Lengadòc-Rosselhon (Occitan)
Flag of Languedoc-Roussillon
Coat of arms of Languedoc-Roussillon
Official logo of Languedoc-Roussillon
Country France
 • PresidentDamien Alary (DVG)
 • Total27,376 km2 (10,570 sq mi)
 • Total2,700,266
 • Density99/km2 (260/sq mi)
 • Total€85.916 billion (2022)
 • Per capita€30,400 (2022)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeFR-K
NUTS RegionFR8

Languedoc-Roussillon (French pronunciation: [lɑ̃ɡ(ə)dɔk ʁusijɔ̃] ; Occitan: Lengadòc-Rosselhon [ˌleŋɡɔˈðɔk ruseˈʎu]; Catalan: Llenguadoc-Rosselló) is a former administrative region of France. On 1 January 2016, it joined with the region of Midi-Pyrénées to become Occitania.[2] It comprised five departments, and bordered the other French regions of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Rhône-Alpes, Auvergne, Midi-Pyrénées towards the north, and Spain, Andorra and the Mediterranean Sea towards the south. It was the southernmost region of mainland France.



The first part of the name of the province of Languedoc-Roussillon comes from the French langue d'oc ("language of oc"), and is also a historical region. In southern France, the word for yes was the Occitan language word oc. Prior to the 16th century, the central area of France was referred to as Languedoil, there the word for yes was oil in Old French, later becoming oui. These old place names referred to the areas where Occitan and Old French were spoken.[3] The Edict of Villers-Cotterets made French the official national language in 1539. Roussillon was the name of the medieval County of Roussillon.


Map of the Governments of Languedoc, Foix and Roussillon by Rigobert Bonne (1727–1795), Paris, circa 1783
The province of Languedoc within its 18th century limits and the current communes and departments.

Towards the end of the 3rd century BC, a Celtic people, the Volcae, took up residence in the region between the Rhône and the Garonne, from the Cévennes to the Pyrenees.[4][5] Their capitals were Toulouse[6] and Nîmes.[7]

They made a pact with the Romans from the 1st century BC. Narbonne was created to pacify the province in 118 BC and became the capital of the Narbonnaise.[8]

At the beginning of the 5th century, the Vandals invaded the province and then the Visigoths settled there. The Narbonne region, like the Iberian Peninsula, remained Visigothic until its conquest by the Moors between 719 (fall of Narbonne [fr])[9] and 725 (fall of Carcassonne and Nîmes).[10] Narbonne then became the capital of one of the five provinces of Al-Andalus led by a wali for nearly forty years.[11]

The region was conquered by Pépin the Short (fall of Narbonne in 759),[12] who made it the marquisate of Gothia, included in the kingdom of Aquitaine[13] created in 778. This vast territory encompassed all of the south of the Rhône to the Atlantic and was bequeathed by Charlemagne to his son Louis the Pious in 781.[8] The administration was entrusted to the counts of Toulouse.

During the feudal era, a great political fragmentation took place: the counties of Roussillon and Cerdanya passed into the orbit of the Crown of Aragon,[14] while Bas-Languedoc passed under the domination of the house of Trencavel and their rivals the counts of Toulouse.[15]

Raymond IV (1042–1115) achieved through marriage the objective of reunification by enlarging his state to the county of Rouergue, Nîmes, Narbonne, Gévaudan, Agde, Béziers and Uzès.[16]

The fight against Catharism and the Albigensian Crusade[17] led to the extinction of the dynasty of the Counts of Toulouse. The province was united to the Kingdom of France in 1271, with the exception of Montpellier, which remained under the influence of the House of Barcelona and then of Majorca, and which was not attached to the Kingdom of France until 1349. From there was born the royal Languedoc which persisted until the French Revolution.

The Treaty of Corbeil in 1258 ratified the division with the southern territories of the region.[18] The Corbières formed the border between the Kingdom of France and the Principality of Catalonia in the Crown of Aragon.[19]

In 1659, the Treaty of the Pyrenees led to the annexation of Roussillon and northern Cerdanya to the Kingdom of France.[20]



The region is experiencing the strongest demographic growth in France, and could have around 3,300,000 inhabitants by 2030,[21] an increase of 36% compared to 2000. This increase is mainly due to internal migration, natural increase being rather low.[22]

Pyrénées-Orientales has the largest proportion of elderly people (12.10% over 75). Gard and Hérault are the "youngest" departments, but they are destined to "age" considerably in the coming years. By 2020, the number of people aged over 75 is expected to increase by 12% across the region.



