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Stonewall in Pézènes

The village

Pézènes-les-Mines is a charming medieval village, winding around a Chateau of the 11th and 12th century. The tall houses seem to rest upon each other and rise over small and twisting lanes,with many open stairways and roofed passages.  Pézènes hides in a deep secluded wooded valley in the hills bordering the famous wine region of Faugères. Undisturbed nature, oak forests, whin, thyme, rosemary and wild mint can still be found here. 
The area around Pézènes is a green jewel close to the “Lac du Salagou”, and the “Cirque de Mourèze”, 200 m altitude and only half an hour by car from the mountain range of the Caroux and Espinouse, from Béziers and the Canal du Midi. Near the Mediterranean winters are bright and mild and summers are very hot
A true paradise for visitors who prefer to spend their holiday away from the touristy areas in order to discover the wildlife, flora and fauna and who want to be in touch with locals who always  enjoy passing on their knowledge, their memories and the key to their extraordinary quality of life.
 
The dominating Chateau is located on the hill above the village. The small river in the valley is named Peyne and  meets the Hérault in Pézenas after feeding the picturesque reservoir lake of “Lac des Olivettes”, near Vailhan .
Those who were wandering the Peyne valley in the Middle Ages must have felt a real shudder at the look of this site, where the hills loom narrow. Before reaching the village you can see at a distance and in perspective, the old  fortified Chateau,and also a good impression of the defensively built village wrapped around it, which is typical of the era.
Chateau of Pézènes
The hamlet of Les Montades Les Montades is a hamlet nestling beneath the basalt plateau. The houses are built from black volcanic stones. The centre of the village dates back to the Middle Ages and is still well preserved.You will find draw wells, the village oven, the old pigeon tower and original medieval narrow lanes under arches which are impassable for vehicles.. Only a few  new buildings have been consructed. Les Montades offers manifold views on the surrounding hills and the nearby “Pic de Vissou.” In the valley below the village the medieval “Chapelle”  «Notre Dame d'Ourgas» dating back to the  12thC  treasures a  remarkable statue "Virgin with Child" from the 13thC.
basalt organs in the west of Les Montades

The commune of Pézènes and the hinterland is well known by geologists who have found extremely interesting rock strata - The complete range of geological periods and stone formations can be found here in this colourful country, such as Devonian limestone in Pézènes-les-Mines, and the basalt sills to the west of  Les Montades perfectly exposed in the road cutting at the entrance to the village.
In addition to this geological variety the mediterranean climate results in good natural conditions and a great richness of plants, which can be found here. Connoisseurs say that 2/3 of all plants, found in France, are native to this area. Wild peony, pine and many other rare species blossom here at best. 
The breeding of cattle and geese is practised «with love» as well as the production of honey, gingerbread  and goose liver. It is a must to taste the regional specialities! There are numerous hiking trails, bridlepaths, and an exercise park for the fitness enthusiast.Many traces of ancient history can be found in the immediate vicinity. 

History 

The  Dolmen of «Le Puech» bears witness of the presence of humans since the Neolithic Era (8000-2000 BC.)

The Romans left their traces in Pézènes (Roman bridge behind the  church and even a Roman wine press, discovered in 1985 in Mas de Pommier).

According to historical tradition Charlemagne chose Pézènes as the place where he prepared his battle against the Sarazenes. The battle possibly took place in the village of Fos, where today the site is marked «Battlefield».

Téjédor, the notorious bandit of the 20th century was supposed to hide in this area,near to Mas de Pommier.

Infos:

200 inhabitants (les Pézénols)
altitude : 200 above sea level

Origin of name:

Originating from the name of the river Peyne and the former Bauxite mines, which have long been abandoned .

Places of Interest:

Roman chapel

Roman bridge 

Medieval chateau (private owner)

Chapelle Notre Dame d'Ourgas in Les Montades

Activities:

Hiking 

Workshops in local studios

Pétanque and more...

 

Holiday homes and cottages of all sizes and price ranges can be rented, and rooms taken in local homes, in the village and in its neighbouring hamlets. A wonderful environment for a relaxing holiday.