- Beaucaire, Gard
View down into Beaucaire and the marina from the bridge leading to Tarascon
alt moy=18 m
alt maxi=156 m
Beaucaire is located on the
Rhône River, opposite the town of Tarascon, which is in Bouches-du-Rhônedepartment of Provence.
* Mediaeval castle
Abbey of Saint-Roman("Abbaye de Saint-Roman"), a cave monastery[http://www.abbaye-saint-roman.com/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=2]
History & Culture
*"Beau" < French "beau" ('Beautiful') < Occitan "bel" ('Beautiful') <
Vulgar LatinBELLV ('Beautiful')
*"Caire" < Occitan "caire" ('Cut stone or rock') [in French "pierre de taille"] [http://www.chez.com/lengadoc/lexic_medieval.htm (1)] .
There is a village in the "département" of
Audecalled Belcaire.Moreover, the most similar language to Occitan is Catalan, and there are two towns in nearby Cataloniacalled 'Bellcaire' (where "bell" means 'Beautiful' and "caire" means also "Cut stone or rock" in Catalan): Bellcaire d'Empordàand Bellcaire d'Urgell.
In Roman times, it was along the
Via Domitia, the first Roman roadbuilt in Gaul.
At the end of the
Hundred Years Warin 1453, Charles VII of Francedeclared that Beaucaire would become the site of the Foire de la Madeleine, a commercial fair that would enable the trade of goods from all of the Mediterranean Basincountries to all of France. By the mid 17th century, the Fair was the largest commercial fair in the Mediterranean region, exceeding in 6 days the total volume of trade done in Marseilles in 1 year. It remained the dominant Mediterranean trade fair until the arrival of the railroad in the mid 19th century and because Napoleonremoved its tax-free status. One result of these years of commercial dominance was the construction of a remarkable number of architecturally significant mansions and palaces by rich merchants of many nationalities. Camarguebulls are annually run through the streets, Iberian-style during the modern version of the Foire de la Madeleine, which is now a 6 day festival starting on July 21. Events include bull events, parties, amusement rides and discos.
From 20–22 June each year, Beaucaire celebrates the myth of the Drac.
The townsfolk bring the
monsterto life the form of a long procession, which snakes through the town led by a swarm of children carrying Chinese-type lanterns.
According to folklore, the Drac monster is invisible to humans and is capable of changing shape at will. He is usually, however, depicted as a large, fearsome, winged sea-serpent.The story goes that in 1250 he abducted a
lavenderseller and took her beneath the waters to raise his son. When she was released at the end of seven years, the young woman was endowed with a strange power: the ability to recognise the Drac with one of her eyes. One day, she recognised him as he was going about the marketin Beaucaire. Upon being identified, the Drac ripped the woman's eye out.
The Drac was then supposed to have gone on to kill over three thousand
knights and villagers, being perhaps one of the craftiest of all French dragons. Most of the kills were performed in Beaucaire. Sometimes, however, the dragon would search for other victims elsewhere.
Whole armies were allegedly sent against the Drac, but all failed. The beast is thus assumed either to have died of old age, or to be still living at the bottom of the Rhône.
There are variations on the story. Some say lavender seller got her dragon-sight by accidentally getting 'Dragon cream' in her eye. Others say the Drac gave her a box of human fat to rub into the hatchling's scales so that it would be visible to humans (otherwise she would not be able to care for it). She was supposed to clean the fat off her hands every evening with special water; but, one evening, she forgot to do so, rubbed her eyes with her dirty hands, and acquired her dragon-sight. Some say it was both eyes, or just the one. Still other versions confuse this beast with other monsters of regional folklore, and claim the Drac was slain by some saint or heroine.
The date above conflicts a little with the account we have by an eminent inhabitant of
Arles, Gervais de Tibury, who was passing through Beaucaire in 1214. He said he was astonished by what the villagers told him. They claimed that the deaths of a fair number of people in the waters of the Rhône were due to a dragon who lived in the river, and who had previously emerged, a many years before. The legend was perpetuated by Frédéric Mistralin his "Poèmes du Rhône", where he tells of a hybrid monster, dwelling in the river and coming out from time to time to feed on human flesh: lavender-sellers, ferrymen or others who strayed to close to the water's edge. The invisible Drac would sometimes use a passage from the waters of the Rhône to a well in the marketplace in order to come out and walk among the townsfolk.
Beaucaire was the birthplace of
François de Rovérié de Cabrières(1830-1921), prelateof the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop of Montpellier.
Canal du Rhône à Sète
Costières de Nîmes AOC
Communes of the Gard department
* http://www.beaucaire.fr/ — Town's official website (in French)
* http://www.ot-beaucaire.fr/ — Local Tourist Office (in French, English & Catalan)
* http://www.abbaye-saint-roman.com/ — Troglodyte abbey (in French)
* http://www.tourelles.com/ — Classical wines and reconstitutions of Roman cellar and wines (in French and English)
* http://www.mybeaucaire.com/environs.html — Description of the area in and around Beaucaire
* http://www.fodors.com/wire/archives/001216.cfm — Fodor's "Overlooked and Underrated" Beaucaire, France
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Look at other dictionaries:
Beaucaire (Gard) — Beaucaire … Deutsch Wikipedia
Beaucaire (Gard) — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Beaucaire Bèucaire … Wikipedia Español
Beaucaire (Gard) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Beaucaire. 43° 48′ 29″ N 4° 38′ 39″ E … Wikipédia en Français
Beaucaire — ist: eine französische Gemeinde im Département Gard, siehe Beaucaire (Gard) eine französische Gemeinde im Département Gers, siehe Beaucaire (Gers) ein französischer Kanton im Département Gard, siehe Kanton Beaucaire Beaucaire ist der Familienname … Deutsch Wikipedia
Beaucaire — is the name of several communes in France:* Beaucaire, Gard, in the Gard department * Beaucaire, Gers, in the Gers department … Wikipedia
Gard (Fluss) — Vorlage:Infobox Fluss/DGWK fehltVorlage:Infobox Fluss/MÜNDUNGSHÖHE fehltVorlage:Infobox Fluss/EINZUGSGEBIET fehltVorlage:Infobox Fluss/ABFLUSS fehltVorlage:Infobox Fluss/KARTE fehlt Gardon Der Gardon bei Coll … Deutsch Wikipedia
Gard (département) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Gardon (rivière). Gard … Wikipédia en Français
Beaucaire — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El término Beaucaire puede referirse a: Beaucaire, comuna francesa situada en Gard. Beaucaire, comuna francesa situada en Gers. Obtenido de Beaucaire Categoría: Wikipedia:Desambiguación … Wikipedia Español
Gard — (spr. Gahr), 1) Fluß im südöstlichen Frankreich, entspringt im NW. des gleichnamigen Departements auf den Sevennen in den zwei Quellenflüssen Gardon d Allais u. Gardon d Anduze, die sich unweit Vezenobre vereinigen; nimmt den Alais auf u. mündet… … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Gard — [gaːr], 1) der, rechter Nebenfluss der Rhône, Südfrankreich, 133 km lang, kommt in mehreren Quellflüssen, die sich südlich von Alès vereinigen, aus den Cevennen, mündet bei Beaucaire. Zwischen Nîmes und Avignon wird das Gardtal vom Pont du… … Universal-Lexikon