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La Baume et Saint Vérédème, site classé
A magnificent site in the heart of the canyons formed by the Gardon river.This beautiful area where there is an ancient hermitage is only accessible on foot. An hour’s hike will take you here and the effort is more than worth it. All that remains of this ancient hermitage is the chapel, scattered ruins and an amazing cave, Saint Vérédème cave which stretches over a length of 150 meters. The cave opens in a vertical wall and forms a tunnel. It has been occupied since the early Paleolithic era, by Neanderthal man and in the Neolithic. Several ceramic pieces have been found, they can be seen at the museum in Nîmes. LEGEND OR TRUTH: Saint Vérédème was a Greek hermit born in the year 640. He settled on the banks of the Gardon river and St Gilles came and joined him. Many miracles including much-needed rainfall were attributed to the two saints. Saint Vérédème then became bishop of Avignon, after Saint Agricol. He is the patron saint of the shepherds in the Crau plains. He died in 720. This 8th-century hermitage is said to be the oldest Christian construction in the Bas Languedoc. The roof made with stone slabs has a lovely barrel arch. The paintings in the apse are from the 13th century. Stairs were built much later, to make it easier to reach the cave. The inhabitants of the town de Sanilhac made a pilgrimage to La Baume each year, praying for beneficial rain. This custom appears to have stopped in 1962. On the banks of the river two grinding mills remain, one of which was built in a vaulted shape, prepared to survive the periodic floodwaters on the Gardon river. To the south, many vestiges of former dwellings testify to tourist activity in the early 20th century which fortunately did not continue. The road has many switchbacks and was used to shoot the film "Le salaire de la peur" in 1952, with Yves Montand in one of his very first films... ACCESS: Park in the village of Sanilhac then on foot (approximately 3 km) follow the wide path which goes southward. Walk to the end of the cultivated fields, then go to the right. Follow the signs...
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30700 SANILHAC SAGRIES