Nestling at the heart of the remarkable Tarn Gorges, the wonderful village of Sainte-Enimie, listed as one of the most beautiful villages of France, is ideal for a relaxing stroll. The
picturesque paved side streets, dotted with limestone houses and vaulted passages, the Romanesque church of Notre-Dame-du-Gourg, Burle spring, whose miraculous properties are said to have cured the Merovingian Princess Enimie in the 6th century, and the old Benedictine monastery, of which the chapel and chapterhouse remain, make it a popular destination with lovers of old buildings.
Perched on high ground around a meander of the Tarn, Sainte-Enimie makes an ideal starting point for a trip down the Tarn Gorges by canoe-kayak or a hike in the surrounding countryside, especially the craggy trail to the hermitage cave, where Sainte Enimie retired at the end of her life.
Dates for your diary: in July there's the medieval comic strip festival, with a programme of exhibitions, workshops, competitions, activities...
Ranked among the most beautiful villages in France, Sainte-Enimie is located in Occitania, in the heart of Lozère. It takes place in the gorges of Tarn, high place of tourism green, about thirty kilometers from Mende and Barjac.
Medieval in appearance, the village of Sainte-Enimie takes its name from a Merovingian princess of the seventh century, sanctified for some time to have been miraculously cured of leprosy. Populated since the Neolithic, the territory of the village was mainly developed in the middle of the tenth century with the creation of a Benedictine monastery. Renowned Puy-Roc during the French Revolution, he turned gradually to sheep farming, especially after the destruction of vineyards in the early twentieth century.
Composed of several villages, Boisset, Castelbouc, Champerboux, Hauterives, Prades, Pougnadoires and Saint-Chely-du-Tarn, the old town of Sainte-Enimie is now a tourist place appreciated for its architectural heritage, as well as for its Exceptional landscapes integrated in the heart of the Cévennes National Park.
Installed on the slopes of a canyon, the village of Sainte-Enimie can admire an important medieval architecture, like its limestone houses.
Built in the 14th century, the Notre-Dame-du-Gourg church presents a ceramics depicting the life of Saint Enimie, a high-ranking figure in the city. Inside the building you can also admire statues of wood and stone dating from the 12th and 15th centuries. Listed historical monument, it reveals an interesting Romanesque style.
From the old abbey, fortified monastery of Benedictines, there remain today only three rooms: the entrance, the crypt and the chapter house. Founded in the 6th century, it has been classified as an historic monument.
Of Vaucluse type, the source of the Burle would, according to legend, the place where Saint Enimie would have plunged to cure leprosy. In the village, one can also admire several crosses, as well as a hermitage. This cave has been converted over the centuries into a chapel, place of many pilgrimages.
The castle of Prades is a private property registered with the Historical Monuments. Located above the gorges of the Tarn and former property of the priors of Sainte-Enimie, it was built between the twelfth and thirteenth century.
On the left bank of the Tarn, one can discover the ruins of the old castle of Castelbouc. Destroyed during the sixteenth century, according to legend, it housed a lord who had to satisfy all the women of the village while the men had gone on a crusade. He would have died of exhaustion, and his ghost in the shape of a goat would have given his name to the place.
You can also admire the numerous troglodyte houses and other caves that occupy the village of Pougnadoires. In Utopix, you will be seduced by a magical site housing an igloo-shaped sculpture and sculpture-games and indoor and outdoor exhibitions.
Integrated in the Cévennes National Park, the old town of Sainte-Enimie allows you to appreciate the local flora and fauna for a few marked hikes. The place counts indeed seven classified sites in natural zone of ecological interest, faunistic and floristic: the causse of Sauveterre, the causse Mejean, the gorges of the Tarn ideal to be initiated to water sports as the kayak, the upper gorges of the Tarn, the upper gorges of Tarn du Rozier in Montbrun, or the plain of Chanet. Note that the Gorges du Tarn are also classified Natura 2000 and therefore represent a site preserved and monitored.
The town is perfect for many outdoor sports activities such as paragliding, via ferrata, climbing, horseback riding or gliding.
In summer, Sainte-Enimie hosts a craft night market on Thursday evening.
A Comic Strip Festival takes place in June with dedications and meetings.
In May, the village of Sainte-Enimie offers its trail of mouflons with a course of 12 kilometers in the Causse de Sauveterre, as well as a hiking.
In October, on the 6th, Sainte-Enimie celebrates its patron saint with a local festival and a well-followed regional pilgrimage.