Hérault — Department —
Coat of arms
Coordinates: Coordinates: Country France Region Languedoc-Roussillon Prefecture Montpellier Subprefectures Béziers
Government – President of the General Council André Vezinhet (PS) Area1 – Total 6,101 km2 (2,355.6 sq mi) Population (1999) – Total 896,441 – Rank 22nd – Density 146.9/km2 (380.6/sq mi) Time zone CET (UTC+1) – Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2) Department number 34 Arrondissements 3 Cantons 49 Communes 343 ^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2
At the beginning of the 20th century, viticulture in the region was devastated by a slump in sales combined with disease affecting the vines, and thousands of small scale producers revolted. This revolt was suppressed very harshly by the government of Georges Clemenceau.
The catastrophic frost of the winter of 1956 damaged the olive trees, and the olive-growing regions did not recover until the late 1980s. Many of the olive-industry co-ops closed.
During the second half of the twentieth century the Montpellier basin underwent one of the most rapid population increases experienced anywhere in France.
The department is very geographically diverse, with beaches in the south, the Cévennes mountains in the north, and agricultural land in between.
The important rivers are:
The average daytime temperature is around 25-30 degrees Celsius in July and August and 8-10 degrees Celsius in December and January.
The President of the General Council is André Vezinhet of the Socialist Party.
Party seats • Socialist Party 31 • Miscellaneous Left 6 Union for a Popular Movement 5 • French Communist Party 3 Miscellaneous Right 3 • Hunting, Fishing, Nature, Tradition 1
The inhabitants of the department are called Héraultais.
Montpellier hosts the following festivals:
- Saperlipopette, voilà Enfantillages !
- Printemps des Comédiens
- Festival du Cinéma Méditerranéen
- Comédie du Livre
- Festival Radio-France Montpellier
- Festival Montpellier Danse
The Mediterranean beaches are a major attraction, as well as the caves of Clamouse and Demoiselles.
Part of Cap d'Agde is a major nudist resort.
Cruising along the Canal du Midi and walking or cycling along the tow paths is a popular holiday option.
- Cantons of the Hérault department
- Communes of the Hérault department
- Arrondissements of the Hérault department
- Castles in Hérault
- (French) Prefecture website
- (French) Conseil Général website
- (English) The Hérault Tourist Board
- (English) Canal du Midi
- (English) Official tourist office website for Béziers
- "A Force in Gaul", in On Something by Hilaire Belloc (1910).
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