Saint Emilion is a picturesque medieval village located 45 minutes away from Bordeaux by car. It is known worldwide for its red wine, itsGrandCrus and its magnificent wine-producing castles. Despite its small size, this village hides manyhistorical and religiousriches. Here are the sites you really should visit while in Saint Emilion.
The Mediaval City
Start your discovery of the village with a stroll in the medieval city that will leads you through its narrow winding streets called knolls, ramparts, and cobbled squares. The village is placed on a limestone plateau and built mainly from stones extracted from it. This explains the 200 km of underground galleries in the region which provided the limestone needed for the construction of several buildings in the region, including Bordeaux.You will find many vestiges of the great Romanesque period. The streets are lined with restaurants and shops selling famous wines of Saint Emilion, or macaroons which are a gastronomic specialty of the village.
Saint Emilion Vineyard
Situated in the heart of the famous Bordeaux vineyards, Saint Emilionmeets all the conditions for high quality wine production. Indeed, the omnipresent limestone offers an exceptional soil to the vines of Saint Emilion. In addition, it has vineyards of great geological diversity and a microclimate perfectly suited to viticulture. The professionals take meticulous care of the vine and ensure a clever blend of grape varieties, of which Merlot is the dominant one. The result is wines of exceptional quality and varieties, with particularly appreciated olfactory and taste nuances. Opt for a St Emilion wine tour to discover the best of the local vineyards.
The Monolithic Church and the Trinity Chapel
The monolithic church is undoubtedly the flagship building of Saint Emilion. This is the largest underground church in Europe and the most emblematic site of the city with the cloister of the Cordeliers. This underground religious building was dug into a single block of stone at the end of the 11th century by the Benedictines. You can climb on its 68m high steeple to enjoy an impressive view of the village and its beautiful vineyard.
The King’s Tower
Located within the city walls, the Tour du Roi, is a large dungeon that has impressively remained intact since its construction in the 13th century. It had been used at the time as a fortress for the city defense until the end of the 16th century. This tower is the only vestige of the castle of Saint Emilion or Roy Castle. It symbolizes the royal power. It is on an isolated massif with natural caves and quarries exploited since the Middle Age. It is protected on three sides by a ditch. A splendid panoramic view of the surroundings of Saint Emilion awaits you from the top of this 32 meters high tower, after having climbed 118 steps.