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Béziers

Posted by Freddy Rueda on 17/03/2021
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General Information


Population: 78000
Altitude : 17m
Shops and amenities: In addition to commercial centres and hospitals there is a SNCF station with TGV connections
Postcode : 34500

Sites of Interest

  • Saint-Nazaire Cathedral 
  • The Plateau des Poètes (1867) 
  • The allées Paul Riquet where a large bronze statue by David d’Angers celebrates the creator of the Canal du Midi, Pierre-Paul Riquet.  At times of the Feria, festivities are centred in these alleys.
  • Arenas: Béziers has two arenas
  • The Fine Arts Museum (musée des Beaux-Arts), founded in 1859.
  • The musée Saint-Jacques, installed in a former barracks, has collections showing life in the Béziers region (Biterrois).
  • Le Pont Vieux is a stone bridge crossing the Orb (Middles Ages).
  • Le Cimetière Vieux (Old Cemetery).
  • Pierre-Paul Riquet’s Canal du Midi (17th century) Béziers installations: the Pont-canal de l’Orb canal aqueduct; the Fonserannes staircaise locks and the Fonserannes lock continuation (now also hors service) to the River Orb.
  • Garden de la Plantade
  • The Cordier or Bagnols mill
  • Saint-Jacques Church
  • The Saint-Aphrodise Church
  • Church of the Madeleine
  • Saint Jude Church
  • Church of the Immaculate Conception and its glazed tile roof
  • The Capnau quarter
  • Island of Tabarka, on the Orb
  • The Municipal Theatre (19th century)
  • The Art Nouveau former Théâtre des Variétés
  • The market hall (end of the 19th century)
  • The Saint-Jean-d’Aureilhan estate
  • The Domaine de Bayssan
  • Chapelle du Jardin Notre-Dame (18th century)
  • Chapelle des Pénitents Bleus (18th century)
  • Other sights in the area include the Oppidum d’Ensérune archaeological site and the Étang de Montady, visible from the Oppidum d’Ensérune.

 

Activities and Economy

Béziers is a principal centre of the Languedoc viticulture and wine making industries.

History

Béziers is one of the oldest cities in France dating back from 575 BC and a Languedoc stronghold of Catharism.

The site has been occupied since Neolithic times, before the influx of Celts. The Romans refounded the city in 36–35 BC and called it Colonia Julia Baeterrae Septimanorum. Stones from the Roman amphitheatre were used to construct the city wall during the 3rd century.

From the 10th to the 12th century, Béziers was the centre of a Viscountship of Béziers. The viscounts ruled most of the coastal plain around Béziers, including the town of Agde. They also controlled the major east–west route through Languedoc, which roughly follows the old Roman Via Domitia, with the two key bridges over the Orb at Béziers and over the Hérault at Saint-Thibéry.

After the death of Viscount William around 990, the viscounty passed to his daughter Garsendis and her husband, count Raimond-Roger of Carcassonne (d. c.1012). It was then ruled by their son Peter-Raimond (d. c.1060) and his son Roger (d. 1067), both of whom were also Counts of Carcassonne.

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