Agen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Agen meteorite of 1814, see Meteorite falls.
Agen
Cathedral of Saint-Caprais
Cathedral of Saint-Caprais
Coat of arms of Agen
Coat of arms
Agen is located in France
Agen
Agen
Coordinates: 44°12′18″N 0°37′16″E / 44.2049°N 0.6212°E / 44.2049; 0.6212Coordinates: 44°12′18″N 0°37′16″E / 44.2049°N 0.6212°E / 44.2049; 0.6212
Country France
Region Aquitaine
Department Lot-et-Garonne
Arrondissement Agen
Intercommunality Agen
Government
 • Mayor (2008–2020) Jean Dionis du Séjour (NC)
Area1 11.49 km2 (4.44 sq mi)
Population (2009)2 33,920
 • Density 3,000/km2 (7,600/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 47001 / 47000
Elevation 37–162 m (121–531 ft)
(avg. 48 m or 157 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.

The commune of Agen (French pronunciation: ​[aʒɛ̃]) is the capital of the Lot-et-Garonne department in Aquitaine in southwestern France. It lies on the river Garonne 135 kilometres (84 mi) southeast of Bordeaux.

Geography[edit]

The city of Agen lies in the southern-French département Lot-et-Garonne in the Aquitaine region. The city centre is at the east bank of the Garonne river and close to the Canal de Garonne, approximately halfway between Bordeaux (132 km) and Toulouse (107 km).

Climate[edit]

Agen features an oceanic climate (Cfb), in the Köppen climate classification. Winters are mild and feature cool to cold temperatures while summers are mild and warm. Rainfall is spread equally throughout the year, however, most sunshine hours are from March–September.

Climate data for Agen, France (altitude 59m, 1981–2010) (Source: Météo-France, Infoclimat.fr)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 19.2
(66.6)
21.9
(71.4)
26.3
(79.3)
30.2
(86.4)
32.6
(90.7)
38.8
(101.8)
40.6
(105.1)
38.3
(100.9)
35.2
(95.4)
31.5
(88.7)
23.9
(75)
21.6
(70.9)
40.6
(105.1)
Average high °C (°F) 9.2
(48.6)
11.3
(52.3)
15.0
(59)
17.5
(63.5)
21.5
(70.7)
25.0
(77)
27.6
(81.7)
27.6
(81.7)
24.5
(76.1)
19.6
(67.3)
13.2
(55.8)
9.5
(49.1)
18.5
(65.3)
Average low °C (°F) 2.1
(35.8)
2.4
(36.3)
4.4
(39.9)
6.6
(43.9)
10.3
(50.5)
13.6
(56.5)
15.4
(59.7)
15.3
(59.5)
12.3
(54.1)
9.7
(49.5)
5.4
(41.7)
2.8
(37)
8.4
(47.1)
Record low °C (°F) −17.4
(0.7)
−21.9
(−7.4)
−8.4
(16.9)
−3.9
(25)
−1.6
(29.1)
2.5
(36.5)
5.9
(42.6)
4.7
(40.5)
1.0
(33.8)
−5.0
(23)
−8.6
(16.5)
−12.1
(10.2)
−21.9
(−7.4)
Precipitation mm (inches) 55.1
(2.169)
52.1
(2.051)
49.8
(1.961)
67.6
(2.661)
76.1
(2.996)
58.4
(2.299)
51.3
(2.02)
55.0
(2.165)
59.3
(2.335)
64.3
(2.531)
63.4
(2.496)
59.8
(2.354)
712.2
(28.039)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 10 8 9 11 11 8 6 7 8 10 10 10 107
Mean monthly sunshine hours 78 110 173 182 214 232 255 242 205 138 84 69 1,982
Source #1: climat.meteofrance.com[1]
Source #2: infoclimat.fr[2]

Toponymy[edit]

From Occitan Agen (1197), itself from Latin Aginnum (3rd century Itinéraire d'Antonin), from a Celtic root agin "rock, height".

