"A young city, only 350 years old" Top 5 Page for this destination Sète by JLBG

Sète Travel Guide: 72 reviews and 207 photos

Sète (Seta in Occitan) is one of the main harbors of the French coast on the Mediterranean. It is the main harbor on the Languedoc coast. It has 43,000 inhabitants.

In France, most towns have a long history and the location have been inhabited long before it became a town. Not so in Sète. The city was created by the will of king of France Louis XIV (the sun king) in 1666. The king had required his Prime Minister Colbert to find a roadstead for the Royal galleys with a harbor that would be able to export the products of Languedoc. At the same time, Paul Riquet, was drawing the plans to build the ?Canal Royal en Languedoc? (later renamed ?Canal du Midi?), in order to connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean sea. Chevalier de Clerville was made in charge by Colbert to find the best place. Clerville identified the cape of Sète as the place that would fulfill the best these various needs. The ?môle Saint Louis? (Saint Louis breakwater) [Louis IX, king of France is better known as ?Saint Louis?], a 650 meters breakwater, was first built and is still standing and protecting the old harbor.

Sète stands on a narrow strip of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the ?Étang de Thau?/?Bassin de Thau? (both names are used), a coastal lake and topped by Mont Saint Clair, a 175 meters hill. Actually, this strip of land is made of several islands separated by narrow canals.

  • Last visit to Sète: Nov 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (26)

Comments (3)

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Jan 13, 2010 at 1:37 AM

    I think the king of France Louis XIV found a proper place for the harbor. Glad to know there is information in Russian in the Tourist-office! I guess it's because of many Russians who spend their holidays in Sete.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 9, 2010 at 6:16 AM

    Another very interesting new page with detailed information on some of the (relatively) old buildings. I never knew that Sète was such a young city. Also I never realized that Paul Valéry and Georges Brassens both were born in Sète.

  • Basaic's Profile Photo
    Jan 5, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    Very interesting page. I especially liked the Canal Royale photos.


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