JerseyCountry Overview: JerseyFounded: 1204 Form of government: Crown possession of Great Britain Territory: 118.2 km2 (227th in the world) Population: 97,857 people (199th in the world) Capital: Saint Helier Currency: Pound sterling (GBP) Time zone: UTC + 1 Largest city: Saint HelierVVP: $ 5.1 billion (166th in the world) Internet domain: .je Telephone code: +44
Jersey - an island in the English Channel, as part of the Channel Islands. The largest in area (116 km²) among the Channel Islands. Jersey is an autonomous public entity. The supreme authority on the island belongs to the Queen of England, but the jurisdiction of the British Parliament does not apply to it. Legislative power is exercised by the States, in which 12 senators, 12 constables (costeles) and 29 deputies, who do not represent, however, no political parties, are elected by popular vote for different terms, since there are simply no political parties on the island. Presides in the States appointed by the Queen Bailiff, who also heads the government and the judiciary in Jersey. Crown Officials may sit and speak in the States, but do not have the right to vote.
According to the census conducted in 2014, 100,080 people live on the island, of which only 52% were born here.
The island is divided into 12 parishes belonging to the Diocese of Coutances of the Roman Catholic Church. They are also units of the administrative-territorial division of Jersey. The most populous is the parish of St. Helier (Saint-Élie) and the adjacent parishes of Saint Savior (Saint-Saver), Saint-Clement (Saint-Clement), Gori and Saint-Aubin (Saint-Aubin).
Flora and fauna
The first thing that catches your eye here is a multitude of birds. Conventionally, they can be divided into two groups: those that arrive here for the winter and spend time on the fertile lands of the southern and southeastern coasts, and those that settle in the rocks of Jersey in the spring and summer to breed. In autumn, wading birds appear on the island, looking for food in coastal sands. Listing all the species of feathered inhabitants of Jersey would take too much time, so perhaps it is worth mentioning only the most famous breeds. So, most often on the island you can see woodpeckers, pikas, green-eyed cormorants, terns, sandpipers, kingfishers, herons, gulls and petrels. Among the rarest of birds, owls, songbirds and the canary finch are worth mentioning.
As for animals, their diversity on the island is as great as the fantasy of nature. First of all, it refers to the local butterflies. Unfortunately, most of the fauna of Jersey are rare species of animals. For example, the red squirrel became an almost extinct inhabitant of the island, and the Green Lizard and the Agile Frog can only be seen in Ouazne.
In the open sea, the warm waters of St. Malo Bay support the diverse inhabitants of the depths like fish. So are the mammals. Most often here you can see several varieties of dolphins, whose numbers within the coast has about 100 individuals. Whales and Atlantic seals were also observed in the vicinity of the island. Many interesting things from the bright and diverse underwater life will be seen by those who are actively engaged in scuba diving. Grouper and eel are the main sources of local fishermen in coastal waters. In addition, Jersey boasts a huge population of reptiles and amphibians.
Jersey Flora is no less diverse. To date, only flowers on the island, there are several hundred varieties, not to mention the trees and shrubs, which are more than 200 species. It seems that the inhabitants of the island have erected flowers into a cult - they grow everywhere: in gardens, parks, greenhouses. Wild flowers are just as picturesquely scattered throughout Jersey. The most common plants of the island are heather, gorse, marsh St. John's wort, buttercup, daisy, dwarf reed, saffron, foxglove and milkweed.
The fact that so many representatives of the living world live on such a small piece of land makes Jersey a unique place of its kind, not only among the British Isles, but throughout the world.
The more southern location of Jersey, as well as protection from the bay of Saint-Malo, led to the island having a mild, mild climate. Compared to the rest of the British Isles, the weather is warmer and more sunny throughout Jersey. The average annual temperature on the island is + 11.5 ° С, and in summer the air warms up to +25 - + 30 ° С.
Jersey is the main language of English, although some of the inhabitants of the island, especially elderly people living in rural areas, still speak the so-called “Jerriais” - the island dialect of French - a mixture of Old Norse and the Norman dialect. Until the 1960s, the official language on the island was French, which to this day is used by lawyers in the courts.
The dominant position in the religious life of Jersey is occupied by the Roman Catholic Church. The island was converted to Christianity in 538 by Saint Markulf. Shortly thereafter, St. Helier arrived on the island, settling as a hermit in a cave on a secluded rock, and in 555 he was martyred at the hands of pirates armed with axes. In memory of him, the capital of Jersey is named Saint Helier, on whose coat of arms are depicted two crossed axes.
The island of Jersey, like all the Channel Islands, is an offshore zone and has long been recognized as a peculiar example of prosperity and stability.
Any natural resources on the island are missing. Jersey’s permanent sources of income include activities as an offshore center (39% of GDP), tourism (35% of GDP), taxes on wealthy foreigners who have a residence permit on the island (20% of GDP), as well as agriculture and small enterprises of light industry ( a total of 6% of GDP). Fisheries play an important role in the economy of Jersey.
The main type of tax on the island is income tax. Currently, its size for residents of the island is 20%. There are no taxes on property, capital increment, gift or inheritance.
