Reunion Political System, Famous People, Animals and Plants

By | January 15, 2023

Réunion: political system

According to topschoolsintheusa, Réunion has been a French overseas department (French: Département d’outre-mer) since 1946. As such, it is an equal part of the French Republic. Like the other departments, the island is therefore represented by members of the French National Assembly. They also vote for the President of the Republic. At the head of the administration there is always a prefect. Réunion is, like metropolitan France, part of the European Union, so the currency is the euro. There are only exceptions for some customs duties and sales tax.

The official name Réunions is:

La Réunion or L’Île de la Réunion

National anthem

The national anthem of Réunion – a French overseas department – is the French La Marseillaise. It was written and set to music by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in 1792. It was set to music by Hektor Berlioz around 1830.

In French In the English translation
Allons enfants de la PatrieLe jour de gloire est arrivé.

Contre nous de la tyrannie

L’étendard sanglant est levé (bis)

Entendez-vous dans nos campagnes

Mugir ces féroces soldats?

Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras,

Egorger vos fils, vos compagnes.Refrain

Aux poor citoyens!

Formez vos battalions!

Marchons, marchons,

qu’un sang impur abreuve nos sillons.

Que veut cette horde d’esclaves

De traîtres, de rois conjurés?

Pour qui ces ignobles entraves

Ces fers dès longtemps préparés? (bis)

Français, pour nous, ah! quel outrage

Quels transports il doit exciter?

C’est nous qu’on ose mediter

De rendre à l’antique esclavage!


Quoi ces cohortes étrangères!

Feraient la loi dans nos foyers!

Quoi! ces phalanges mercenaires

Terrasseraient nos fils guerriers! (to)

Grand Dieu! par des mains enchaînées

Nos fronts sous le joug se ploieraient

De vils despotes deviendraient

Les maîtres des destinées.


Tremblez, tyrans et vous

perfides L’opprobre de tous les partis

Tremblez! vos projets parricides

From enfin recevoir leurs prix! (to)

Tout est soldat pour vous combattre

S’ils tombent, nos jeunes héros

La France en produit de nouveaux,

Contre vous tout prêts à se battre


Français, en guerriers magnanimes

Portez ou retenez vos coups!

Épargnez ces tristes victimes

A regret s’armant contre nous (bis)

Mais ces despotes sanguinaires,

Mais ces complices de Bouillé

Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié

Déchirent le sein de leur mère!


Amour sacré de la Patrie

Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs

Liberté, Liberté chérie

Combats avec tes défenseurs! (bis)

Sous nos drapeaux, que la victoire

Accoure à tes mâles accents

Que tes ennemis expirants

Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire!


Nous entrerons dans la carrière

Quand nos aînés n’y seront plus,

Nous y trouverons leur poussière

Et la trace de leurs vertus (bis)

Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre

Que de partager leur cercueil,

Nous aurons le sublime orgueil

De les venger ou de les suivre!


Up, children of the fatherland!The day of fame is here. Bloody banner

of tyranny was

raised against us.

Do you hear the

roar of the cruel warriors in the fields ?

They come right up to your arms,

your sons, your wives to behead!Refrain

to arms, citizens!

Close the ranks,

forward, let’s march!

So that unclean blood

soaks our fields!

What does this horde of slaves, of

traitors, of conspiratorial kings want ?

For whom are these common fetters,

These irons long prepared?

French, for us, ah! what shame,

what anger this must arouse!

One dares to think of

bringing Us into old bondage!


What! Foreign rabble

would rule over our homes!

What! These mercenaries would bring down

Our proud warriors!

Great god! With chains on

our hands, our heads would bow to the yoke.

Vile despots would

determine our fate!


Tremors, tyrants and you wicked

shame of all parties,

tremble! Your wicked plans

are finally getting paid back!

Everyone is a soldier to fight you,

when you fall, our young heroes,

the earth beget new ones who

are ready to fight you


French, you noble warriors,

deal your blows or withhold them!

