Minerve is a well-preserved medieval village in France surrounded by cliffs, natural bridges, and canyons. Located in Hérault department in the Occitanie region, this spectacular commune was founded in the early 13th century by a group of Cathars who escaped from the massacre of the Albigensian Crusade at Béziers. Minerve is listed among the most picturesque villages in France which is one of the main reasons why you should visit it.
The rampart of the village is carved in the cliffs that surround Minerve, and where you should start your walking tour after arriving. This path will lead you to the Saint-Rustique well where you can take a break, and then climb the steps that lead inside the village and visit the beautiful Saint-Etienne church. At Candela, the ruins of the Château Vicomtal, you can also visit the Dove stele, dedicated to the Cathar martyrs. At the Candela point, you can see the two canyons and take some time to meditate on the ruins of an ancient village.
Minerve is a tiny village between Cévennes and Montagne Noire areas, and it is frequently visited by tourists.
The stunning geological structures were carved by water actions throughout thousands of years. Two rivers flow through the village, and when the water level rises and the canyons fill up, it is still possible to walk on top of the natural bridges and enjoy the extraordinary setting.
Another reason to visit Minerve is its wine tradition. The first wineries in the region were settled by the Romans but since then the local population of Minerve is known for fruit and strong wines that every wine lover must try.
You can also visit the Museum of paleontology and archeology, and learn about the past of this spectacular village.
Minerve is only 40 miles away Carcassonne, so you can visit both sites in one trip. Good luck!
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