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—  Region of France  —


Country France
Prefecture Montpellier
 - President Georges Frêche (PS)
 - Total 27,376 km2 (10,569.9 sq mi)
Population (2007-01-01)
 - Total 2,548,000
 Density 93.1/km2 (241.1/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
NUTS Region FR8

Languedoc-Roussillon (Occitan: Lengadòc-Rosselhon; Catalan: Llenguadoc-Rosselló) is one of the 26 regions of France. It comprises five departments, and borders the other French regions of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Rhône-Alpes, Auvergne, Midi-Pyrénées on the one side, and Spain, Andorra and the Mediterranean sea on the other side.



The region is made up of the following historical provinces:

  • 17.9% of Languedoc-Roussillon was formerly the province of Gévaudan: Lozère department. A small part of the former Gévaudan lies inside the current Auvergne region. Gévaudan is often considered to be a sub-province inside the province of Languedoc, in which case Languedoc would account for 86.6% of Languedoc-Roussillon.

Llívia is a town of Cerdanya, province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain, that forms a Spanish exclave surrounded by French territory (Pyrénées-Orientales département).


Former flag of Languedoc-Roussillon (before 2004).

At the regional elections in March 2004, the socialist mayor of Montpellier Georges Frêche, a maverick in French politics, conquered the region, defeating its center-right president. Since then, Georges Frêche has embarked on a complete overhaul of the region and its institutions. The flag of the region, which displayed the cross of Languedoc as well as the Flag of Roussillon (the "Senyera"), was changed for a new nondescript flag with no reference to the old provinces, except in terms of the colors (red and yellow), which are the colors of both Languedoc and all the territories from the former Crown of Aragon.

In the same spirit, Georges Frêche also wanted to change the name of the region, wishing to erase its duality (Languedoc vs. Roussillon) and strengthen its unity. Thus, he wanted to rename the region "Septimanie" (Septimania). Septimania was the name created by the Romans at the end of the Roman Empire for the coastal area corresponding quite well to present day Languedoc-Roussillon (including Roussillon, but not including Gévaudan), and used in the early Middle Ages for the area. This name, however, has not been in use since the 9th century, and it sounded quite odd to French people[citation needed]. A strong opposition of the population led to Georges Frêche giving up on his idea. He declared that he still believed in it but could not go ahead without a mandate.

Catalan nationalists in Roussillon would like the Pyrénées-Orientales department to secede from Languedoc-Roussillon and become a region in its own right, under the proposed name of "Catalunya Nord" (Northern Catalonia), but this has limited popular support.

On the other hand, in the current debate over the reform of French political divisions, in which some argue that there exist too many small regions in France, there are some who would like to merge the Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées regions, thus reunifying the old province of Languedoc, and creating a large region. It seems probable that Georges Frêche, with his idea of a "Septimanie" region, would not support such plans, although political leaders in Béziers, Narbonne, and especially Nîmes, would probably support such a merger, hostile as they are to Montpellier, which was chosen as the capital of Languedoc-Roussillon instead of their own city, and which they accuse of hegemony[citation needed].




Prior to the French Revolution, Occitan and Catalan were the dominant languages of the area.


Occitan literature — still sometimes called Provençal literature — is a body of texts written in Occitan in what is nowadays the South of France. It originated in the poetry of the eleventh- and twelfth- century troubadours, and inspired the rise of vernacular literature throughout medieval Europe.


Aimeric de Peguilhan, Giraut de Bornelh and Bertran de Born were major influences in troubadour composition, in the High Middle Ages. The troubadour tradition is associated with originating from the region.

The Romantic music composer Déodat de Séverac was born in the region, and, following his schooling in Paris, he returned to the region to compose. He sought to incorporate the music indigenous to the area in his compositions.


