Hotel Terminus

78 Av Gambetta, Beziers, 34500, France
Hotel Terminus
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Travel Tips for Béziers

Pierre-Paul Riquet

by Klod5

Pierre-Paul Riquet est né vers 1604-1609, on ne sait pas exactement. Son père, Guillaume Riquet, procureur à Béziers, siégeait à l'assemblée des États du Languedoc. En cette qualité, il s'était opposé en 1618 au projet d'un certain Bernard Arribat de creuser un canal de Toulouse à Narbonne ! L'histoire prend parfois de drôles de revanches ! Sa famille, les Arrighetti, était originaire de Florence.

En 1630, Paul Riquet devient contrôleur dans la «ferme des gabelles du Languedoc». Il épouse Catherine de Milhau, issue d'une riche famille biterroise et s'installe au pied de la Montagne Noire, dans la ville de Revel.

Il gravit les échelons et devient vite sous-fermier des gabelles de sa province. Ce métier est très lucratif. Il lui permet d'acquérir une position de force dans la ville de Revel.

Mais sa vie, c'est son projet de Canal du Midi, et, bien qu'il soit loin d'être le seul à participer au financement, il dépense une grande partie de sa fortune dans les investissements nécessaires.

Il devient fermier général du Languedoc et du Roussillon et acquiert la seigneurie de Bonrepos, à l'Est de Toulouse.

Paul Riquet m'apparaît comme un grand financier, un fin politique et un grand calculateur. Peut-être serait-il devenu plus puissant s'il avait poursuivi d'autres buts ? Mais il a réalisé le canal, et son histoire est inscrite au fil de l'eau.

Malheureusement, il ne sera plus là pour assister à la fin des travaux. Il meurt un an avant la mise en eau généralisée et l'inauguration du canal par Henri d'Aguesseau, intendant du Languedoc.

Native of Béziers and meter-reader of tax under Louis XIV, Pierre-Paul Riquet achieved an old dream of the humanity : to join the Atlantic and the Mediterranean by the construction of the Channel of the South of France (or Channel of the Two Seas).
His statue has been achieved by David of Angers in the XIXth century to the demand of the city of Béziers.

Basilique Sainte Aphrodise


Basilique Sainte Aphrodise was the first cathedral of Béziers, now a parish church. It is closed for heavy repairs of the inside. The nave dates from the Xth while the choir, in gothic style, was built in the XIVth.

It is dedicated to Saint Aphrodise, the Saint patron of Béziers. He is said to have arrived in Béziers from Egypt on camel back around AD 250. He was the first bishop of Béziers and was beheaded by the Romans. Every year, on Sainte Aphrodise day (28 April), a puppet of the Saint, holding his head in his hands and a puppet camel are lead through the streets of the city.


by Klod5

The crossed army comes to put the seat owing Béziers. The time works against it: the city is quite capable to sustain a long seat, and, the soldiers of the army crossed being submitted to the feudal system of the service of 40 days (to the delà of which they are untied of all obligation and can go back at home), the crossed army is threatened with decay (and the crusade of fiasco) if the city doesn't fall quickly.
An embassy, controlled by the bishop of Béziers, is sent by the crusaders to besieged them. The crusaders require that are delivered to them 222 Cathars of the city, after what Bézier would not have anything anymore to fear. The consuls refuse, okay with the population. The bishop offers the " believers then sincere " to leave the city with him. Most, including Catholic priests, refuse. The inhabitants of Béziers face forehead what they identified well like an army of invasion come of the north. Besides, the odds of the crusaders to take the city are petty...

So petty that don't resist to the desire to leave to deride the crusaders of the Bitteroises. They carve in pieces an isolated crusader. Exposed carelessly, they make a clash with some valets of weapons crusaders. Sudden conscious of their imprudence, the Bitteroises ebb toward the doors wide open of the city... the crusaders on the heels! All this beautiful world engulfs itself by the door.
The drama is played! The crusaders hold a door and penetrate in the city. The slaughter is going to last all day. The whole population will be slaughtered, and the burnt city. July 1209 22: Taken of Béziers by the Crusaders. Massacre of the totality of the population, Cathars and disconcerted Catholics.
The tradition wants that, whereas one asked him if it was necessary to distinguish the Catholics of the Cathars, the Pope's legate answered " Kill the all, God will recognize his ". The veracity of the anecdote is very controversial, but real or it doesn't summarize the man's frame of mind that will write to the Pope well: Ours not saving the rank, nor the sex, nor age, made perish by the sword about 20.000 people and, after an enormous massacre of the enemies, the whole city has been robbed and burnt. The divine vengeance made marvel ".


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