Les Mages

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Les Mages
Coat of arms of Les Mages
Coat of arms
Les Mages is located in France
Les Mages
Les Mages
Coordinates: 44°13′45″N 4°10′00″E / 44.2292°N 4.1667°E / 44.2292; 4.1667Coordinates: 44°13′45″N 4°10′00″E / 44.2292°N 4.1667°E / 44.2292; 4.1667
Country France
Region Occitanie
Department Gard
Arrondissement Alès
Canton Saint-Ambroix
Intercommunality Vivre en Cévennes
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Jean-Claude Paris
Area1 12.69 km2 (4.90 sq mi)
Population (2008)2 1,799
 • Density 140/km2 (370/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 30152 /30960
Elevation 138–485 m (453–1,591 ft)
(avg. 186 m or 610 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.

Les Mages is a commune in the Gard department in the Occitanie region in southern France.


The village of Les Mages lies between Alès and Saint-Ambroix on the CD 904 road, in the Cévennes coal basin, just below the National Forest of Rouvergue in the Cévennes National Park.

It is watered by the Cèze River in the north and the Auzonnet River [1] in the South. As such the town is a member of AB Ceze, the Syndicat Mixte d'Aménagement du Bassin Versant de la Ceze, responsible for the prevention and fight against floods as well as preserving the natural environment.[2]


The village was elevated from hamlet to commune (by separation from the nearby Saint-Jean-de-Valériscle village) by a royal ordinance of September 25, 1834, following the increase in population driven by the development of coal mining in the Cevennes basin. The town, Les Mages belongs to the Community of Communes called "Vivre en Cévennes", Living in the Cevennes.


Several mills whose buildings still bear witness to the sericulture past activity (silkworm farming).

  • Bleton spinning,[3] closed in 1957, rue de l'Eglise.
  • Lacroix spinning,[4] closed in 1855, Bois Redon, Route de Saint Julien de Cassagne.
  • Duclaux spinning,[5] closed in 1889, Melhien Castle.
  • Mazolier spinning,[6] closed in 1884 Castle Melhien Road.
  • Labeille / Villaret spinning,[7] closed in 1885, despite some attempts to restart until 1922, Larnac hamlet.[8]
  • Silhol spinning,[9] closed in 1855, Claux, Melhien hamlet.
  • Martin spinning later oil mill Benoit then Rodier, at last, route de Saint Ambroix.[10]
  • Ayrolette spinning,[11] initially the Gentil paper mill, established in 1660, in the Ayrolette hamlet, route de Saint Ambroix.[10]
  • Blachere spinning, formerly oil mill and later Védrines spinning.[10]

The glass factory Barriere was founded in 1804 to manufacture green glass. After many difficulties, the factory closed its doors in 1850.[10]

On a hill, the "Tourette" dominates the village. It is a simple capitelle[12] limestone and mortar construction, but became the symbol of the village and a replica was built on the roundabout at the entrance of the commune.

The former railway station, on the spur of the small SNCF line from Alès to Bessèges, has been transformed into housing. It witnessed the passing-by of coal trains from Martinet, Saint-Florent-sur-Auzonnet and Saint-Jean-de-Valériscle, joining the main line to Saint Julien de Cassagne. This line was also used to transport the coils of raw silk to Lyon to be woven.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1836 1,040 —    
1841 1,121 +7.8%
1846 1,114 −0.6%
1851 1,247 +11.9%
1856 1,240 −0.6%
1861 1,203 −3.0%
1866 1,255 +4.3%
1872 1,140 −9.2%
1876 1,155 +1.3%
1881 1,009 −12.6%
1886 1,089 +7.9%
1891 1,105 +1.5%
1896 1,135 +2.7%
1901 1,101 −3.0%
1906 1,097 −0.4%
1911 1,139 +3.8%
1921 1,076 −5.5%
1926 1,144 +6.3%
1931 1,147 +0.3%
1936 1,028 −10.4%
1946 1,051 +2.2%
1954 1,125 +7.0%
1962 1,150 +2.2%
1968 1,145 −0.4%
1975 1,127 −1.6%
1982 1,275 +13.1%
1990 1,497 +17.4%
1999 1,511 +0.9%
2008 1,799 +19.1%


The painter Georges Bauquier, assistant of Fernand Léger, creator of Fernand Léger Museum in Biot, comes from a Les Mages family. In the 1970s he organised in the local village school several exhibitions of high quality. At his request, Nadia Léger, the widow of Fernand Léger, has bequeathed to the town the Woman with a Bird mosaïc, one of Fernand Léger mosaic that adorns the front of the Les Mages Culture Complex.

George Bauquier Complex[edit]

In 2006 the Georges Bauquier complex was created,[13] including a theater and a video screening room. In 2008 the travel film festival[14] has been launched and successfully renewed[15] in 2009.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]