The Greater Saint-Emilion Area


  • Sainte-Terre


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      Presentation of the municipality Sainte-Terre is a town in the Greater Saint-Emilion Area and it is also part of the Canton of Coteaux de Dordogne. Its area is 139 ha, and is located 8 km from Saint-Émilion. Today the town has 1,891 inhabitants, called the Saint-Terrois and Sainte-Terroises.   A bit of history… Origin of the name The name of the town comes from Sancta Terra, the name of an ancient church built on the highest point of the village, where soil brought from Palestine was spread.  History Upon returning from the First Crusade (1096-1099), soil brought from Palestine was spread at the highest point of the village and a church was built there, named Terra Sancta. With the French Revolution, the parish of Notre Dame of Sainte-Terre formed the town of Sainte-Terre, a  fishing-farmers village. Set on the banks of the Dordogne River, fishing is a tradition that has continued until today. In the 15th century, a fishery existed in the municipality. Still nowadays one can buy fish caught during the season. The lamprey is mainly fished, embeded in the towns culture, which self-proclaimed World Capital of Lamprey since 1990. The coat of arms of Sainte-Terre shows a bunch grapes representing the vineyards, a lamprey recalling that the town is the capital of the lamprey, the scow evokes the river trade of the 19th century on the Dordogne river, and a scallop represents the situation of Sainte-Terre on the road to Santigo de Compostela. Nowadays, the architectural heritage of Sainte-Terre is characterized by beautiful houses, built in the 19th century all along the Lavagnac road, bordering the Dordogne River.   A water-rich natural heritage South of Sainte-Terre flows the Dordogne River, over some 3 kilometers. The town is also crossed, over some 600 meters by the Langrane Creek.   Vineyards… At Sainte-Terre, wines are produced under the appellations of Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur.   Points of interest: The Jardin de la lamproie (the lamprey garden) is a botanical garden of 5000 m² which houses over 400 species of waterside plants, arranged along a pebbled path recalling the winding of the Dordogne River. More information here. The Jardin de la Lamproie is also a tourist information office managed since 2015 by the Tourist Office of the Greater Saint-Emilion Area. The office offers hikes and bike routes from Sainte-Terre. The hike "Sainte-Terre, along the Dordogne"; and three bike rides: "The Dordogne Valley and its vineyards," "Along the Dordogne with the family" and "Saint-Terre and the Dordogne River." These rides are available here; the Tourist Office also rents bicycles.   The Feast of the Lamprey usually takes place in April and is organized by fifteen Associations of Sainte-Terre which want to promote the gastronomic specialty.   The Church of Saint Alexis was built between the Romanesque period until the end of the Gothic period. It consists of a very simple nave and an apse which date from the first construction stage. The upper part of the facade has characteristics of decorative elements that belong to the late Gothic style. The steeple wall with its baroque appearance, was built in the second half of the 18th century. The church was enlarged in the late 18th or early 19th century. A large mounted canvas, painted in trompe l'oeil made in 1780 by Tomaso Tessa, a famous Italian artist, replaces the originally scheduled dome. The apse is decorated with restored paintings of the 18th century. The walls and the vault are decorated in shades of blue, red and gold. On the ceiling above the altar, there is a fresco and in a triangle the symbol of the Trinity - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; also the eye of God appears. The church has a rich altarpiece which is intended to glorify the Virgin Mary. It was completely restored both inside and out in 2007; it has been registered as Historical Monuments since 1925. Gueyrosse Château was built during the first half of the 19th century. In 1863, the house had a remarkable balcony comparable to those of New Orleans, entirely made out of forged iron. Moreover, until 1942, the Château had wings that were destroyed due to the tax on doors and windows.    Opening days of the City hall Monday to Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday: 8:30 am to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m.  to 4:30 p.m.
  • Tayac


