How is one not mesmerized by the beauty of this village in all of its medieval splendor? Saint-Emilion is full of steep, winding streets and shaded squares, full of invitations to wander and discover.
This village is rich with spectacular and varied religious buildings, opulent manors and a legacy of military architecture, all vestiges of the village’s spiritual, commercial and agricultural history. The ocher limestone and red tile roofs give the city a delicious harmony, even more sublime at sunset.
The site owes its selection as a cultural landscape first and foremost to the limestone. In addition to its importance in the quality of the wine, the rock was used to construct city buildings, and those of the entire Jurisdiction over the centuries: houses, walls, churches, monasteries and estates. The exploitation and trade of this mineral rock ran for ten centuries, from the 10th to the 19th century. The architect Victor Louis even used it to build the famous Grand Théâtre in Bordeaux. But more surprisingly, the quarry itself is located in the bowels of the rocky promontory on which the city is built. Two hundred kilometers of underground tunnels (sometimes several levels) snake under your feet. These underground tunnels served as a means of circulation in the Middle Ages, and especially during the Hundred Years’ War. The nobles of the city are buried there. And it is also here that the largest monolithic church in Europe city was excavated.
People of note from the area
The Gaudet family, an old, prominent family from Saint Emilion, included Elie Gaudet, who was a member of the "Gironde" party (see "Bordeaux - Port of the Moon") and Joseph Gaudet, who was a historian.
A tasty tradition that continues …
Macarons! This delicious specialty was transmitted from generation to generation. Its recipe dates back to 1620 when the Ursuline Sisters established their convent in Saint-Emilion.