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Coat of Arms of Hérault
Location of Hérault in France
Department number: 34
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Prefecture: Montpellier
Subprefectures: Béziers
Arrondissements: 3
Cantons: 49
Communes: 343
President of the General Council: André Vezinhet
Population Ranked 22nd
 -1999 896,441
Population density: 147/km2
Land area¹: 6101 km2
¹ French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2.

Hérault (Occitan: Erau) is a department in the south of France named after the Hérault river.



Hérault is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from part of the former province of Languedoc.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the wine-growing region was devastated, and thousands of workers revolted. This revolt was suppressed very harshly by the government of Georges Clemenceau.

The catastrophic frost of the winter of 1956 damaged the olive trees, and the olive-growing regions did not recover until 1980. Many of the olive-industry co-ops closed.


Hérault is part of the current region of Languedoc-Roussillon and is surrounded by the departments of Aude, Tarn, Aveyron, Gard, and the Mediterranean Sea (Gulf of Lion) on the south.

The department is very geographically diverse, with beaches in the south, the Cévennes mountains in the north, and agricultural land in between.

The important rivers are:

The area of Hérault near the town of Lodève is an antipode point with Chatham Island, off the east coast of New Zealand.


Early depiction of Jesus Christ on a sarcophagus, Herault, France, 6th century. Louvre Museum.

The average daytime temperature is around 25-30 degrees Celsius in July and August and 8-10 degrees Celsius in December and January.


The President of the General Council is André Vezinhet of the Socialist Party.

Party seats
Socialist Party 31
Miscellaneous Left 6
Union for a Popular Movement 5
French Communist Party 3
Miscellaneous Right 3
Hunting, Fishing, Nature, Tradition 1


The inhabitants of the department are called Héraultais.


Montpellier hosts the following festivals:

  • Saperlipopette, voilà Enfantillages !
  • Printemps des Comédiens
  • Festival du Cinéma Méditerranéen
  • Comédie du Livre
  • Festival Radio-France Montpellier
  • Festival Montpellier Danse

The Canal du Midi has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.


The Mediterranean beaches are a major attraction, as well as the caves of Clamouse and Demoiselles.

Part of Cap d'Agde is a major nudist resort.

Cruising along the Canal du Midi and walking or cycling along the tow paths is a popular holiday option.

See also

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Hérault is a department in Languedoc-Roussillon, France.

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