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07/08/2013 - Life of the site

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In the surrounding countryside

The Lunel region is a land steeped in Latin and Provencal history. Here you will find: exceptional Romanesque churches at Saturargues, Saussines and Villetelle; the Fonds Médard in Lunel with its 5000 ancient books; the Lunel-Viel Orangerie set in a park; the Renaissance facade of the Marsillargues Castle; Villetelle's capitelles; the Calodons architectural ensemble (the old market square in Lunel); the Roman bridge and the remains of ramparts at Boisseron...


Towns and villages of the Lunel countryside


  • A village situated at the crossing point of ancient roads; established under Roman occupation.
  • A bridge built in the 1st century AD over the Bénovie, a tributary of the Vidourle.
  • From the 12th century, Boisseron became a small fortified town with a castle and priory.
  • Fortified gate (12th-13th century); remnants of medieval walls (listed by DRAC– Regional Direction of Cultural Affairs).



  • The first habitation of Lunel appears to have been around 1000 AD.
  • Named 'Little Medieval Jerusalem' in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries because of its large Jewish community.
  • Its central location at the junction of several road and river routes made it a hub of regional trade.
  • With the completion of the Canal de Lunel in 1728, the town enjoyed a century of vibrant prosperity.
  • Muscat de Lunel', produced between Montpellier and Nimes on siliceous soil, has been known since the seventeenth century. English travellers described this wine in the 18th century as 'the best Muscat'. Lunel-Viel, Vérargues and Saturargues share the production of this very fruity wine from vines grown on pebbly ground.



  • Prehistoric caves of Mas des Caves (550,000 BC).
  • Visigoth tombs. Gallo-Roman village.
  • Castle (orangery, park, garden), 1876.
  • The 'Tour des Farges' Castle.



  • Domaine du Chateau (also called Guillaume de Nogaret Castle), constructed over different times, the earliest being in 1305 by Guillaume of Nogaret, of which only the square tower with its turret remains.
  • Paul Pastre Museum.Church of the Transfiguration (17-18th century).
  • Occitane Herd and Saint Gabriel Herd.



  • Saint-Christol was created in the twelfth century through the establishment of the Hospitaliers of Saint John of Jerusalem.
  • Hospitalier's Castle.
  • Hospitalier's Circuit des Croix. (Circuit of the Crosses).
  • Some wines and vines located in this community are classified AOC. Those classified AOP are today among the top wines of the region.
  • 'Saint Christol' Wine was served at the table of King St. Louis and was appreciated from 1260 to 1789 by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem (who also obtained the Commandery of Saint Christol, in exchange for that of Aigues-Mortes. Produced from over 700 hectares of vineyards, it consists of Carignan, Cinsault and Grenache grapes to which have been added in recent years, Syrah and Mourvèdre.



  • Traces of ancient occupation have been found in various parts of the town – at Pont Trinquat and in the environs of 'Bouscaillon'.
  • The current village of Saint-Just is mentioned in 1157, in the archives of the  Aniane'Abbey.
  • Camargue traditions are deeply rooted in St. Just.


Saint-Nazaire de Pézan

  • The shores of St Nazaire de Pézan have sheltered ports from Roman times until the Middle Ages. The ports have now disappeared.
  • Its existence was attested in the eighth century following the development of maritime traffic.
  • The Romanesque style church, built in the eleventh or twelfth century. The bell is classified under 'Historical Artifacts'.
  • Its surroundings are typical of a Petite Camargue village with its reedbed once being well-known. Natura 2000, aims to protect all the various natural resources of the area in classifying the banks of the Etang de l'Or.


Saint Sériès

  • The village of Saint-Sériès appears in the Middle Ages. Its land belonged partly to the Hospitaliers of Saint-Christol at that time.
  • Legend tells us that once, its inhabitants called themselves 'pelicans' because they fished by tying a cloth around their necks as a net.
  • La Roque de Saint-Sériès is a 70 metre deep sheer gorge between two rocks carved by the Vidourle river.



  • Remains of the Gallo-Roman eraThe Via Domitia crossed the present town to the south.
  • Sainte Marie of the Assumption Church (12th century) preserves quality liturgical artifacts, including a silver chalice classified under Historical Furniture.
  • Saturargues is a part of the Muscat de Lunel  appellation



  • One of the oldest villages in the Vidourle valley; owes its name to the Salsinas Villa mentioned with its church from 844.
  • The current chapel, from the Romanesque era (11th century), is classified in Historical Monuments. Mentioned in 1090 in the Maguelone Cartulary, the Church depended on Psalmodie Abbey.
  • Many winegrowers' houses are still visible in the village. The oldest ones have external staircases and cellars situated on the ground floor. The latest, from the late nineteenth century, attest to the prosperity which arose from wine culture.
  • The Tourilles fountain, a source of slightly sparkling drinking water, has existed since time immemorial. This source, located in the Saussines village, is the same as that of Ribansol. The source springs in the Tourilles wood, hence its name, 'La source des Tourilles'.



  • The origins of Vérargues seem to be medieval which is probably related to the nearby settlement of the Hospitallers of Saint-Christol.
  • La Devèze Castle (18th century).
  • The village owes its fame to being at the heart of Muscat de Lunel production. Two private cellars also produce the famous sweet wine – favourite of kings and artists; Jean-Jacques Rousseau called it 'the best Muscat in Europe'.



  • Ambrussum archaeological site (whose ramparts and Ambroix bridge are classified).
  • The remains of the paved road (Via Domitia).
  • Villetelle village was created during the late Middle Ages. Only the Romanesque church of Saint Geraud reflects the medieval way of life.



Towns and villages around the Pays de Lunel


  • Teillan Castle, ancient Roman Castrum and property of the Psalmodi Abbey. It was rebuilt in the 17th century after the religious wars. It features a wide dovecote (1605), a collection of milestones, Roman stelas and Languedoc's largest waterwheel built above the Roman Baths.



  • A vast and imposing castle of the seventeenth century, now we can only see the magnificent remains of this once major monument. Featuring architecture of exceptional quality, particularly the north house (or central body), containing stairs designed by the King's engineer, Alexis de la Feuille de Merville and made by Dardaillon, a manufacturer from Nimes. This work, which belongs to the commune, was registered as a Historical Monument in 1998.



  • Parish church (11th century)
  • Some remnants of the Via Domitia
  • Some remains of the Ambroix bridge



  • Church (11-12th century)
  • A coarse anecdote: It was said in Valergues that the giant Gargantua once halted with one foot on Mont Ventoux and the other on Pic Saint-Loup to drink from the sea. He swallowed a ship of the line, whose stock of gunpowder ignited, causing Gargantua to expel it with explosive flatulence.

Quality labels

Opening time :


  • October to December and February to May : open every afternoon except Monday, 2pm – 5.30pm
  • June and September : open daily except Monday, 10am – 12.30pm / 2 pm – 5.30pm
  • July and August : open daily except Monday, 10am – 12.30pm / 2.30pm – 7pm

Guided visits (in french)

Guided visits are available at 3pm every Saturdays without booking and some Sundays with booking (click here for see all the dates). 



Free access to archeological site and site museum.

Prices of guided visits (in french only)

  • Full rate : 5€
  • Reduced rate : 4€
  • Reduced price : 12-18 years olds, students, jobseekers, groups ≥ 10 people
  • Free for children less than 12


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