St Emilion Region Attractions
The St Emilion region takes in eight communes, making it one of the most heavily cultivated areas in the Bordeaux region.The Jurade, a secular body established by King John of England and France in 1199, still plays an important role in the St Emilion industry. The members of this body continue to wear the traditional red robes. At the end of September the fraternity proclaims the "ban des vendanges" from the roof of the Château du Roy. This marks the start of the grape harvest.
St Emilion, France
The charming little town of St Emilion (pop. 3,400), lies on a hill to the east of Bordeaux, still partly surrounded by its old walls (13th-15th C.). It has a fine collegiate church in Romanesque/Byzantine style (12th-15th C.) with beautiful 16th C. stained glass and a 14th C. cloister. To the south, on the rim of a gorge, is a Romanesque/Gothic bell tower (15th C.), below which, entirely hewn from the rock, is the "monolithic church" (12th-16th C.). Adjoining this is the Chapelle de la Trinité (13th C.), below which is the cave hermitage of St Emilion, with the saint's "bed" in a recess in the rock. The town has a picturesque market square and from here a street runs up to the Château du Roi, a castle built by Louis VIII in the 13th C.The surrounding historic landscape which has remained little changed since Roman times has earned the surrounding jurisdiction a UNESCO World Heritage designation.
The Château Ausone was named after the Roman consul and poet Ausonius. It is located on the edge of St-Emilion's limestone plateau. It is worth visiting for the spectacular views of the valley of the Dordogne.
The Château Beauséjour is an attractive estate on the west-facing Côtes surrounding St-Emilion. Built in 1860, this Italianate villa has three floors and outbuildings that used to serve as the coach house and stables.
Château Cheval Blanc
The Château Cheval Blanc is one of only two estates in the St Emilion region producing Premier Grand Cru Classé A. It is a white château with plenty of character. Its soils are known for their gravel content.
Located almost opposite the Eglise Collégiale in St Emilion, Château Fourtet is one of the most worthwhile châteaux visits in the region. Its extensive cellars are carved from rock.