Along the river Orb lays the city of Béziers. The city’s history stretches far back in time, and that can easily be seen when you arrive. Even if the city is quite small (about 70,000 inhabitants) it has much to offer its visitors. The Old Town is located around the Cathedral Cathédrale Saint – Nazaire with Orb on one side and the city’s main avenue, Allée Paul Riquet , on the other side.
Pont –Vieux, meaning the old bridge, is a bridge over the Orb River. The view from here is great, and the bridge with the city and the cathedral in the background is a favorite view for photographers.
Cathédrale Saint – Nazaire
You can’t miss the church Cathédrale Saint-Nazaire located on a hill in the old town. The church is from the 1300s and built in Gothic style. It is built over an older church, after it was destroyed by the Crusaders during the massacre in 1209. From the Cathedral you get a good view of Beziers and the surrounding city.
Pont -canal de l’Orb
Canal du Midi crosses the River Orb in Beziers and a water bridge is built. The Canal du Midi runs on a bridge over the river. The bridge was built in 1856 and it is a fascinating and impressive sight.
Plateau des Poètes
At the end of the main street, Allée Paul Riquet , is the park Plateau des poet. This is a beautiful park with a variety of statues that are worth a visit if you want to relax in peaceful surroundings.
Market halls – Les Halles
The Market halls in Béziers are a copy of the market hall in Paris – Pavillon Balthard . They were completed in year 1897. You can find them at Place Pierre Semard just north of the Cathedral. Les Halles is open 6-13, but is closed on Mondays.
Feria de Béziers – Bullfighting Festival
Every year in mid-August there is a 4 -day bullfighting festival in Béziers. People flock to the city to see the performances . If you want to observe this you should book accommodation early.
About the massacre of Béziers
In year 1209, approximately 20,000 people were killed in Béziers. This was during the Albigensian Crusade, which was started by Pope Innocent III to fight the Cathars who lived in the area at the time. Around Languedoc you will find fortresses which the Cathars used as defense.