Do you know why the name of ile Bourbon was renamed Ile de La Reunion?

Well I shall be in l’ile de la Reunion for today and tomorrow and  shall find out..hopefully.

Until then it would be possible that I shall not have access to my blog. Excuse me dear reader who reads me daily. This was heart warming to recieve yesterday a call from one of my dailyreaders to tell me that I miss a day in my posting.

This was written from the airport internet facility.


#1 C'est Moi on 11.30.08 at 12:34 pm


Arab sailors formerly called the island Adna Al Maghribain (“Western Island”). The Portuguese are thought to have been the first European visitors, finding it uninhabited in 1635, and naming it Santa Apollonia, after Saint Apollonia.

The island was then occupied by France and administered from Port Louis, Mauritius. Although the French flag was hoisted by François Cauche in 1638, Santa Apollonia was officially claimed by Jacques Pronis of France in 1642, when he deported a dozen French mutineers to the island from Madagascar. The convicts were returned to France several years later, and in 1649, the island was named Île Bourbon after the royal house.

“Réunion” was the name given to the island in 1793 by a decree of the Convention with the fall of the House of Bourbon in France, and the name commemorates the union of revolutionaries from Marseille with the National Guard in Paris, which took place on August 10, 1792. In 1801, the island was renamed “ÃŽle Bonaparte,” after Napoleon Bonaparte. The island was taken by a Royal Navy squadron led by Commodore Josias Rowley in 1810, who used the old name of “Bourbon”. When it was restored to France by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the island retained the name of “Bourbon” until the fall of the restored Bourbons during the French Revolution of 1848, when the island was once again renamed to “Réunion”.
Map of Réunion

From the 17th to the 19th centuries, French immigration supplemented by influxes of Africans, Chinese, Malays, and Indians gave the island its ethnic mix. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 cost the island its importance as a stopover on the East Indies trade route.

During the Second World War, was under the authority of the Vichy Regime until 30 November 1942, when the destroyer Léopard liberated the island.

Réunion became a département d’outre-mer (overseas department) of France on March 19, 1946. Its département code is 974.

Between 15 and 16 March 1952, Cilaos at the centre of Réunion received 1,869.9 mm (73.6 in) of rainfall. This is the greatest 24-hour precipitation total ever recorded on earth. The island also holds the record for most rainfall in 72 hours, 3,929 mm (154.7 in) at Commerson’s Crater in March, 2007.

In 2005 and 2006 Réunion was hit by a crippling epidemic of chikungunya, a disease spread by mosquitoes. According to the BBC News, 255,000 people on Réunion had contracted the disease as of 26 April 2006.[2] The disease also spread to Madagascar[3] and to mainland France through airline travel. The disease led to more than 200 deaths on Réunion. The French government under Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin sent an emergency aid package worth 36 million euros ($57.6M U.S. dollars) and deployed approximately five hundred French troops in an effort to eradicate mosquitoes.

#2 joseph on 11.30.08 at 10:06 pm

During my short stay I had the opportunity to ask the question of the name of Reunion to 3 residents. None had the answer. One said that the island lost the name ile Bourbon on the fall of reign of Bourbon, but could not give any plausible explanation of Reunion as the new name.

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