Saint Emilion, Jurisdiction - Visit time : 2 days.
The picturesque village of Saint-Emilion is perfect for a stroll down its medieval cobblestone streets. But that’s not the only reason visitors venture here.
A name known around the world, Saint-Emilion has a reputation that has been earned over the centuries through the trade of wine production, omnipresent in the landscape of the Jurisdiction. Only the wine estates, each more sumptuous than the other, stud this vineyard landscape shaped by man. The best way to understand this land and its traditions is to taste the nectar of its labor (in moderation), legacy of its long and singular history.
The Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion and its eight municipalities constitute an outstanding landscape of indisputable value. The numerous monuments of the region, some of which are also of exceptional value, such as the Menhir de Pierrefitte (prehistoric upright stone) or the Church of Saint-Emilion, beautifully symbolize the history of the region and the richness of the different cultures that have left their mark with these priceless monuments. And even the character of the eight surrounding towns has evolved with the changing needs of their inhabitants. Most important, however, is how human activity has conformed to the characteristics of the landscape. Without destroying the countryside, communities, past and present, have made the most of its features while landscaping and developing their way of life. Quarrying, settlement and urban development, the building of churches, monasteries and private houses – all of this helped create a community in harmony with the topography of the land. The search for production quality, respect of the soil and the development of production techniques have sustained and strengthened its beauty.
The Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion is a living landscape that retains an active social role in contemporary society, and though closely associated with the traditional way of life, it also shows evidence of its evolution over time. It was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1999 as a cultural landscape.
Criteria for Selection
Criterion (iii) : The Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion is an outstanding example of a historic vineyard landscape that has survived intact and is still active today.
Criterion (iv) : The historic Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion is an exceptional example of the intensive cultivation of wine grapes in a precisely defined region.
Source : UNESCO / ICOMOS