Narbonne

From ancient times onward, fluvial, maritime and land routes have come together in the Narbonne region. In 118 BC, the Romans founded Narbo Martius, capital of Narbonensian Gaul. Subsequently, a huge port would develop, allowing both the merchant and military fleet to berth and inaugurating Narbonne and its region’s calling to become a commercial crossroads. At the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville (Town Square), right in the heart of this City of Art and History (http://www.narbonne-tourisme.com), one of the legacies of Roman Antiquity is on display: the Via Domitia. This ancient commercial road used to link Italy to Spain. It can be found at the foot of the monumental medieval architectural ensemble: the Palais des Archevêques (Archbishops’ Palace) (which houses both the Archeological and the Arts Museums) and the Saint Just Saint Pasteur cathedral.

La Jaqueton
Narbona, qu’es tan plan plaçat
entre la mar e la garriga,
produtz de tot a volontat :
l’òli, lo vin, lo mèl, la figa.
Son solelh d’òr ba fa tot bon,
es una vila conescuda.
Tu i demòras, Jaqueton,
Uèi, fa vint ans qu’i siás nascuda.
Jacqueline :

Narbonne, so nicely situated between the sea and the garrigue, produces huge quantities of a wide range of products: oil, wine, honey, figs. Its golden sun improving everything, this is a most famous city. You live there, Jacqueline, and you are now twenty years of age …

In the 17th Century, the construction of the Canal du Midi brought a new hope for prosperity. The la Robine canal (dug out in the former bed of the Aude river) joins the Canal du Midi through the junction canal at Gaillousty and crosses Narbonne, then meanders slowly amid the lagoons before reaching Port-la-Nouvelle and flowing into the sea.