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Rustiques Village - Aude, France

The vineyards that surround Rustiques

A short history of the village.

The origin of the name of the commune, the only one in France, is attributed to the Latin name "Rusticus", in 908 Rustuvilla, Rusticas in 1063 and Rusticanum in 1209.

In Neolithic times the area of the commune was game filled forest and streams full of fish, a larder for the herdsmen of the high plateau. Sites indicating their passage can be discovered here and there.

By the first century BC a large part of the forests had been cut down by the Vogues Descartes (a mixture of Celt, Iberians and Figurings). With the Roman conquest and the arrival of settlers, many Roman 'Villae' appeared. The traces of many of these can be seen around the area.

The Commanders Tomb at the church in Rustiques

Life continued thus until the eighth century, when the long periods of peace became interrupted by invasions of Barbarians. The Visigoths, who became part of the Gallo-romain system, and the Arabs, who did not settle, but lived by raiding, were amongst the most notable. But by far the most terrible and destructive of all these was the conquest of the region by the Francs.

The Commander's tomb :

The arrival of Christianity saw the construction of the church, and the arrival in the thirteenth century of the Knights of St.John of Jerusalem.

In the face of the growing insecurity of the times the inhabitants began to abandon their widely scattered lands. The rocky outcrop in the centre of the old village was chosen as the place for the Château and, little by little, houses were built around it to create a fortified enclosure. The beginning of the Feudal era.

Rustiques church

This situation continued until half way through the nineteenth century when many buildings were constructed around the village: Clock, Town Hall, School, Presbytery, Wine vaults and individual houses. The fortified village was opened up in many places to give access to the new road. These days with the development of building land the village has once again changed it's appearance.

Thus the way followed since Prehistory! One could say, in this start of the third millennium, that despite all the upheavals of the past, particularly the twentieth century, the typical setting of the commune has remained the same, and the village has kept, and hopefully will always keep it's special aspect... Rustiques.

 

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