The history and culture of the South of France

The great historical paths that cross the Languedoc-Roussillon, the Via Domitia, the route of Saint-Jacques of Compostella and the Canal du Midi, form the structure of this region which has a rich historic and cultural heritage.
  • « The Via Domitia, a road in stone and beaten earth, is the most ancient roman road, the road was constructed in 118 BC which makes it about 2134 years old. First conceived as a military route, it rapidly became an excellent means of communication for commerce, developing links leading to the growth of the towns in the region. Abandoned over the years, certain portions of the original road and some of the infrastructures (bridges, mileposts, markers) are nevertheless still visible, for example at the site of the Ambrussum Oppidum, near Lunel.
  • The Route of Saint-Jacques of Compostella, spiritual and religious itineraries that are still used to this day bear witness to the exceptional expansion of the Christian faith in the middle ages. It was at the beginning of the 11th century that the cathedral of Saint-Jacques of Compostella became the most important destination for pilgrims across Europe. By taking this route starting from Puy-en-Velay which crosses the north of the Lozere department, or the more southerly route, via Arles, you can discover the medieval city of Saint-Gilles with its ancient roman church, and also the Pont du Diable (Devil’s Bridge) and the Gellone Abbey at Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, a magnificent example of early southern French roman art. The Saint-Jacques of Compostella pilgrims’ route is, since 1998, listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

From Roman antiquity to the Middle Ages, passing by the Cathar castles, the historical and cultural heritage of the Languedoc-Roussillon is rich with treasures and symbols of ancient civilizations. The Pont du Gard, the Canal du Midi, the fortified city of Carcassonne, the Routes of Saint-Jacques of Compostella, the Vauban Forts are all World Heritage sites, and are an invitation to visit, whether for cultural, religious or simply touristic reasons.

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