Minerve in the Minervois
The first views of Minerve give the impression of a village nestling in the foothills of the Black Mountains, in fact protected as it is by the surrounding hills Minerve is built high on a rocky promontory at the confluence of the rivers " Cesse " & " Brian ". In the foreground can be seen vinyards of the Minervois region which takes its name, as does the village, from the Roman Godess of Wisdom, " Minerva ".
The population of Minerve declined steadily from circa 1850, and it was not until this happened, that in the beginning of the 20th century the high-arched bridge was built. Minerve was once a stronghold of the mediaeval Manichaen sect, the Cathar religion, and it was here in 1210 that one hundred and eighty " Parfaits ", as the followers of the religion were called, were burned to death. Now a few gift shops, gîrctes and Winemakers are to be found. The only remaining part of the ancient Cathar castle which once stood here is this monolithic tower.
The monument, with a symbolic Dove of " peace " carved in it alongside the plaque, both in memory of the terrible massacre of 1210 by the Crusaders of Simon de Montfort.
The river "Cesse" (So called because during much of the year it ceases!) passes beneath the road, the river has scoured a huge cavern large enough to house concerts during the summer, and the exit on the village side would allow a bus to pass with ease!
Notice how the roads around Minerve follow the ridges between the deeply carved river canyons!
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Revised -- 11 October 2017