Alès

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To be distinguished from Ales (disambiguation).
"Alais" redirects here. For the Alais meteorite of 1806, see Meteorite falls.
Alès
Alès Cathedral
Alès Cathedral
Coat of arms of Alès
Coat of arms
Alès is located in France
Alès
Alès
Coordinates: 44°07′41″N 4°04′54″E / 44.1281°N 4.0817°E / 44.1281; 4.0817Coordinates: 44°07′41″N 4°04′54″E / 44.1281°N 4.0817°E / 44.1281; 4.0817
Country France
Region Languedoc-Roussillon
Department Gard
Arrondissement Alès
Canton 3 cantons
Intercommunality Grand Alès en Cévennes
Government
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Max Roustan
Area
 • Land1 23.16 km2 (8.94 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Population2 40,520
 • Population2 density 1,700/km2 (4,500/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 30007 / 30100
Elevation 116–356 m (381–1,168 ft)
(avg. 150 m or 490 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.

Alès (French pronunciation: ​[a.lɛs] ; Alès in Occitan) is a commune in the Gard department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. It is one of the sub-prefectures of the department. It was formerly known as Alais.

Geography[edit]

Alès lies 40 kilometres (25 miles) north-northwest of Nîmes, on the left bank of the Gardon River, which half surrounds it. It is located at the foot of the Cévennes, near the Cévennes National Park.

History[edit]

Fountain

In the 16th century Alès was an important Huguenot centre. In 1629, when the town was taken by Louis XIII, and by the Peace of Alais the Huguenots gave up their right to places de sûreté (garrison towns) and other privileges. A bishopric was established there in 1694 but suppressed in 1790.

Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1793 10,020 —    
1800 8,944 −10.7%
1806 9,387 +5.0%
1821 9,906 +5.5%
1831 12,077 +21.9%
1836 13,566 +12.3%
1841 15,884 +17.1%
1846 17,838 +12.3%
1851 18,871 +5.8%
1856 20,084 +6.4%
1861 20,257 +0.9%
1866 19,964 −1.4%
1872 19,230 −3.7%
1876 20,893 +8.6%
1881 22,255 +6.5%
1886 22,514 +1.2%
1891 24,356 +8.2%
1896 24,382 +0.1%
1901 24,940 +2.3%
1906 27,435 +10.0%
1911 29,831 +8.7%
1921 36,455 +22.2%
1926 42,021 +15.3%
1931 43,248 +2.9%
1936 41,385 −4.3%
1946 34,731 −16.1%
1954 36,893 +6.2%
1962 41,360 +12.1%
1968 42,818 +3.5%
1975 44,245 +3.3%
1982 43,268 −2.2%
1990 41,037 −5.2%
1999 39,282 −4.3%
2008 40,520 +3.2%

Economy[edit]

Alès is the center of a mining district and hosts the École des mines d'Alès.

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1911):

"The town is one of the most important markets for raw silk and cocoons in the south of France, and the Gardon supplies power to numerous silk-mills. It is also the centre of a mineral field, which yields large quantities of coal, iron, zinc and lead; its blast-furnaces, foundries, glass-works and engineering works afford employment to many workmen."

Personalities[edit]

Statue of Pasteur
"Pasteur did his research on the silkworm disease (pébrine and flacherie) at Alès, and the town has dedicated a bust to his memory. There is also a statue of the chemist J.B. Dumas. Alphonse Daudet was master study at the College of Ales and was written "le petit chose""

Sights[edit]

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1911):

"The streets are wide and its promenades and fine plane-trees make the town attractive; but the public buildings, the chief of which are the Saint-Jean-Baptiste cathedral, a heavy building of the 18th century, and the citadel, which serves as barracks and prison, are of small interest."

Alès was the birthplace of:

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Alès is twinned with:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]