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Saint-chinian

About thirty kilometers from the beaches of the Mediterranean, in the heart of the Languedoc Roussillon lands, follow the scent of the garrigue to the foot of the Avant-monts des Cévennes … In a wide range of vines: Saint-Chinian is revealed in the distance from the Fontjun pass.

Adorned with small squares and alleys, the heritage of the village resonates above all in the appellation to which it gave its name: the AOC Saint-Chinian.

To discover all the riches of the village, explore it on foot from the Promenade. This central square, shaded by plane trees, where life is good, contributes to its reputation. On Thursdays and Sundays, it welcomes many local. Fruits and vegetables, cheese, olives, oysters and artisanal products fill the basket of visitors, to the rhythm of the song of the cicadas. Consult thecalendar to know the highlights that will mark your stay in Saint-Chinian! Pétanque competition, garage sales, Easter fair, Christmas market or other wine tourism and traditional festivals ...    

A few meters from the Promenade, an obligatory passage to the House of Wines, showcase of all the wines of the AOC Saint Chinian. This appellation covers a range of terroirs spread over 20 villages, 100 private cellars and 8 cooperative cellars. To discover: more than 300 references, tastings led by the producers in summer but also “discovery” or initiation to tasting workshops.

Have you noticed the magnificent gardens of the Town Hall? With its imposing magnolias and its fountain, the latter invite you to stroll. Two steps away, thetourist Office welcomes you all year round to find out about the major sites and the guided tours available. The former Benedictine abbey and its cloister, the parish church and its listed organs, the Salabert bread oven, the Abbé canal… an exceptional heritage to discover!

On the heights, the clapas, the capitelles and the vineyard offer beautiful surprises to lovers of outdoor activities.

Hikers, meet at the Moulin for the departure of circuits of the capitelles a path running between vines, scrubland and small stone huts. From the village, two marked trails of 10km allow you to hike through wine-growing landscapes (trail n ° 44: "Les clapas" at the start of the Promenade) or forest (Trail n ° 43: "Sorteilho" at the start of the winegrowers' cellar).

A trail Oenorando of 9km will take you to the Notre-Dame de Nazareth chapel with the Avants-Monts and the Caroux massif in the background. Hiking files available at the reception points of thetourist office of the Canal du Midi in Saint Chinian.  

Mountain bikers, venture out on one of the 6 mountain bike circuits. Departure in front of the winegrowers' cellar or in front of the Maison des Vins for multi-level and rich in sensations routes.

After so many discoveries, it's time to rest in quality accommodation: Bed ou guest rooms welcome you. Follow your desires: restaurants, shops and services,… Saint-Chinian offers many possibilities in a preserved environment.

His history

Saint Chinian welcomes one of the first Benedictine abbeys in the region in 826, dedicated to Saint-Anian. Little by little, the population gathered around the monastery, to form the village of Saint-Anian d'Holotian. Pronounced "Sanch Inhan" in Occitan, it naturally became Saint Chinian. Today the abbey has given way to the Hôtel de Ville, with its magnificent garden and recently restored cloister.

Saint Chinian suffered from the wars of religion. Twice destroyed, the village recovered in the XNUMXth century thanks to the exploitation of water, present in Saint Chinian. Many mills (fuller, wheat and oil) are supplied by a diversion of the Vernazobres: the Canal de l'Abbé, still visible today. If the first vines were planted around the XNUMXth century, the economic activity of this period turned mainly to the cloth industry which lasted until the XNUMXth century: spinning mills and dyehouses set up, while Colbert (minister of Louis XIV ) establishes two royal factories in the city. These productions then went to dress rich Orientals, especially in the Ottoman Empire and you can still see some buildings while walking in the village. At the bend of the streets, you will certainly see beautiful interior courtyards, vaulted corridors or even spiral staircases.

Over time the economy has turned to agriculture: grain, olive trees and oil trades and of course the vine and wine. In 1880, textiles disappeared and gave way to the cultivation of the vine. The old mills and workshops are replaced by small vineyards, sulfur mills or distilleries. The rich wine owners leave the historic center and build “the Languedoc follies” outside the city. Since 1945, the vineyard has turned to quality production, setting up several successive denominations and giving birth to the AOC Saint Chinian in 1982, one of the best vintages of Languedoc Roussillon.

The parish church contains another jewel of the village: remarkable organs from the 1976th century, attributed to Micot. These unique organs, classified as a historical monument since XNUMX, have around twenty stops, spread over three manual keyboards and a pedal board. Concerts are organized to bring this incredible monument back to life.

Its essentials

  • The Benedictine abbey with its garden and cloister
  • The abbey church
  • The parish church and its XNUMXth century organs 
  • A stroll along the abbé canal or towards the Moulin du Rocher
  • A hike on the path of the capitelles
  • The panoramas from the Fontjun pass and the chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth
  • Salabert's bread oven
  • A wine tasting at the Maison des Vins or at the producers' estate
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