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Capestang

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

Population: 3500
Altitude : 120m
Shops and amenities: The town has many shops and services, including the port and a campsite
Postcode : 34310

Sites of Interest

The collegiate church of Saint-Étienne de Capestang
The Canal du Midi – UNESCO world heritage site
The 14th century castle of the archbishops of Narbonne (Historic Monument).

Activities and Economy

The economy of the village is mainly based on agriculture and viticulture, olive trees and fruit crops. Wines from the Pays des Coteaux d’Ensérune, South of France. Its tourist office on the canal port, the Canal du Midi, the Saint Etienne collegiate church, the castle of the Archbishops of Narbonne with its painted ceiling and its museum.
Traditional market every Wednesday and Sunday morning, on Place Jean Jaurès.

History

Capestang, literally the Cape over the Etangs. With its spectacular ‘Collegial’, a Catholic church with parts dating back to the 11th Century, Capestang is not only a landmark visible for many miles, but an official port for the canal du Midi.

A collegiate is a church entrusted to the care of canons subject to ecclesiastical rule. The collegiate church in Capestang was built in perfect Gothic style in 13th and 14th Centuries, on the remains of an old Roman church, by the same team who built the cathedral in Narbonne. From close up the two monuments have a strong resemblance.
In spite of its unfinished aspect, this building is very interesting with its rib vaulted apse. The choir is magnificently illuminated by stained glass windows depicting the main protagonists of the Jewish/Christian religion. Finally, from the top of the bell tower there is a fabulous view of Capestang’s ‘étang’ –(the dried up lake), the hills of La Clape, the Narbonne plain and in the distance, the Canigou peak and to the North the foothills of the Massif Central. Capestang was one of the residencies of the Archbishopric of Narbonne. The Château des Archevêques dates from 14th Century.
It has recently been restored and is open to visitors, the ceremonial reception hall has a painted ceiling (15th Century), reminder of the castle’s prestigious past.

The canal du Midi also passes just to the north of the town as it winds its way from the Aude into the Herault.

There is a plaque in the square to resistance hostages shot by the SS on the 9 August 1944 (3 days after DDay).

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