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A big bridge in Minerve, whose name I cannot find anywhere

I am going to start making a collection of blog posts where I just talk about adorable villages in the south of France, I think. There are so many of them, and some of them are so lovely. Without further ado, welcome to the adorable village of Minerve.

Little cobbly streets of Minerve

Minerve is up in Cathar country, a region in the south of France marked by its 12th and 13th century sieges and massacres. The Cathars were followers of a dissident church that flourished around Europe in the early Medieval period, and I guess they fought a lot. Minerve itself was a fortified village protected by a tall watchtower, remparts, and a bunch of catapults.

The watchtower, protecting the Minervois

The gorges of Brian are nearby if you want to walk around (and also I am far too amused by the concept of gorges of Brian; it sounds far too Monty Pythonish to be real, but the gorges of Brian exist and can be wandered), and there is a wonderful place in Minerve called the Choco Bar. They make their own artisanal chocolate and you can just sit there in the café, eating slabs and chunks of chocolate. The dude was very nice too. I highly recommend the Choco Bar.


But chocolate is not what we are here to be talking about, even though it is a wonderful and miraculous thing. We are talking about Minerve. Other noteworthy things about Minerve: It is a major wine hub, and Minervois wines are really some of the best of the region. There is a natural stone bridge that the river comes out of. They have rebuilt a catapult, if you feel like visiting it. There are only about 100 actual residents, but something like 300,000 visitors a year. I’m totally still thinking about the chocolate.


Also it probably looks better in the sunshine, but we went on a cloudy day, okay. And ate chocolate. Because eating chocolate with your friend in a cosy place in an adorable south-of-France village is the perfect way to spend a cloudy day, and that is just a reality of life.


12 thoughts on “Minerve

  1. I was taken up there when I first moved to France. Alas, the guide hadn’t consulted his calendar and it was a holiday and everything closed. Perhaps I shall return one day after checking my calendar and once masks are not the fashion…


      1. In my humble opinion it is all lovely here. Have you been to Montolieu? It is a favorite of mine. I try to go once a year and discover a French poet I haven’t read before… La Ville de Livres.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful. As you know, the best places are quickly spoiled by tourists, but this area seems to have escaped that. Actually, the Cathars were pacifists, to the extreme that they offered no resistance to the Christian crusaders who rounded them up and burned many alive. However, there were those who did fight in their defense. The crusade, (Albigensian) was a ruse to seize the region so there were many who came to its defense.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a stunning village! It’s true that the small towns are the most beautiful, as they’re unspoiled by tourists (so far). Minerve looks adorable (is its name derived from the Greek goddess, Athena, by any chance?), and the chocolate balls look incredibly enticing. Je suis ravie d’avoir découvert un autre village en France, grâce à vous! 🙂


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