Béziers bāzyā´ [key], city (1990 pop. 72,362), Hérault dept., S France, in Languedoc. A communications and industrial center with an important trade in wines and liqueurs, it has ironworks, breweries, and factories making a great variety of products. An episcopal see from the 4th cent. to 1802, Béziers was involved in numerous religious wars. During the Albigensian crusade (see under Albigenses ) it was taken (1209) by Simon de Montfort; a horrible massacre followed. Béziers has a noted cathedral (13th–14th cent.) and some old churches.
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