Aimargues town hall
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Jean-Paul Franc|
|• Land1||26.48 km2 (10.22 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||160/km2 (410/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||30006 / 30470|
|Elevation||3–13 m (9.8–42.7 ft)
(avg. 7 m or 23 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.
Aimargues is a commune in the Gard department in southern France. The town of Aimargues may have Roman origins and is situated beside the Vidourle River on the floodplain of the River Rhône. Traditionally it has been an agricultural and wine-producing community but it now also has a number of new industries and employers who benefit from excellent road connections to the north of France as well as to Spain and Italy.
Located some 26 km (16 mi) to the southwest of Nîmes, close to the border with the Hérault department, Aimargues can be easily accessed from the nearby Autoroute A9. Aimargues also has a railway station on the line from Saint-Césaire to Le Grau-du-Roi.
The Petite Camargue is an area of wetlands on the west side of the delta of the Rhône River in southern France. Aimargues is a small town in the Petite Camargue beside the River Vidourle which rises in the Cévennes Mountains to the northwest. Some 6,000 years BC much of the interior of the Petite Carmargue was occupied by a lagoon, "l’étang de l’or", which was separated from the sea by a sandy bar. Since then the lake has become progressively silted up. The countryside around Aimargues is flat and the soil is rich, being accumulated sediment brought down the River Rhône and deposited in its delta and surrounding area during flooding. As well as agricultural land there are levees, creeks, marshes, brackish ponds, lagoons and dunes in the area.
The suffix "argues" suggests that the town of Aimargues has been in existence since antiquity. It was probably named after the Roman military commander Flavius Armatus. It is unclear when exactly Aimargues castle was built but it was in existence before 1185. King Louis IX is said to have set out for the Crusades from the town. In the 13th century, a census showed that the town had become a bustling community with 522 homes, indicating a population of over 2,000 people. In 1565, the area came under the rule of the house of Crussol and Viscount d'Uzès made it one of the main strongholds of the Lower Vistrenque. Louis XIII ordered the destruction of the city walls. In the early 18th century, Jean Charles de Crussol included Baron d'Aymargues among his titles. After the French Revolution the town was no longer controlled by the Uzès and in 1790, with the establishment of the department of Gard, it became the capital of the Canton Aimargues, now the Canton Rhôny-Vidourle, in the district of Nîmes.
The town has developed from an initial central core. This is self-contained and not traversed by routes extending from one side of the town to the other. It was originally surrounded by the city wall, has the château in its northwest corner and the church, reconstructed in the nineteenth century, in its centre. This ancient part is surrounded by another zone that also has tightly packed houses and narrow streets. The outer suburbs are modern.
The Commune of Aimargues has several buildings of historic interest:
- The Château de Teillan located 2 km to the south of the village is an old Roman castrum originally called "Villa Telliamis". It subsequently belonged to Psalmody Abbey before it was acquired by the Bornier family. Today's building dates from the second half of the 16th century with some 17th century additions. It became a listed historic monument in 1992.
- The former 17th-century parish church was converted into an indoor market at the end of the 19th century. Now known as the Salle Georges Brassens, it is used as an exhibition centre.
The village also has schools, nurseries, a library, a youth centre and an adult leisure centre. There is a bullfighting arena where the "course camarguaise" takes place. In the traditional fights held here, the bull is not killed but an unarmed "raseteur" attempts to snatch a rosette from between its horns.
While agriculture and wine production are still important contributors to the local economy, more recent players such as Royal Canin, the dog and cat food producer, Itesoft, a software company, and the underwear company Éminence are also important employers, benefitting from easy access to the motorway with connections to Italy and Spain as well as to the north of France.
- "Tourisme", Aimargues.fr. (French) Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Garede Aimargues", SNCF. (French) Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Aimargues: Bref historique et présentation du patrimoine architectural". Archéologie en Petite Carmargue (in French). Retrieved 2013-10-07.
- "Histoire d'Aimargues". Voilà tout! (in French). Retrieved 2013-10-07.
- Theroff, Paul. "Crussol d'Uzès". Online Gotha. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
- "Château de Teillan: Languedoc-Roussillon; Gard; Aimargues", Monuments historiques: base Merimee. (French) Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Enseignement et culture", Aimargues.fr. (French) Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Aliagar, Martine (13 July 2013). "Les cent taureaux". Bouvine en ligne (in French). Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- "Aimargues", PetiteCamargue.fr. (French) Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Jean-Louis Py (1989). Aimargues pendant la tourmente révolutionnaire, 1788-1799. C. Lacour. (French)
- Jean-Louis Py (1992). Histoire d'Aimargues: de 1799 à 1851. C. Lacour. ISBN 978-2-86971-631-5. (French)
- Jean Vidal (1993). Monographie de la ville d'Aimargues. Lacour. (French)
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