|Canton||Narbonne-1, 2 and 3|
|• Mayor (2020–2026)||Didier Mouly (PS)|
|172.96 km2 (66.78 sq mi)|
|• Density||320/km2 (830/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Narbonnese (en) |
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||0–285 m (0–935 ft)|
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Narbonne ( // , also US: /-,- / , French: [naʁbɔn] ; Occitan : Narbona [naɾˈβunɔ] ; Latin : Narbo [ˈna(ː)rboː] ; Late Latin: Narbona) is a commune in Southern France in the Occitanie region. It lies 849 km (528 mi) from Paris in the Aude department, of which it is a sub-prefecture. It is located about 15 km (9 mi) from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and was historically a prosperous port.
From the 14th century it declined following a change in the course of the river Aude. It is marginally the largest commune in Aude. But the capital of the Aude department is the smaller commune of Carcassonne.
Narbonne is linked to the nearby Canal du Midi and the river Aude by the Canal de la Robine, which runs through the centre of town. It is very close to the A9 motorway, which connects Montpellier and Nîmes to Perpignan and, across the border, to Barcelona in Spain. There is also a recently renovated train station which serves the TGV to Spain, Paris and Calais, which in turn connects to the Eurostar. Narbonne is only 10 km from Narbonne Plage (beach), but it is only 2 km from the nearest open water, at La Nautique, although there is no sand, rather pebbles.
The source of the town's original name of Narbo is lost in antiquity, and it may have referred to a hillfort from the Iron Age close to the location of the current settlement or its occupants. [ citation needed ]The earliest known record of the area comes from the Greek Hecataeus of Miletus in the fifth century BC, who identified it as a Celtic harbor and marketplace at that time, and called its inhabitants the Ναρβαῖοι. In ancient inscriptions the name is sometimes rendered in Latin and sometimes translated into Iberian as Nedhena.
Narbonne was established in Gaul by the Roman Republic in 118 BC, as Colonia Narbo Martius, colloquially Narbo, and made into the capital of the newly established province of Gallia Transalpina. It was located on the Via Domitia, the first Roman road in Gaul, built at the time of the foundation of the colony, and connecting Italy to Spain. Geographically, Narbonne was therefore located at a very important crossroads because it was situated where the Via Domitia connected to the Via Aquitania, which led toward the Atlantic through Tolosa and Burdigala. In addition, it was crossed by the river Aude. Surviving members of Julius Caesar's Legio X Equestris were given lands in the area that today is called Narbonne. [ citation needed ]
Politically, Narbonne gained importance as a competitor to Massilia (Marseille). Julius Caesar settled veterans from his 10th Legion there and attempted to develop its port while Marseille was supporting Pompey. Among the products of Narbonne, its rosemary-flower honey was famous among Romans.
Later, the province of Gallia Transalpina was renamed Gallia Narbonensis after the city, which became its capital. Seat of a powerful administration, the city enjoyed economic and architectural expansion. At that point, the city is thought to have had 30,000–50,000 inhabitants, and may have had as many as 100,000.
According to Hydatius, in 462 the city was handed over to the Visigoths by a local military leader in exchange for support, as a result Roman rule ended in the city. It was subsequently the capital of the Visigothic province of Septimania, the only territory from Gaul to fend off the Frankish thrust after the Battle of Vouille (507). In 531, Frankish king, Childebert I, invaded Septimania and defeated Visigothic king, Amalaric near Narbonne and occupied the city. However, after Childebert's continued invasion to Catalonia failed, Amalaric's successor Theudis was able to reclaim the rich province of Septimania, including Narbonne.Following the loss of Toledo and Barcelona in 711/712, the last two kings of the Visigoths, Agila II and Ardo retreated to Narbonne, where they were able to resist Muslim attacks until 716.
For 40 years, from 719 to 759, Narbonne was part of the Umayyad Caliphate. The Umayyad governor Al-Samh captured Narbonne from The Kingdom of Visigoths in 719.
The Carolingian Pepin the Short conquered Narbonne from the Arabs in 759 after which it became part of the Carolingian Viscounty of Narbonne. He invited [ citation needed ] prominent Jews from the Caliphate of Baghdad to settle in Narbonne and establish a major Jewish learning center for Western Europe. In the 12th century, the court of Ermengarde of Narbonne (reigned 1134 to 1192) presided over one of the cultural centers where the spirit of courtly love was developed.
In the 11th and 12th centuries, Narbonne was home to an important Jewish exegetical school, which played a pivotal role in the growth and development of the Zarphatic (Judæo-French) and Shuadit (Judæo-Provençal) languages. Jews had settled in Narbonne from about the 5th century, with a community that numbered about 2,000 people in the 12th century. At this time, Narbonne was frequently mentioned in Talmudic works in connection with its scholars. One source, Abraham ibn Daud of Toledo, gives them an importance similar to the exilarchs of Babylon.In the 12th and 13th centuries, the community went through a series of ups and downs before settling into extended decline.
