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Minerve

Minerve and its surrounding chalky uplands have been inhabited since the Paleolithic. The fortified town developed considerably during the Middle Ages and this is known because of the siege raised in 1210 by Simon de Monfort, head of the crusade against the Albigenses. The town, which seemed inaccessible, surrendered because of lack of drinking water, after its only well was poisoned with animal carcasses. Around 150 Cathars were burnt at the stake because they did not abjure their faith. A dove carved in the rocks by Jean-Luc Séverac recalls the tragic events of the crusade. Very few vestiges survived the siege: the ruins of the castle walls (the “Candela”, XIII century), and the church of St-Etienne (XI-XII c.). The hamlet, nevertheless, preserves the ancient charm in its narrow streets, stone buildings, encircling walls and the beautiful bridge on the stream Cesse. Also to be visited are the Hurepel Museum on the crusade and the Paleontology and Archaeology Museum about the 3000 years of Minervois history.

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