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Small-Scale Built Heritage

The economy, long dominated by agriculture and wine growing, spurred the creation of numerous distinctive and authentic works. A wealth of small-scale built heritage awaits visitors off the beaten track.

 

The capitelles (dry-stone huts)

Capitelles are igloo-shaped huts built from flat dry stones (roofing stones) without mortar. Farmers and wine growers used them for shelter while waiting for the rain to stop or for a short nap. Capitelles were also used for storing the stones that were constantly removed from the plots to prepare them for cultivation. Today they add to the beauty of the wine-growing landscape and pique the curiosity of walkers.

Dry-stone walls

As small strips of stones on the hillside, stone walls help to organise and mark out the terraced crops.

Other uses include marking out plots of land, penning in livestock or decorating gardens.

Bread ovens

In the past, each town had its own bread oven. Aside from its main function, the town bread oven was above all a sociable place, hence why you will often find a bench nearby.

Menhirs and dolmens

From the Canal du Midi to Saint Chinian, a number of megalithic remains in limestone rock stand as a reminder of the first organised societies who passed through there. In fact, Languedoc is home to more dolmens than Brittany. Discover them at Cébazan, Assignan, Villespassans.

Windmills and watermills

 As a key part of local life, mills were the preferred place for socialising, sharing information and traditional activities. In Saint Chinian, the Moulin du Rocher is a grain mill that was fully restored in 2000 and offers spectacular panoramic views of Saint Chinian and its vineyards. The Eolienne de Bollée wind turbine is a stand-out feature of the hamlet of Rouïere, which lies on the road linking Capestang to Quarante. Built by Auguste Bollée, it supplies water to the Rouïère château.

 

 

 

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