Catholicism is the most represented religion in the region, particularly at the level of historical monuments and associations.[citation needed] The Ecclesiastical Province of Montpellier (French: Province ecclésiastique de Montpellier) corresponds to the administrative region. The region has 16 cathedrals (Agde, Alès, Alet, Béziers, Carcassonne, Elne, Lodève, Maguelone, Mende, Montpellier, Narbonne, Nîmes, Perpignan, Saint-Papoul, Saint-Pons-de-Thomières, Uzès).

Protestantism is well represented in the region, especially in the Huguenot stronghold of the Cévennes. The Cévennes-Languedoc-Roussillon region of the United Protestant Church includes Gard, Lozère, Hérault, Aude, Pyrénées-Orientales as well as the eastern part of Aveyron.[23] It is an important region by its Protestant population (approximately 20,000 homes), but one of the least extensive of the United Protestant Church of France.[23] In addition to this majority church, the region has since the 19th century a variety of Free, Reformed Evangelical, Baptist, Methodist and Pentecostal churches.

Judaism has been present since the Middle Ages with significant communities fleeing the Almohads, in Narbonne and Béziers.[24] The Jews are thus cited in the will of William V of Montpellier.[25] Islam is also present at the same time.[26]

Catharism appeared in the region in the middle of the 12th century, in Aude.


Landscape in Lozère, Languedoc-Roussillon

The region is made up of the following historical provinces:

Landscape in Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon

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


Unofficial coat of arms of Languedoc-Roussillon

At the regional elections in March 2004, the socialist mayor of Montpellier Georges Frêche, defeated 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 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.

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.[27] 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), as part of the Països Catalans (Catalan Countries), a new country. [citation needed] This idea has minimal popular support.[citation needed]

On the other hand, 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]


Pont du Gard aqueduct near Nîmes



Prior to the 20th century, Occitan was the language spoken in Languedoc, and Catalan was the language spoken in Roussillon. Both have been under pressure from French. In 2004, research conducted by the Government of Catalonia showed that 65% of adults over the age of 15 in Roussillon could understand Catalan whereas 37% stated they were able to speak it.[28]

In recent years there have been attempts at reviving of both languages, including Catalan-medium schooling through the La Bressola schools.



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 considered to have originated in the region.

The Romantic music composer Déodat de Séverac was born in the region, and, following his schooling in Paris, 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 and the region has been an important winemaking centre for several 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 such as 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 Cabardès which have existed by law only 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.[29]

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[30] to help customers abroad not familiar with the Appellation system to recognise those wines that originated in the L-R area,[31] but the marque is also used for other products, including cheeses, olive oils and pies.[32]



Languedoc-Roussillon has been a major center of Rugby league in France since the sport was introduced to the country in the 1930s. The region is also home to the rugby union teams AS Béziers Hérault, RC Narbonne and USA Perpignan. Since the following years of the retirement of this region, the popularity has gone down.

Montpellier is home to Montpellier HSC, which was founded in 1974 and plays in the Ligue 1, the French top division. It won the French Championship after the 2011/12 season. Home matches are played at the Stade La Mosson, named after the area where it is located, with a capacity of 31,250. It was built in 1998.

