There is often a great debate because there are often 2 spellings for the highest dune in Europe, with its 102.4 m high, its 600 meters wide and which is perhaps the most frequented natural site in the South-West: Dune du Pyla and Dune du Pilat.
But what is the correct spelling and what is its origin?
After doing research on the internet and reading articles, here is what to remember:
The official name is “Dune du Pilat”. The word "pilat" comes from the Gascon "pilat", derived from the Latin "pïla" and means heap or mound.
It was Daniel Meller, a real estate developer from Bordeaux, who changed the spelling when he created in the 1920s, with Louis Gaume, an entrepreneur, the testine seaside resort: the district of Pyla sur Mer. He was inspired by Pilat but changed the spelling so that the name is more exotic, selling more to locals and tourists. At the time, Antiquity, Greece and ancient Rome were fashionable and they decided to Hellenize "Pilat" by replacing the "i" with a "y" and removing the "t".
The spelling of the Dune du Pilat already appears on maps dating from the 18th century and the Dune remains Pilat, because it is not located in Pyla sur Mer but in La Teste.
The debate seems closed now, it is indeed Dune du Pilat that we must remember.
Have a nice day everyone and see you next year above the Dune du Pilat. (I still hesitate…)