View of Agen from heights
View of Agen from heights
Flag of Agen
Coat of arms of Agen
Location of Agen
Agen is located in France
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Agen is located in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
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Coordinates: 44°12′18″N 0°37′16″E / 44.2049°N 0.6212°E / 44.2049; 0.6212Coordinates: 44°12′18″N 0°37′16″E / 44.2049°N 0.6212°E / 44.2049; 0.6212
Country France
Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Department Lot-et-Garonne
Arrondissement Agen
Canton Agen-1, Agen-2, Agen-3, Agen-4
Intercommunality Agglomération d'Agen
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Jean Dionis du Séjour[1]
11.49 km2 (4.44 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2018)[2]
 • Density 2,900/km2 (7,400/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
47001 /47000
Elevation 37–162 m (121–531 ft)
(avg. 48 m or 157 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

The commune of Agen (French: [aʒɛ̃], locally [aˈʒɛŋ]; Occitan: [aˈdʒen]) is the prefecture of the Lot-et-Garonne department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, southwestern France. It lies on the river Garonne 135 kilometres (84 miles) southeast of Bordeaux.


The city of Agen lies in the southwestern department of Lot-et-Garonne in the Aquitaine region. The city centre lies on the east bank of the river Garonne close to the Canal de Garonne, approximately halfway between Bordeaux (132 km, 82 mi) and Toulouse (107 km, 66 mi).


Agen features an oceanic climate (Cfb), in the Köppen climate classification. Winters are mild and feature cool to cold temperatures while summers are mild and warm. Rainfall is spread equally throughout the year; however, most sunshine hours are from March–September.


From Occitan Agen (1197), itself from Latin Aginnum (3rd century Itinéraire d'Antonin), from a Celtic root agin- meaning "rock or height".[7]


Alphonse, Count of Poitiers and Count of Toulouse, recognized the autonomy of the commune of Agen. In this illustration he takes an oath before the consuls with his right hand on the town ordinances, while sitting on a pedestal. The consul administering the oath is forced to go on his knees, symbolizing Alphonse's lordship and the town's loyalty.
Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1793 19,639 —    
1800 9,876 −9.35%
1806 10,850 +1.58%
1821 11,659 +0.48%
1831 12,631 +0.80%
1836 13,399 +1.19%
1841 14,987 +2.27%
1846 15,517 +0.70%
1851 16,027 +0.65%
1856 17,667 +1.97%
1861 17,263 −0.46%
1866 18,222 +1.09%
1872 18,887 +0.60%
1876 19,503 +0.81%
1881 20,485 +0.99%
1886 22,055 +1.49%
1891 23,234 +1.05%
1896 22,730 −0.44%
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1901 22,482 −0.22%
1906 23,141 +0.58%
1911 23,294 +0.13%
1921 23,391 +0.04%
1926 23,530 +0.12%
1931 24,939 +1.17%
1936 27,152 +1.71%
1946 33,397 +2.09%
1954 32,593 −0.30%
1962 32,800 +0.08%
1968 34,949 +1.06%
1975 34,039 −0.38%
1982 31,593 −1.06%
1990 30,553 −0.42%
1999 30,170 −0.14%
2007 33,863 +1.45%
2012 33,730 −0.08%
2017 33,576 −0.09%
Source: EHESS[8] and INSEE (1968-2017)[9]


The town has a higher level of unemployment than the national average. Major employers include the pharmaceutical factory UPSA.


The old centre of town contains a number of medieval buildings.

The twelfth century Agen Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Caprasius, is one of the few large churches in France with a double nave, a regional trait also found in the Church of the Jacobins in nearby Toulouse.

The Saint Hilaire church, dedicated to the theme of the Holy Trinity which the Saint in question did a lot to defend, is notable for its unusual statues in front of the Church – Moses on the right, and St Peter on the left.

The Fine Arts museum, Musée des Beaux Arts contains artefacts, furniture and sculptures from prehistoric times onwards. The art gallery contains several hundred works, including several by Goya, and others by Bonnard and Seurat. The collection also contains a large number of works by artists who lived locally. The museum is made up of twenty or so rooms.[10]

The Canal des Deux Mers, which joins the Mediterranean with the Atlantic, crosses the river Garonne at Agen via the town's famous canal bridge.

Colour photography pioneer

View of Agen, 1874-1876.
1877 - Agen showing the St. Caprais cathedral. Heliochrome (multilayer dichromated pigmented gelatin process). George Eastman House

Louis Arthur Ducos du Hauron (1837 – 1920), a pioneer of colour photography lived and worked in Agen. He developed practical processes for colour photography on the three-colour principle, using both additive and subtractive methods.[11][12][13] In 1868 he patented his ideas (French Patent No. 83061) and in 1869 he published them in Les couleurs en photographie, solution du problème.

