Lunel's first settlement seems to have appeared around the year 1000. Written sources mention a Gaucelm lord in 1007, then a castrum in 1035. By the end of the 13th century, the town had more than 5,000 inhabitants. On the death of Rosselin Gaucelm, without a male heir, Lunel, a wealthy town with numerous salt granaries, passed into the hands of the King of France.

Lunel was home to a large Jewish community in the 13th century, which had apparently been established since the 12th century and had originally come from Spain. With no written record of this settlement, an unfounded legend arose in the 19th c., dating the town's creation to 68 A.D., by a Jewish community from Jericho. Although there are few archaeological remains attesting to this past, the importance of Lunel as a "little medieval Jerusalem" in the 12th and 13th centuries is undisputed, thanks to the settlement of an active Jewish intellectual community whose influence extended far beyond the region.


Templars, Carmelites, Capuchins and Franciscans left their mark on the town's history: the former chapel of the Soeurs de la Présentation, now the Salle Feuillade... Lunel was not exempt from the religious troubles that pitted Catholics against Protestants, as church and temple were destroyed in the 17th century.

At the crossroads of several land and river routes linking the Rhône to the southwest, Lunel's central position made it a hub of regional trade. Thanks to the completion of the canal and port in 1728, Lunel's trade enjoyed a century of prosperity, and the many mansions and townhouses to be found as you stroll through the town center bear witness to the town's past wealth.

Official town website:

Brochure: Lunel town center signage