The inhabitants of the commune are known as Beaucairois or Beaucairoises.
The commune has been awarded one flower by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom.
View over Beaucaire
Location of Beaucaire
|Intercommunality||Community of communes Beaucaire-Terre d'Argence|
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Julien Sanchez (FN)|
|86.52 km2 (33.41 sq mi)|
|• Density||180/km2 (470/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||1–156 m (3.3–511.8 ft) |
(avg. 18 m or 59 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.|
Beaucaire is located on the Rhône River some 15 km south-west of Avignon and 10 km north of Arles opposite Tarascon, which is in Bouches-du-Rhône department of Provence. Access to the commune is by the D999 road from Jonquières-Saint-Vincent in the west which passes through the north of the commune and the town and continues east to Tarascon. The D966L comes from Saint-Bonnet-du-Gard in the north and comes down the banks of the Rhône to the town. The D90 branches off the D986L in the commune and passes in a circle around the town then continues east across the Rhone changing to the D99B. The D15 goes south from the town to Fourques. The D38 goes south-west from the town to Bellegarde. The D28 links the Ile du Comte to the east bank of the Rhone. A railway passes through the commune coming from Tarascon in the east with two stations in the commune then it continues to Nîmes in the west. Apart from the main town there are also the districts of Gaudon, Tour Saint-Pierre, Pauvre Menage, Malatrache, Mas du Consul, Mas Saint-Andre du Boschet, Mas de la Bastide, Mas des Lecques, Le Fer a Cheval, Saujean, Mas de SAicard, Bieudon, and Enclos d'Argent. The commune has a large urban area in the north-east with the rest of the commune farmland.
The Rhône river forms the whole eastern border of the commune as it flows south to join the sea at Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône. The river is also the departmental border between Gard and Bouches-du-Rhône. The Canal du Rhône à Sète passes through the commune from Saint-Gilles in the south-west and joins the Rhone in the town. A waterway called Laune de Pillet, a branch of the Rhone, cuts through the commune parallel to the Rhone forming the Ile de Pillet. There is an extensive network of irrigation canals covering most of the farmland.
The entire town is located in the Rhône Valley and has fairly flat terrain mainly formed by the plain of the Rhône. The north of the commune has hills, especially north of the town centre where the castle is located (80 metres high) as well as Saint-Roman (130 metres).
Founded in the 7th century BC, Beaucaire was known as a city on the famous Via Domitia, the first Roman road built in Gaul linking Italy to Spain (121 BC.). It was at this point that the Via Domitia divides in the direction of Arles, Nîmes, Remoulins, and Saint-Gilles. At that time, Beaucaire was called Ugernum. This was where, after the capture of Rome by the Vandals in 455, the Gallo-Roman nobility met to elect Avitus as the new emperor. A Roman mausoleum has been discovered on the Île du Comté.
The Middle Ages saw a slowdown in the expansion of the city. Beaucaire did not escape the troubles during this dark period. It underwent invasions of Burgundians, Visigoths, and Saracens. It was at that time that the first ramparts were built and the castle was expanded. The city took the name Beaucaire (which means "beautiful stone", probably in reference to its many buildings, to its quarries, or the fact that it had the first hills on the Rhone coming from the sea).
In the 13th century Louis IX made several trips to Beaucaire. The city was expanding and its population increasing. Despite the Hundred Years War and the Wars of Religion (14th to the 16th century), the splendour and refinement of the architecture grew along with the wealth of the Beaucairois merchants.
In 1579 Beaucaire was held by Henri I de Montmorency, the catholic governor of Languedoc, but tolerant. The captain of the city was Jean de Parabere who was soon to play his own game. Damville then provoked a riot to recover the city but even though Parabere was decapitated, the city remained in the hands of the Huguenots, thanks to reinforcements sent by François de Coligny, the son of Gaspard II de Coligny.
At the end of the Hundred Years War in 1453, Charles VII of France declared that Beaucaire would become the site of the Fair of la Madeleine, a commercial fair that would enable the trade of goods from all of the Mediterranean Basin countries to all of France. By the mid-seventeenth century, the Fair was the largest commercial fair in the Mediterranean region, allegedly exceeding in a week the total volume of trade done in Marseilles in a year. It remained the dominant Mediterranean trade fair until the arrival of the railway in the mid-nineteenth century. The advent of the railway and the end of river trade as well as the removal of its tax-free status by Napoleon gradually destroyed the Fair of the Madeleine and plunged Beaucaire into anonymity. One result of these years of commercial dominance was the construction of a remarkable number of architecturally significant mansions and palaces by rich merchants of many nationalities. The fair still exists in the form of carnivals, bullfights, and various festivities. Camargue bulls are run through the streets. It always starts on 21 July and always ends on a Monday and lasts at least six days.
