The old cloister was built shortly after Saint Emilion died in 767 and in the 14th century it was rebuild and expanded.
Here you can see the inner courtyard with its arcades. This part of the cloisters was built during that rebuilding period. On the walls of the inner court you will see some very interesting frescos.
This tower is easily seen as you approach the town.
The climb may be a bit difficult as there are small stairs leading to the top. Do climb to the top and you will be rewarded with a fantastic view of the valley and town below.
During my visit, the cost was 1 euro.
Sandra had organized a wine tasting class for the four of us while we were there. What a fun and interesting way to spend a New Year's Eve afternoon. We made sure to buy some before we left as well for the coming celebration. This class is given in English once and afternoon and French multiple times a day. I would highly recommend looking into this as a great event during your visit.
In the village church (i think this used to be the church that went with the collegiale cloister) you can still see various fresco's on the walls. They're not in a very good state but still worth seeing. The church itself is for the rest rather spartan. Or maybe we just had seen to many cathedrals and richly ornamented churches before. But i actually liked it much with its white walls and high ceiling.
After climbing a very steep and very uneven path up the hill, we encountered this building. At first i didn't know what it was but i think i saw a sign somewhere saying that it was the town hall. i have no idea though what it was before it became a town hall. Someone's chateau perhaps? I'll try to find out next time i'm around
Hard to miss when you come from the Bergerac / Sauveterre side of the town. Actually since the first time, i found that the tower is hard to miss from any part of town. It isn´t the easiest climb because of the small stairs but if you don´t have a health problem, do climb it. The views are stunning and it also gives quite a feeling of power when you find yourself standing on top. Or maybe it was because i was the only person standing there...
Besides, it´ll cost you 1 euro to climb it. A euro well spend i can tell you.
It is said to be the only remaining part of the chateau that used to be here.
This tower seems to be there for no reason. It just stands on the side of a little square. At least that was what i thought at first. Little did i know that the church is under that little square. It is supposed to be open all year round but it looked very closed the day we were there (31st of december). But it is still a fascinating sight.
So i went back last time. But unfortunately you can only visit the church as part of a guided tour off which the next one was 3 hours later. And i had promised my parents to visit the abbey at La Sauve that day with them. So this is for the next time (again)
The old cloister was build not long after Saint Emilion died in 767. In the 14th century it was rebuild and expanded. The inner court with its arcades was build during that period. On the wall of the inner court there are still some frescos to see.
I have seen at least 2 town gates. Unfortunately one of them was under renovation. But still.. and i wouldn't be suprised if there were more. I can't tell you when they werer build or if they belonged to a sort of town wall. Will try to find this out next time though
A slight correction on this. In april i was back in St-Emilion and it turned out that the thing i had thought to be a town gate was actually part of a huge wall. But of what...
Though i found another town gate. So there are still 2 :-)
One thing that is unique to St Emilion is the architectural sites which for a long time was designed by men to blend in with the surrounding landscape.
St Emilion is such a jewel of stones, in a natural settings of utmost beauty.
St Emilion wines are renowned and enjoyed around the world, but they are not only great wines, they have always been of paramount importance for the town. Hard work, draconian regulations and the the ability to work together have ensured St Emillion's prosperity and independence through the century.
Obviously, the big draw of the region is its wine. St. Emilion is right in the heart of the Bordeaux region. It produces only about 5% of Bordeaux's wine, but has become know for its superb output of some of the best wines in the world. The main grape grown here is of the Merlot variety.
While I was set up with a visit a smaller vineyard, because of a connection to the owner, you should rest assured that a visit to any of the regions vineyards for a tour will be a great experience.
Especially during the high season, it is important to call or email your preferred vineyard as soon as possible to reserve your spot on one of the tours.
This huge wall part is just standing there. There is no sign saying what it belonged to or what it?s purpose was. Nowadays it just serves as a great background for one of the vineyards. Though i know from experience that the wall is maintained since it was up in scaffolds in the winter of 2003 /2004.
With a winery visit behind you, the next thing that should be done here is to soak up the exquisite beauty of St. Emilion, the city. AT the center of town, there is a piazza-type space where many restaurants have set up outdoor eating spaces underneath shady umbrellas. It is a fabulous place to eat and, more importantly, drink more of the fabulous wine of the region.
When i finally managed to tear myself loose and ended up down stairs i looked up and saw someone else standing on top of the tower. Somehow it looked much higher from the point where i was standing then it felt like when i was on top of the tower.