May 16, 2016

2555 FRANCE (Occitania) - Hérault Department

Located in southern France and named after the Hérault river, Hérault department was one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution in 1790. It is very geographically diverse, with beaches in the south, the Cévennes mountains in the north, and agricultural land in between. Its capital city is Montpellier, the third-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast after Marseille and Nice.

At the beginning of the 20th century, viticulture in the region was hit by a slump in sales combined with disease affecting the vines, which for an economy dominated by wine as the one of Hérault was devastating. The catastrophic frost of the winter of 1956 damaged the olive trees, and the olive-growing regions did not recover until the late 1980s. During the second half of the 20th century, the Montpellier basin underwent one of the most rapid population increases experienced anywhere in France, and even in Europe.

The Mediterranean beaches are a major attraction, as well as the caves of Clamouse and Demoiselles. Pézenas, former Royal city, has one of the oldest French "secteur sauvegardé", meaning an urban protected area. More than 30 mansions, with stone stairs, courtyards, decorated facades are located in a small perimete. Béziers is a traditional Languedoc city which expanded rapidly during the 19th century on the back of the regional wine trade.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the series The 60s, about which I wrote here

Hérault - Wikipedia

Sender 2555: Jean-Yves Gerlat
Sent from Sète ((Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées / France), on 21.01.2016

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