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The iron bridge in Lodève
The iron bridge in Lodève
Coat of arms of Lodève
Location of Lodève
Lodève is located in France
Lodève is located in Occitanie
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
IntercommunalityLodévois et Larzac
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Gaëlle Lévêque (DVG)
23.17 km2 (8.95 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2019)[1]
 • Density320/km2 (840/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
34142 /34700
Elevation117–700 m (384–2,297 ft)
(avg. 165 m or 541 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Lodève (French pronunciation: [lodɛv] (listen); Occitan: Lodeva pronounced [luˈðevɔ]) is a commune in the département of Hérault, in the Occitanie region in southern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department. The derivation of the city's name is from Gaulish Luteva, composed of lut-, swamp, mud + suffix -eva. It might therefore translate as the muddy place or the swamp city. This mud could be a clay, called argillite, which was use during ancient history to produce pottery.



Lodève lies where the coastal plain rises up to the Larzac plateau, 54 km (34 mi) from Montpellier, where the river Lergue and the smaller river Soulondre meet. Lodève is surrounded by green hills and vineyards and lies only 8 km (5.0 mi) from the large man-made Lac du Salagou.


Lodève has a mostly mediterranean climate, with hot summers[2] favourable to 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.


Lodève started as the capital of a tribe of the Volcae, 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. From the 5th century until the French Revolution, it was the seat of the Bishops of Lodève.[3] 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[citation needed].

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


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 a permanent archaeological 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:


Throughout the year, the town hosts a programme of cultural and sporting events, as well as all sorts of markets. In recent years, the Museum Art Gallery has gained national acclaim for its major art exhibitions.[citation needed]

The "Voix de la Méditerranée" poetry festival, established in 1998, takes place every July for around 9 days, and involves poets, musicians and writers from many different countries on the Mediterranean.[citation needed]

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.


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.

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 7,906—    
1800 7,449−0.85%
1806 8,317+1.85%
1821 9,056+0.57%
1831 9,919+0.91%
1836 11,208+2.47%
1841 10,477−1.34%
1846 10,718+0.46%
1851 11,238+0.95%
1856 12,765+2.58%
1861 11,864−1.45%
1866 10,571−2.28%
1872 9,464−1.83%
1876 10,528+2.70%
1881 10,185−0.66%
1886 9,532−1.32%
1891 9,060−1.01%
1896 8,416−1.46%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 8,200−0.52%
1906 7,395−2.05%
1911 7,668+0.73%
1921 6,508−1.63%
1926 6,629+0.37%
1931 7,020+1.15%
1936 6,135−2.66%
1946 6,242+0.17%
1954 6,426+0.36%
1962 6,869+0.84%
1968 7,556+1.60%
1975 7,910+0.66%
1982 8,378+0.82%
1990 7,602−1.21%
1999 6,900−1.07%
2007 7,329+0.76%
2012 7,552+0.60%
2017 7,441−0.30%
Source: EHESS[4] and INSEE (1968-2017)[5]


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


Lodève was the birthplace of:


The town houses a famous carpet-manufacturing company, part of the national Savonnerie, which once supplied 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 and Gjakova, Kosovo.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2019". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2021.
  2. ^ Sometimes excessively hot. The canicule of 2003 saw temperatures in excess of 40 °C (104 °F), causing many deaths
  3. ^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Diocese of Montpellier" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  4. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Lodève, EHESS. (in French)
  5. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE

External links[edit]