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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sainte-Eulalie d'Olt (Santa Eulalia in Occitan) is a French commune, located in the department of Aveyron, in the Midi-Pyrenees. Its inhabitants are called Encaulats (meaning "eaters col"). In 2011, the city had 368 inhabitants. From the twenty-first century, the census of municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, instead of other cities with census each year. As we can see it's a pretty small town. I have found little historical information on the town. Scholars of history and French connoisseurs can find detailed information here. Pretty detailed, indeed, seems that Michel de Castelnau, who wrote these memories had lived 500 years and had spied everything that happened in the village. Its description is impressive and consists of seven chapters and an appendix. In any case the village born in the middle ages. Is at 420m above sea level built on the left bank of the Lot river. Puech of Campech at 873m, is the highest point of the town with an area of ​​1748 ha. Difference of height is 453 meters. Interesting if you like to improve your health walking uphill.

How to go? It is not easy. You have to take two trains and a taxi. The trip has to be Paris (Gare de Lyon)-Béziers (Gare de Béziers)-Campagnac-Saint Geniez d'Olt (Gare de Campagnac-Saint Geniez d'Olt)-Sainte Eulalie d'Olt. No way. No direct trains from Paris to Sainte Eulalie d'Olt. A big problem here: there is only two trains (TER 78950 and Intercités 15940) from Béziers to Campagnac-Saint Geniez d'Olt departing at 6:42 and 9:37 arriving at 9:18 and 12:12 respectively. You should have to sleep at Béziers. From Gare de Lyon (Place Louis Armand, Paris 12, Metro Lines 1 and 10) to Gare de Béziers here a table of schedules. You can book online. Being in Saint Geniez d'Olt here some Taxi options. Trip is 15.7km, 26m. Sainte Eulalie d'Olt is really a little but pretty town. Flowers by everywhere. See the video at the end of this post by Sylvie Lugans.

Next let's check where to stay. You should have booked your accommodation in advance. It's very important and never I will be tired to insist on this. All France as a tourist country is very requested and hotels are the most. Here you can find many options in Béziers and Saint Geniez d'Olt (close to Sainte Eulalie). For Sainte Eulalie d'Olt, being so little town, use instead Trip Advisor recommendations. Here you have: Hotels (just one), Vacation Rentals (close but not in Sainte Eulalie) and a Travel Guide. There is another place to stay I found in Booking called La Cascade. It's a must to visit the Official Site of Tourism. They always have the most trusted and updated info about Sainte Eulalie d'Olt.

Time to visit the village. There is a Guided Tour, but unfortunately, it is in French. It only costs 3 euros per person. If there dare I leave the link. If you don't understand French let me make an inventory of places to visit.

L'Eglise de Sainte Eulalie d'Olt (The Church) was declared historical monument in 1923. Built in the eleventh century the Roman and Gothic church of Sainte Eulalie d'Olt was fortified in the twelfth century, enlarged in the XVI century and restored several times. The building is reminiscent of the famous sacred destination Conques Abbey. It is sympathetic, as man has always lived to make love and war, she and he respectively, the church had to become a true fortified defense building during the twelfth century after countless attacks. In one of its many reconstruction work (why don't you attack a pride of lions, enemies), an Altar Stone of the tenth century was discovered. When you pass around the chorus by the ambulatory, you will find in the axial chapel, the altar stone whose antiquity will not necessarily jump to the eyes. However... it bears the mark of Pierre Deusdedit, bishop in 920!

The church was burned by the Huguenots in 1586 and there are still visible traces of fire in the interior staircase. On the other hand, say the parishioners, the church houses a bust reliquary in gold wood containing two thorns from the crown of Christ, authenticated and brought from the Holy Land by Hugues and Gérard de Curières. Have to agree with the Parisians because they say that the entire Holy Crown is in Notre Dame de Paris. Every year on the second Sunday of July, the entire population participates in the procession following the main streets of the town porting the reliquary bust. There is also a statue of Sainte Eulalie on the facade of the church took from here.

Le Château de Curières de Castelnau de Sainte Eulalie d'Olt (the Castle), is a fortified house belonging to the family of Curières whose knights made ​​the first cross with Saint Louis. The original castle fell into ruin and was replaced in the late fifteenth century by the present building. It is roughly rectangular with a tower of stairs facing the garden. The facade that faces the square has a porch and a window to the Gothic style. The facade that faces the garden has the semicircular stair tower. Inside is a Renaissance fireplace in the office and a Gothic fireplace in the living even with paint strokes. French ceiling on all three levels.

For lovers of painting, at the edge of the Lot river is the Musée Marcel Boudou (Marcel Boudou Museum) in three rooms, opens their doors in July and August each year. Photographic exhibitions and works of the painter Marcel Boudou and his wife Jeanne St Gaudens are presented. Admission is free. There is also an Art School for those interested in learning how to paint.

There is also an old mill. An old hydraulic mill using the river energy to move the wheel. It was used for grinding grain, mainly wheat. It is a beauty considering the years that could have (I think nobody really knows) and the good state of conservation that is. I read somewhere that in 1789 belonged to one Pierre Blanc and in 1807 was still exploited by one Pierre Saunié. The Pierre's mill would be a good name for this technological marvel of the Middle Ages. I imagine people of Sainte Eulalie preparing his flour to make bread this way. If I were the mayor I would try to put into operation this mill selling the flour to attract more tourists.

The river Lot is large. There are several dams along its course. Near Sainte Eulalie d'Olt is the dam of Castelnau-Lassouts. About 6 km. Excellent for fishing. Big fish indeed. This video in Cabanac witness what can be done. It's a matter of cheer and go.

In Sainte Eulalie d'Olt has been established a center of arts and crafts. The artists found refuge there for his creations. An old barn from the sixteenth century was restored and equipped to install the artists and artisans. It features two painters, a maker of stringed instruments, a manufacturer of weathercock and a manufacturer of beehives Warré. Admission is free all year round.

And do not miss Le bouilleur de cru de Sainte-Eulalie d’Olt. In Place de l'Eglise (Church Square), from October to February, Remy Ladet makes the water of life in his still. He uses plums, grapes and apples to make the water that apparently lengthens life. If you want to live 100 years (powerful, at least enough, of course) be sure to visit this place and take your bottles. The smell of the fruit is intense and is impossible to miss. Long life, drinkers. Photo by Muriel.

La Poule Un (The Hen One) is a traditional hen sale that takes place every year in Sainte Eulalie d'Olt. The first lot (live) is offered at auction, hence the name. Then there is a bazaar where chestnuts, walnuts, pastries, eggs, home water of life and spirit are sold. A hen can be sold in 40 euros ($52) or more! The benefits are intended to say masses for the souls in purgatory. They know nothing about business these cures of our Catholic churches. Btw, I'm Catholic.

Bien, mon petit amis, c'est tout (That's all folks). But have before a complete list of the best restaurants in Sainte Eulalie d'Olt according to Trip Advisor. Just one, wao. It should be more. Anyway, enjoy your meal. Au revoir!

Sainte Eulalie d'Olt

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