Population[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1800 9,876 —    
1806 10,850 +9.9%
1821 11,659 +7.5%
1831 12,631 +8.3%
1836 13,399 +6.1%
1841 14,987 +11.9%
1846 15,517 +3.5%
1851 16,027 +3.3%
1856 17,667 +10.2%
1861 17,263 −2.3%
1866 18,222 +5.6%
1872 18,887 +3.6%
1876 19,503 +3.3%
1881 20,485 +5.0%
1886 22,055 +7.7%
1891 23,234 +5.3%
1896 22,730 −2.2%
1901 22,482 −1.1%
1906 23,141 +2.9%
1911 23,294 +0.7%
1921 23,391 +0.4%
1926 23,530 +0.6%
1931 24,939 +6.0%
1936 27,152 +8.9%
1946 33,397 +23.0%
1954 32,593 −2.4%
1962 32,800 +0.6%
1968 34,949 +6.6%
1975 34,039 −2.6%
1982 31,593 −7.2%
1990 30,553 −3.3%
1999 30,199 −1.2%
2006 33,728 +11.7%
2009 33,920 +0.6%

Economy[edit]

The town has a higher level of unemployment than the national average. Major employers include the pharmaceutical factory UPSA.

Sights[edit]

The old centre of town contains a number of medieval buildings.

The twelfth century Agen Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Caprasius, is one of the few large churches in France with a double nave; the curious plan may be a regional trait, since one of the others with a similar symbolic meaning is the Church of the Jacobins (Ensemble conventuel des Jacobins) in relatively nearby Toulouse.

The Saint Hilaire church, dedicated to the theme of the Holy Trinity which the Saint in question did a lot to defend, is notable for its unusual statues in front of the Church – Moses on the right, and St Peter on the left.

The Fine Arts museum, Musée des Beaux Arts contains artefacts, furniture and sculptures from prehistoric times onwards. The art gallery contains several hundred works, including several by Goya, and others by Bonnard and Seurat. The collection also contains a large number of works by artists who lived locally. The museum is made up of twenty or so rooms.[3]

Agen in 1877 by Louis Ducos du Hauron

The Canal des Deux Mers, which joins the Mediterranean with the Atlantic, crosses the river Garonne at Agen via the town's famous canal bridge.

Entertainment[edit]

The municipal theatre "Théâtre Ducourneau" presents theatre, and occasionally classical concerts. The smaller "Théâtre du jour" has a resident theatre company presenting a variety of recent or older plays (Shakespeare, Becket, as well as lesser known playwrights).

There are two cinemas, one a commercial multiscreened affair, the other an arts cinema run by a voluntary organization. The latter organizes film festivals every year.

Sport[edit]

Rugby is extremely popular in the town, and the local team, SU Agen, is enthusiastically supported. The town also serves as the base for the Team Lot-et-Garonne cycling team.

Transportation[edit]

Gare d'Agen connects Agen with Toulouse and Bordeaux as well as services to Périgueux. It is around an hour from Toulouse, and around an hour from Bordeaux. Fast trains to Paris take four hours and ten minutes. Agen is connected by the A62 motorway to both Toulouse and Bordeaux. The Agen Airport is serviced by Airlinair service to Paris Orly 6 days a week, it is also used for business and leisure flying.

Agen stands on the voie verte cycle path between the Mediterranean and close to Bordeaux.

Diocese[edit]

Main article: Diocese of Agen

Agen is the seat of a Roman Catholic diocese that comprises the Département of Lot and Garonne. It is a suffragan of the archdiocese of Bordeaux.

Twin Cities[edit]

Agen is twinned with:[4]

Personalities[edit]

As place of birth
As residence
  • Nostradamus lived in Agen from 1531 until at least 1534. He was married to a local woman with whom he had two children.

Miscellaneous[edit]

Agen is the "capital of the prune", a local produce sold as a sweet (stuffed with prune purée) or as an after-dinner delight (prunes soaked in Armagnac – a type of brandy). Every September, the Prune festival organizes rock concerts, circuses and prune tasting.

Jews[edit]

The first Jews settled in the town in the twelfth century AD. They were expelled from the town in 1306. A number of Jews returned to the town in 1315, and a "Rue des Juifs" is documented ever since this period. In 1968, about 600 Jews lived in the town, though most of them emigrated to the town from North Africa.[8] A Jewish synagogue still exists in the town.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

External links[edit]