At the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century some works of great value are built such as the banquette - a stone retaining wall along the eastern side of the city which protected it from the flooding of the Rhône, food markets, and the Municipal Casino which is now the Festival Hall. It was also at this time that the Canal du Rhône à Sète was widened. It connects Beaucaire to the Canal du Midi.
Party per saltire, Or and Gules.
Beaucaire is one of 79 member communes of the Territorial Coherence Scheme (SCOT) of South Gard and is also one of the 41 communes of Pays Garrigues Costières.
The town of Beaucaire had 7,054 housing units in 2009, nearly 90% of which were primary residences. There are almost equal amounts of detached houses (52%) and apartments (48%) with the majority of homes having 3 or 4 rooms. Only 47% of residents own their own housing. Of the rental housing (3050 units in 2009) one third are HLM.
|1959||1983||José Boyer||PCF||General Councilor of the Canton of Beaucaire (1976-1982)|
|1983||2002||Jean-Marie André||DL||MP for Gard's 2nd constituency (1993-1997)|
|2002||2008||Mireille Cellier||UMP||Regional Councilor for Languedoc-Roussillon (1998-2010)|
|2008||2014||Jacques Bourbousson||UDI||President of the CC Beaucaire-Terre d'Argence (2008-2014)|
|2014||2020||Julien Sanchez||FN||Regional Councilor for Languedoc-Roussillon then Occitanie (since 2010)|
(Not all data is known)
The Municipal Council is composed of 23 members including the Mayor and 9 deputies.
In 2012 the commune had 15,860 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1]
The commune has:
Since 30 January 2014 Beaucaire has a multi-activity healthcare division with multi care professionals, a dental centre, opticians, and a hearing specialist.
In 2012 the workforce was 6,719 people, including 1,407 unemployed (14.1%. These people are mostly employees (83.7%) and all work inside the commune (100%). On 1 January 2014 there were a total of 1,533 business enterprises in the commune: 155 in Agriculture, 137 in Industry, 232 in construction, 851 in Trade, transport, and services, 289 in automobile trade and repair, and 158 in Administration, education, health, or social services. Out of this 458 businesses employed staff across all sectors.
Among local businesses, the Craft Brewery of Beaucaire produces and markets several varieties of beer regionally with some Camargue rice. There are also: a Ciments français cement plant (subsidiary of the Italcementi group), and a Casanis plant from the Bacardi group which markets Get 27. The headquarters of the multinational group Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits (formerly Belvédère) has been located in Beaucaire since 2011.
A very large number of buildings and sites are registered as historical monuments. For a complete list including links to descriptions (in French) and some photos click here. Some of the most well known are shown below.
Main article: Abbey of Saint-Roman,
Poets, living in or passing through Beaucaire, remembered it through their lyrical writing: Joseph D'Arbaud, Marie-Antoinette Rivière (Antoinette of Beaucaire), Juliette Borely, Artalette of Beaucaire.
Beaucaire has a legend of the formidable drac, a monster that rises from the depths of the sea to seize and devour its prey. One day the monster grabbed a young laundress and brought her to his cave. The story says the woman expected the worst, but the drac explained that what he wanted was a nanny for his son, the draconnet. Thus the washerwoman fed the little monster for seven years before she was set free. But one day at the fair the drac came to the market, having taken on a human appearance. The washerwoman recognized her former captor and incited the crowd to riot. Furious at being unmasked, the drac blinded the washerwoman. According to Gervase of Tilbury who wrote this tale in 1214, she remained blinded until the end of her days.
Beaucaire is the name of several communes in France:
Beaucaire, Gard, in the Gard department
Beaucaire, Gers, in the Gers departmentBijou (jewellery)
A bijou (plural: bijoux) is an intricate jewellery piece incorporated into clothing, or worn by itself on the body.Canal du Rhône à Sète
The Canal du Rhône à Sète (lit. "canal from the Rhône to Sète") is a canal in southern France, which connects the Étang de Thau in Sète to the Rhône River in Beaucaire, Gard. The canal is made up of two previously constructed canals, the Canal des Étangs and Canal de Beaucaire. It connects with the Canal du Midi through the Étang de Thau.
There is, however, no access to the Rhône at Beaucaire as the lock has been closed for many years. Access is via the lock situated to the west of Saint-Gilles which links the canal to the Petit Rhône and from there northeastwards to the junction with the Grand Rhône at Fourques situated to the north of Arles.
