Béziers

Théâtre municipal de Béziers. Anyone for Chess?

Béziers is one of the oldest towns in France, being settled in the 6th century BC. I visited it during preparations for the annual festival, the Feria de Béziers, based at the huge arena on the edge of town. Like a lot of arenas in the area, there seemed to be bullfighting involved. And I always assumed this was a “sport” peculiar to the Spanish.

There didn’t seem to be much going on in Béziers. I wandered around for a couple of hours, but didn’t find much to photograph. It felt like the calm before the storm. Some days it just happens like that.

Statue of Pierre-Paul Riquet, architect of the Canal du Midi

On my return home, I read a little about Béziers. Apparently, it is the birthplace of an engineer called Pierre-Paul Riquet, who was largely responsible for the Canal du Midi—a well-known waterway linking the Mediterranean with the canal system near Toulouse and the Bay of Biscay. There are statues of him in Béziers and Toulouse, because, if you think about it, it’s a pretty awesome feat to be able to bypass Spain in a boat.

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