Visit to Minerve in May
Glories of Herault in Languedoc

Minerve, Minervois, Herault, Languedoc

Minerve, Herault

Minerve, is lovely to visit almost any time of year - though it can get a bit on the cool side over winter.

The village has paid parking for the small amount of 2 euros, or for those that seek free parking - it can be found.

The walk I took was from below Minerve, where there is parking by the cemetery, where one can take the roads at a reasonable incline up to the village, passing the old fashioned wash house, with the remaining tower of the castle towering above. Hungry, I stopped at Celine et Thierry's restaurant, that is just next to the old bridge - where they have decent pizzas and good salads, with a lovely terrace with views.

Then following the road past the old Templars gate, with its steep cobbled road, I stopped to look at the lovely terrace of the old cafe that used to have a great swimming pool, and views over to the other side of the valley, where there is a replica of the catapult that Simon de Montfort used in his siege of the village in 1210 to destroy the well, that provided water for the village.

A walk around the village of Minerve, Herault.

The interior of the Cafe is well worth a look - as the interior is probably unchanged for 40 years, and conjures up images of visitors from days gone by.

Walking from here, with its ubiquitous white vans parked outside, the road leads past various wine caves offering the great wines of the Minervois for tasting. To the left is an excellent bookshop providing coffee as well as some unique and collectable books - some dating back 100s of years. Next to it is the Tourist Office which is a mine of information, where there are lots of guide books and cards for sale. Also here is the Museum, which is good to enter, as you will see all the treasures found about, dating back to the Romans and the dawn of civilization (there are some lovely dolmens, megalithic tombs, 5 minutes drive away, with gorgeous views over the garrigue and canyons).

The village has lots of nooks to enjoy the little things of life, the miracles that nature and history unlock. Walking back towards the nose of the village, steep roads, narrow, with gates, and castle walls fall down into the river bed. Here if water is about, you can paddle in a river that runs under the hillside, through a natural bridge - there are more than one bridge - which you can follow on foot, if the river is dry or the water not too deep.

Go left to the hook of the nose, where the river Brian and the river Cesse, meet. Here you can cross over the river and up a steep stairway to see how Simon de Montfort looked when he lay siege to Minerve. There is construction now, recreating where the breach took place, where the old passageways went down to the well that supplied the water to the village. The village is being reconstructed here, walls put back in place, so soon you will be able to walk in the ways of the Cathars, and the villagers of Minerve.

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