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Languedoc
Languedoc
(/ˈlɒŋɡədɒk/; French: [lɑ̃ɡ(ə)dɔk]; Occitan: Lengadòc [leŋɡɔˈðɔ(k)]) is a former province of France. Its territory is now contained in the modern-day region of Occitanie
Occitanie
in the south of France. Its capital city was Toulouse. It had an area of approximately 27,376 square kilometers (10,570 square miles).

Contents

1 Geographical extent 2 Area and location of Languedoc 3 Old administrative divisions 4 Capital 5 Modern administrative divisions 6 Population and cities 7 Economy

7.1 Agriculture 7.2 Industry 7.3 Services and tourism

8 Sports 9 Property 10 See also 11 Notes 12 External links

Geographical extent[edit]

The gouvernement of Languedoc
Languedoc
(including Gévaudan, Velay, and Vivarais) among the former gouvernements of France.

The traditional provinces of the kingdom of France were not formally defined. A province was simply a territory of common traditions and customs, but it had no political organization. Today, when people refer to the old provinces of France, they are referring to the gouvernements as they existed in 1789, before the French Revolution. Gouvernements were military regions established by the Crown in the middle of the 16th century; their territories closely matched those of the traditional provinces. However, in some cases, small provinces were merged with a large one into a single gouvernement, so gouvernements are not exactly the same as the traditional provinces. Historically, the region was called the County of Toulouse, a county independent from the kings of France. The County of Toulouse
Toulouse
was made up of what would later be called Languedoc, but it also included the province of Quercy
Quercy
(now the département of Lot and the northern half of the département of Tarn-et-Garonne) and the province of Rouergue (now the département of Aveyron), both to the northwest of Languedoc. At some times it included the province of Agenais (now the eastern half of the département of Lot-et-Garonne) to the west of Languedoc, the province of Gévaudan
Gévaudan
(now département of Lozère), the province of Velay
Velay
(now the central and eastern part of the département of Haute-Loire), the southern part of the province of Vivarais (now the southern part of the département of Ardèche), and even all the northern half of Provence. After the French conquest the entire county was dismantled, the central part of it being now called Languedoc. The gouvernement of Languedoc
Languedoc
was created in the mid-16th century. In addition to Languedoc
Languedoc
proper, it included the three small provinces of Gévaudan, Velay, and Vivarais (in its entirety), these three provinces being to the northeast of Languedoc. Some people also consider that the region around Albi
Albi
was a traditional province, called Albigeois
Albigeois
(now the département of Tarn), although it is most often considered as being part of Languedoc
Languedoc
proper. The provinces of Quercy
Quercy
and Rouergue, despite their old ties with Toulouse, were not incorporated into the gouvernement of Languedoc. They were attached to the gouvernement of Guienne
Guienne
and its far-away capital Bordeaux. This decision was probably intentional, to avoid reviving the independently spirited County of Toulouse. In the rest of this article, Languedoc refers to the territory of this gouvernement of Languedoc. Area and location of Languedoc[edit] The province of Languedoc
Languedoc
covered an area of approximately 42,700 km² (16,490 sq. miles) in the central part of southern France, roughly the region between the river Rhône
Rhône
(border with Provence) and the Garonne
Garonne
(border with Gascony), extending northwards to the Cévennes
Cévennes
and the Massif Central
Massif Central
(border with Auvergne).

Old administrative divisions[edit] The governors of Languedoc
Languedoc
resided in Pézenas, on the Mediterranean coast, away from Toulouse
Toulouse
but close to Montpellier. In time they had increased their power well beyond military matters, and had become the real administrators and executive power of the province, a trend seen in the other gouvernements of France, but particularly acute in Languedoc, where the duke of Montmorency, governor of Languedoc, even openly rebelled against the king, then was defeated and beheaded in Toulouse
Toulouse
in 1632 by the order of Richelieu. The kings of France became fearful of the power of the governors, so after King Louis XIV (the Sun King) they had to reside in Versailles and were forbidden to enter the territory of their gouvernement. Thus the gouvernements became hollow structures, but they still carried a sense of the old provinces, and so their names and limits have remained popular until today.

Saint-Sernin Basilica
Saint-Sernin Basilica
in Toulouse, displaying the typical pink brick architecture of Upper Languedoc.

