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lodeve, herault
Lodeve, Herault, Languedoc

LODEVE, HERAULT

LODEVE

Languedoc market town
Cathedrale St-Fulcran
Pont de Montifort
Musee Fleury
Hôtel Dardé
L'Atelier national du tapis de Lodève
Voix de la mediterranée Poetry Festival
Restaurants in or near Lodeve
Priory of St-Michel de Grandmont
Dolmens, Sacrificial rocks, Megaliths
Lerab Ling, Traditional Tibetan Buddhist Temple


 

Lodeve, Herault

Lodeve - Market Town

(Market day - Saturday Morning)

Lodeve, just north of the red hills that surround the unusual landscape of Lac de Salagou, and now under the spindley but magnificent road construction of the autoroute that jumps across space at the viaduct at Millau, is a delightful town to explore.

A place of habitation since 4000 BC, Lodeve (Luteva) became under the Romans, Forum Neronis. The local population were converted to Christian religion by St Flour, its first bishop about 323 AD. At the centre of southern France it was fought over and held by the Visigoths, the Franks, the Ostrogoths, the Arabs, over the next 500 years and thence under the Carolingians, to become in the 9th century a separate countship, under the rule of its Bishops. It suffered from various wars of religion, culminating in 1573, when it was over run, and ruined. Like most of France, at the time of the Revolution the power of the bishopric was destroyed.

Wool and the wool industry has been at the crux of the town, which over the years benifitted from the numerous factories that were created over time. It was especially beneficial that Cardinal Fleury, who came from Lodeve, became Louis XV's prime minister, as he gave Lodeve the monopoly of creating cloth for the French army (with a workforce of up to 4000 in the 18th century). The demise of the wool industry was in the 1960's, though you can visit Atelier National de Tissage de Tapis, where you can see old style carpet weaving, in one of Colbert's magnificent 17th century mansions.

In the 1960's bauxite (for uranium) was mined in large open cast mines near Lodeve - employing at one time 800 persons. The mines are now closed.

abbots house of st chinian abbey

Lodeve: Cathedrale St-Fulcrane

One of the more restrained interiors in this area, the church owes much to the upheavals, and destructions of the revolution.

The former diocese of Lodeve, probably founded around the end of the fourth century, was abolished during the French Revolution and its territory was then attached to the diocese of Montpellier.

The cathedral, benifited from the wealth created by the wool industry, particularly in the Middle Ages. The nave at 58 metres in length, and 25 metre high is impressive; and the Cloister dating from the 10th century is a welcome aside to the main church. For uniqueness - the biggest bell in the tower weighs 2000 kilograms; there is even a gift from Queen Victoria to Napolean III - a crystal chandelier dating from 1860; a magnificent organ constructed by organ builder Jean-François L'Épine built between 1752 and 1754, which is considered to one of the most beautiful in Languedoc France

Lodeve: Pont de Montifort

This lovely Gothic arch bridge was built in the fourteenth century over the Soulondre to connect the Tines neighborhood to the city. This district area had tanneries, gardens, baths and mills. The bridge was also used by the pilgrims of Saint Jacques de Compostela going to Toulouse.

Lodeve: Musée Fleury

The museum is housed in the Fleury family mansion, a nationally knonw and major family of Lodeve. Cardinal André Hercule de Fleury was prime minister to Louis XV. The mansion (hôtel) was built in the sixteenth and seventeenth century and is a beautiful and impressive building.


The museum exhibits 2 main topics: archeology, paleontology and history on one side and fine arts on the other. The museum hosts major exhibitions of local and international artists.

Lodeve: Hôtel Dardé

Built into a nineteenth century Halle (1819) the Hotel Darde has become a museum of the works of local sculptor Paul Dardé - whose War Memorial of 1919, in the Bishop's gardens, surrounded by chestnut trees, consists of a group of five women and 2 children in front of a tomb, symbolizing the pain after the loss of a father during the First World War (1914 to 1918). Inside the Hotel you will find 3 major works by Dardé including a large fireplace with statues telling the stories of Perrault, a copy of his sculpture "Prehistoric Man", and "Le Christ aux outrages"

L'Atelier national du tapis de Lodève

Visit the Atelier to see at first hand how carpets were created for the great homes of Paris - now made for the French equivalent of the National Trust - Gobelins.

Voix de la Mediterranée Poetry Festival

With international stars such as Jane Birkin, and Césaria Evora (2009); as wellas poets from around the world, recitals under the trees; book and poetry markets; music and theatre in the streets - the annual festival is the place to visit if poetry is in your soul and spirit. More information on Voix de la Mediterranée at Lodeve



st-michel-de-grandmont

St-Michel de Grandmont Priory
Dolmens, and Menhirs

Well worth the drive out of Lodeve, the Priory is a place of mystery and spiritual light. Built in 1128 as a Convent of the Grandmontine Order of Hermits, and like most resonant sites, sits surrounded by hillsides deep in spiritual history. Dolmens and menhirs abound on the edge of the hill, that has grand views towards Lodeve.

High points:
The severe but soul expanding 13th century church with barrel vault; and a simple small cloister with decorated capitals.

dolmen coste rouge, near Lozere
Dolmen Coste-Rouge

Several dolmens overlooking the Herault and Lergue plains. Aligned revealing here and there, megaliths, a sacrificial altar or table, and Visigothic tombs, dating back 4000 years. Two dolmens of note include located east of the priory (Dolmen Belvedere) and in the west (Coste-Rouge) with its rounded entrance has a location looking towards to lake at Salagou.

The park - including lake, with deer, swans, ducks, goats, with stupendous views as far as Sete!

Lerab Ling, Traditional Tibetan Buddhist Temple.

Just 15 kms from Lozere, situated on the remote Larzac plateau, founded in 1991 by Sogyal Rinpoche, Lerab Ling is Rigpa’s main retreat centre and has become a living centre for the transmission of the authentic tradition of Buddhist teachings in Europe. The temple can only be visited on Sunday afternoons; on other days only the visitors center can be visited. More information on Lerab Ling, near Lozere.


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cathedrale st-fulcran tower, lodeve
St-Fulcran Cathedral
Lozere

Recommended Restaurants

Restaurant entre terre et mer
4, avenue Paul Teisserenc
34700 Lodeve

Le Petit Sommelier
Place de la République, 34700 Lodève


Hôtel Restaurant Croix Blanche
6, Avenue Fumel
34700 Lodève

Le Temps de Vivre
Poujols
34700 Soubes
04 67 44 03 78



millau viaduct near Lodeve, herault
Millau Viaduct just north of Lodève

 


Lodeve has made a name of itself as a cultural center, hosting an international poetry festival in July every year
For a quick trip out of Lozère visit Lac du Salagou - and visit the pretty often alternate lifestyle village of Octon, and the nearby haunting village of Celles with the dark red beaches, perfect to bathe at in Summer.


Lozere is ideally placed to visit the marvelous Millau viaduct
art and culture Making Friends music and concerts recreation activities Travel: GETTING HERE REAL
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