St. Hilaire - Limoux - St. Hilaire: We take to the hills - France: Between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees - CycleBlaze

August 27, 2007

St. Hilaire - Limoux - St. Hilaire: We take to the hills

St. Hilaire, a quiet village, has a beautiful Romanesque church and Gothic cloisters which have remained largely intact. However, the real attraction is housed in the church, a white marble tomb of the martyr Saint Sernin, designed by the grand Master of Cabestany, a sculptor of the 12th century whose real name is not known.

Detail from the white marble sarcophagus of St. Sernin in the church of St. Hilaire
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Cloister of St. Hilaire
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Today we leave our panniers at the chambre d'hotes and do a round trip through the hills to Limoux. We are in beautiful wine country and have splendid views.

Road leaving St. Hilaire
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Vineyards near St. Hilaire: In the evening we drink the local wine grown here
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On the road to Limoux. A sun dial reminding us that the hours that have passed shall return no more,written in Occitan, a regional language of southern France
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Limoux
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After Limoux, our chosen route next takes us to St. Polycarpe, a church, a Roman aqueduct and shade for many hours before we go over the hills between us and St. Hilaire. Today the noonday heat is debilitating. We've done hot before, and we've done hills, but never this hot and hills at the same time. So we sit it out in the shade.

St. Polycarpe: A Benedictine abbey dating from the 8th century. The monastery is in ruins, but you can visit the Romanesque church and also see the remains of an aqueduct
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