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History

Pierre-Paul Riquet, Baron of Bonrepos, Collector General of Salt Tax & inventor of the Canal du Midi

Pierre-Paul Riquet was born in Béziers on 29 June 1604 or 1609, a date still disputed amongst historians. Coming from an upper class bourgeois family, his father, Guillaume Riquet, had been a lawyer then an attorney to the Royal Court at Béziers. Being young and adventurous, Pierre-Paul Riquet quickly showed an interest in science and mathematics...
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The Chateau of Bonrepos Riquet and the origins of the Canal du Midi

In 1652 Pierre-Paul Riquet, wealthy from his position as deputy chief salt tax collector in the Languedoc, acquired the ancient chateau of Bonrepos, fortified in the 16th Century. He needed all his negotiating skills to obtain the run down property from the owner in full and in perpetuity. Riquet began by rebuilding outer defence walls and befriending the local population...
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The Riquets of Bonrepos and management of the Canal du Midi (18th & 19th Centuries)

Riquet’s premature death presented a tricky situation for the Canal and left his children with a difficult dilemma: an unfinished canal, heavy construction debts and a complicated inheritance situation. His sons, Jean-Mathias (1638-1714) and Pierre-Paul II (1646-1730) energetically set about completing their late father’s project…
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Description of the Chateau of Bonrepos-Riquet

Rebuilt between 1654 and 1666, the Chateau today is surrounded by 29 hectares comprising a formal garden and a huge tree-filled parkland.
Upon the instructions of Pierre-Paul Riquet, Isaac Roux, a builder from Revel, erected the new edifice on the remains of the ancient fortress.
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Undertaking of the Canal du Midi

The Royal Canal of the Languedoc or Canal du Midi is a man-made waterway, excavated in the 17thC in order to link the Mediterranean with the Atlantic Ocean. Constructed between 1667 and 1681 under the supervision of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the Canal du Midi was a remarkable feat of engineering and was considered by those of the period as the largest worksite during the reign of Louis XIV…
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