historical beginnings and the importance of its port. The endemic Cagou bird, as a territorial emblem, has replaced the crown featured on the city’s first coat of arms. The two seahorses have been repositioned on either side of the central shield, evoking the City’s maritime setting, as does the blue lagoon background in which sea and sky merge.