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A brief Introduction to the Languedoc, France  ( The Name in Occitan. Clich here to find out more about occitan.  Lengad˛c)

The Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the most fascinating areas of Europe, bordering the Mediterranean Sea to the east and the Pyrenees Mountains to the south. It benefits from an exceptional climate (a "Mediterranean Climate") and has an unusually rich wildlife, a spectacular coast, and surprising history. Things to see include mountains, rivers and lakes, ancient cities, towns, villages, thermal springs, abbeys, and cathedrals, châteaux and castles, notably the famous mountain fortresses popularly known as Cathar Castles. It possesses a number of World Heritage sites, including Carcassonne, the Canal du Midi, and the Pont du Gard.

In recent years it has become a popular French holiday destination, with long sunny days, Mediterranean beaches, tourist facilities, thousands of miles of walks, and rides, National Parks and wildlife reserves (such as the Camargue and the Cevennes), thermal springs and spas, grottoes and caves, and vestiges of the Languedoc's long history, including dinosaur bones and eggs, prehistoric human remains, dolmens and megaliths, geology, archaeology and palaeontology, Greek and Roman architecture, and everywhere reminders of the the Cathars, the papal Crusade against them, and the Papal Inquisition that followed the crusade.

 
Time in the Languedoc now
     

Things to do in the Languedoc-Roussillon include a range of holidays, including naturist holidays and activity holidays. Sports include a wide range of land sports, water sports, air sports, mountain sports, winter sports, golf, hunting, shooting, hawking, and fishing. There are also numerous cultural activities, along with French regional food specialties, and Languedoc wines. Local festivals range from bull-running to the Fecos in Limoux and from sea-jousting in the north to celebrating la jour de St-Jean in the south by fire-jumping.

French 10 centimes stamp, 1944, showing the coat of arms of the LanguedocThe Languedoc has a rich prehistory and history, including Celts, Hannibal with his elephants, Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, Moors, and Franks. Find out about the Medieval period, before the area was annexed by France, when its language, the Langue d'Oc, was the premier literary language of Europe, and its rulers, the Counts of Toulouse, were the most tolerant and enlightened rulers in the Western World.

The name Languedoc is used in many different ways: it can denote an area once known as Septimania, or a larger area once ruled by the The House of Toulouse which was annexed by France and cut down to become the Province of Languedoc under the ancien regime. It can also be used the denote the area where Occitan was the first language - over a third of modern France plus small parts of modern Spain and modern Italy. This area was once called Languedoc and is now more usually called Occitania. The term Languedoc can also be used to denote the four departements in the modern French region of Languedoc-Roussillon (Aude, Gard, Hérault, Lozère, but not the Pyrénées-Orientales). For more on the changing names and borders of the Languedoc click on this link to Provincia Gallia Narbonensis, Septimania, the Kindom of Narbonne, Gothia, County of Toulouse, Province of Languedoc, Occitania and Languedoc-Roussillon

 

Some Languedoc-Roussillon Superlatives

The Largest ...
Carcassonne: the largest medieval walled city in Europe with its City walls still intact
The Only ...Languedoc dinosaurs: The only known Ampelosaurus of its type known in the world & the most complete dinosaur skeleton ever found in France The Oldest ...
The Canal du Midi - the oldest working canal in the world
The Warmest ...
Languedoc-Roussillon Climate: warmest region in France
The Greatest ...
The Albigensian Crusade, extermination of the Cathars, the greatest disaster of Medieval Europe
The Tallest ...
Pont du Gard: the tallest aqueduct ever built by the Romans anywhere in the world
The Longest ...
The Limoux Fecos: The longest and oldest town fete in France.
The Most ...
Perrier Water, the most famous naturally carbonated mineral water in the world
               
The Largest ...
The Languedoc-Roussillon - The largest vineyard in the world now and since the first century BC
The Only ...
The Camargue - The only breeding colony of pink flamingos in Europe
The Oldest ...
The Jeux Floraux at Toulouse: The oldest literary competition and festival in the world
The First ...
The Greatest ...
Sebastian de Vauban, the greatest military engineer the world has ever known
The Tallest ...
The tallest standing stone in Southern France
The Longest ...
The longest naturist beach in France
The Most ...
The Counts of Toulouse: The Most liberal and cultured rulers of Medieval Europe
               
The Largest ...
The The Largest salt works in Europe
The Only ...
Llivia: The only Spanish town in France, left Spanish by accident in the Treaty of the Pyrenees
The Oldest ...
Blanquette de Limoux: the oldest sparkling wine in the world, from which Champaigne was later copied
The First ...
Nimes: The First Roman colony, with the first city logo
The Greatest ...
Circulades: The greatest concentration of circular villages in the world
The Highest ...
Millau Bridge: the highest road bridge in the world
The Cheapest ...
The cheapest flights to the South of France
The Most ...
The most memorable quote by an Abbot
               
The Best ...
Collioure: Regarded by the Fauvist school as having the best light for painting
The Only ...
George Brassens: The only person ever to have declined membership of the academie francaise
The Oldest ...
Via Domitia: The Oldest Roman road in France
The First ...
Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, The senior leader of the Fist Crusade to the Holy Land
The Best ...
Best selling books on the greatest mystery in France: rennes-le-Chateau
The Strongest ...
Languedoc-Roussillon: the strongest and most varied winds in France
The Fastest ...
Languedoc Wine: the fastest improving wines in the world
The Best ...
Requefort Cheese: the best known cheese in the world
               
The Best ...
Nimes: The best preserved Roman arena in the world - still in daily use
The Oldest ...
Camargue Horses: The oldest breed of horse in France
The Oldest ...
Montpellier: The Oldest Medical school in western Christendom
The First ...
The Languedoc: The original medieval Land of Cocaigne
The Oldest ...
the Oppidum at Enserune: The oldest fortified hill-top town on the Mediterreanean
The Earliest ...
Languedoc: the earliest cave paintings in France
The Most ...
Saint Roche or St Roque: the most popular saint in the Languedoc
The Most ...
The Most Beautiful Villages in France
               
The Best ...
France: The Best Country in the World to be a dog
The Earliest ...
The Roussillon: where the earliest fruits are available in France
The Oldest ...
The First ...
The Medieval Inquisition: The First Papal Inquisition in the world
The First ...
Waldensians: The First Protestants in the World
The Earliest ...
Roussillon: the earliest human remains in Europe
The First ...
Langedoc Cities: The first municipal councils in western Christendom
The Most ...
Languedoc: home to the most native orchid species in Europe - over 80
               
The Best ...
The Gorge de Pierre Lys: The best White-Water Rafting in France
The Largest...
Languedoc Stalactites.
The Greatest ...
Circulades: The highest concentration of circular villages in the world
         

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Languedoc.
Introduction to the Languedoc France