Plunge into the heart of history and the unique maritime heritage of the “Agathois” coast. Nestled on the shore of the Mediterranean, in the golfe du Lion (Gulf of Lion), Agde was as famous during previous centuries for its maritime and commercial activities as it is today for its nautical and beach activities. Discover all about it!
A history anchored in maritime commerce and fishing.
A flourishing commercial port in 580 BC with the arrival of the Greeks from Phocaea, the city of Agde saw the development and diversification of its port activities over the centuries. During the 17th century, the cardinal Richelieu, convinced and charmed by the numerous strengths of Agde, decided to establish a large commercial port in the Gulf of Lion. And it was in the 18th century that the port reached its zenith, with its commercial activities and marine activities such as fishing and naval construction.
The construction of the Cap d’Agde has given a new dynamism to the ancient Greek city. Today, the Cap d’Agde is recognized by the “20th century Heritage" label for the architectural quality of its urban buildings and its indispensible Port.
If you look carefully, you will see that Agde remains strongly marked by its maritime history, with, for example, fishermen’s houses in the Marine quarter, and numerous mooring points along the quays.
The statue of Amphitrite, a strong maritime symbol
The statue of the Navigation, also called statue of Amphitrite, takes its name from the goddess of the sea. The statue, originally to be found on the Palais du Trocadéro (Paris), was installed in 1937 in the heart of the place de la Marine, turned towards the Mediterranean Sea. It has become the symbol of Adge’s maritime traditions.
Take a short trip by sea to the Brescou fort
Built in 1586, the Brescou Fort sits on a volcanic island in the Gulf of Lion, around 2 kilometres off the coast of the Cap d’Agde. Influenced by important historical events, the Fort has seen its appearance considerably evolve over the centuries.
Built during the religious wars, it was destroyed by order of Louis XIII before being rebuilt in 1680, following plans by Vauban. Reconstruction work from its ruins provided the base for the current Fort, which was used as a State prison during the 18th century. Closed in 1851, the Brescou Fort has become an essential witness to the fortification of the Languedoc-Roussillon coast.
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To discover the history of navigation along the “Agathois” coast, go to the Ephèbe and underwater archaeology museum. It contains true underwater treasures such as the Ephèbe of Agde, a Greek bronze from the Hellenistic period. In addition to this masterpiece, the museum has the largest French collection of antique bronzes found on-site. It is regularly enriched by exceptional discoveries, which enable you to truly appreciate the rich history of Agde, through its underwater archaeology.