On the border of the Aube and the Hérault, in the heart of the Minervois vineyards, this medieval village is perched on a rocky promontory overlooking the Cesse and the Brian rivers. Its perched position made it, during the Cathar wars, a refuge for heretics after the sack of Béziers at the beginning of the 13th century. The village has preserved its old stone buildings from this period.
The quickest way from the campsite to get to this Cathar city is the D15 motorway. You will not be disappointed with your visit, because Minerve has something to charm you. Indeed, it was included in the list of "Most beautiful villages in France". Thanks to this title, we immediately understand that this town has a quality heritage.
Indeed, the picturesque city of Minerve is full of exceptional sites which make it so special. For example the natural bridges carved out by the Gorges de la Cesse and du Brian, or even its old ramparts which are now fully restored.
Park your car outside the village, the visit is on foot to admire its wonders up close. Upon entering, you will discover the remains of a medieval castle dating from the 13th century. Even if all that remains of this castle is its large octagonal column, you will always make great discoveries. Not far from these remains, at the top of the village, you will see the church of Saint-Etienne which dates back to the 11th century. This Romanesque-style religious building houses an altar dating from the year 456.
Meet at the Minerve Tourist Office to find out about the must-see sites of this beautiful village. Very close to the office, you will find the route des Martyrs which witnessed many demonstrations by the Cathars. This is also where the Templar House stands, which is also one of the historical monuments of Minerva.
Strolling through its narrow streets, you will discover a unique architectural heritage. Indeed, the large stone houses will not leave you indifferent. By continuing your walk on the “Porta bassa” footbridge, you will discover an exceptional ecological site offering a beautiful view of the river which passes under the natural bridge. As you continue your walk up the hill, you will see the rest of the fortified walls from another angle.
For more discoveries, do not miss to visit the Museum of Archeology and Prehistory of the Cathar city. You can also go to see the vineyards of the village and taste its famous wine to which Minerve gave its name: Minervois.