Spare these sad victims

Who reluctantly arm themselves against us.

But these bloodthirsty despots,

But these accomplices of Bouillé,

All these tigers who ruthlessly

tear apart their mother’s breast!


Holy love for the fatherland,

guide, support our avenging arms.

Freedom, beloved freedom,

fight with your defenders!

So that victory under our flags

rushes to the aid of the sounds of strong men,

So that your dying enemies

see your victory and our glory!


We will tread on the way of life,

When the older ones will no longer

be there, We will find their dust

and their virtues there.

Rather share their coffin

Than they want to survive,

We will with lofty pride

avenge them or follow them.


National flag

Based on flag descriptions by, since Reunion is an overseas department of France, it has the tricolor of France as its flag.

  • Check top-mba-universities for public holidays, sports events, UNESCO world heritage sites and major places to visit in Reunion.

Réunion: people known

Raymond Barre (1924-2007)

Born in Saint-Denis, the French politician and economist held office since 1976 as Prime Minister of France and at the same time as Minister of Economics and Finance (1976–1978).

Paul Véronge de la Nux (1853-1911)

The French composer Paul Véronge de la Nux, who was born on Réunion in 1853, composed three operas, an overture symphonique, chamber music pieces and song cycles in the course of his career.

Léon Dierx (1838-1912)

In 1838, the French writer Léon Dierx was born in Saint-Denis, today’s capital of La Réunion. His most important work was Lèvres close (1864), a very suggestive work.

Roland Garros (1888-1918)

Roland Garros, the French aviation pioneer, who was the first pilot to fly a real fighter plane during the First World War, also came from the capital Saint-Denis.

Axel Gauvin (born 1944)

The writer Axel Gauvin was born in Le Bois-de-Nèfles on La Réunion in 1944 and has been a teacher and writer since 1973. So far he has published five novels in French and some poems in Creole. His essays on the culture and language of the Creoles are also well known.

Michel Houellebecq (born 1956/58)

The French writer, born as Michel Thomas between 1956 or 1958 on La Réunion, is one of the most controversial, but also one of the most widely read contemporary authors in France.

Auguste Lacaussade (1815-1897)

The French writer, who was born in Saint-Denis, joined the politically committed Victor Schœlcher after 1848, who, as senator from Martinique and Guadeloupe, promoted the abolition of slavery in France and its colonies. Lacaussade became the head of the Senate Library after the Franco-German War.

Charles Marie René Leconte de Lisle (1818-1894)

The French writer, who was actually born as Charles Marie Leconte in Saint-Paul on Réunion in 1818, was also politically active against the 2nd regime of Napoléon Bonaparte. Today the deliberately cool poems by Leconte de Lisle are almost forgotten.

Pedro Mascarenhas (around 1484-1555)

The native Portuguese was a well-known seafarer who is considered to be the discoverer of the Mascarene archipelago, to which he also gave his name. In April 1512 he discovered the island of Reunion.

Daniel Narcisse (born 1979)

The French handball player from Saint-Denis has been playing for THW Kiel since 2009 and is also active for the French national handball team.

Ambroise Vollard (1865-1939)

was born in Saint-Denis in 1865 with Ambroise Volaren, a French gallery owner, art dealer and publisher, who was one of the most important personalities in the art of the 20th century.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Volcanic landscape on La Réunion

The island of Réunion was discovered in 1502 and was uninhabited. It was not settled until the beginning of the 18th century and the Europeans traded in slaves there. It is located in the Pacific Ocean.

The landscape is characterized by great differences in altitude, which means that there are different climatic zones. There are numerous volcanoes, rainforests, alpine mountainous terrain, plateaus, jungles, rivers and sandy beaches on the island. In the region of Cilaos there are still almost untouched rainforests to be found.

