Things to see and do - Béziers
Biterrois Country :
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Biterrois CountryPedestrian, By car, 23 km, 2 days
Perched on a small bluff overlooking the river Orb, bombarded with steps and crowned by a cathedral, Béziers is the capital of the Languedoc vineyards. It’s an excellent starting point to appreciate the Biterrois, the beaches and the surrounding villages. A hothouse of Occitan culture, the city ignites each August with its Feria de Béziers and harbours a passion for rugby.Customise this route and add it to My travel book
Wide promenade shaded by plane trees over its 600 metres, bustling with many cafés decorated with posters for the féria and where the discussions usually centre around the performance of AS Béziers. In the middle of the Allées, statue of Pierre-Paul Riquet by David d'Angers.
At one end of Allées Paul-Riquet, this 19C theatre has a façade decorated with allegorical bas-reliefs by David d'Angers.
This pretty country park of undulating land was created in the 19th C by the brothers Bühler. It is planted with species such as Caucasus elms, Californian sequoias, magnolias and Lebanese cedars. The park is named after the busts of Béziers poets that stand along its paths. Fountain of Titan by Injalbert and monument to a great Béziers man, Jean Moulin.
Romanesque building modified during the Gothic period and again in the 18th C. The church was one of the main sites of the massacre perpetrated in 1209 by the soldiers of Simon de Montfort.
Perched on the cliff dominating the Orb, the cathedral was the symbol of power for bishops from the Béziers diocese from 760 -1789. The rose window in the west wall is 10m in diameter and stands between two fortified 14C towers. The choir stall, remaining from the Romanesque cathedral, houses 11C sculptured capitals. Beautiful sculptures in the cloister galleries. From the terrace, view over the Beziers plain, the Canal du Midi and the Ensérune Oppidum .
The terrace standing next to the cathedral gives an interesting view over the region ( (the Orb, the Canal du Midi snaking among the vineyards, the Cévennes ridge and the Espinouse mountans).
Housed in the old St-Jacques barracks, this Museum of the People of Béziers has major collections devoted to the region from an archaeological, ethnological and natural history point of view. Terrestrial and aquatic fauna, Greek, Iberian and Roman amphora, the Gallo-Roman heritage with ceramics from La Graufesenque , and military arms from the Voie Domitienne.
34440 Colombiers (France)
This site on the Béziers plain seems to have been occupied since the 6C BC. It then became a true walled town that prospered from its trade with the Massaliots. Destroyed by Hannibal, the Oppidum rediscovered its prosperity with the arrival of the Romans in the Narbonne region before being abandoned during the 1st C AD.
Montady Lake was drained in 1247. The best viewpoint from which to admire it is the Ensérune hill fort. From the viewing tables, the plots of land radiating from the centre become obvious: this is due to the ditches draining the water off into a collector. From there, an aqueduct passing under a hill takes the water to the bottom of the old Capestang Lake, which was drained in the 19C. The panorama can be absolutely splendid, depending on the crops and time of year.