Narbonne itself fell into a slow decline in the 14th century, for a variety of reasons. One was due to a change in the course of the river Aude, which caused increased silting of the navigational access. The river, known as the Atax in ancient times, had always had two main courses which split close to Salelles; one fork going south through Narbonne and then to the sea close to the Clappe Massif, the other heading east to the etang at Vendres close to the current mouth of the river well to the east of the city. The Romans had improved the navigability of the river by building a dam near Salelles and also by canalising the river as it passed through its marshy delta to the sea (then as now the canal was known as the Robine.) A major flood in 1320 swept the dam away. The Aude river had a long history of overflowing its banks. When it was a bustling port, the distance from the coast was approximately 5 to 10 km (3 to 6 mi), but at that time the access to the sea was deep enough when the river was in full spate which made communication between port and city unreliable.[ contradictory ] However, goods could easily be transported by land and in shallow barges from the ports (there were several: a main port and forward ports for larger vessels; indeed the navigability from the sea into the etang and then into the river had been a perennial problem)
The changes to the long seashore which resulted from the silting up of the series of graus or openings which were interspersed between the islands which made up the shoreline (St. Martin; St. Lucie) had a more serious impact than the change in course of the river. Other causes of decline were the plague and the raid of Edward, the Black Prince, which caused much devastation. The growth of other ports was also a factor.
Narbonne Cathedral, dedicated to Saints Justus and Pastor, provides stark evidence of Narbonne's sudden and dramatic change of fortunes when one sees at the rear of the structure the enormously ambitious building programme frozen in time, for the cathedral—still one of the tallest in France—was never finished. The reasons are many, but the most important is that the completed cathedral would have required demolishing the city wall. The 14th century also brought the plague and a host of reasons for retaining the 5th-century (pre-Visigothic) walls.
Yet the choir, side chapels, sacristy, and courtyard remain intact, and the cathedral, although no longer the seat of a bishop or archbishop, remains the primary place of worship for the Roman Catholic population of the city, and is a major tourist attraction.
From the sixteenth century, eager to maintain a link to important trade, the people of Narbonne began costly work to the vestiges of the river Aude's access to the sea so that it would remain navigable to a limited draft vessel and also serve as a link with the Royal Canal. This major undertaking resulted in the construction of the Canal de la Robine, which was finally linked with the Canal du Midi (then known as the Royal Canal) via the Canal de Jonction in 1776.
In the 19th century, the canal system in the south of France had to compete with an expanding rail network, which could ship goods more quickly. The canals kept some importance as they were used to support the flourishing wine trade.
Despite its decline from Roman times, Narbonne held on to its vital but limited importance as a trading route. This has continued in more recent centuries.
|Source: EHESS and INSEE (1968-2017)|
Narbonne is home to the rugby union team RC Narbonne founded in 1907. They play at the Parc des Sports Et de l'Amitié (capacity 12,000). They wear orange and black.
The Gare de Narbonne railway station offers direct connections to Paris, Barcelona, Toulouse, Marseille and many regional destinations. An extensive local system of buses and routes operated by Citibus.fr allow for easy public transport within Narbonne and surrounding communities. Travellers wishing to connect by plane arrive by airports in nearby Béziers, Carcassonne, Perpignan, Toulouse or Montpellier, as Narbonne does not have an airport.
Narbonne is twinned with:
The Visigoths were an early Germanic people who, along with the Ostrogoths, constituted the two major political entities of the Goths within the Roman Empire in late antiquity, or what is known as the Migration Period. The Visigoths emerged from earlier Gothic groups, including a large group of Thervingi, who had moved into the Roman Empire beginning in 376 and had played a major role in defeating the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. Relations between the Romans and the Visigoths varied, with the two groups making treaties when convenient, and warring with one another when not. Under their first leader, Alaric I, the Visigoths invaded Italy and sacked Rome in August 410. Afterwards, they began settling down, first in southern Gaul and eventually in Hispania, where they founded the Visigothic Kingdom and maintained a presence from the 5th to the 8th centuries AD.
Year 589 (DLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 589 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Aude is a department in Southern France, located in the Occitanie region and named after the river Aude. The departmental council also calls it "Cathar Country" after a group of religious dissidents active in the 12th to 14th centuries.
Carcassonne is a French fortified city in the department of Aude, in the region of Occitanie. It is the prefecture of the department.