The biodiversity of animals and plants – very many endemic plants (only growing here) – in the respective climatic zones is significant. There are many species of corals and fish in the sea around the island. Hermit crabs, starfish, crabs, box fish, butterfly fish and surgeon fish live in the shallower waters of the island. Sea turtles, rays, tuna, sharks and many other species of fish live in the open sea.

The volcanic landscape was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site on August 2, 2010.



Agriculture and handicrafts play an important role in and around Entre-Deux. The old and lovingly tended Creole houses are particularly worth seeing.


About 140,000 people live in Saint-Denis, the capital of Réunion. It is located in the north of the island directly on the coast of the Indian Ocean. Slaves were brought to the island from Madagascar, East Africa and India to grow vanilla and sugar cane. When slavery was banned in the 19th century, the immigration of auxiliary workers from the above-mentioned countries was encouraged. The descendants of the former slaves, immigrants and masters now live peacefully together on the island. In the middle of the 18th century, the first stone houses were built in Saint-Denis and the park was created, which extends in the middle of the city with its fountains and palm trees. There are Christian churches, Hindu temples and mosques in Saint-Senis. Most characteristic is certainly the Noor-e-Islam mosque with its striking minaret.


The municipality of Saint Louis is located in the south of La Réunion, next to l’Étang-Salé and Saint-Pierre. Sugar cane is grown in the wide plains of the municipality, so it is not surprising that 10 sugar factories were located here up to the end of the 19th century, compared to 189 on the whole of La Réunion. Today, the local Sucrérie du Gol is one of the last operating sugar factories along the coast.

The image of Saint-Louis is shaped by mosques, Tamil temples and Catholic churches. The village of Les Makes is located above Saint-Louis and is known for its opportunities for interesting hikes and the viewpoint “The Window” (La Fenêtre)


The community with approx. 38,000 residents is located in the far south of the island in a magical setting.

Saint-Joseph is the southernmost municipality in France and the European Union. Volcanic eruptions combined with the power of water have shaped the surrounding landscapes.

The Rivière des Remparts, for example, which flows into the Indian Ocean here, has formed a canyon cut up to 1,000 m deep into the volcanic rock.

The river of the same name, Rivière Langevin, flows into the district of Langevin. The Pointe de Langevin is also the southernmost point of the European Union.

Manapany-les-Bains is one of the most beautiful bays on the island, and it is also possible to bathe and swim here.


La Réunions, the second largest city with 99,300 residents, extends in the north-west of the island and borders the two mountains Gros Morne and Grand Bénare. Historically interesting is the bay where the French went ashore in 1642 when they took possession of the island for the second time. When the Saint Charles anchored off Saint-Paul in 1663, La Réunion became the first French settlement in the Indian Ocean. Saint-Paul, the oldest municipality in La Réunion, was the island’s capital until 1738, but then lost this status to Saint-Denis.


Saint-Philippe is located in the southeast of the island, at the foot of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano – and borders Saint-Joseph and Sainte-Rose. The 2,632 m high Piton de la Fournaise is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. On its fertile southern slope, agriculture is practiced up to an altitude of over 1,000 m, including the cultivation of sugar cane or a range of fruits such as coconuts or guavas.

Between Saint Philippe and Sainte-Rose is Le Grand Brûlé, where you can see earlier lava flows that flowed into the ocean.

The garden of fragrances and spices (Jardin des Parfums et des Epices), a private garden with hundreds of exotic plants, spices, fruit trees and orchids, is well worth a visit.

7 chemin forestier Mare-Longue

97442 Saint-Philippe


Saint-Pierre is the main town in the south of the island. In the city center, which is well worth seeing, there are interesting shopping opportunities, for example in the local market halls (marché couvert). The city’s harbor is also worth seeing.

If you want to experience a little culture, you can visit a Tamil temple, a Chinese pagoda, a mosque, the Ravine Blanche church or the grave of the bandit Sitarane in the local cemetery.

