Lodève

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Lodève
Lodeve Pont de Fer.jpg
Coat of arms of Lodève
Coat of arms
Lodève is located in France
Lodève
Lodève
Coordinates: 43°43′57″N 3°19′13″E / 43.7325°N 3.3203°E / 43.7325; 3.3203Coordinates: 43°43′57″N 3°19′13″E / 43.7325°N 3.3203°E / 43.7325; 3.3203
Country France
Region Languedoc-Roussillon
Department Hérault
Arrondissement Lodève
Canton Lodève
Intercommunality Lodévois
Government
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Marie-Christine Bousquet (PS)
Area
 • Land1 23.17 km2 (8.95 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Population2 7,345
 • Population2 density 320/km2 (820/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 34142 / 34700
Elevation 117–700 m (384–2,297 ft)
(avg. 165 m or 541 ft)
Website http://www.lodeve.com

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.

Lodève (Occitan: Lodeva) is a commune in the Hérault département in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department. The derivation of the city's name is the gaulois Luteva, composed of lut-, swamp, mud + suffix -eva. It might therefore translate as the muddy place or the swamp city.

Geography[edit]

Map

Lodève lies where the plains rise up to the Larzac plateau, 54 km (34 mi) from Montpellier, in the valley of the Lergue river where that river is joined by the smaller Soulondre. It is surrounded by green hills and vineyards and lies only 8 km (5.0 mi) from the large man-made Lac du Salagou.

Climate[edit]

Lodève enjoys a mostly mediterranean climate, with the hot summers[1] that allow plentiful viticulture. Violent storms and torrential rain are frequently seen in late summer, leading to flooding and the muds and swamps that gave the city its name.

History[edit]

Lodève started as the capital of a Volque tribe (the Lutevani) before becoming the Roman city Luteva (also known as Forum Neronis). The town was a stopping point on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela via the Arles road. An episcopal city until the French Revolution, it was also a centre for textile production under Louis XV and was home to one of only two royal manufactories for tapestry, the other being the one of the Gobelins in Paris.

More recently, the area was the centre of a firm resistance against the Nazi occupation during the Second World War.

Sights[edit]

Stained glass in Lodève cathedral
  • Lodève Cathedral Cathédrale Saint-Fulcran de Lodève), parts of which date from the sixth century.
  • Museum Fleury (temporary art exhibitions (mainly paintings) and archeology permanent collection).
  • Halle Dardé, dedicated to local sculptor Paul Dardé.
  • L'Atelier national du tapis de Lodève, the French state carpet-making workshop (visits arranged by Tourist Office, Lodève).

In the vicinity:

Culture[edit]

Throughout the year, the town hosts a varied programme of festivities and events both cultural and sporting, as well as all sorts of markets which are always well worth a visit. In recent years, the Museum Art Gallery has gained national acclaim for its major art exhibitions.

The "Voix de la Méditerranée" poetry festival, established in 1998 takes place every July for around 9 days. Poets, musicians and writers come from many different countries on the Mediterranean to share their culture through poetry readings, concerts and other cultural events. This is considered a very special festival for poetry and is enjoyable for all.

The annual "Fête de St. Fulcran", the patron saint of the town takes place in May and includes the procession of the saint's relics and a funfair.

Population[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1793 7,906 —    
1800 7,449 −5.8%
1806 8,317 +11.7%
1821 9,056 +8.9%
1831 9,919 +9.5%
1836 11,208 +13.0%
1841 10,477 −6.5%
1846 10,718 +2.3%
1851 11,238 +4.9%
1856 12,765 +13.6%
1861 11,864 −7.1%
1866 10,571 −10.9%
1872 9,464 −10.5%
1876 10,528 +11.2%
1881 10,185 −3.3%
1886 9,532 −6.4%
1891 9,060 −5.0%
1896 8,416 −7.1%
1901 8,200 −2.6%
1906 7,395 −9.8%
1911 7,668 +3.7%
1921 6,508 −15.1%
1926 6,629 +1.9%
1931 7,020 +5.9%
1936 6,135 −12.6%
1946 6,242 +1.7%
1954 6,426 +2.9%
1962 6,869 +6.9%
1968 7,556 +10.0%
1975 7,910 +4.7%
1982 8,378 +5.9%
1990 7,602 −9.3%
1999 6,900 −9.2%
2008 7,345 +6.4%

Lodève has a fairly large Algerian (see pied noir, harki) population, the first generation of which fought for the French and were housed here after the Algerian Civil War.

Transportation[edit]

The town lies on the A75 autoroute about 30 minutes south of the new Millau viaduct, the highest bridge in the world.

Personalities[edit]

Lodève was the birthplace of:

Economy[edit]

The town houses a famous carpet-manufacturing company, part of the national Savonnerie, which once supplied large, exquisite carpets to the French royal family, and still today produces hand made carpets for State buildings.

Viticulture, focussed on the Carignan grape variety, is a major industry. The climate is also favourable for fruit production, and the region's peaches, apricots, melons and tomatoes are prized.

International relations[edit]

Lodève is twinned with South Kirkby and Moorthorpe, UK

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sometimes excessively hot. The canicule of 2003 saw temperatures in excess of 40 °C (104 °F), causing many deaths

External links[edit]