The Languedoc-Roussillon region is dominated by 740,300 acres (2,996 km2) of vineyards, three times the combined area of the vineyards in Bordeaux. The region has been an important winemaking centre for centuries. Grapevines are said to have existed in the South of France since the Pliocene period - before the existence of Homo sapiens. The first vineyards of Gaul developed around two towns: Béziers and Narbonne. The Mediterranean climate and plentiful land with soil ranging from rocky sand to thick clay was very suitable for the production of wine, and it is estimated that one in ten bottles of the world's wine was produced in this region during the 20th century (Robinson 1999:395). Despite this enormous quantity, the area's significance was often overlooked by scholarly publications and commercial journals, largely because very little of the wine being produced was classified under an appellation contrôlée until the 1980s (Joseph 2005:190).

Several entrepreneurs like Robert Skalli and James Herrick drastically changed the face of the region, planting more commercially viable grape varieties and pushing for new AOC classifications. While the AOC system has origins in the 15th century, the Languedoc-Roussillon has some appellations like the Cabardes which have only existed by law since 1999 (Joseph 2005:190).

The region is the largest contributor to the European Union's glut (dominance of supply over demand) of wine known as the wine lake.[citation needed]

Sud de France

The Languedoc-Roussillon region has adopted a marque to help market its products, in particular, but not limited to, wine. The 'Sud de France' (Southern France) marque was adopted in 2006[1] to help customers abroad not familiar with the Appellation system to recognise those wines that originated in the L-R area[2], but the marque is also used for other products, some of which include cheeses, olive oils and pies[3].

Major communities

See also

External links


  1. ^ The Independent - Sud de France - The Brand - 6 Dec 2008 (accessed 24/02/2009)
  2. ^ This French Life - Sud de France to highlight Languedoc Roussillon wines (accessed 24/02/2009)
  3. ^ The Independent - Sud de France Foods - 6 Dec 2008 (accessed 24/02/2009)

Coordinates: 43°40′N 3°10′E / 43.667°N 3.167°E / 43.667; 3.167

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : France : Southeastern France : Languedoc-Roussillon
Map of the Languedoc-Roussillon region
Map of the Languedoc-Roussillon region

Languedoc-Roussillon [1] is a large region of southern France with a long Mediterranean coastline that borders the French regions of Provence and Midi-Pyrenees, to the east and west respectively, and occupies the easternmost part of the French border with Spain to the south.



Other regions:

  • Pyrenees; In the south.
  • Côte Vermeille; In the south.
  • Cevennes - a fine area of wooded mountains, where the re-introduced griffon vulture can be seen. There is a great meteorological exhibition (free in the 90s and no mention of admission charge on its splendid website) [2]
  • Cirque de Navacelles an amazing cirque where the road almost unbelievably descends to a tiny village. [3]
  • Le Sidobre - Le Sidobre, just east of Castres, forms the westernmost extremity of the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut Languedoc.It is cut by deep river valleys and covered with marvellous woods. It renowned for its granite: huge boulders litter the woods, often carved by the millennia into fascinating shapes – Les Trois Fromages and l'Oie, for example.
  • Monts d'Espinouse - a beautiful range of relatively low mountains, wild and craggy with few paths, around the D14 from Olargues to Fraisse-sur-Agout. A small side road (to the left from the above direction) leads to the tiny pretty village of Douch, from which there is a good path to the summit of Mont Caroux, where you suddenly come across a great southern vista.
  • Gorges d'Héric[4] Apparently there is a narrow gauge railway connected with this. [5] Both websites are in French only.


Besides French, Catalan is also spoken in some areas.

Get around

Airports in Languedoc-Roussillon include Carcassonne and Perpignan, both of which RyanAir fly to.


The Charm of Languedoc Roussillon is captured in hundreds of villages, each with an unique character and individual charm. Predominantly a wine growing region, many villages are famous for excellent individual wines.


France's western Mediterranean coast is a hotbed of windsurfing. Gruissan, about 10km away from Narbonne on the coast, offers both sea and lake windsurfing options.


Meet the biggest wine field of the world ...In Languedoc-Roussillon region, vineyard is everywhere. Passion and tradition of vine, the vineyard and history of this region are one. Sunny area, wind to clean up vines, wine has in Languedoc-Roussillon the best land to express their typicals features.

Stay safe

There are many pick-pocketers in this area of France.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun


  1. A région of France.


  • Catalan: Llenguadoc-Rosselló


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