LA CAUNETTE, HERAULT, LANGUEDOC
VISIT LA CAUNETTE, A BEAUTIFUL VILLAGE NEAR MINERVE, IN THE MINERVOIS
View La Caunette, Herault, Languedoc, France in a larger map
SOME INFORMATION ABOUT LA CAUNETTE, HERAULT
Since the days of prehistory, La Caunette, has provided shelter, and a place called home. In the beginning, men and women found protection in caves in the cliffs that surround the village. Closeby at La Garrigue there are remains of a Dolmen, not marked on the map.
Later during Roman times, there were a number of Roman villas, supplied by a roman road that passed by the village. One villa was noted in 936 as Cauneta Villa.
During the wars against the Cathars, La Caunette played an important part as the advance defence for Minerve, guarding the river Cesse, which was use by many as a means to access the village. La Caunette, then known as "Lacaune sous Minerve", was fortified, and this can be seen today as "La Carambelle" with it "porch" or entry gate dating from the 13th century. With the old chateau - Château des Pardailhan to its side (before the French revolution - the chateau included 45 hectares of land (30 ha of fields, 9 ha of vines, 4 ha of olive trees, 3 ha of woodland). The village also had a number of passages into the rocky hillside.
The church "L'Eglise Notre-Dame de L'Assomption" was originally a much smaller visigothic church, and in its present state (much renovated over the years) was built during the 11th century at the same time as Saint-Etienne at Minerve.
After the establishment of the Bishopric of Saint Pons, the church in La Caunette, came under its influence.
La Caunette, like much of France suffered under the 100 year war, and the wars of religion. The chateau was attacked by the protestants in 1587, and 1590.
L'Orme de Sully
Henry IV in 1583 made an order that seigneurs were to plant elms to provide shelter from the sun, rain, in villages all over France.
In 1593 an elm was planted in La Caunette at the entrance to the fortified gate of the old village (La Carambelle). The elm survived for 400 years until 1985, when it was unable to be saved from the rigors of disease and old age. A local artist, who lives at the Moulin de Cantarane, just outside La Caunette in the direction of Aigues-Vives, created a sculpture commemorating the old elm - now found near the church in 1988.
In 1748 the hills surrounding La Caunette were 390 goats, (1225 at Minerve, 160 at Agel, 235 at Aigne), and in fact in 1758 there were complaints there were too many goats.
In 1882 the land was varied. They includes Cereals - 500ha (made up of épeautre - an old kind of wheat - 150ha, rye 80 ha, barley 6-11 ha, oats 30 ha, general forage 89 ha, fields lying fallow 44 ha, gardens 3ha, moors 163ha, olive trees 44 ha (125 trees per hectare), 257 ha of vineyards - most people owned a vineyard; for farm animals there were 600 cattle, 50 sheep, and 100 lambs.
Population and the village.
In 2007 there were 176 male inhabitants, and 148 women inhabitants. However in 1886 there were 539 inhabitants - which including those of independant means, also a cobblers/shoemaker, dressmaker, hotel owner, fabric salesman, café owner, mason, domestics, pig trader, farmers, -- 151 houses, 171 households.
Coal Mines - Lignite
As early as 1658 brown coal or lignite was being mined at La Caunette. In 1788 the Baron of Pardeilhan, used the fuel in the production of Eau de Vie, dyes, and for military hospitals. Another mine in 1793, Champ de Bastide, had good coal that was sent to Montpellier for staining cotton in red.
Lignite or brown coal is a fuel which is halfway betwen coal and peat. It is the lowest quality of coal and is presently mined in Germany, Russia, the United States, India, Australia and a number of European countries, used mostly as a fuel in steam-electric power stations. 50% of Greece's electricity and 25% of Germany's comes from lignite power plants. Other biproducts are heating oil, ferlilizer, natural gas, perfumes, flavoring, shoe polish, oils for painting, fuel for camping equipment.
By 1933 2 ovens were built for the distillation in what is now the area where the large chimney can be seen in La Caunette. During the Second World War, the mine was used to create fuel for the German military. By the early 1950s the lignite mines were closed down.
