Monday, August 8th

Today, determined to make up for lost time, we journeyed to Minerve….an ancient village perched atop a high peninsula formed by the rivers Cesse and Brian far below.

It has a sad and tragic history.  In 1210, during the Albigensian Crusade, a group of Cathars were given refuge within it’s sturdy walls.  The Pope’s army, led by Simon de Montfort, laid seige to the village.  The seige went on for weeks….until the town’s water supply was destroyed by a carefully placed catapult.  The Viscount of Minerve negotiated a surrender….the villagers were saved but the Cathars refused to renounce their faith and were burned at the stake.

From this inauspicious past, a serene village has emerged.  Minerve is now one of  “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” (The Most Beautiful Villages in France).

Only villagers are allowed to drive in, so you have to walk in….either on a breathtaking viaduct near the highway or a winding path above the village.

Artisan shops, restaurants, wineries and museums line it’s narrow alleyways.

 

Stone steps lead hikers down to the dramatic scenery below.

It is, indeed, a beautiful village.

“If the freedom of religion, guaranteed to us by law in theory, can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, then and only then will truth prevail over fanaticism.”  ~ Thomas Jefferson

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About Languedoc Lady

I'm a newly retired woman from California getting ready to spend a year (or more) with my husband living the good life in Languedoc in the southwest of France.
This entry was posted in Canal du Midi, France, Retirement, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

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