POUZOLS MINERVOIS, AUDE, LANGUEDOC FRANCE
Just 22 kms north of Narbonne, one finds Pouzols-Minervois, nestling in the Minervois hills, with the distant Espinouse behind. Its a quiet village which weaves it magic.
The word "Pouzol" comes from the occitan words "Posol" diminutive of Potz meaning small well. The roman road ' Via Tolosana" went just behind today's Pouzols, and became Cami Roumieu - one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostella. There were Roman villas built around, some perhaps for centurians. Later as a pilgrimage route, a number of hostels and inns were created to feed and give shelter to the pilgrims.
Instigated by Arnaud de Saint Valière in the 13th century, houses were built around the then a new castle and a "castrum" so the villagers could be protected by enemies, on top of the rocky outcrop.
Previously an older Pouzols was behind the hill of the village, being part of the Roman road coming from Mailhac. The church of Saint Saturnin although a little distant from the new village became the parish church.
Later, for convenience, a new church dedicated to St Martin was built at the top of hill in the fort (you can still see its walls). In 1355 the Black Prince raided the area. There were plagues and famine. During 1585, the Huguenots, during the Wars of Religion set fire to the churches of St Saturnin in Pouzols, as well as those in Bize Minervois, and Mailhac. In 1660 The Sun King - Louis XIV spent a night in Pouzols Minervois, along with his court, Count Mazarin, and 10-15000 horses, he stayed at the chateau, and even took their wine back to the court in Paris! This was the time of the Treaty of the Pyrenees and the marriage of the two royal families of Spain and France. On Brumaire 20th, in year 2 of the French Republic (after the Revolution) a burning of all the vestiges of feudal power were burnt and destroyed.
Up till the revolution - agriculture was olives, wheat, barley, grapes, and cattle. As years went by vines became more and more the major crop as it is today.
Parish church of St Sernin (or Saint Saturnin
Built at the end of the eleventh and the beginning of the XIIth century, became the centre for the Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem. Upon return of the 1st crusade "Holy Land", the crusaders created a village for so that pilgrims soldiers' survivors and their families could become farmers with a church, a well (Puits d'Amon ), a castle. "Villa Sancti Saturnini De Pozole" was given to a lord, a crusader, a brilliant young Minervois family: the Pepieux.
However in 1210, the 1st Pouzols castle was dismantled by order of Simon de Montfort, and its owner, Gerald of Pepieux, refugee of Minerve, was captured during the memorable siege and then hanged. The village without defenses, rebuilt itself on the outcrop of rock where it is today. Saint Saturnin would remain forever the parish church, in spite of severe destruction by the troops of the Huguenot Duke of Montmorency in 1585 during the Wars of Religion. Despite a few "embellishments" made over the centuries (particularly in the late seventeenth century), St. Saturnin, thanks to significant restoration, but also some deconstructions made from 1951 to 1971 looks like a Romanesque Church of Lombard style. The semicircular openings are topped by a cordon of black basaltic slags, created by workers from northern Italy, specialists in Roman Art in Southern Catalonia and Languedoc of the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
The church is home to a "Madonna and Child" in multicolored 16th century stone, named Our Lady of Fontsalce. This miraculous virgin is reverently brought into action by Pouzols in times of drought.
The Chateau at Pouzols
The Chateau was built between 1780 and 1790 (there are parts that date back to the 11th century). It hs been owned by the family of Baron de Fournas Fabrezan since 1437.
More about the Chateau at Pouzols
Villa Sanctus Saturninus.
Close to the church see the old well "Puits d'Amon" (renovated in 1619), which was close to what was the old village of Pouzols, on the roman road Cami Carcasses. Near here you can see the ruins of an old fire tower and also a Visigothic necropolis!
Cave Cooperative de Pouzols Minervois.
Enjoy tasting and buying their excellent wines. Visit the Garden of Bachus, and the subterranean wine cave. More information about Pouzols Minervois wine.
General store and café with healthy food, great wine selection. Small. Intimate. Friendly. Music sometimes in evenings.
HOLIDAY RENTALS NEARBY
Belle Bize. Bize Minervois
Apartment with roof terrace. Internet. Natural swimming pool.
Pouzols-Minervois, Aude, Languedoc
Weaving at vide grenier at Pouzols Minervois
La fontaine de la Place de la Rosée
Pictureque fountain near the top of Pouzols Minervois
- well worth the walk!
11th century church of St Sernin in Pouzols Minervois
Pouzols has an excellent cave cooperative that
offers great wines!
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