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Minerve

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Hérault

Minerve - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Hérault
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Bordered to the south by the Canal du Midi and to the north by the Montagne Noire mountain range, the medieval town of Minerve nestles amid breathtaking scenery: the gorges carved into the limestone of the Causses are covered with vegetation, combined with human architectural feats such as the magnificent viaduct bridge giving access to the village. One of its advantages is its geographical location. Minerve is positioned on a rock at the confluence of two rivers, the Brian and the Cesse, creating the impression of a peninsula. So the houses are perched on their rocky spur and when seen from above, appear to be suspended in space. It's no surprise that Minerve is listed among the most beautiful villages of France!

Strolling around the town, you may notice remnants of its eventful history. A tall, medieval tower made of stone, the Candela, is still standing. It once belonged to the castle. The village also welcomed the Cathars, who refused to renounce their faith and surrender to the enemy army. You can make out a few ruined ramparts as well as some masonry elements that bear witness to the siege against them.

Take a stroll along Minerve's ancient cobbled lanes. The houses with old stone façades seem to tell a thousand secrets. You can also visit its palaeontology and archaeology museum, become setting off to discover its natural heritage. In the summer, be sure to take a stroll near its two natural bridges, impressive tunnels carved into the rock that make for an unusual experience!

Additional information
Minerve

Minerve remembers Cathar epic, surrounded by deep gorges carved by the confluence of the Brian and Cesse. Placed at the end of a limestone plateau, Minerve is a mineral village in the heart of the Languedoc scrublands.

Historical capital of the Minervois Cathar country and city, Minerve sits on a rocky outcrop, about forty kilometers from Béziers. Ranked among the most beautiful villages in France, it is located ten kilometers from Olonzac to thirty kilometers from Saint-Pons-de-Thomières. The city emerges in the middle of the limestone plateau, protected by deep gorges of Brian and Stop. The water has shaped amazing natural bridges.

Frequented since the Bronze Age, the territory of Minerve has continued to grow over the centuries. A true natural oppidum formed by the two canyons of the Stop and Brian, the village appears in the texts as a common fully in the Carolingian period. Besieged in the early thirteenth century in the struggles against the Cathars, it was the scene of many deaths at the stake of people refusing to renounce their faith. Again destroyed during the religious wars, then he knows calmer times.

Today Minerve is mainly focused on tourism thanks to its exceptional heritage and its unique landscape, but also to the viticulture with the production of AOC Minervois.

The territory "City Minerve, Gorges of the Cesse and Brian" is engaged in a process to obtain the label Grand Site de France.

Things to see and do

Built between the 11th and 12th century, the Saint-Etienne church is classified as an historic monument. It reveals a stone architecture typical of the region. While strolling in the alleys of the old center, you will also not miss to admire the ramparts, the door of the Knights Templar, the barbican, the castle, the candle of the XIIIth century with the bow of the village, the low door and the tower prison, the leprosarium, or the bridge-viaduct of the early twentieth century.

Gateway to the Regional Natural Park of Haut-Languedoc, Minerve also has a unique natural heritage including the two natural bridges of the Cesse accessible on foot in the dry season, or landscapes of vineyards, garrigue, olive groves or chestnut trees.

To learn more about the history of the village and its surroundings, head to the archaeological museum. Do not miss to discover the museum Hurepel which restores the history of Catharism in the area.

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Monuments
Natural sites

Events and festivities

Photos

Minerve village
Minerve village
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Rainbow over Minerve in winter
Rainbow over Minerve in winter
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Minerve village
Minerve village
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Natural bridge
Natural bridge
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Minerve village
Minerve village
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Panorama (© J.E)
Panorama (© J.E)
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Natural bridge (© J.E)
Natural bridge (© J.E)
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Hiking map around Minerve
Hiking map around Minerve
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Minerve, Cathar city
Minerve, Cathar city
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Minerve, Cathar city
Minerve, Cathar city
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Postern
Postern
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Postern
Postern
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The Brian
The Brian
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Visits, leisure and activities nearby

Restaurants

Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals

Campsites

Hotels

Your holidays
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