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750,000 years ago ...

a volcanic eruption leads to the formation of Mont Saint-Loup, the last link in the chain of volcanoes in Auvergne . Its two lava flows are at the origin of the basaltic hillock of the Cap d'Agde site and its cliffs . Cap d'Agde volcanic complex. Volcanic eruptions have occurred in the region at a geologically recent period, between −1,000,000 and −700,000 years; the traces of these eruptions are found in the surroundings at Vias, Portiragnes, Saint-Thibéry.

Mont Saint-Loup rises to 113 meters, it extends over approximately 15km². A former volcano whose eruption dates back 750,000 years, it gave the city of Agde its gray color and its basalt monuments. Saint-Loup cut the coast by creating islets, creeks, beaches and cliffs: exceptional landscapes with contrasting colors, which contain an abundant underwater life. 

Grande Conque beach, in the shape of a crossing, is the only black sand beach. The tip of its cliff rises to 21 mothers, it offers a clear view of Cap d'Agde, the coast and the sea.

It is at the mouth of the Hérault on the edge of a lagoon, at the foot of Mont Saint Loup, that populations of the Bronze Age (800 to 1000 years BC) settled: site de la Motte ( link1 - link2 - link3 (pdf) - link4 (video) -)

In the 2nd-1st centuries BC, numerous wine-growing farms developed in the Agathoise countryside. You can discover some vestiges of it such as for example the production site of millstones of Embonne ( link1 - link2 ) whose current name of Port Ambonne was inspired. See also the Saint-Michel du Bagnas amphora production site ( link )

Offshore, its basaltic islet of 2.72 hectares is the last submerged part of an ancient submarine volcano, 740,000 years old. A volcanic islet that was a real pirate haunt. In 1586, a first fort was built there under the order of the Vicomte de Joyeuse. In 1632, Louis XIII ordered the demolition of the port which was saved by Richelieu. But the cardinal's death in 1642 delayed the work, he resumed under the direction of Engineer Antoine Niquet, a pupil of Vauban. Between 1680 and 1852, Fort Brescou was used as a prison. The onslaught of time, swells and sea salt attacks lead to its closure in 2008, for security reasons.

Agde ...

is a city rich in 2,600 years of history, city of Greek origin with a maritime vocation, Agde, formerly called the “Good Fortune” (from the Greek “Agathé Tyché”), is installed on the banks of the Hérault and at the foot of the Mont Saint-Loup .
From the 5th century BC. JC, the Phocaeans (Greeks from Ionia), seduced by the strategic location of the place and the richness of its volcanic soil, founded a trading post at the mouth of the Hérault . Initially a simple trading post between Marseille and Spain, “Agathé Tyché” gradually became a flourishing and organized city, with its river port , its ramparts , its streets at right angles. In the 3rd century, the Celtic, Iberian and Ligurian peoples created within Agde a colorful civilization to which the Eastern Greeks brought culture and refinement. See the many remains found in Hérault and on the coast, including the famous statue of the Ephèbe. ( link1 -
 lien2 - l ien3 (essay on the development of Agde) - lien4 (idem) -)
Site of Notre Dame du Grau, it is in 990 that we have the first mention of a building housing the congregation of Benedictines attached to the abbey of Saint-Thibéry. ( link )

In the 5th century AD, Agde became the seat of a bishopric which lasted thirteen centuries. The vandals undermined it in 471, then it was the Visigoths' turn to hold it in their power until the end of the 7th century. From 714, the Moors invaded Gaul. The city was destroyed for the first time on the orders of Charles Martel, who pushed his advantage against the Muslims of southern Gaul to establish the Carolingian dynasty by force and arms. Agde, like Béziers, is delivered from the Moors, of course, but in ruins. In the middle of the 8th century, Agde becomes territory of the Frankish kingdom, in a county which extends from Béziers to Nîmes.
At the end of the 12th century, the Bishop of Agde bought back the loans from the city viscount and became lord of the County of Agde. Finally completed, the Saint-Etienne Cathedral is part of the city walls . The bishops remain the timeless and spiritual leaders of the city of Agde and its diocese until the Revolution.

In 1666, a royal edict authorized Baron Pierre-Paul Riquet to undertake the construction of the Canal du Midi in order to link the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. The opening of the Canal took place in 1681. At that time, the Hérault facilitated maritime traffic and the activity of the port of Agde reached its peak. This commercial activity brings wealth to the city which then endowed itself with numerous monuments and sumptuous mansions.
During the Revolution, an insurrection broke out in Agde. Under popular pressure, the Bishop of Agde, Monsignor of Saint-Simon, fled the city for Paris, where he was guillotined during the last days of the Terror. During the Revolution, Agde played a major role in supplying the French armies in the Pyrénées-Orientales and in Italy.

Agde topographic map ( link )

From its history born from the sea, the city of Agde now has 22,000 inhabitants (view 360) and developed towards:

- La Tamarissière ( right bank of the mouth of the Hérault)

It welcomes campers in summer but its extension is limited by the pine forest which is over two hundred years old and the adjoining ponds, the Clot, a listed natural heritage ( link )

- Le Grau d'Agde (left bank of the mouth of the Hérault )

This fishing village on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea became a place for swimming and a holiday village long before the urbanization of Cap d'Agde. It also includes a shipyard and artisanal fishing activity with auction open to the public. It is the gateway to the Canal du Midi for pleasure craft from the Mediterranean Sea.

- Cap d'Agde