For administrative purposes, Languedoc
Languedoc
was divided in two généralités, the généralité of Toulouse
Toulouse
and the généralité of Montpellier, the combined territory of the two generalities exactly matching that of the gouvernement of Languedoc. At the head of a generality was an intendant, but in the case of Languedoc
Languedoc
there was only one intendant responsible for both generalities, and he was often referred to as the intendant of Languedoc, even though technically speaking he was in fact the intendant of the generality of Toulouse and intendant of the generality of Montpellier. The generality of Toulouse
Toulouse
is also referred to as Upper Languedoc
Languedoc
(Haut-Languedoc), while the generality of Montpellier, down to the level of the sea, is referred to as Lower Languedoc
Languedoc
(Bas-Languedoc). The intendants of Languedoc
Languedoc
resided in Montpellier, and they had a sub-delegate in Toulouse. Montpellier
Montpellier
was chosen on purpose to diminish the power of Toulouse, whose parlement was very influential, and which symbolized the old spirit of independence of the county of Toulouse. The intendants replaced the governors as administrators of Languedoc, but appointed and dismissed at will by the king, they were no threat to the central state in Versailles. By 1789 they were the most important element of the local administration of the kingdom. For judicial and legislative matters, Languedoc
Languedoc
was overseen by the Parlement
Parlement
of Toulouse, founded in the middle of the 15th century. It was the first parlement created outside of Paris by the kings of France in order to be the equivalent of the Parlement
Parlement
of Paris in the far-away southern territories of the kingdom. The jurisdiction of the Parlement
Parlement
of Toulouse
Toulouse
included the whole of the territory of the gouvernement of Languedoc, but it also included the province of Rouergue, most of the province of Quercy, and a part of Gascony. The Parlement
Parlement
of Toulouse
Toulouse
was the supreme court of justice for this vast area of France, the court of last resort whose rulings could not be appealed, not even to the Parlement
Parlement
of Paris. The Parlement
Parlement
of Toulouse
Toulouse
could also create case law through its decisions, as well as interpret the law. It was also in charge of registering new royal edicts and laws, and could decide to block them if it found them to be in contravention with the liberties and laws of Languedoc. Finally, for purposes of taxation, Languedoc
Languedoc
was ruled by the States of Languedoc, whose jurisdiction included only Languedoc
Languedoc
proper (and Albigeois), but not Gévaudan, Velay, and Vivarais, which kept each their own provincial states until 1789. Languedoc
Languedoc
proper was one of the very few provinces of France which had the privilege to decide over tax matters, the kings of France having suppressed the provincial states in most other provinces of the kingdom. This was a special favor from the kings to ensure that an independently spirited region far-away from Versailles would remain faithful to the central state. The States of Languedoc
Languedoc
met in many different cities, and for some time they established themselves in Pézenas, but in the 18th century they were relocated definitively to Montpellier, where they met once a year, until 1789. For religious purposes, Languedoc
Languedoc
was also divided into a certain number of ecclesiastical provinces, including the archdiocese of Toulouse. Capital[edit] As the center of the County of Toulouse
Toulouse
and the regional parlement, Toulouse
Toulouse
is often considered the "capital" of Languedoc. On maps (both ancient and modern) showing the provinces (i.e., gouvernements) of France in 1789, it is always marked as such. However, the intricate entanglement of administrations and jurisdictions permitted Montpellier
Montpellier
to also claim that distinction. In the 18th century, the monarchy clearly favored Montpellier, a city much smaller than Toulouse, with less history, and with fewer autonomous local authorities such as Toulouse's parlement and capitoulate. Modern administrative divisions[edit] The province of Languedoc
Languedoc
has been divided between four modern-day régions:

55.5% of its former territory lies in the Languedoc-Roussillon région, capital city Montpellier, covering the départements of Gard, Hérault, Aude, Lozère, and the extreme-north of Pyrénées-Orientales, which account for 86.5% of the territory of Languedoc-Roussillon. The remaining 13.5% is Roussillon (Pyrénées-Orientales), a province which was never part of Languedoc historically. 24.8% of its former territory lies in the Midi-Pyrénées
Midi-Pyrénées
région, capital city Toulouse, covering the département of Tarn, as well as the eastern half of Haute-Garonne, the southeast of Tarn-et-Garonne, and the northwest and northeast of Ariège, which account for 23.4% of the territory of Midi-Pyrénées. The remaining 76.6% is made of Quercy
Quercy
and Rouergue
Rouergue
(of which was talked above), as well as the province of County of Foix
County of Foix
(which had been a vassal of the county of Toulouse
Toulouse
in the Middle Ages), several small provinces of the Pyrénées
Pyrénées
mountains, and a large part of Gascony. 13% lies in the Rhône-Alpes
Rhône-Alpes
région, covering the département of Ardèche, which accounts for 12.7% of the territory of Rhône-Alpes 6.7% lies in the Auvergne
Auvergne
région, covering the central and eastern part of the département of Haute-Loire, which account for 11% of the territory of modern-day Auvergne
Auvergne
région

