St Hilaire's history, Guided tour, Short anecdotes,

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a few histories…


Lauquet battle and the legend of Saint Hilaire

In the 10th century, a battle took place near the river "Lauquet", between Roger the 1st, count of Carcassonne, and Oliba Cabreta, count of Cerdagne, who wanted to invade the area. This event gave birth to a legend...

Indeed, Roger's troops were one the verge to defeat. So, the count of Carcassonne turned toward God and prayed Saint Hilaire asking him to protect the village from the invaders. And the miracle took place: Saint Hilaire, in a sparkling dress, appeared with an army and defeated Oliba's troops...

To thank Saint Hilaire for his miraculous intervention, Roger the 1st took the abbey under his protection...He was buried in the abbey in 1012.


The Blanquette de Limoux, the oldest sparkling wine

It was created by the monks of Saint Hilaire in 1531. It was a fortuitous invention.

The oldest Blanquette is called today « Blanquette Méthode Ancestrale » : it is elaborated with a unique vine, the "Mauzac". It is a light wine (about 6 or7 per cent proof wine). It is bottled during the old moon of March.



Now, one can also drink the « Blanquette Méthode Traditionnelle » and the « Crémant de Limoux » :

  • the traditional Blanquette is an assembling of 90% of Mauzac and 10% of Chenin and Chardonnay (two others vines). It matures during 9 months in a cellar;
  • the Crémant is an assembling of 60% of Mauzac, 40% of Chenin and Chardonnay; it matures during one year.

Since its creation, the Blanquette de Limoux is a famous wine:



The "Maître de Cabestany"

The "Maître de Cabestany" (romanesque and anonymous sculptor of the 12th century) worked in a Mediterranean area: in the North of Spain (Catalogne and Navarre), South of France (Languedoc-Roussillon) and the North of Italy (Toscane).

But, when we speak of the "Maîtrede Cabestany", we don't speak of a man but of a group, a school of sculptors...

The style is very particular

Reproduction of the Cabestany's church' spandrel (village near Perpignan)..


In the Aude department, one can also see the works of art of the "Maître de Cabestany" in the abbey of Lagrasse, in the abbey of St Papoul, in the church of Rieux Minervois and in the Archaeological Museum of Narbonne.


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