Béziers (Occitan: Besièrs) is a commune in the Hérault département in the Occitanie region in southern France. It is a subprefecture of the department and also the capital of the arrondissement of the same name.
Aerial view of Béziers
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Robert Ménard|
|95.48 km2 (36.87 sq mi)|
|• Density||790/km2 (2,100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Elevation||4–120 m (13–394 ft) |
(avg. 17 m or 56 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.|
Béziers is one of the oldest cities in France. Research shows that Béziers was built by Greeks in the 6th century BC. Some archaeologists think that Béziers could be the oldest town of France, even before Marseille.
The site where is Béziers has been occupied since Neolithic times, before the arrival of Celts. Roman Betarra was on the road that linked Provence with Iberia. The Romans refounded the city as a new place for veterans 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. The city was occupied by the Moors between 720 and 752.
Béziers was the first place to be attacked. The crusaders got to the town on 21 July 1209 and burned the cathedral of Saint Nazaire. A few parts of the Romanesque cathedral survived, and repairs started in 1215. The restoration, along with that of the rest of the city, continued until the 15th century.
The commune has an area of 95.48 km2 (36.87 sq mi), the largest commune in the department, and is at an altitude of about 4–120 m (13–394 ft) above sea level. Béziers is at 75 km (47 mi) to the southeast of the city of Montpellier and at 12 km (7.5 mi) from the Mediterranean Sea.
The commune of Béziers is surrounded by the communes Boujan-sur-Libron, Maraussan, Lignan-sur-Orb, Villeneuve-lès-Béziers, Corneilhan, Sauvian, Colombiers, Cers, Montady, Maureilhan, Bassan and Vendres.
Evolution of the population in Béziers
Béziers forms with other four communes the urban area of Béziers with a population of 89,243 inhabitants (2013) and an area of 135.6 km2 (52.4 sq mi). This urban area is the centre of the metropolitan area of Béziers, formed by 40 communes with a population of 168,960 inhabitants (2013) and an area of 708.4 km2 (273.5 sq mi).
Béziers is a subprefecture of the Hérault department, the capital of the arrondissement of Béziers and the administrative centre (French: chef-lieu) of three cantons: Béziers-1, Béziers-2 and Béziers-3.
Sites of interestEdit
- "Annuaire des élus" (in French). Ville de Béziers. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- Ludovic Trabuchet. "Des révélations sur le passé grec de Béziers" (in French). Midilibre.fr. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- Baudoin Eschapasse. "La plus vieille ville de France ?" (in French). lepoint.fr. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- "Ville de Béziers". Annuaire-Mairie.fr (in French). Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- "Hérault" (in French). habitants.fr. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- "Régions, départements, arrondissements, cantons et communes" (PDF). Populations légales 2014 (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- "Unité urbaine de Béziers (34501)". Comparateur de territoire (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- "Aire urbaine de Béziers (053)". Comparateur de territoire (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
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