Beziers Cap d'Agde France - Tourism Information
Wandering the back roads of this region will take you on a journey through history.
Beziers in Languedoc Roussillon France
I had to go and collect my daughter in law from the airport at Beziers a little while ago and decided not to take the 'Peage' option to get there. Instead we drove from our gite in Issel through the Black Mountains national park via Mazamet and along the winding mountain road, it took a little longer but was well worth the effort, We got some fabulous views and after we reached Beziers we ended up following the Canal du Midi out of town towards the airport.
At one point as we passed over the river we looked back over the water to see an amazing selection of wonderful bridges that allow traffic to pass back and forth over the river Orb. As soon as we saw the bridges we knew that on our return trip we would be taking a look around Beziers to see what else it had to offer.
It didn't seem that long before we were back at Beziers Cap d'Agde airport and were waving goodbye to our daughter in law and our little grandaughter, a week in France passes very quickly and we had all had a lovely time enjoying the sunshine and visiting a few places around the area, including the amazing firework display at Carcassonne on Bastille day.
I have to admit that I was a bit distracted back at the Beziers Cap d'Agde airport because of who was there, no other than Eric Cantona, a once outstanding footballer who played for Leeds and then Manchester United. Eric is into acting and a bit of football management these days and has starred in a few films more recently, have to say he looked pretty chilled out and relaxed waiting for his Ryanair Flight to Bristol.
For Skyscanner Flights to Beziers Cap d'Agde Airport including Ryanair amongst others Click Here, if they are good enough for Eric !!!
Once we had seen the kids off through security we headed into Beziers for a look around.
Places of interest in Beziers
Why the Cathars were so successful in the South of France
Parking was relatively straightforward, we headed for the town center and found a signpost for parking at Place Jean Jaures, which is a large underground car park right underneath the centre of the city. When you climb the steps out of the car park you come out right in front of a statue of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the architect of the Canal du Midi and a native of Beziers. The road behind him is where you will find the 'Office de Tourisme' about a hundred yards down on the left hand side, a good place to grab a map and a little bit of information on what there is to see.
Two of the most impressive places of interest in Beziers are the 'Cathedral of St Nazaire' and the 'Plateau des Poetes' as recommened to me by the very nice lady in the tourist information office. There are loads of other places as well with architecture that ranges from Romanesque to Gothic.
The public garden is where you will find the 'Plateau des Poetes' and you can go into the garden through the gates at the end of the 'Allees paul Riquet' the main street that runs behind his statue.The gardens form an English style park and were designed by the famous landscape architect 'Bulher". It also plays host to the 'Titan' sculpture by Injalbert, another famous son of Beziers. Being a son of Beziers you will find there are a number of other examples of his work scattered around the city.
The opposite end to the gardens is the Theatre Municipal where if you turn left you will head towards the covered market, built in the late 1800's, and beyond that the Cathedral of St Nazaires.
Beziers is a mix of wide boulevards in the centre but then on leaving the central area you find yourself meandering through lovely little streets with closely packed buildings of typical French style.
Beziers has its fair share of history and was not left untouched by the Cathar Persecution or the period of Roman occupation. It is also a wine capital being located in one of the largest wine producing regions of France.
I think it is well worth a visit, there is plenty to see and the views from the cathedral looking out over the river were fabulous, especially looking over the many bridges there. One building I haven't mentioned is the new arena, well not that new it was built in 1897, which is where you can go for the bullfights, concerts and shows that the city hosts, a pretty impressive building.
Fireworks at Carcassonne - Plus a Little Look at Beziers and La Montagne NoireClick thumbnail to view full-size
Montsegur is often seen as the place where the Cathars made their last stand, but the crusade was to drag on for several more years after the siege ended.
Finding Your Way Around Languedoc Roussillon - A Large Part of the Pays Cathare is right in Languedoc Roussillon
Beziers was the first significant battle of the Cathar Crusade and the whole area is steeped in the history of the Cathars.
French History Books - The Lauragais Story
A fascinating insight into the complete history of the Lauragais region in the South of France, from Toulouse to Castelnaudary. Includes the Cathar persecution by Simon De Montfort, the German occupation and much much more. There was a lot of action in the Lauragais over many centuries and if you ever visit this region, this book will really inform you of its past, where money was made and how lives were lost.
Living so close to Castelnaudary, the capital of the Lauragais, this French history book really grabbed my attention. A chance to find out about and understand the history of the region, admittedly in English, where we live. It really is a chequered history, the region has had more than it's fair share of heartache and misery, but has risen to be one of the most important parts of France. Toulouse is the centre of aerospace and the home of Airbus, but in days gone by it was wheat and wode that were the main generators of wealth in the region and where the funding for many chateaus was found.
History of France - Interesting Artifacts from or About France
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