Notable people










Major communities

Street in Montpellier

See also



  1. ^ "EU regions by GDP, Eurostat". Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  2. ^ Loi n° 2015-29 du 16 janvier 2015 relative à la délimitation des régions, aux élections régionales et départementales et modifiant le calendrier électoral (in French)
  3. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica - French language
  4. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Volcae". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 178.
  5. ^ "At the time of Hannibal's invasion of Italy, the Volcae had also possessions east of the Rhône" (Smith 1854); see Livy xxi. 26 and Strabo 203).
  6. ^ Ring, Trudy; Watson, Noelle; Schellinger, Paul (28 October 2013). Northern Europe: International Dictionary of Historic Places. Routledge. p. 730. ISBN 978-1-136-63944-9.
  7. ^ Roman, Danièle (1 January 1988). Des Volques Arécomiques à la colonie de Nîmes. Contribution à l'étude de la politique coloniale de Rome en Gaule méridionale (2eme siècle avant J. -C. -1er siècle après J. -C. ) (These de doctorat thesis). Paris 4.
  8. ^ a b Grand, Chantal (19 February 2016). Le douloureux passé de la Méditerranée: Histoire (in French). BoD - Books on Demand. p. 91. ISBN 978-2-8106-2854-4.
  9. ^ Sismondi, Jean Charles Léonard Simonde de (1842). Histoire de la Chute de L'émpire Romain Et Du Déclin de la Civilisation, de L'an 250 a L'an 1000 (in French). N.J. Gregoir. p. 59.
  10. ^ Ghazali, María (15 December 2009). "Introduction". Cahiers de la Méditerranée (in French) (79): 11–26. doi:10.4000/cdlm.4900. ISSN 0395-9317.
  11. ^ Schlama, Olivier (28 October 2017). "Chronique : Quand le Languedoc faisait partie du monde musulman". Dis-leur ! (in French). Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  12. ^ Graboïs, Aryeh (1973). "I. Une principauté juive dans la France du Midi à l'époque carolingienne ?". Annales du Midi. 85 (112): 192. doi:10.3406/anami.1973.4805.
  13. ^ Lauranson-Rosaz, Christian. “Les Guillelmides : une famille de l’aristocratie d’empire carolingienne dans le Midi de la Gaule (VIIIe-Xe siècles)”. Macé, Laurent. Entre histoire et épopée. Les Guillaume d’Orange (IXe-XIIIe siècles): Hommage à Claudie Amado. Toulouse: Presses universitaires du Midi, 2006. (pp. 45-81) Web.
  14. ^ Cayx, Charles; Poirson, Auguste (1840). Précis de l'histoire de France depuis les temps les plus anciens jusqu'à la révolution de 89: pour servir à l'enseignement dans les collèges royaux et les autres établissements d'instruction publique (in French). L. Colas. p. 33.
  15. ^ Débax, Hélène (27 February 2020), "Chapitre 6. Une principauté féodale au xiie siècle, l'exemple des Trencavel", La Féodalité languedocienne - xie-xiie siècles : Serments, hommages et fiefs dans le Languedoc des Trencavel, Tempus, Toulouse: Presses universitaires du Midi, pp. 269–325, ISBN 978-2-8107-0876-5, retrieved 6 April 2022
  16. ^ "Raimond IV dit Raimond de Saint-Gilles - LAROUSSE". (in French). Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  17. ^ Ducret, Alix (4 May 2016). "Le monde des Enfers". Archived from the original on 14 June 2021. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  18. ^ "Treaty of Corbeil | France [1258] | Britannica". Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  19. ^ Pala, Marc (2008). L'ancienne frontière: entre mythe et histoire, un espace de l'entre-deux (in French). Parc naturel régional de la Narbonnaise en Méditerranée. ISBN 978-2-9515804-5-9.
  20. ^ Universalis, Encyclopædia. "TRAITÉ DES PYRÉNÉES". Encyclopædia Universalis (in French). Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  21. ^ "Projections de population l'horizon 2030en Languedoc-Roussillon" (PDF). INSEE. 2007. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  22. ^ Degorre, Arnaud; Redor, Patrick (2007). "Enquêtes annuelles de recensement de 2004 à 2006" (PDF). INSEE. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  23. ^ a b "Histoire du protestantisme à Nîmes et dans le Gard". Eglise protestante unie de France (in French). Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  24. ^ Abitbol, Michel (2013). "6 - Les premiers pas du judaïsme ashkénaze". Histoire des Juifs (in French). Paris. p. 138. Retrieved 6 April 2022 – via book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  25. ^ "Les établissements juifs de Montpellier au Moyen Âge". (in French). Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  26. ^ Jomier, Jacques (1983). "Note sur les stèles funéraires arabes de Montpellier". Cahiers de Fanjeaux. 18 (1): 62–63. doi:10.3406/cafan.1983.1318. S2CID 192958122 – via Persée.
  27. ^ Historia. "La Septimanie sème la zizanie". Archived from the original on 23 July 2015.
  28. ^ "Enquesta d'usos lingüístics a la Catalunya Nord" (PDF). Generalitat de Catalunya, Secretaria de Política Lingüística. 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 January 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  29. ^ Parfitt, Trevor; Tommer, Yehonathan (July 1978). "Notes of the Month". The World Today. 34 (7): 245–251. JSTOR 40395057. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  30. ^ The Independent - Sud de France - The Brand - 6 December 2008 (accessed 24 February 2009)
  31. ^ This French Life - Sud de France to highlight Languedoc Roussillon wines (accessed 24 February 2009)
  32. ^ The Independent - Sud de France Foods - 6 December 2008 (accessed 24 February 2009)
  33. ^ "Musée Albert Bubout à Palavas-les-Flots - Museums - Palavas-les-Flots". Office de Tourisme de Palavas-les-flots. Retrieved 6 April 2022.

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