Lunel (French pronunciation: [lynɛl]; Provençal: Lunèl) is a commune in the Hérault department in southern France. According to legend, Lunel was founded by Jews from Jericho in the first century. It had a Jewish population by the first millennium, and an ancient synagogue is located there.
|Intercommunality||Pays de Lunel|
|• Mayor (2020–2026)||Pierre Soujol|
|23.90 km2 (9.23 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,100/km2 (2,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||2–53 m (6.6–173.9 ft)|
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Lunel was a centre of Jewish learning. It is thought that the family of Rashi (1040–1105), the great Rabbi and commentator, originated in Lunel. Other scholars include Jonathan of Lunel, Meshullam ben Jacob of Lunel, his son Aaron ben Meshullam ben Jacob of Lunel, Abraham ben David who taught in Lunel before moving to Posquières, and Asher ben Meshullam of Lunel.
Lunel was the birthplace of Louis Feuillade (1873–1925), film director from the silent era. The artist Jean Hugo (1894-1984) lived in the Lunel area for most of his life and painted scenes from the surrounding countryside. The Parc Jean Hugo in the centre of the town was named after him.
Since the 20th century, the town has been a destination for Muslim immigrants from Algeria and other parts of North Africa. In 2015 the New York Times reported that 10% of all the French people killed fighting in Syria for ISIS came from Lunel.
|Source: EHESS and INSEE (1968-2017)|
- "Répertoire national des élus: les maires". data.gouv.fr, Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 2 December 2020.
- "Populations légales 2019". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2021.
- Farber, J.B. (2013). The Pope's Jews in Provence: Itineraries. Arles: Editions Actes Sud. ISBN 2330018975.
- "A French Town Linked to Jihad Asks Itself Why", New York Times, January 2015
- Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Lunel, EHESS. (in French)
- Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
- Official website (in French)