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|Intercommunality||CA Sète Agglopôle Méditerranée|
|• Mayor (2020–2026)||François Commeinhes (DVD)|
|24.21 km2 (9.35 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,800/km2 (4,700/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||0–176 m (0–577 ft) |
(avg. 4 m or 13 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Sète (French pronunciation: [sɛt]; Occitan: Seta, [ˈseto]), known as Cette until 1928, is a commune in the Hérault department in the region of Occitania in southern France. Its inhabitants are called Sétois (male) and Sétoises (female).
Known as the Venice of Languedoc and the singular island (in Paul Valéry's words), it is a port and a seaside resort on the Mediterranean with its own very strong cultural identity, traditions, cuisine and dialect. It is the hometown of artists like Paul Valéry, Jean Vilar, Georges Brassens, Hervé Di Rosa, Manitas de Plata, and Robert Combas. Since 2001, François Commeinhes is the mayor of the city.
Built upon and around Mont St Clair, Sète is situated on the south-eastern end of the Étang de Thau, an enclosed salt water lake used primarily for oyster and mussel fields. To its other side lies the Mediterranean, and the town has a network of canals which are links between the Étang de Thau and the Mediterranean Sea.
|Climate data for Sète (1981–2010 averages)|
|Record high °C (°F)||20.2
|Average high °C (°F)||10.8
|Average low °C (°F)||5.3
|Record low °C (°F)||−11.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||51.4
|Average relative humidity (%)||76||74||70||70||72||69||66||68||74||76||75||76||72.2|
|Source 1: Météo France|
|Source 2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity and snowy days, 1961–1990)|
On 29 July 1666, the first stone was officially set on the Saint-Louis pier. In 1681 the Canal du Midi was completed. In 1684, Vauban visited the port. In 1703, Saint-Louis church was consecrated. From 24–26 July 1710, during the War of the Spanish Succession the British attacked Sète, soon fought back by the Adrien Maurice de Noailles Duke of Noailles . In 1710–1711, Saint-Pierre and Butte-Ronde forts were built. In 1724, the townhouse was bought. In 1744, the Richelieu citadel and the Castellas tower were built.
Between 1807–1809 the British tried to burn the town. On 21 May 1821, the first stone of the breakwater was set (finished in 1869). On 9 June 1839 the Montpellier-Sète railway was opened. On 6 May 1872 the chamber of commerce was established. Between 1882–1888 construction works on the port took place. On 24 June 1894 Sante Geronimo Caserio, an Italian anarchist from Lombardy and apprentice baker in Sète stabbed to death president Sadi Carnot in Lyon. In 1895, the boys' high school, later renamed the Lycée Paul Valéry was opened.
In 1901 an electric tramway network was built (used until 1935). In 1902, the Nelson family opened Chateau Nelson. On 20 January 1928, the name of the town changed from Cette to Sète. In 1934, FC Sète 34 won the Ligue 1 and Coupe de France and became the first football club to win both the same year. On 23 May 1939: the SS Sinaia leaves the port with Spanish Republicans seeking asylum in Lázaro Cárdenas's Mexico. On 12 November 1942: the town is occupied by the German troops of the Wehrmacht. On 25 June 1944 Sète railway station, Balaruc-les-Bains's and Frontignan's oil refineries were bombarded by the American 15th Air Force. On 20 August 1944 Sète was liberated. On 11 July 1947, the packet steamship SS President Warfield leaves for Palestine with 4 530 Jews who survived the Shoah. The port official M. Leboutet had authorised captain Ike Aronowicz to sail to Colombia and, after 5 days on the Atlantic Ocean, the ship took the name SS Exodus and changed direction towards Palestine. 27 km (17 miles) from the coast, they were stopped by 5 British torpedo boats. 75 passengers accepted asylum in France, while the others were brought to Hamburg via Gibraltar. In 1960, the Théâtre de la Mer was built. In 1962, the technical college Joliot-Curie was opened. In 1966–1978 major construction works on the port took place. In 1970, the Museum Paul Valéry was opened. From 1981–1984, a new public hospital was built. On 31 October 1991, the espace Georges Brassens, a museum dedicated to the singer, opened.
In 2004, a plan to preserve the Lido and prevent further coastal damage was made. In 2005 a new neighbourhood called Villeroy was created. In 2006 the "espace Georges Brassens" was renovated. In January 2007, the Languedoc-Roussillon manages the port of Sète. In 2014, une ville humanitaire, saw the creation of "les Anges de la Rue" In 2016, a great wine spill occurred at the Nelson Chateau.
|Source: EHESS and INSEE (1968-2017)|
In 1703, when the Saint-Louis church was consecrated, Louis IX, patron of the port, also became the patron saint of the town. He has been celebrated every year on 25 August, with canal jousting competitions, music and fireworks, except during wartime.
Sète is the eastern starting point of the Canal du Midi, and the ending point of the Canal du Rhône à Sète. Its train station Gare de Sète is approximately 15 minutes by train from Montpellier, and is also served by long-distance trains to Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille and Paris. Car ferries sail between Sète and Morocco.
Paul Valéry's poem Le cimetière marin, depicts the graveyard above Sète's harbour Valéry is buried in the graveyard, and the nearby Paul Valéry Museum contains a collection of his drawings and manuscripts.
Espace Georges-Brassens is a museum dedicated to the Sétois singer-songwriter.
Sète was the birthplace of:
- David Serene (born 1970), footballer and veterinarian
- Paul Valéry (1871–1945), author and poet of the Symbolist school
- Paul-Marie Masson (1882–1954), composer and musicologist
- Jean Vilar (1912–1971), actor and creator of the Avignon theatre festival
- Georges Brassens (1921–1981), singer and songwriter
- Manitas de Plata (1921–2014), flamenco guitarist
- Gilbert Py (born 1933), Opera tenor
- Alain de Pouzilhac (born 1945), CEO of France 24 and former president of France Médias Monde
- Simon Sutour (born 1952), Senator of the department Gard
- Robert Combas (born 1957), sculptor and painter
- Hervé Di Rosa (born 1959), painter and sculptor
- Mathieu Peisson (born 1982), water polo player and Olympian at the 2016 Summer Olympics
- Fidji Simo (born 1985), managing director Instacart
- "Populations légales 2018". INSEE. 28 December 2020.
- "Données climatiques de la station de Sète" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
- "Normes et records 1961-1990: Sète (34) - altitude 80m" (in French). Infoclimat. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
- Le Roy Ladurie, Emmanuel (1990). Montaillou: Cathars and Catholics in a French Village. London: Penguin. pp. vii. ISBN 978-0-14-013700-2.
- Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Sète, EHESS. (in French)
- Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
- .Le cimetière marin
- "Le jumelage". sete.fr (in French). Sète. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sète.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Cette .|
- City council website (in French)