Some time ago a rum museum was opened in the “Isautier” distillery with the help of three rum distilleries. The “Isautier” distillery was founded in 1845, making it the oldest family distillery on the island.

Chemin Frédeline

97453 Saint-Pierre

Special structures

Episcopal Palace in Saint-Denis

The Episcopal Palace was built in the 19th century. Today there is the Musée Léon Dierx, where you can see works by Cézanne, Chagall, Delacroix, Dufy, Gaugin, Manet, Picasso and Renoir.

Hotel de la Prefecture

The Hotel de la Prefecture is the oldest building in Reunion. It was built in 1738 and expanded as a governor’s palace.

Town hall of Saint-Denis

One of the many old and rich buildings of Saint-Denis is the old town hall, the interior of which is reminiscent of an imposing villa. L’Ancien Hôtel de Ville de Saint-Denis, as it is called in French, has been on Rue de Paris since 1846. In 1975 it was classified as a classic historical building on the island.

Villa Déramond-Barre in Saint-Denis

This Creole villa has been one of the monuments of La Réunion, registered as classical buildings, since 1987. Significant names are associated with their history. This includes Antoine Desforges Parny, the half-brother of the writer Évariste de Forges de Parny. He was the owner of the house in 1814.



Museum “Stella Matutina” The Agricultural Museum “Stella Matutina” is housed in a former sugar factory.

Musée de Villèle

The Musée de Villèle is on the road to Saint-Gilles-les-Hauts. There china of the East India Company, weapons and ship models are exhibited.

Muséum d’histoire naturelle de La Réunion in Saint-Denis

The natural history museum of Saint-Denis, established in 1855, is located in the heart of the city right next to the public Jardin de l’État. Since 1978 it has been on the list of classic historical monuments of La Réunion. The museum was housed in a building from 1834. You can see around 42,000 exhibits that document the natural history changes in La Réunion and the Indian Ocean.

Musée Léon Dierx in Saint Denis

The Musée Léon Dierx commemorates the French writer who was born in Saint-Denis in 1838 and whose most important work was Lèvres close (1864). An exhibition of Impressionist works can be seen in the museum.

Sacred buildings

La Cathédrale Saint-Marie de Saint-Denis

The cathedral of the island’s capital Saint-Denis rises in its center. It was built between 1829 and 1832. Since 1975 it has been on the state list for registered historical buildings. In front of the cathedral is the fountain donated by Mayor Gustave Manès in 1854.

Noor-e-Islam mosque in Saint-Denis

The Noor-e-Islam mosque, inaugurated in 1905, is located in the island’s capital, Saint-Denis, right next to the pedestrian zone. The mosque with its distinctive minaret was the first of its kind in France at the time it was built. The name of the largest mosque in La Réunion means “light of Islam”.

Notre-Dame des-Laves near Sainte-Rose

This church stands at the foot of the Piton de la Fournaise, the second most active volcano on earth. The church of Sainte-Rose was nearly destroyed by a lava flow in 1977. The hot lava first penetrated the church through the entrance portal and finally came to a stop in the middle of the nave. The church has had its current name since that day.

Tamil temple

The largest Tamil temple on the island was built in 1972 and is also open to tourists.

More Attractions

Aquarium de La Réunion in Saint-Gilles

The small public aquarium of Saint-Gilles in the east of La Réunion takes its visitors into an enchanting realm of the fauna of the lagoon. Children are accompanied by a commenting polyp, which acts as the facility’s mascot.

Cimetière Marin de Saint-Paul

The ship cemetery in Saint Paul was laid out on the bay of the city facing the Indian Ocean, i.e. exactly at the point where Saint-Paul was the first place La Réunion was founded. The naval cemetery is so popular because of its picturesque atmosphere and because it reminds of some famous pirates like Olivier Levasseur.

Grotto des Premiers Français near Saint-Paul

The grotto of the first French belongs to the urban area of Saint-Paul. As the name suggests, it is the first place in La Réunion that was settled by the colonizers from France. The grotto is also known by the names La Caverne (du Portugais), Caverne des Matelots, La loge des douze exilés and Grotte de Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes. In 2007 the place was renamed Grotte des Premiers Réunionnais.