Apart from the lock at Saint-Gilles there is only one other operating lock on the canal between St Gilles and Beaucaire. The canal is almost totally situated at sea-level and the western part from the Vidourle river to the Étang de Thau is a sea-water canal.
In recent years major work has been undertaken to upgrade the canal so it can now be used by 1200t convoys instead of the previous 350t barges. Most notable are a stretch of canal bypassing the town of Aigues-Mortes with its railway swing bridge and a direct canal link to the port of Sète eliminating the passage of lifting and swing bridges in Frontignan and Sète.Compagnie Nationale du Rhône
The Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR) is a French electricity generation company, mainly supplying renewable power from hydroelectric facilities on the Rhone.History of the wine press
The history of the wine press and of pressing is nearly as old as the history of wine itself with the remains of wine presses providing some of the longest-serving evidence of organised viticulture and winemaking in the ancient world. The earliest wine press was probably the human foot or hand, crushing and squeezing grapes into a bag or container where the contents would ferment.The pressure applied by these manual means was limited and these early wines were probably pale in colour and body, and eventually ancient winemakers sought out alternative means of pressing their wine. By at least the 18th dynasty, the ancient Egyptians were employing a "sack press" made of cloth that was squeezed with the aid of a giant tourniquet. The use of a wine press in winemaking is mentioned frequently in the Bible but these presses were more elaboration of treading lagars where grapes that were tread by feet with the juice running off into special basins.
The more modern idea of a piece of a winemaking equipment used to extract the juice from the skins probably emerged during the Greco-Roman periods where written accounts by Cato the Elder, Marcus Terentius Varro, Pliny the Elder and others described wooden wine presses that utilized large beams, capstans and windlasses to exert pressure on the pomace. The wines produced by these presses were usually darker, with more color extracted from the skins but could also be more harsh with bitter tannins also extracted. That style of wine press would eventually evolve into the basket press used in the Middle Ages by wine estates of the nobility and Catholic Church leading to the modern tank batch and continuous presses used in wineries today.List of Benedictine monasteries in France
This is a list of Benedictine monasteries, extant and non-extant, in the present territory of France. It includes both monks and nuns following the Rule of Saint Benedict, excluding the Cistercians, for whom see List of Cistercian monasteries in France. Some monasteries however belonged at various times in their histories to both the Benedictines and the Cistercians.
At different times these religious houses have formed various orders, congregations or groups, of which the main ones, as far as French monasteries are concerned, are the following:
the Order of Cluny (Cluniacs)
the Camaldolese (now within the Benedictine Confederation)
the Olivetans (now within the Benedictine Confederation)
the Celestines (now within the Benedictine Confederation)
the Order of Chalais
the Order of Fontevraud (Fontevristes)
the Congregation of Tiron
the Congregation of La Chaise-Dieu (Casadéens)
the Congregation of Saint-Victor (Victorines)
the Bursfelde Congregation
the Alsace Congregation
the Cassinese Congregation (now within the Benedictine Confederation)
the Congregation of Chezal-Benoît
the Congregation of the Exempts of Flanders
the Congregation of the Exempts of France
the Société de Bretagne
the Congregation of St. Vanne (Vannistes)
the Congregation of St. Maur (Mauristes)
the English Benedictine Congregation in exile (1612–1791)
the Congregation of the Allobroges
the Affligem group
the Solesmes Congregation (now within the Benedictine Confederation; formerly known as the Congrégation de France)
the Subiaco Congregation (now within the Benedictine Confederation)
the Fédération du Coeur Immaculé de MarieThe dates in brackets indicate the start and end dates of an abbey's status as a Benedictine monastery, which are not necessarily the same as the dates of its foundation or suppression. All religious houses in France were suppressed during the French Revolution, most of them in 1791. Some communities were revived, and many more new ones established, during the 19th century, but were forced to leave France by anti-clerical legislation during the 1880s (principally the Ferry Laws), and again in the first decades of the 20th century under the Association Act, 1901 (the Waldeck-Rousseau Law).
Abbeys and independent priories currently in operation are indicated by bold type.
Dependent priories are not generally noted in this list, except for a few unusually significant ones.List of cave monasteries
A cave monastery is a monastery built in caves, with possible outside facilities. The 3rd-century monk St. Anthony the Great, known as the founder of monasticism, lived in a cave.
Qafthanë Cave Church, cave church near Urakë, Albania.
