Saint Chinian Sunday market, Herault, near Minerve
Get your house Crown paints, and accessories and donate for dogs in need by buying from a large choice of used books (book donations will be woofed up!)
Midi Decor, 18 ave de Villespassans, St Chinian.
Saint Chinian is a bustling village, dating back to 825 when a monastery was founded by Saint Anian, possibly on the site of what today is the Mairie.
The monastery prospered and with it the village that had grown up around. It survived the Albigensian Crusades relatively unscathed and emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries as a centre for the manufacture of high quality cloth.
During the French revolution the abbey was dissolved and its buildings put to new uses. The former abbey church is now the village hall and hosts everything from exhibitions to village dances.
If you enter the Mairie you will find an ornately painted staircase leading up to the first floor. In the courtyard behind the village hall you can still see the remains of what was once the cloisters.
The parish church was built over a 9th century chapel, and was damaged during the wars of religion, and was rebuilt between 1582 and 1695. It has a magnificent 18th century organ.
Restaurants, Market, Shops
Visit the Sunday Market in Saint Chinian and here is a list of days of Markets in Languedoc
Saint Chinian is well known for its twice weekly market where the best of local produce is on offer. If you are feeling in need of a good chat in your English, French, World Wide languages, the residents and visitors meet over drinks and market produce, on Sunday morning.
Hungry after all that exercise?
There are three restaurants on the Grand Rue, all offering a selection of French cuisine at excellent value-for-money prices. If you want to go further afield there is a wide variety of eateries to choose from.
St Chinian has a good number of shops that will supply you with almost everything you need
One of my favorite walks is to this chapel near St Chinian
Dolmen above Minerve
St Chinian wines have a very long-standing reputation, going back as far as the fourteenth century.
The revolution put an end to the cloth trade and the village had to rely on the wine for its fortunes. After the phylloxera crisis of the 1860's, the Languedoc region was producing huge amounts of cheap wine.
It was then necessary for the vignerons to begin to concentrate on quality rather than quantity.
A VDQS since 1945, St Chinian acquired AOC status in 1982. The appellation area covers twenty communes and produces primarily red and rosé. The vines grow on hillsides facing the sea, at an altitude of 100 - 200m.
Nearby Places to Visit
Present day St Chinian has a lot to offer visitors. The tranquil atmosphere, so often found in the south will calm and relax you. There are no noisy night-clubs to distract you from the peace and the stock of interesting past-times is plentiful. If you are interested in nature and walking you will find endless possibilities in the immediate surroundings. Close by is the Romanesque Abbey of Fontcaude, and dolmens and statue menhirs, relics of the megalithic era.
For a nice refreshing swim the beaches of the Mediterranean are only about 20 minutes away by car, or you could try the river Orb at Roquebrun, the river Cesse at Bize or the public swimming pool in St Chinian. Rock-climbing, fishing, cycling, painting, golf and riding are just a few of the other activities available.
Nearby attractive Cessenon-sur-Orb offers canoeing and kayaking.
Discover Collioure, and the Pyrenees
Drink wonderful wine, swim in the Med, mountain streams, discover castles, abbeys and artists and musicans who came - André Derain, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, C R Mackintosh, and Tsuguharu Fujita; or go a few steps to Spain and Catalonia land of Salvador Dali - Cadaquez, and Barcelona
Go to Lagrasse and discover Corbieres
This little village is easily passed when one is driving to Spain, or to the ski slopes of Font Romeu. Its location is almost hidden amongst the gaunt surrounding peaks. Villefranche is an eleventh century medieval town that lies strategically between France and Spain, in the lands of the Conflent. Its fortress walls defeated Jaume III the son of last king of Majorca in 1374, and it took six days for French troops to take the town in 1654. Consequently it was heavilly fortified by Vauban in the seventeenth century. It lies at the foot of the Canigou at the heart of the Pyrenees. Classed as one of the 'Most Beautiful Villages in France', Villefranche is one of the 14 Vauban sites retained for UNESCO World listing. Within the fortifications, its a lovely experience to walk down the narrow lanes, where there are a myriad of shops, artists, and crafts people selling their wares.
Discover the Cathars