Saint Guilhem le Désert
It is without a doubt the most well known medieval village
in Montpellier's region. Very well preserved , this
village is located on the hights of Herault. It overhangs
narrow ravinas and the river du Verdus which flows into
Hérault. It is an ancient stop on the way to
Paris over the XII and XIII centuries. The village developed
because of the Abbaye built by seigneur Guilhem in 804.
It is very pleasant to visit Saint
Guilhem and get lost in its little streets so full of
huden beauties. You will be able to discover with evry
new step lovely cottages surrounded by flowers, a lot
of little fountains, wonderful gardens places on many
levels just by the river Verdus and little stairs dug
in the rock (Saint Guilhem is built on a montain side)...
Many artisans have opened their own shops in the village
therefore enabling the tourists to familiarise with
local specialities. Restaurants are grouped on the place
principale also called place de la liberté but
you will also find some by the ravinas offering a unique
view on the gorges. Hotels offer a quiet place to stay
if you wish to discover the region further.
Guilhem was the grandson of Charles Martel,
brought up with his cousins including little Charles
( futur Charlemagne), he became a member of the royal
court and was well know for his warrior skills especially
against the Sarrasins. He will become one of Charlemagne's
wisest avisers and a great friend. Before he retired
to the monastère de Gellone (which he founded
in 804), Charlemagne had offered him a piece of the
Christ's Cross. Guilhem put it in the Eglise abbatiale
where it still remains and can be seen. The monastère
de Gellone was given the name of Saint Guilhem le désert
during the XIIIème siècle, when it became
a place of pilgrinage (Guilhem's grave and the Cross).
the road: access by N109 until the exit 61 towards
Montarnaud, to cross the village and to follow
D111 until Boissière then D27 towards Aniane
and Holy Guilhem. Otherwise follow N109 until
Gignac and take D32 towards Aniane (longer).