Thursday, June 20, 2013

Village lost in Time

Herault River, Languedoc, France, Saint Guilham le Desert
Cycling through the Herault River gorge in the Languedoc region of France, I came upon the ancient village of Saint Guilhem le-Desert.  Known as one of the most picturesque villages in France, it is a quiet home to 250 people. A number of artists have studios in the village.

Saint Guilhem, Toulouse, Charlemagne, Abbey of Gellone
Saint Guilhem, a former Count of Toulouse and cousin of Charlemagne, became a monk and founded the Abbey of Gellone in 806. The Romanesque-style apse can be seen in the center of the picture.

medieval, bridge, France
The entrance to the village is enchanting as you pass a medieval stone bridge.

Saint Guilhem le Desert, French village
Philippe and I got off our bikes to do some exploring. It was a cold late May morning with very few tourists.

ancient, traditional lace, France
I love the ancient windows and traditional lace.

village street, France, Saint Guilhem
A deserted street.

flowers, village, France
Flowers displayed everywhere show a village with a lot of pride.

ancient abbey, Abbey of Gellone, Romanesque
I’m on my way to tour the ancient abbey.

French bistro, Isaluc, 12th century, France
We found a charming little bistro for lunch. “Isaluc” is amazingly good with everything made on site in a kitchen which is about 2’ wide!

apple tart, 12th century building, French
I ordered an incredible fresh apple tart that was the best I’ve ever eaten! Isa and Luc live upstairs in the 12th century building.

abbey, stone cloisters, 19th century, New York City, Cloisters Museum
On the left you can see the ancient stone cloisters on the first floor of the abbey. In the 19th century the abbey was run down and many of the artifacts sold to builders and antique dealers. The upstairs cloisters found their way to New York City in the 1930’s and became part of the “Cloisters Museum.”

11 century, Pont du Diable, Abbey Aniane, Abbey of Gellone
Down the road from St. Guilhem le Desert, is the 11th century Romanesque bridge, “Pont du Diable”, built to connect the Abbey Aniane and the Gellone.

***Click on the link for a great video of this beautiful village magnificently lost in time.

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