St. Mary's Church, cave church in Maligrad, an island in the Prespa lake
Geghard cave monastery/fortress
Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo
Cave monasteries of Krepcha
Monasteries of Provadia
Cave monasteries on the Plateau of Shumen
Cave monasteries of Tervel
Rabban Hormizd Monastery, Alqosh
Mar Qayuma Monastery, Dooreh
Abbey of Saint-Roman, Beaucaire, Gard
David Gareja monastery complex
Vanis Kvabebi cave monastery/fortress, Javakheti Plateau
Vardzia cave city and monastery
Gellért Hill Cave chapels and monastery, Budapest
Kališta Monastery, Struga
Basarabi Cave Complex
Monastery of the Caves, Nizhny Novgorod
Pskov Cave Monastery, Pskov Oblast
Divnogorye and Saviour Convent, Voronezh Oblast
Churches of Kovilje Monastery
Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, also known as the Cave Church, 14th-century church in Lukovo
Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, in Rsovci, where was painted a unique fresco of bald Jesus
Hermitage of St. Peter Koriški
Wat Tham Khan, Sakon Nakhon province
Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tam Sua), Krabi
Cappadocia cave monasteries
Cave monastery of İnceğiz
Church of Saint Peter
Assumption Cave Monastery and Inkerman Cave Monastery in the Crimea
Assumption Cave Monastery in Zymne, near Volodymyr-Volynskyi
Bakota Cave Monastery in Bakota, near Kamianets-Podilskyi
Kiev Pechersk Lavra and Eletsky MonasteryList of mosques in France
There are currently about 2,300 mosques in France with a further 200 to 250 planned.It is difficult to say when the first mosque in France was built. There is archaeological evidence of an eighth-century mosque in Narbonne, France. The Mosquée de Tsingoni in the overseas department of Mayotte was built in 1538. The Grand Mosque of Paris opened in 1926 is regarded as one of the oldest and largest mosques in France.List of shipwrecks in 2012
The list of shipwrecks in 2012 includes ships sunk, foundered, grounded, or otherwise lost during 2012.Montelupo Fiorentino
Montelupo Fiorentino is a comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Florence in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 20 kilometres (12 miles) southwest of Florence.Noilly Prat
Noilly Prat (French pronunciation: [nwa.ji pʁat]) is a brand of vermouth from France, owned by the Italian company Martini & Rossi. "White" Noilly Prat is the archetype of dry, straw-coloured French vermouth. Noilly Prat now makes Red and Ambre vermouths as well, introduced in the 1960s and 1980s, but they are less widely known. Noilly Prat Dry is 18% alcohol by volume. The Noilly Prat company is based in Marseillan, in the Hérault département of southern France, and is a subsidiary of Bacardi-Martini. Joseph Noilly, a herbalist, developed the first formula in 1813.Pierre Fayet
Pierre Fayet (12 February 1887 in Beaucaire, Gard – 31 October 1977) was a French politician. He represented the Algerian Communist Party in the Constituent Assembly elected in 1945, the Constituent Assembly elected in 1946 and the National Assembly from 1946 to 1955.Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse
Raymond VII of Saint-Gilles (July 1197 – 27 September 1249) was Count of Toulouse, Duke of Narbonne and Marquis of Provence from 1222 until his death.Rhône
The Rhône (, French pronunciation: [ʁon]; German: Rhone [ˈroːnə]; Walser: Rotten [ˈrotən]; Italian: Rodano [ˈrɔːdano]; Arpitan: Rôno [ˈʁono]; Occitan: Ròse [ˈrɔze; ˈʀɔze]) is one of the major rivers of Europe and has twice the average discharge of the Loire (which is the longest French river), rising in the Rhône Glacier in the Swiss Alps at the far eastern end of the Swiss canton of Valais, passing through Lake Geneva and running through southeastern France. At Arles, near its mouth on the Mediterranean Sea, the river divides into two branches, known as the Great Rhône (French: le Grand Rhône) and the Little Rhône (le Petit Rhône). The resulting delta constitutes the Camargue region.The Horseman on the Roof
The Horseman on the Roof (French: Le hussard sur le toit) is a 1995 French film directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau and starring Juliette Binoche and Olivier Martinez. Based on the 1951 French novel Le hussard sur le toit by Jean Giono, the film follows the adventures of a young Italian nobleman in France raising money for the Italian revolution against Austria during a time of cholera. The Italian struggle for independence and the cholera pandemic in southern France in 1832 are historical events. The film received César Awards in 1996 for Best Cinematography and Best Sound, as well as eight César Award nominations for Best Film, Best Costume Design, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Music, Best Production Design, and Most Promising Actress.