NOWADAYS IN LA CAUNETTE
The pretty village of La Caunette, is found just off the road to Minerve or Saint Pons, in the Minervois, just north of Narbonne, between Beziers and Carcassonne.
Its main attractions are yearly events including the Fête de la Bigarade - which salutes the orange, as well as many other plants and fruits. Bigerade, from which the fete takes its name, is an alternate name for Seville Orange - principally used in the making of marmalade, compotes and liqueurs.
July 8 2011 Farmers Market including wine makers and events
August 12 2011 Medieval Fete with music group" Aux couleurs du moyen-âge" - performance at the village church, plus banquet and farmers market. More information from Association L'Ametlièr
WINE CAVES AND PRODUCERS IN LA CAUNETTE
CHATEAU COUPE ROSES
Rue de la Poterie, 34210 La Caunette
Tél. : 04.68.91.21.95
DOMAINE DE BLAYAC
Hameau Vialanove, 34210 La Caunette
Tél. 04 68 91 26
DOMAINE LE CAZAL
Hameau Cazal, 34210 La Caunette
Tél. 04 68 91 62
DOMAINE LES GARDETTES
Hameau Vialanove, 34210 La Caunette
34210 La Caunette -
Tél. 04 68 91 24 73
DOMAINE DE BABIO
Hameau Babio, 34210 La Caunette
04 68 27 62 92
RESTAURANTS / CAFE / BAR
CAFE DE LA PLACE
place Ormeau, 34210 La Caunette
Tel 04 68 91 26 24
RESTAURANT LA CAVE
9, place de l'ormeau, 34210 La Caunette
Tél : 04 68 91 31 98
45, place de l'ormeau, 34210 La Caunette
Tél : 04 68 91 64 24
Rue Carambelle, 34210 La Caunette
(OPEN Monday - Friday 9.00 - 12.00)
MAIRIE DE LA CAUNETTE
Rue Ormeau, 34210 La Caunette
Tel: 04 68 91 23 11
Maire: Monsieur Henri POUMAYRAC
Restaurant La Cave
Cafe de la Place
Chateau de Coupe-Roses
Pigeonniere at Babio Hameau
Old well near La Caunette
Epicerie and Post Office
13th century entrance to Old La Caunette
Footbridge over the Coupiac river
Saint Abdon's tree
La Caunette, Minervois
La Caunettei on the river Cesse that climbs deep into the Hautes Minervois via the notable Cathar village of Minerve, with its deep gorges, where the river goes under a hill creating a natural bridge. A village with numerous paths to take, and wines to imbibe in the area. A number of hidden pools are found on the river as it goes towards the sea; for those seeking more populous places - Bize Minervois offers a natural bathing pool, as well as Mirepeiset.
For lovers of sea bathing, the miles of sandy beaches all along the Languedoc coastline, are exceptional, with such places as Narbonne Plage, just 10 minutes from the cathedral and Roman capital of the region - Narbonne, or go to Gruissan with houses on stilts as made famous in the film Betty Blue, and international wind surfing and other water sports competitions.
History lovers will enjoy visiting the famous Cité de Carcassonne, the medieval walled city that epitomises the romantic medieval castle - for those who like a hike and climb - Queribus and Peyrepertuse Castle sit on mountain tops with dizzying views are the places to go.
For quiet picnics, under the shade of plane trees, Canal du Midi, is a lovely place to walk, or perhaps take a day trip on one the many canal boats that cruise on the canal.
If you are golf fanatic - the area is well blessed with a number of courses, in Carcassonne, Beziers, Cap d'Agde, and Lamalou les Bains.
International airports are within easy driving distance - Beziers (45 mins), Carcassonne (45 mins), Perpignan (60 mins), Montpellier (1h25), Toulouse (1h30), Nimes (1h45), Barcelona (3h). There are railway stations at Narbonne (25 mins), and Beziers (45 mins) with TGV connections to Paris.
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