Coordinates: 43°18′39″N 3°28′33″E / 43.3108°N 3.4758°E / 43.3108; 3.4758
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Hotel la Galiote in front of the cathedral
Hotel la Galiote in front of the cathedral
Coat of arms of Agde
Location of Agde
Agde is located in France
Agde is located in Occitanie
Coordinates: 43°18′39″N 3°28′33″E / 43.3108°N 3.4758°E / 43.3108; 3.4758
IntercommunalityCA Hérault Méditerranée
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Gilles d'Ettore[1]
50.81 km2 (19.62 sq mi)
 • Density570/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Agathois.e (French)
dagdenc.a, agatenc.a (Occitan)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
34003 /34300
Elevation0–110 m (0–361 ft)
(avg. 5 m or 16 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Agde (French pronunciation: [aɡd(ə)]; Occitan: [ˈadde, ˈate]) is a commune in the Hérault department in Southern France. It is the Mediterranean port of the Canal du Midi.


Saint-Joseph Bridge over the Canal du Midi
Château Laurens and the river Hérault

Agde is located on the Hérault river, 4 kilometres (2 miles) from the Mediterranean Sea, and 750 kilometres (466 miles) from Paris. The Canal du Midi connects to the Hérault river at the Agde Round Lock ("L'Écluse Ronde d'Agde") just north of Agde, and the Hérault flows into the Mediterranean at Le Grau d'Agde. Agde station has high speed rail connections to Paris and Perpignan, and regional services to Narbonne, Montpellier and Avignon.


Fountain of the Republic in town centre
Town centre, pedestrian area


Agde (525 BCE) is one of the oldest towns in France, after Béziers (575 BCE) and Marseille (600 BCE).[3] Agde (Agathe Tyche, "good fortune") was a 5th-century BCE Greek colony settled by Phocaeans from Massilia. The Greek name was Agathe (Ancient Greek: Ἀγάθη).[4][5] The symbol of the city, the bronze Ephebe of Agde, of the 4th century BCE, recovered from the fluvial sands of the Hérault, was joined in December 2001 by two Early Imperial Roman bronzes, of a child and of Eros, which had possibly been on their way to a villa in Gallia Narbonensis when they were lost in a shipwreck.


Maréchaux Bridge and the Hérault River

In the history of Roman Catholicism in France, the Council of Agde was held 10 September 506 at Agde, under the presidency of Caesarius of Arles. It was attended by thirty-five bishops, and its forty-seven genuine canons dealt "with ecclesiastical discipline". One of its canons (the seventh), forbidding ecclesiastics to sell or alienate the property of the church from which they derived their living, seems to be the earliest mention of the later system of benefices.[6][7]


Agde's inhabitants are called Agathois.

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 6,744—    
1800 6,744+0.00%
1806 7,639+2.10%
1821 7,726+0.08%
1831 8,202+0.60%
1836 8,230+0.07%
1841 8,251+0.05%
1846 8,884+1.49%
1851 9,115+0.51%
1856 9,439+0.70%
1861 9,747+0.64%
1866 9,586−0.33%
1872 8,829−1.36%
1876 8,251−1.68%
1881 8,170−0.20%
1886 8,446+0.67%
1891 7,389−2.64%
1896 8,478+2.79%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 9,533+2.37%
1906 8,435−2.42%
1911 9,265+1.89%
1921 8,325−1.06%
1926 9,360+2.37%
1931 9,605+0.52%
1936 9,242−0.77%
1946 7,592−1.95%
1954 7,897+0.49%
1962 8,751+1.29%
1968 10,184+2.56%
1975 11,605+1.88%
1982 13,107+1.75%
1990 17,583+3.74%
1999 19,988+1.43%
2007 21,104+0.68%
2012 24,651+3.16%
2017 28,609+3.02%
Source: EHESS[8] and INSEE (1968-2017)[9]


Amphitrite in the place de la Marine at the river, by Léon François Chervet[10]

Agde is known for the distinctive black basalt used in local buildings such as the cathedral of Saint Stephen, built in the 12th century to replace a 9th-century Carolingian edifice built on the foundations of a fifth-century Roman church.

Bishop Guillaume fortified the cathedral's precincts and provided it with a 35-metre donjon (keep). The Romanesque cloister of the cathedral was demolished in 1857.

Jewish community[edit]

It is assumed that a Jewish community was established in the town around the sixth century AD. During the Council of Agde, assembled by the Catholic church in 506 AD, Christian laymen and ecclesiastics were prohibited from eating with Jews or hosting them. This prohibition suggests that the town Jews held good relations with their town neighbours. It is also assumed that the Jewish community was never large, since it did not own a cemetery and buried their dead in Béziers, three miles away.[11]

The Jewish name of the city was Agdi, or Akdi (אגדי).[12] During World War II, about two thousand Jews from Germany and Austria were sent to a labour camp near the town; most were deported on 24 August 1942.[13]

River Hérault panorama

Sport and leisure[edit]

Agde has a football club RCO Agde who play at the Stade Louis Sanguin.[14] They currently play in the Championnat de France amateur 2.

Agde also has a rugby club, Rugby Olympique Agathois (ROA), who play in the French Federale 1 competition.

Twin towns - sister cities[edit]

Town State/Region Country
Antequera  Andalusia  Spain[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires" (in French)., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises. 4 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ Ludovic Trabuchet. "Des révélations sur le passé grec de Béziers". Archived from the original on 15 March 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  4. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica, §A11.1
  5. ^ Pseudo Scymnus or Pausanias of Damascus, Circuit of the Earth, § 208
  6. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Council of Agde". Archived from the original on 29 October 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
  7. ^ "Medieval Sourcebook: Council of Agde: Concerning Slaves of the Church, 506". Archived from the original on 31 March 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
  8. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Agde, EHESS (in French).
  9. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  10. ^ The sculpture rebaptised Amphitrite formerly stood on the façade of the Palais du Trocadéro, built for the Exposition Universelle (1878) and demolished to make way for the Exposition of 1937. She was preserved and offered to the city, where she now symbolizes Agde's maritime vocation. Base Palissy: Statue : Amphitrite, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French)
  11. ^ "AGDE -". Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  12. ^ Agde - Encyclopaedia Judaica |
  13. ^ "- Gale - Enter Product Login".
  14. ^ "France - RC Olympique Agathois - Results, fixtures, squad, statistics, photos, videos and news - Soccerway".
  15. ^ "Spanish local corporations twinned with Europe". Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces. Retrieved 30 October 2009.

External links[edit]