The magnificent Cathédrale St-Nazaire has been in its majestic position overlooking the Orb River since the 13th century, when it was rebuilt after the Albigensian crusade. Two austere fortified towers flank the enormous rosette window. To enter the stark interior, you can go through the cloister that eventually leads to the beautiful 14th-century gardens that belonged to the bishops, the Jardin des Evêques. The views of the river and the countryside beyond are captivating. The cathedral is open from 9am to 5:30pm in the summer and from 9am to noon and 2:30pm to 5:30pm in the winter; the cloister is open from 10am to 7pm May to September, and from 10am to noon and 2 to 5:30pm October to April.
Béziers pays homage to its favorite son, Canal du Midi inventor Pierre-Paul Riquet, with the allées Paul-Riquet, a long, tree-shaded esplanade on the edge of the old town. It's a pleasant place for a stroll past its many cafes, and it's also the bustling setting for the Friday morning market. At the bottom of the promenade is the romantic greenery of the Plateau des Poètes. Created in the 19th century in the "English" style, this tranquil spot offers cool lawns, mossy ponds, arbors, fountains, and sculptures.
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