The Aude is a river of southern France that is 224 kilometres (139 mi) long. Its source is in the Pyrenees mountains then runs to Carcassonne and finally reaches the Mediterranean Sea near Narbonne. The river is navigable by raft or canoe for nearly all of its length. It is registered as essential to the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
The Via Domitia was the first Roman road built in Gaul, to link Italy and Hispania through Gallia Narbonensis, across what is now Southern France. The route that the Romans regularised and paved was ancient when they set out to survey it, and traces the mythic route travelled by Heracles.
Septimania is a historical region in modern-day Southern France. It referred to the western part of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis that passed to the control of the Visigoths in 462, when Septimania was ceded to their king, Theodoric II. The region was also variously known as Gallia, Arbuna or Narbonensis. Septimania territory roughly corresponds with the modern French former administrative region of Languedoc-Roussillon that merged into the new administrative region of Occitanie. Septimania was conquered by the Muslims in the 8th century, when it was known as Arbuna and was made part of Al-Andalus. It passed briefly to the Emirate of Córdoba, which had been expanding from the south during the eighth century, before its subsequent conquest by the Franks, who by the end of the ninth century termed it Gothia or the Gothic March.
Gallia Narbonensis was a Roman province located in what is now Languedoc and Provence, in Southern France. It was also known as Provincia Nostra, from its having been the first Roman province north of the Alps, and as Gallia Transalpina, distinguishing it from Cisalpine Gaul in Northern Italy. It became a Roman province in the late 2nd century BC. Gallia Narbonensis was bordered by the Pyrenees Mountains on the west, the Cévennes to the north, the Alps on the east, and the Gulf of Lion on the south; the province included the majority of the Rhone catchment. The western region of Gallia Narbonensis was known as Septimania. The province was a valuable part of the Roman Empire, owing to the Greek colony of Massalia, its location between the Spanish provinces and Rome, and its financial output.
Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone is a commune in the Hérault department in the Occitanie region in Southern France. Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone station has rail connections to Narbonne, Montpellier and Avignon.
The history of Toulouse, in Midi-Pyrénées, southern France, traces back to ancient times. After Roman rule, the city was ruled by the Visigoths and Merovingian and Carolingian Franks. Capital of the County of Toulouse during the Middle Ages, today it is the capital of the Midi-Pyrénées region.
The Via Aquitania was a Roman road created in 118 BC in the Roman province of Gaul. It started at Narbonne, where it connected to the Via Domitia. It then went toward the Atlantic Ocean, via Toulouse and Bordeaux, covering approximately 400 kilometres (250 mi).
Septimania was the western region of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis that passed under the control of the Visigoths in 462. It passed briefly to the Emirate of Córdoba in the eighth century before its reconquest by the Franks, who by the end of the ninth century termed it Gothia. This article presents a timeline of its history.
Azille is a commune in the Aude department in the Occitanie region of southern France.
The Visigothic Kingdom, officially the Kingdom of the Goths, was a kingdom that occupied what is now southwestern France and the Iberian Peninsula from the 5th to the 8th centuries. One of the Germanic successor states to the Western Roman Empire, it was originally created by the settlement of the Visigoths under King Wallia in the province of Gallia Aquitania in southwest Gaul by the Roman government and then extended by conquest over all of Hispania. The Kingdom maintained independence from the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, whose attempts to re-establish Roman authority in Hispania were only partially successful and short-lived.
Albas is a commune in the Aude department in the Occitanie region of southern France.
Bages is a commune in the Aude department in the Occitanie region of southern France.
Capestang is a commune in the Hérault department in southern France.
The La Nouvelle branch is a 37.3-kilometre (23.2 mi) branch of the Canal du Midi in Aude, southern France which runs from the Canal du Midi through Narbonne and on to the Mediterranean. It is made up of three waterways: the first 5.1 kilometres (3.2 mi) is the Canal de Jonction from the Canal du Midi to the Aude, the second section is 800 metres (2,625 ft) of the Aude itself and the third is the 31.6 kilometres (19.6 mi) Canal de la Robine which enters the Mediterranean at Port-la-Nouvelle. The La Nouvelle branch is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Canal du Midi and is managed by the French navigation authority, Voies navigables de France.
The Umayyad invasion of Gaul occurred in two phases in 719 and 732. Although the Umayyads secured control of Septimania, their incursions beyond this into the Loire and Rhône valleys failed. By 759 they had lost Septimania to the Christian Franks, but would return in the 10th century to establish Fraxinet based in Provence.
Marseille, France was originally founded circa 600 BC as the Greek colony of Massalia and populated by Greeks from Phocaea. It became the preeminent Greek polis in the Hellenized region of southern Gaul. The city-state allied with the Roman Republic against Carthage during the Second Punic War, retaining its independence and commercial empire throughout the western Mediterranean even as Rome expanded into Western Europe and North Africa. However, the city lost its independence following the Roman Siege of Massilia in 49 BC, during Caesar's Civil War, in which Massalia sided with the exiled faction at war with Julius Caesar.