Alès

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Alès
Alès Cathedral
Coat of arms of Alès
Coat of arms
Location of Alès
Alès is located in France
Alès
Alès
Alès is located in Occitanie
Alès
Alès
Coordinates: 44°07′41″N 4°04′54″E / 44.1281°N 4.0817°E / 44.1281; 4.0817Coordinates: 44°07′41″N 4°04′54″E / 44.1281°N 4.0817°E / 44.1281; 4.0817
CountryFrance
RegionOccitanie
DepartmentGard
ArrondissementAlès
CantonAlès-1
Alès-2
Alès-3
IntercommunalityAlès Agglomération
Government
 • Mayor (2014-2020) Max Roustan
Area
1
23.16 km2 (8.94 sq mi)
Population
 (2016-01-01)[1]
41,129
 • Density1,800/km2 (4,600/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
30007 /30100
Elevation116–356 m (381–1,168 ft)
(avg. 150 m or 490 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Alès (French pronunciation: ​[a.lɛs]; Occitan: Alès) is a commune in the Gard department in the Occitanie region in southern France. It is one of the sub-prefectures of the department. It was formerly known as Alais.

Geography[edit]

Alès lies 40 kilometres (25 miles) north-northwest of Nîmes, on the left bank of the Gardon River, which half surrounds it. It is located at the foot of the Cévennes, near the Cévennes National Park.

History[edit]

Fountain

Alès may be the modern successor of Arisitum, where, in about 570, Sigebert, King of Austrasia, created a bishopric. In his campaign against the Visigoths, the Merovingian king Theudebert I (533–548) conquered part of the territory of the Diocese of Nîmes. His later successor Sigebert set up the new diocese, comprising fifteen parishes in the area controlled by the Franks, which included a number of towns to the north of the Cevenne: Alès, Le Vigan, Arre, Arrigas, Meyrueis, Saint-Jean-du-Gard, Anduze, and Vissec. The diocese disappeared in the 8th century with the conquest of the whole of Septimania by the Franks.[2][3] No longer a residential bishopric, Arisitum is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[4]

After the Edict of Nantes, Alès was one of the places de sûreté given to the Huguenots. Louis XIII took back the town in 1629, and the Peace of Alès, signed on 29 June of that year, suppressed the political privileges of the Protestants, while continuing to guarantee toleration.[5]

At the request of Louis XIV, a see was again created at Alais by Pope Innocent XII, in 1694. The future Cardinal de Bausset, Bossuet's biographer, was Bishop of Alais from 1784 to 1790.[5] It was suppressed after the French Revolution, and its territory was divided between the diocese of Avignon and the diocese of Mende.

Population[edit]

Historical population
YearPop.±%
200639,943—    
200740,108+0.4%
200840,520+1.0%
200941,432+2.3%
201041,205−0.5%
201140,851−0.9%
201241,031+0.4%
201340,711−0.8%
201439,993−1.8%
201539,535−1.1%
201639,970+1.1%

Economy[edit]

Alès is the center of a mining district and hosts the École des mines d'Alès.

Historically, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1911):

"The town is one of the most important markets for raw silk and cocoons in the south of France, and the Gardon supplies power to numerous silk-mills. It is also the centre of a mineral field, which yields large quantities of coal, iron, zinc and lead; its blast-furnaces, foundries, glass-works and engineering works afford employment to many workmen."[5]

Personalities[edit]

Statue of Pasteur

Pasteur did his research on the silkworm disease (pébrine and flacherie) at Alès, and the town dedicated a bust to his memory. There is also a statue of the chemist J.B. Dumas.[5] Alphonse Daudet was master study at the College of Ales and was written "le petit chose".[citation needed]

Sports[edit]

The town has one association football team called Olympique Alès who currently play in the Championnat National.

Former France and Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc was also born in Alès.

Morocco and UD Léganes voetballer Nabil el Zhar was also born in Alès.

Sights[edit]

Historically, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition:

"The streets are wide and its promenades and fine plane-trees make the town attractive; but the public buildings, the chief of which are the Saint-Jean-Baptiste cathedral, a heavy building of the 18th century, and the citadel, which serves as barracks and prison, are of small interest."[5]

Alès was the birthplace of:

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Alès is twinned with:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Populations légales 2016". INSEE. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. ^ Saltet, Louis (1902). L'évêché d'Arisitum. Bulletin de littérature ecclésiastique, publié par l'Institut Catholique de Toulouse (in French). 7–8. pp. 220–231.
  3. ^ Duchesne, Louis (1907). Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule (in French). I. Paris. pp. 316–317.
  4. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 839
  5. ^ a b c d e Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Alais" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 468.

External links[edit]