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Roquebrun

Posted by Freddy Rueda on 17/03/2021
0

General Information

Population: 650
Altitude : 56m
Shops and amenities: The village has a post office, cafés, a small shop and a canoeing centre
Postcode : 34460

Sites of Interest

The land around Roquebrun is very rich in shale which means it retains water and stores heat to release it slowly. This allows Mediterranean plans and trees to thrive as they do in Provence, which is why Roquebrun’s nickname is le petit Nice, – the little ‘Nice’ of Hérault.

River Orb
Col de Vernède
Mediterranean Garden

Activities and Economy

The winery
Mimosa Festival in February
Watersports, canoeing and kayaking
Walking and hiking

History


The origins of the village are about 2 miles away in the Prieure of St Andre which includes the ruins of a Roman villa. The tower is the main image on the Roquebrun coat of arms, and dominates the village. There are numerous similar towers that remain in the area. It has recently been restored and returned to what is believed to be its original configuration. There were conflicts in the area up to and through the 1789 revolution and beyond, including the noteworthy conflicts between the Cathars (who were considered heretics) and the Roman Catholic Church. Those conflicts are well documented and include the destruction of Béziers by the Catholic forces in 1209.

The village was dominated by several powerful competing families. The poor majority found a living from the poor soil of the hills by raising sheep and goats, fishing, olives, vines and flour from sweet chestnuts. The population was much reduced by the black plague and subsequently by tuberculosis and cholera. The population grew rapidly from about 1800 and was supported by the economy of wine production from the 1820s until the phylloxera infection of the vines in the 1890s. Phylloxera was brought through imported vines from the United States, where it is endemic. All French vines are now grafted onto Native American grape rootstock. Rail transport was the means to distribute the wine internally and to the ports. Spanish workers began to settle in Roquebrun from about 1850 and refugees from the civil war settled in the late 1930s.

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