Les Allées Paul Riquet were built in 1827, by filling in the ditches of the old ramparts (they surrounded the city until the 17th century).
Les Allées was, and remains, the place par excellence for Biterroise wanderings: if only to enjoy the colors of the flower market on Friday mornings.
At the northern tip is the municipal theatre. At the southern tip, the entrance to the Plateau des Poètes, and in the middle, the statue of Paul Riquet (sculpted by David d'Angers in 1838), creator of the Canal du Midi. Paul faces the place Jean-Jaurès, formerly "place de la citadelle", where stood the fortified castle of Viscount Trencavel, suzerain of Béziers.
The Alleys also mark the border between the ancient, medieval and classical town; and the "new town" which developed from the middle of the 19th century, with the great wine-growing prosperity.
Locks & the Canal du Midi
The Canal du Midi has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1996. Just like the 9 locks of Fonseranes in Béziers, a major work of art on the Canal du Midi, also classified as a Historic Monument in 1996.
So many distinctions have many reasons for being. The first is aesthetic: the Canal du Midi is beautiful, its surroundings majestic. And then, it constituted an engineering tour de force, created by the brain of Biterrois Pierre-Paul Riquet, and the arms of some 12,000 workers.
Finally, the Canal du Midi remains a major component of local identity, as much as it was a tool for economic development (agriculture, viticulture, freight transport, etc.). The communes of the agglomeration he crosses (Béziers, Villeneuve-lès-Béziers, Cers) show him an unwavering attachment every day: on the canal or on its banks we walk, we sail... we live.
But also ...
The Arena of Béziers built in 1897, the Saint-Nazaire Cathedral and the Garden of the Bishops, the Old Bridge and the Amphitheatre, the Ancient Arenas, the Allées Paul Riquet and the municipal theatre, the Garden of the Poets...
And if you continue to advance in our Biterroise lands, you will be able to discover other treasures: the town of Molière - Pézenas, the Etang de Thau, the Gorges d'Héric, the Cirque de Navacelles, the Abbey of Valmagne, the Pic Saint-Loup, the city of Carcassonne, the Camargue...