La Caunette, Languedoc

La Caunette, near Minerve,Languedoc

La Caunette, near Minerve, Languedoc



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. Close by at La Garrigue there are remains of a Dolmen, not marked on the map.

village center

La Caunette, overlooking the river Cesse on the road to Minerve

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 that La Caunette, near 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 new tree was planted in its place - opposite the Restaurant La Cave, and now is a grand youngster, who provides good shade in the Summer.

Blessings and safe travel!

Prayers for love and great wines and happiness from sculpture
opposite the village of La Caunette


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.

Factory chimney in La Caunette, with silver clouds. Photo by Giles Mitchell.

Silver fish clouds fly over Lignite Mine Chimney

(the mine was closed in the 1950s)

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 buildings 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.


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. There are two restaurants to feast the hungry and thirsty wayfarer, local or holiday maker. La Cave, run by 3 sisters, whose father was a recent mayor of the village, and create excellent family dishes. And Cafe de la Place that is known for its steaks and pizzas - both good food, with excellent salads, in a cheerful dining area, with outside terrace. Both restaurants and the village throughout the year stage music and dining events - where music and dance and just fun come hand in hand.

la cave restaurant and entry to 11th c old village

La Cave Restaurant and tower gateway to the
older part of the village

la cave restaurant and entry to 11th c old village

Village center with post office with village tree on the left

Cafe de la place, La Caunette bar - pizzas, steak, great salad
Cafe de la place, bar - pizzas, steak, great salad

Chateau Coupe-Roses, La Caunette - exquisite Minervois wines

Chateau Coupe-Roses, La Caunette - Taste exquisite Minervois wine!

Painting by Giles Mitchell (Giles Denmark)

Phi - Painting by   Giles Denmark


During the summer of there will be a number of concerts, markets, fetes in the centre of the village.

June : Amateur Theater Festival.
June : Music at Cafe de la Place
June : Concert. Coupe Roses. Tapas, wine tasting, music.
June : School dinner event.

Every Wednesday and Saturday. Boules. Next to l'Oustal de la Cesse.
July : Concert. Cafe de la Place.
July 14. Fete des Moules. Aperitives, Dinner in the Place de la Caunette. Music.
July : Concert. Cafe de la Place.
July : Concert. Coupe Roses. Tapas, wine tasting.

Every Wednesday and Saturday. Boules. Next to l'Oustal de la Cesse.
August 13 - 14 Local Fete. Music. Meal on the terraces of l'Oustal de la Cesse.
August 20. Concert. Coupe Roses. Tapas, Wine.

November Middle. Chestnut Festival. Vide Grenier, Grillade, Vin nouveau.
November End. School Loto.

December 18. C
Christmas market. Coupe-Roses.
December 31. New Years Party. Food, wine, music.

Painting by Giles Mitchell (Giles Denmark)

What is your wavelength? - Painting by Giles Mitchell


Rue de la Poterie, 34210 La Caunette
Tél. :

Hameau Vialanove, 34210 La Caunette
Tél. 04 68 91 26

Hameau Cazal, 34210 La Caunette
Tél. 04 68 91 62

Hameau Vialanove, 34210 La Caunette

34210 La Caunette -
Tél. 04 68 91 24 73

Hameau Babio, 34210 La Caunette
04 68 27 62 92


Place Ormeau, 34210 La Caunette
Tel 04 68 91 26 24

9, place de l'ormeau, 34210 La Caunette
Tél : 04 68 91 31 98


Rue Carambelle, 34210 La Caunette
(OPEN Monday - Friday 9.00 - 12.00)

Rue Ormeau, 34210 La Caunette
Tel: 04 68 91 23 11

Collioure, on the Mediterranean Sea near Perpignan, Occcitanie, south France

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

Chapel near Saint Chinian, near Minerve, Beziers, Narbonne, Occitania, South France

Discover Minerve - St Chinian - Carcassonne

Drink wonderful wine, food, swim in lakes and mountain streams, discover castles, abbeys and artists and musicans

Contact Us

2 impasse de la Forge,
34210 La Caunette

Tel: +33 (0) 4 68 42 49 42



Giles Mitchell / Giles Denmark

Giles Denmark Mitchell is a British multimedia artist who lives in La Caunette