The most widely reproduced of his surviving colour photographs is the View of Agen, an 1877 landscape, printed by the subtractive assembly method which he pioneered. Several different photographs of the view from his attic window, one dated 1874, also survive.


The municipal theatre "Théâtre Ducourneau" presents theatre, and occasionally classical concerts. The smaller "Théâtre du jour" has a resident theatre company presenting a variety of recent or older plays (Shakespeare, Beckett, as well as lesser known playwrights).

There are two cinemas, one a commercial multiscreened affair, the other an arts cinema run by a voluntary organization. The latter organizes film festivals every year.


Rugby is extremely popular in the town, and the local team, SU Agen, is enthusiastically supported. The town also serves as the base for the Team Lot-et-Garonne cycling team.


The Gare d'Agen connects Agen with Toulouse and Bordeaux as well as Périgueux. It is around an hour from Toulouse and around an hour from Bordeaux. The TGV train to Paris takes three hours and thirteen minutes with a stop in Bordeaux.

Agen is connected, by the A62 autoroute, to both Toulouse and Bordeaux.

The Agen Airport is serviced by Airlinair service to Paris Orly 6 days a week. It is also used for business and leisure flying.

Agen stands on the voie verte cycle path between the Mediterranean and close to Bordeaux.


Agen is the seat of a Roman Catholic diocese that comprises the Département of Lot and Garonne. It is a suffragan of the archdiocese of Bordeaux.

Twin towns – sister cities

Agen is twinned with:[14]

Notable people

As place of birth
As residence
  • Julius Caesar Scaliger In 1525 he became physician to Antonio della Rovera, bishop of Agen, and remained until his death in 1558.[15]
  • Nostradamus lived in Agen from 1531 until at least 1534. He was married to a local woman with whom he had two children.


Agen is the "capital of the prune", a local product consumed as a sweet, either stuffed with prune purée or in pastries, or as a dessert, e.g., prunes soaked in Armagnac, a type of brandy. On the last weekend of August, a prune festival comprises rock concerts, circus performances and prune tastings.

Jewish presence

The first Jews settled in the town in the twelfth century AD. They were expelled from the town in 1306. A number of Jews returned to the town in 1315, and a "Rue des Juifs" is documented ever since this period. In 1968, about 600 Jews lived in the town, though most of them had emigrated from North Africa.[citation needed] A Jewish synagogue still exists in the town.[16]

See also


  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires"., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 2 December 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2018". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2020.
  3. ^ "Données climatiques de la station de Agen" (in French). Meteo France. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Climat Aquitaine" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Agen (47)" (PDF). Fiche Climatologique: Statistiques 1981–2010 et records (in French). Meteo France. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 April 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Normes et records 1961-1990: Agen - La Garenne (47) - altitude 59m" (in French). Infoclimat. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  7. ^ Bénédicte Boyrie-Fénié, avec la collaboration d’André Bianchi, Pèire Boissière, Patrice Gentié et Maurice Romieu, Dictionnaire toponymique des communes du Lot-et-Garonne, Pau, Éditions Cairn, décembre 2012, 320 p. ( ISBN 978-2-35068-231-0), p. 41.
  8. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Agen, EHESS. (in French)
  9. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  10. ^ "Agen – Tourist Office – The History of Agen – Origins". Archived from the original on 5 May 2003. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
  11. ^ "Lumière Jubilee". Time. 18 November 1935. The idea was patented as early as 1864 [sic—actually 1868] by a now forgotten Frenchman named Louis Arthur Ducos du Hauron.
  12. ^ Solbert, Oscar N.; Beaumont, Newhall; Card, James G., eds. (April 1952). "Forgotten Pioneers IV: Louis Ducos Du Hauron (1837–1920)" (PDF). Image, Journal of Photography of George Eastman House. Rochester, N.Y.: International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House Inc. 1 (6): 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  13. ^ Dr. Carl Finch (1920). "Louis Arthur Ducos du Hauron, In Memoriam". Photo-Era, The American Journal of Photography. 45. New England Photo Era Publishing Company. pp. 281–282.
  14. ^ "Jumelages et coopérations". (in French). Agen. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  15. ^ Christie, Richard; Sandys, John (1911). "Scaliger" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 284–286.
  16. ^ "Synagogues in Agen, France:". Kosher Delight.

External links