Laurens is a charming village, very typical of the Languedoc. Its château dates back to the 12th century but bronze ornaments found in the village, known as ‘The Visigoth Jewels’, have been dated back to 700 years before the château was even built.
Today, the ancient castle is put to more peaceable use and houses the Mairie. You enter by the terrace garden whose walls have lost their crenellations and loop holes. The first room is the ancient chapel. You then pass into the interior court and the ‘caveau’ displaying the wines of Laurens was once the guardroom. This room has an interior door on to what was once the prison and oubliettes (dungeons).
Vines and wines have always been important to Laurens. At the Grande Monastique de Sauvanes, of which all that can now be seen are some ruins in the middle of the vineyards, the monks cultivated the vines using very modern methods for their time. This knowledge was passed onto the local villagers and thus Laurens became known as a centre for wine-making excellence. This reputation still holds and as part of the outstanding Faugères AOC, wines made in this little village are shipped all over the world.
The village has most services that a visitor could wish for - a boulangerie, butcher, pharmacy, cafés, restaurants, and a market on Thursday morning. There are also various festivals throughout the year, where everyone is welcome to sit in the shade and eat, drink and be merry. The Fete de Musique is always on June 21st or the nearest Saturday and this is an excellent opportunity to hear some really good, live music in the heart of the village.
For trips out, Laurens is well-situated to take advantage of the coastal plain with its big towns— Béziers and Narbonne —and the hills to the north of the High Languedoc National Park. The long, sandy beaches of the Mediterranean are only 35 minutes away. Even Spain is only one and a half hours driving. Slightly further afield (a bit over an hour by car) is the famous medieval citadel of Carcassonne.
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