Townhall of Beaucaire
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Julien Sanchez (FN)|
|Area1||86.52 km2 (33.41 sq mi)|
|• Density||180/km2 (470/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||30032 / 30300|
|Elevation||1–156 m (3.3–511.8 ft)
(avg. 18 m or 59 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.
History and culture
- Beau < French beau ('Beautiful') < Occitan bèl/bèu ('Beautiful')
- Caire < Occitan caire ('Cut stone or rock') [in French pierre de taille].
At the end of the Hundred Years War in 1453, Charles VII of France declared that Beaucaire would become the site of the Foire de la Madeleine, a commercial fair that would enable the trade of goods from all of the Mediterranean Basin countries to all of France. By the mid seventeenth century, the Fair was the largest commercial fair in the Mediterranean region, allegedly exceeding in a week the total volume of trade done in Marseilles in a year. It remained the dominant Mediterranean trade fair until the arrival of the railroad in the mid nineteenth century and because Napoleon removed its tax-free status. One result of these years of commercial dominance was the construction of a remarkable number of architecturally significant mansions and palaces by rich merchants of many nationalities.
Camargue bulls are annually run through the streets, Iberian-style during the modern version of the Foire de la Madeleine, which is now a six-day festival starting on 21 July. Events include bull events, parties, amusement rides and discos.
From 20–22 June each year, Beaucaire celebrates the myth of Le Drac. The townsfolk bring the monster to life the form of a long procession, which snakes through the town led by a swarm of children carrying lanterns.
- Beaucaire was the birthplace of François de Rovérié de Cabrières (1830–1921), prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop of Montpellier.
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