Jersey is an international financial center with 73 banks, more than 33,000 registered companies and more than 100,000,000 pounds of deposit funds, 62% of which are stored in foreign currency. Along with the British pound sterling on the island in circulation there is also a local currency. Control over currency transactions is not exercised. There is only one type of company on Jersey and there is no distinction between a private firm and an open joint-stock company. Thanks to Jersey’s close ties with the UK and the rest of Europe, the island enjoys the benefits of free trade and financial autonomy.
Even in the time of Napoleon, Jersey island attracted immigrants who are looking to benefit from such favorable financial conditions. However, a fairly densely populated island can afford to accept only the “best of the best” for permanent residence. Candidates of modern immigrants are carefully studied. A residence permit on the island can be obtained only by one who has liquid assets of at least 8.000.000 pounds sterling, and whose stable annual income is at least 500.000 pounds sterling. Thus, a maximum of 10 people move to the island annually.
The tourism sector is important for the island, not only because of its relatively high profits, but also because of the opportunity to establish permanent connections. About 1,000,000 tourists visit Jersey every year. The overwhelming majority of them are English (about 80%), about 10% of tourists come from France and Germany, 2% come from other Channel Islands, and a very small part of tourists gather here from all over the world. About 190 hotels are registered on the island, capable of accommodating more than 14.000 people at a time.
Agriculture consistently provides about 5% of GDP. The main export items are dairy products, meat from famous local cows, “Jersey Royal” potatoes, as well as a huge selection of garden crops and flowers.
Jersey has an excellent air transport system. The most frequent flights are to London; There are also regular connections to many European centers, including Paris and Amsterdam. Water transport is used to import most goods and materials. The Jersey telecommunications system is based on the UK digital network.
Jersey has English pound sterling and its own pound, equal in English. Currency control on the island is missing.
The heritage of Jersey is great: the graves of Neolithic times, medieval castles, museums with the richest exposure, as well as places reminiscent of the five-year occupation of Jersey during the Second World War. There are a lot of churches on the island, many of them are very interesting, since their history goes far back in centuries.
The castle of Mont-Oguey and Elizabethan castle - they are considered the most beautiful fortifications of Europe.
The medieval castle Grosnez - the castle was built on an elevated cape in the northwestern part of the island in the XIV century. Today it represents only ruins. The rest of the Channel Islands and the vast expanses of the Atlantic Ocean are perfectly visible from the observation deck of the castle.
The Museum of the Island of Jersey is the owner of two national awards, the Museum of Jersey uses the most modern technologies and impressive demonstrations to acquaint visitors with the island’s history, traditions, culture and industry.
The Maritime Museum - the owner of the national award, offers visitors a new and rather fascinating concept, combining historical exhibitions and a number of paintings and sculptural works dedicated to the relationship of the inhabitants of Jersey with the sea: waves, sea voyages, boat construction and much more.
Ceramic factory - you can trace the entire cycle of manufacturing pottery. In addition to the exhibition hall, there is a museum dedicated to the history of pottery, as well as an art painting studio.
Vineyards La Mar - in fact, in La Mare produce not only excellent wine and the famous Calvados Jersey, which offer to taste all the guests, but also traditional for Jersey black oil, marmalades, jams, jelly, delicious sweets and even mustard. Another pride of the company is chocolate. Traditionally, visitors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the manufacturing processes of all these products.
Jersey Zoo is one of the best in the world, in a beautiful park square there is a station for growing endangered species of animals.
Lavender Farm - here you can observe the processes of its cultivation, harvesting, cleaning and drying. Walking through the lavender fields will take a lot of fun. In the gift shop you can purchase farm products.
Seashells Garden is a unique park, the only one in the world in which shells are collected. It has more than a million copies. The garden has a souvenir shop selling hand-made shells and souvenirs.
Jersey Island is the largest of the Channel Islands, famous for almost 8,000 years. Houses in Norman style, narrow winding streets with French names - all this is a reflection of the fascinating and complex history of the island, which wove it into the fate of two great nations, England and France, for more than a thousand years.
The most ancient evidence of the life of people on the island, for example, coarse stone tools, carried by scientists about 250,000 years ago, when the tribes of hunters used to shelter a cave on the coast in Saint-Brelades. The artifacts of the prehistoric period, when Jersey was still part of the continent, can be seen today at low tide and in the bay of St. Owen. The first settled communities appeared here in the Neolithic era, as ritual places of burial, known as dolmens, remind today.
Despite the fact that Jersey was part of the vast Roman Empire, it is practically not mentioned until the 11th century. It is only known that in the 6th century the hermit Helier, recognized as a saint, lived on the island. He lived and preached in that part of the island, which is located just south of Elizabeth's castle, and was possibly killed by Saxon pirates. Six centuries later, a chapel was erected on one of the rocks in honor of the saint.
In the 9th century, Vikings began to attack the island, also known as the Normans, who had a great influence on the life of the island. Throughout the 9th century, they plundered the island in the summer months, until finally the French king, Charles Simple, decided to make a deal with them. As a result, in exchange for peace, the leader of the Normans, Rollo, received the lands that later became known as Rouen, the French province of Normandy. Many laws and customs of Jersey appeared during the rule of the Normans in 933-1204.
