Agde was a bishopric for 13 centuries
The district surrounding the Saint-Etienne Cathedral is a reminder of the age-old presence of bishops and of their power.
In 1173, Bishop Guillaume began the fortification of the Carolingian church built in the 9th Century. The cathedral is one of the region?s finest examples of a fortified Romanesque church: the keep, 35 metres high with walls 2 to 3 metres thick, crenellations and machicolations, make it an impregnable fortress. Inside, the German Baroque style organ was built in 1990.
The old town
This part of town developed from the 5th Century around the Saint-Sever and Saint-André churches. A stroll around the narrow streets will reveal houses with colourful frontages, tinged with Mediterranean influences. It is mainly a shopping district, with Les Halles (indoor market), Place Gambetta, Rue Montesquieu and Rue de l'Amour. The Agathois museum, in a Renaissance mansion in the Rue de la Fraternité, retraces Agde's history and traditions.
The church dates back to 1525 and was built on the site of the very first church built in Agde in the 5th Century. The Neo-gothic main door and the interior fittings and decorations are from the 19th Century. An archaeological dig carried out in 1987 revealed 5th and 6th Century burial places.
Built in 1499, the church was placed under the protection of Sever, a Syrian prince who came to Agde in the 5th Century. It is close to the ?Marine? district and is the fishermen?s church. Inside, there is a magnificent polychrome wood sculpture of Christ on the Cross, dating back to the 16th Century. Its origins are not clear, and a legend has grown up around it.