Population and cities[edit]

Typical view of the mountainous Cévennes
Cévennes
area in the thinly-populated interior of Languedoc: plateaus (the Causses) with deep river canyons

On the traditional territory of the province of Languedoc
Languedoc
there live approximately 3,650,000 people (as of 1999 census), 52% of these in the Languedoc-Roussillon
Languedoc-Roussillon
région, 35% in the Midi-Pyrénées
Midi-Pyrénées
région, 8% in the Rhône-Alpes
Rhône-Alpes
région, and 5% in the Auvergne
Auvergne
région. The territory of the former province shows a stark contrast between some densely populated areas (coastal plains as well as metropolitan area of Toulouse
Toulouse
in the interior) where density is between 150 inhabitants per km²/390 inh. per sq. mile (coastal plains) and 300 inh. per km²/780 inh. per sq. mile (plain of Toulouse), and the hilly and mountainous interior where density is extremely low, the Cévennes area in the south of Lozère
Lozère
having one of the lowest densities of Europe with only 7.4 inhabitants per km² (19 inh. per sq. mile). The five largest metropolitan areas on the territory of the former province of Languedoc
Languedoc
are (as of 1999 census): Toulouse
Toulouse
(964,797), Montpellier
Montpellier
(459,916), Nîmes
Nîmes
(221,455), Béziers
Béziers
(124,967), and Alès (89,390). The population of the former province of Languedoc
Languedoc
is currently the fastest-growing in France, and also among the fastest-growing in Europe, as an increasing flow of people from northern France and the north of Europe relocating to the sunbelt of Europe, in which Languedoc
Languedoc
is located. Growth is particularly strong in the metropolitan areas of Toulouse
Toulouse
and Montpellier, which are the two fastest growing metropolitan areas in Europe at the moment. However, the interior of Languedoc
Languedoc
is still losing inhabitants, which increases the difference of density that was mentioned. Population of the coast of Languedoc
Languedoc
as well as the region of Toulouse is rather young, educated, and affluent, whereas in the interior the population tends to be much older, with significantly lower incomes, and with a lower percentage of high school and especially college graduates. Economy[edit] Agriculture[edit] Languedoc
Languedoc
is a significant producer of wine, and a major contributor to the surplus known as the "wine lake". Today it produces more than a third of the grapes in France, and is a focus for outside investors. Wines from the Mediterranean coast of Languedoc
Languedoc
are labeled as Languedoc, those from the interior have other labels such as Fronton, Gaillac, or Limoux to the west – and Côtes du Rhône
Rhône
towards east. Other crops include wheat (the traditional crop which made the fortune of the landlords and parliamentarians based in Toulouse, and for whose trade the famous Canal du Midi
Canal du Midi
was built), maize (the new and nowadays most popular crop in the region), olives (only on the Mediterranean coast of Languedoc), fruit, and rice (in some coastal areas). In the hilly and mountainous areas of the interior, sheep and goat are raised for meat and cheese. The coastal area is, naturally, a source of fish and shellfish. Industry[edit]

The first completed Airbus A380
Airbus A380
at the "A380 Reveal" event on 18 January 2005 in Toulouse, home base of the European aerospace industry.