The Channel Islands remained politically linked to Brittany until 933, until the Norman Duke William Longsward captured the Cotentin peninsula in northwestern France and the neighboring islands and annexed them to their possessions. In 1066, Duke William II of Normandy defeated King Harold II in the battle of Hasting and became the new king of England, continuing to rule French territories as a separate territory. In 1204, King Philip-Augustus of France conquered the Norman Duchy from King John of England, but the islands remained the property of the British crown. Since then, the Channel Islands have become the center of common interests of England and France. At the same time, the British royal fortress and the Mont-Orge military base were built.
During the Hundred Years War, 1337-1453, Jersey was repeatedly attacked and even occupied for several years in the 1380s. Due to the strategic importance of the island for the English crown, its inhabitants managed to bargain with the king for the most favorable conditions for their life. In the years 1455-1485, during the war, White and Scarlet Rose, Jersey for seven years (1461-1468) was occupied by the French, and then at the insistence of Sir Richard Harliston was returned to England.
In the 16th century, the inhabitants of the island accepted Protestantism, and life became extremely ascetic. To protect the bay of Saint-Aubin at the time was built a new fortress. The people's militia was organized, and each church parish received two cannons, which were usually kept in the walls of the temples. One of the cannons can be seen today at the foot of the Beaumont hill. In the same period, knitwear production reached an island of such magnitude that there was a threat to the ability of Jersey to produce its own food. As a result, laws were passed that strictly regulate who, with whom and when he could knit. Another extremely fruitful occupation of the inhabitants of the island was fishing. The boats left Jersey in February - March after the solemn service in the church of St. Brelade and returned back only in September - October.
In the 1640s, England was fragmented by civil war, military action also spread to Scotland and Ireland. Civil strife was divided and Jersey: the sympathy of one part of its inhabitants was on the side of parliament, and supporters of George Carteret supported the king.The future King Charles II visited the island twice: the first time in 1646, and then in 1649 after the execution of his father. The parliamentarians eventually captured Jersey in 1651, and in gratitude for the assistance provided during the exile, Charles II awarded George Carteret extensive land ownership in the North American British colonies, which he immediately called New Jersey. By the end of the 17th century, Jersey had established strong ties with America. Many of its inhabitants immigrated to New England and northeastern Canada, and the island’s merchants created thriving trading empires in Newfoundland and Gaspe.
The 18th century was a period of political tension between Britain and France, as the growing ambitions of the two major powers clashed throughout the world. Because of its location, Jersey was constantly on martial law. New attempts to seize the island were undertaken during the War of Independence in America. In 1779, the Prince of the German Duchy of Nassau attempted to land his troops in St. Owen Bay. The attempt was unsuccessful. In 1781, the army under the leadership of Baron de Rullcourt captured St. Helier, but was quickly defeated by British forces led by Major Peyrson. For a short peace followed the French Revolution, and then the Napoleonic wars, which after its end changed Jersey forever. A large number of English-speaking soldiers and retired officers stationed on the island, as well as unskilled workers who arrived here in the 1820s, led to the fact that Jersey was gradually saturated with English-speaking culture. At the same time, the island became one of the largest centers of shipbuilding in the British Isles. More than 900 ships were built here. At the end of the 19th century, the island’s farmers began to benefit from the breeding of two luxury goods — Jersey cows and Jersey Royal potatoes. And if one of them was the result of careful selection and labor-intensive cultivation, the other appeared completely by accident.
The 20th century in the history of Jersey was marked by the occupation of the island by German troops in the years 1940-1945. As a result, about 8,000 of its inhabitants were evacuated, 1,200 people were sent to camps in Germany, more than 300 people were sentenced to imprisonment and concentration camps in continental Europe. Therefore, the Day of Liberation - May 9 - is celebrated here from now on as a public holiday. Finally, the event that had the greatest impact on the modern life of Jersey was the intensive development of the island’s financial industry in the 1960s.
In 1979, the modern flag of Jersey appeared - a red diagonal cross on a white background with three zloty lions on a red coat of arms, topped with a golden crown, in the upper triangle. He replaced the old flag, on which there was no coat of arms with a crown.
Jersey - an island in the English Channel, as part of the Channel Islands. The largest among the Channel Islands. The main article about the island of jersey here.
City St. Helier
St. Helier - the city and port, the capital of the British crown ownership of Jersey. In administrative division it is equated to one of the twelve districts (wards) of Jersey. The population is 33,622 people (2011), which is about a third of the inhabitants of the entire island. This is also the economic center of Jersey.
The city received its name from St. Helier, a Christian martyr who lived here in the 6th century and was killed by pirates. It is believed that he was hacked to death with axes, which today are depicted on the city's coat of arms.
St. Helier is located in the south of Jersey on the shore of a small bay.
The main attractions are Elizabeth’s castle, the St. Helier’s chapel, built in the rock, and the parliament building. Also in the Royal City Park is a monument to King George II, considered the "zero kilometer". All distances on the island are measured from this place.