Parc du Colorado near Saint-Denis

The large natural habitat spreads on the so-called La Montagne, which is about 300 meters high and belongs to the urban area of Saint-Denis. The park is known for its golf courses as well as its meteorological station.

Rue de Paris in Saint-Denis

The historical axis of Saint-Denis, which is very worth seeing, is bordered by such important buildings and facilities as the Jardin de l’État and the old town hall. You should definitely join one of the guided hikes along the Rue de Paris offered by the tourist office (French: L’office de tourisme).

Université de la Réunion in Saint-Denis

The only university of La Réunion is located just outside the center of Saint-Denis. The Université de La Réunion is also the oldest European university in the Indian Ocean.

natural beauties

Jardin l’État in Saint-Denis

The Jardin de l’Etat, or the state garden, spreads across Saint-Denis. It was established between 1767 and 1773. It is an exotic park with palm trees and a fountain. The Botanical Garden, formerly known as the Jardin du Roy, is also joined by the Natural History Museum, which was opened in 1855. The main entrance to the park is on the historic Rue de Paris.

La Roche Écrite near Saint-Denis

If you leave Saint-Denis in a southerly direction by car for about 15 minutes, you come to Roche Écrite, a hill that overlooks the city and offers picturesque views of the capital, La Réunion.


The spectacular Maïdo viewpoint is around 2,200 m high. From there you have a very nice view of the surrounding area.

Piton de la Fournaise

The 2,631 meter high volcano is – after Hawaii – the second most active volcano on earth and the last mountain on Réunion with volcanic activity. The volcano erupts about every two years and is then always visited by onlookers. The last outbreak occurred on the evening of December 9, 2010. Also worth seeing is the Notre-Dame-des-Laves church, which stands at the foot of the volcano and was once almost destroyed by the liquid lava. It is highly recommended to join one of the guided hikes through the volcanic area. For such a trip you should definitely take enough water, warm clothing and sunscreen with you, because the weather is unpredictable there.

Piton des Neiges

The 3,069 meter high Piton des Neiges (dt. Snow peak), the highest point in the Indian Ocean, was created about 2 million years ago and has not been active for about 20,000. Three hiking trails of different difficulty lead up to the summit. They meet at a mountain hut about an hour’s walk from the summit. The hut offers a heated indoor area, an outdoor area for tents and meals. It is best to reserve in advance.

Trou de Fer

The Trou de Fer (Eng. Iron hole) is a 250 meter deep gorge, which is located on the flank of the highest mountain in La Réunion, the 3,069 meter high Piton des Neiges. The roaring roar of the falling water is very impressive.

Point de la Table

volcano nature trail The Point de la Table volcano nature trail shows many different types of lava and solidified lava formations.

Cascade de la Grande Ravine waterfalls The Cascade de la Grande Ravine

waterfalls are about 10 km from Langevin. They are about 1,000 m high and arguably the most beautiful in Réunion.

Wild South

The so-called Wild South (Le Sud Sauvage) invites you to take a detour with its green forests, the deep blue of the Indian Ocean and its rugged cliffs. The local rural region with the villages such as Villages Créoles, Grand Coude, Plaine des Grègues or Jean Petit offer a wonderful experience.

A number of lookout points offer an excellent view of the Indian Ocean, including Cap Méchant, Mer Cassée, Souffleur d’Arbonne or Étang Salé.

There is also a 1.5 km long beach of black, volcanic sand on the coast of Étang-Salé.

A fantastic spectacle is offered by a narrow basalt opening called Schlund (Le Gouffre), into which the sea pours high and foaming.

A developed coastal path, which can only be used by pedestrians and non-motorized traffic, leads from Étang-Salé to Saint-Pierre.

Reunion Politics