Aerospace
Aerospace
(Airbus, CNES, etc.), electronics (Freescale, etc.), and bio-tech industries in Toulouse; high-tech, electronics, and computer (IBM) industries in Montpellier; pharmaceutical industry (Pierre Fabre Group) in Castres. There is also a significant chemical sector in Toulouse, which has been quite battered since the terrible explosion of AZF on 21 September 2001. It has been decided that chemical industries would be moved out of Toulouse, and a large campus devoted to cancer research and bio-tech R&D will be opened on the site. Elsewhere in the region industries are small and in decline, in particular around the formerly mining areas of Alès
Alès
and Carmaux
Carmaux
in the interior of the region. Services and tourism[edit] Services are the largest sector of the economy in the region. In particular, government services employ a significant part of the workforce, especially in small towns. Key administrations have been relocated to the region, such as France's National Meteorology Office (Météo-France) relocated from Paris to Toulouse
Toulouse
in 1982. The area is also a major tourist destination. There exists three types of tourism. First, a massive summer tourism industry on the coast, with huge sea resorts such as Cap d'Agde, Palavas-les-Flots, or Le Grau-du-Roi, built in the 1970s. Tourism related to history and art is also strong, as the region contains the historic cities of Carcassonne, Toulouse, Montpellier, countless Roman monuments (such as the Roman arenas in Nîmes), medieval abbeys, Romanesque churches, and old castles (such as the ruined Cathar castles
Cathar castles
in the mountains of Corbières, testimony of the bloody Albigensian Crusade). More recently, "green" and sports tourism is on the rise, with the gorges of the Tarn, the Ardèche
Ardèche
Gorges, as well as the vast preserved expanses of Cévennes, Ardèche, Lauragais, and other sites. Tourism on the Canal du Midi
Canal du Midi
combines history (for example viewing the nine locks of Fonseranes near Béziers) with activities such as boating on the Canal, and walking or cycling on the towpaths. Toulouse
Toulouse
and Montpellier
Montpellier
are also popular places for business congresses and conventions. Sports[edit] Rugby union
Rugby union
is the "national" sport in Languedoc, unlike most other parts of France where football is more popular. The Toulouse
Toulouse
rugby club (Stade Toulousain) is one of the most successful in Europe; it regularly competes for the French championship and has won four European titles (1996, 2003, 2005, and 2010) in the ten years of the European championship's existence. Bullfighting
Bullfighting
and other bull-related events are popular in the eastern part of Languedoc. Sea jousts (Joutes nautiques) are held on the coast. Dating from the 11th century, this sport has local leagues and attracts large crowds. Property[edit]

The Rue de la pousterle in Magalas

Property in the Languedoc
Languedoc
is quite varied and ranges from beautiful newly built villas with swimming pools and tennis courts, to rambling old village houses set into the old ramparts of ancient fortified towns. Some of these village houses date back a very long time. A small house in the village of Magalas, Hérault
Hérault
département, has a date of the 13th century carved into its stonework. Being a large area, the type of property available in Languedoc
Languedoc
varies a lot, from apartments in beach resorts such as Cap D'Agde
Cap D'Agde
to isolated bastides in the rural interior. See also[edit]

French wine Languedoc
Languedoc
wine Languedoc-Roussillon Midi-Pyrénées Occitania Septimania timeline List of Governors of Languedoc

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Languedoc.

Languedoc-Roussillon
Languedoc-Roussillon
Tourist Board Official Tourism Website for the Region The Canal du Midi
Canal du Midi
at Béziers
Béziers
Official Béziers
Béziers
Website The Languedoc-Roussillon
Languedoc-Roussillon
Official Site of the Région. (in French) The Hérault
Hérault
tourist board website Department of Hérault
Hérault
in Languedoc Région. All informations to discover Hérault
Hérault
and to book your holidays in Languedoc. Free brochures and lodging. An introduction to the Languedoc
Languedoc
for tourists including regional overview and main tourist attractions. Atlas historique de la province de Languedoc, de l'époque romaine à nos jours, by Élie Pélaquier, CNRS. (in French) The Languedoc
Languedoc
and Roussillon
Roussillon
history, geography, climate, cities, towns and historic monuments. Quakers end Methodists since 18th century

v t e

Historical provinces of France

Alsace Angoumois Anjou Artois Aunis Auvergne Basse-Navarre Béarn Beaujolais Berry Bourbonnais Brittany Burgundy Champagne Corsica Dauphiné Flanders and Hainaut Foix Forez Franche-Comté Gascony Guyenne Île-de-France Languedoc Limousin Lorraine Lyonnais Maine Marche Montbéliard Mulhouse Nice Nivernais Normandy Orléanais Perche Picardy Poitou Provence Roussillon Saintonge Savoy Touraine Trois-Évêchés Venaissin

Coordinates: 43°40′N 3°10′E / 43.667°N 3.167°E / 4

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