Agde

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Agde
Hotel la Galiote in front of the cathedral
Hotel la Galiote in front of the cathedral
Coat of arms of Agde
Coat of arms
Agde is located in France
Agde
Agde
Coordinates: 43°18′39″N 3°28′33″E / 43.3108°N 3.4758°E / 43.3108; 3.4758Coordinates: 43°18′39″N 3°28′33″E / 43.3108°N 3.4758°E / 43.3108; 3.4758
Country France
Region Languedoc-Roussillon
Department Hérault
Arrondissement Béziers
Canton Agde
Intercommunality Hérault Méditerranée
Government
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Gilles d'Ettore (UMP)
Area
 • Land1 50.81 km2 (19.62 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Population2 22,487
 • Population2 density 440/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 34003 / 34300
Elevation 0–110 m (0–361 ft)
(avg. 5 m or 16 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.

Agde (French pronunciation: ​[aɡdə]; Occitan: Agde [ˈadde, ˈate]) is a commune in the Hérault department in southern France. It is the Mediterranean port of the Canal du Midi.

Location[edit]

Saint-Joseph Bridge over the Canal du Midi
Château Laurens and the Hérault River

Agde is located on the river Hérault, 4 kilometres (2 miles) from the Mediterranean Sea, and 750 kilometres (466 miles) from Paris. The Canal du Midi connects to the Hérault at the Agde Round Lock ("L'Écluse Ronde d'Agde") just above Agde and flows into the Mediterranean at Le Grau d'Agde.

History[edit]

Fountain of the Republic in town centre
Town centre, pedestrian area

Foundation[edit]

Agde (525 B.C.) is one of the oldest villages in France, right behind Béziers (575 B.C.) and Marseille (600 B.C.).[1] Agde (Agathe Tyche, "good fortune") was a 5th-century BCE Greek colony settled by Phocaeans from Massilia. The symbol of the city, the bronze Ephebe of Agde, of the 4th century BCE, recovered from the fluvial sands of the Hérault, was joined in December 2001 by two Early Imperial Roman bronzes, of a child and of Eros, which had doubtless been on their way to a villa in Gallia Narbonensis when they were lost in a shipwreck.

Development[edit]

Maréchaux Bridge and the Hérault River

In the history of Roman Catholicism in France, the Council of Agde was held 10 September 506 at Agde, under the presidency of Caesarius of Arles. It was attended by thirty-five bishops, and its forty-seven genuine canons deal "with ecclesiastical discipline". One of its canons (the seventh), forbidding ecclesiastics to sell or alienate the property of the church from which they derived their living, seems to be the earliest mention of the later system of benefices.[2][3]

Population[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1793 6,744 —    
1800 6,744 +0.0%
1806 7,639 +13.3%
1821 7,726 +1.1%
1831 8,202 +6.2%
1836 8,230 +0.3%
1841 8,251 +0.3%
1846 8,884 +7.7%
1851 9,115 +2.6%
1856 9,439 +3.6%
1861 9,747 +3.3%
1866 9,586 −1.7%
1872 8,829 −7.9%
1876 8,251 −6.5%
1881 8,170 −1.0%
1886 8,446 +3.4%
1891 7,389 −12.5%
1896 8,478 +14.7%
1901 9,533 +12.4%
1906 8,435 −11.5%
1911 9,265 +9.8%
1921 8,325 −10.1%
1926 9,360 +12.4%
1931 9,605 +2.6%
1936 9,242 −3.8%
1946 7,592 −17.9%
1954 7,897 +4.0%
1962 8,751 +10.8%
1968 10,184 +16.4%
1975 11,605 +14.0%
1982 13,107 +12.9%
1990 17,583 +34.1%
1999 20,066 +14.1%
2008 22,487 +12.1%

Its inhabitants are called Agathois.

Architecture[edit]

Map
Amphitrite in the place de la Marine at the river, by Léon François Chervet[4]

Agde is known for the distinctive black basalt used in local buildings, for example the cathedral of Saint Stephen, built in the twelfth century to replace a 9th-century Carolingian edifice built on the foundations of a fifth-century Roman church. Bishop Guillaume fortified the cathedral's precincts and provided it with a 35-meter donjon (keep). The Romanesque cloister of the cathedral was demolished in 1857.

Jewish Community[edit]

It is assumed that a Jewish community was established in the town around the sixth century AD. During the council of Agde, assembled by the Catholic church in 506 AD, Christian laymen and ecclesiastics were prohibited from eating with Jews or host them. This prohibition suggests that the town Jews held good relations with their town neighbors. It is also assumed that the Jewish community was never large, since it did not own a cemetery and buried their dead in Béziers, 3 miles away.[5] The Jewish name of the city was Agdi, or Akdi (אגדי).[6] During World War 2, about 2000 Jews from Germany and Austria were sent to a labor camp near the town, most of them were deported on Aug. 24, 1942.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ludovic Trabuchet. "Des révélations sur le passé grec de Béziers". Midilibre.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  2. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Council of Agde". www.newadvent.org. Archived from the original on 29 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  3. ^ "Medieval Sourcebook: Council of Agde: Concerning Slaves of the Church, 506". www.fordham.edu. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  4. ^ The sculpture rebaptised Amphitrite formerly stood on the façade of the Palais du Trocadéro, built for the Exposition Universelle (1878) and demolished to make way for the Exposition of 1937. She was preserved and offered to the city, where she now symbolizes Agde's maritime vocation. (Patrimoine français; Hérault Tribune Découvrir Agde)
  5. ^ AGDE - JewishEncyclopedia.com
  6. ^ Agde - Encyclopaedia Judaica | Encyclopedia.com
  7. ^ http://go.galegroup.com/ps/retrieve.do?sgHitCountType=None&sort=RELEVANCE&inPS=true&prodId=GVRL&userGroupName=imcpl1111&tabID=T003&searchId=R1&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&contentSegment=&searchType=BasicSearchForm&currentPosition=1&contentSet=GALE%7CCX2587500521&&docId=GALE%7CCX2587500521&docType=GALE
River Hérault panorama

External links[edit]