Béziers, a real history book ...
6500 BC: During the excavation of the northern bypass of the city, the remains were unearthed, the study shows that the history and settlement of Béziers at the foot of the hill of Saint Nazaire, started there a 6500 years.
The Roman occupation: The city was founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC Then came the Roman Empire Béziers, fortress, is connected to Narbonne by Domitian. Around the city of "Biterre" develops the culture of the vine and the olive, oak forests are cleared. This "Gallo-Roman" jewel is then invaded by the Visigoths, who fleece the country and settled there.
Oh, but Charles Martel! If Charles Martel repulsed the Saracens at Poitiers in 732, he also conquered and occupied Béziers in 737 (destroying the way the Roman amphitheater), as he finished the "renew" the Arab army, to the other side of the Pyrenees ...
Crusade against the Cathars: "Kill them all, God will recognize his own." These few words of a papal legate of Rome give free rein to the "great slaughter" of 22 July 1209. A "mazel gran" as they say in Occitan. The Albigensian Crusade, against "the Cathar heresy", thus resulting in the bag, the fire Béziers and the massacre of its population. The army of the king of France and Rome will then forty years to complete this war looting, burnings expiation.
Troubadours and common: Béziers among the first cities in the south get its municipal charter: it is administered by consuls who exercise their power over the site of the ancient Roman forum, where now stands the City Hall. Béziers wife also quickly growing troubadours. Here they are named Matfre Ermengaud, Azalaïs Portiragnes ... This easy living, this cultural development, do not resist invasions, famines, epidemics of the 14th century.
The Canal du Midi: Pierre-Paul Riquet, a grateful France. Pierre-Paul Riquet was born in Béziers in 1609. He draws and imagine the Canal du Midi, then gets Louis 14th permission to build. Because Ricky has found the solution - already tried the Romans - to supply water to the channel permanently. By linking the Garonne (ie the Atlantic), the Mediterranean, he says, develops and secures trade between the two seas. Follows a period of great prosperity Béziers.
Wine fortunes and southern splendor: The most prosperous period in Béziers history is the 19th century. The rise of industry, the car and open trade at the local vineyard national and global wine market. It provides employment to thousands of people, causing unprecedented population growth. With wine, colossal fortunes are created, the "castles pinardiers" blooming in Beziers vineyard. The company Railway du Midi develops, builds on Paul Riquet, the board of Poets, theaters, arenas (where Camille Saint-Saëns, Gabriel Fauré give lavish performances). This opulence ends at the beginning of the 20th century. To the point that in 1907 the tenants rebelled Clemenceau represses at least severely.
Jean Moulin, the honor of France's defeat in 1940 and the German occupation is an injury to the touchy pride of Beziers. It is a home to the Champs de Mars, where he was born, that rises the air of rebellion. Jean Moulin, prefect by vocation, Beziers by birth, free and democratic conviction, becomes the hero of the French Resistance. The coordinates at the height of the occupation. Before being betrayed, arrested, tortured. And die in the train that took him to deportation ...
Béziers today ... It is a city of nearly 73,000 people, the heart of an urban community that has 107,000. Located in the heart of a highly touristic area, where she finds her own place, Béziers traces its own path to the future: academic development, diversification of the economic base, increase in access infrastructure (A9, A75, TGV to the Spain ...).