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      Presentation of the municipality Tayac is a town situated on the edge of a loop of the Dordogne, belonging to the Canton of North Libourne and part of the 22 villages of the community of parishes of the Greater Saint-Emilion. Its area is 722 hectares and it is located 13 kilometers from Saint Emilion and 18 kilometers from Libourne. The town now has 131 inhabitants, called Tayacais and Tayacaises   A bit of history… Origin of the name The origin of Tayac could come from Talius that would come from the Gallic talos. History The town of Tayac is the smallest of the North Libourne Canton. It has been inhabited since Early History: the discovery of a treasure dated from the 3rd century confirms this. In the Middle Ages, Tayac belonged to the lordship of Puynormand, who was sold a plot by Henri IV in 1602. Tayac remains connected to neighboring villages. The barony of Puynormand gathered together the parishes of Puynormand, Francs, Saint-Sauveur, Gours, Saint-Cibard and Tayac. A natural heritage The village is crossed by the river Le Palais from about 1.5 km.   Vineyards… Located in the heart of the wine appellation of Francs Côtes de Bordeaux, the vineyards of Tayac are surrounded by forests.   Points of interest: The romanesque church of Notre-Dame of Tayac is located at the entrance of the village, on top of a hill, overlooking a landscape of vineyards. Dating from the 12th century, it is surrounded by the cemetery enclosed by stone walls. Like most Romanesque churches it has a massive architecture with narrow openings. It has a nave with three bays and an apse composed of a barrel vault, ending in a circular barrel vault. In the 16th century, the bell tower was rebuilt for defensive purposes and the western façade was pierced with a new door that opened under three arches. The church Notre-Dame sobriety and some of its architectural elements make it a fine example of Romanesque architecture. The church is also listed as a historical monument.   The cross of mission of Tayac was erected in a high place of procession during the first half of the 19th century and evokes many religious traditions. It consists of a stone plinth and a wooden cross of 2.50 meters high, on which a figure of crucified Christ is attached. The cross is there to remind the walker of the importance of religious traditions that exist in this place, and testifies to the second wave of evangelization in the middle of the 20th century.   The Gallic treasure of Tayac is exposed in the Musée d'Aquitaine in Bordeaux. It is one of the most fabulous discoveries of Celtic Europe, composed of 500 Celtic coins, a golden thread rolled spiral weighing 53.40 grams, 73 small bars but also a gold torque weighing 4 kg (the torque is sacred necklace, it is worn by heroized warriors or gods). The reasons for the burial of this treasure remain unknown.     Opening days of the City hall Monday and Tuesday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm Friday from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Vignonet


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      A village bordered by the Dordogne River...   Presentation of the municipality Vignonet is a town situated on the edge of a loop of the Dordogne River, belonging to the Coteaux of Dordogne’s Canton and part of 8 towns of the Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion and site listed as world heritage by UNESCO. Its area is 415 hectares and its located 7 km from Saint-Emilion and 12 km from Libourne. The town now has 495 inhabitants, called Vinitais and Vinitaises.   A bit of history… Vignonet has always had a predominant wine business and helps to establish the reputation of the renowned wine of Saint-Emilion.   A water-rich natural heritage In the south, Vignonet is bordered by the Dordogne River and is crossed by about 2 km of the Langrane Creek.   Vineyards… Vignonet is a municipality producing wine of Saint-Emilion. A third of the vineyards of Saint-Emilion are located in the plain of the Dordogne. More information on the vineyard of Saint-Emilion here.   Points of interest Since the early 17th century, at least, the port of Vignonet at La Cale is situated on the outer side of the lower valley of the Dordogne. Among the goods loaded or unloaded there were blocks of limestone. A loading of stone from Saint-Émilion was attested in January of 1620 for the construction of the Hotel Pichon, in the Cours de l’Intendance in Bordeaux. In 1929, upgrading works to facilitate the unloading of goods on the pavement of La Cale were made at the port. The port of Vignonet becomes a place to discover the exceptional panoramic view of the semicircle outlined by river in this landscape.   Saint-Brice Church was built in the 12th century. It is a building with clean architecture. Its entrance is preceded by a porch, a so-called blanket "ballet" once common in southwestern churches in France. The facade is formed from a belfry wall. Nowadays, there are several elements of the Romanesque church: a portion of diamond point archivolt, three arched windows, pilasters and buttresses for an arched door with three arches hanging down on the piers. In 1854, the nave and sanctuary were vaulted with bricks and plaster. Like the nave of the church of Saint-Terre, the sanctuary and its vault are decorated with painted frescoes.. The church houses a 17th century altarpiece intended to glorify the Virgin Mary. From either side of the altar, rise four columns in imitation marble with volute capitals. It is also decorated with gold. At the center in its niche, stands the Virgin Mary.   The industrial distillery, launched in 1940 by a small-scale producer of liquor, M. Vidal. Grape marc and wine lees are treated there. This roadside distillery is characterized by its brick walls. On the side wall amounted stainless steel vats.     Opening days of the City hall Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.