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My Languedoc village

Anduze (30140)


OK, I have to say it, Anduze is one of my favourite villages in the Languedoc. I like it because, even in Winter the cafes are lively, there are restaurants open and I can always meet someone to chat there... oh, yes there's a good Maison de la Presse where I can buy all sort of tourist guides AND a really good selection of English newspapers and magazines.

This has a downside. From mid July to mid August, the four or so nearby camp-site's tourists spill in the village and make shopping, parking and finding a seat in a cafe insufferable (that's when you go to St Hippolyte du Fort for the market : the tourists don't seem to find it).

Anduze has a population of a little over 3000 people. It's situated on the river Gardon where you'll find stunning cliffs of rock formations that gives Anduze it's fabulous views. The Gardon has stony beaches where you'll find kids paddling and
people sunning themselves in the Summer. The Gardon from September to December can be a little tricky and has been known to flood the centre of Anduze on more than one occasion... especially September 2002, when
Anduze was the epicentre of a huge storm, that caused huge damage all over the Gard and Herault departments.

Anduze is situated 25 mins South of Ales (where you'll find the big warehouse type shops), 45 mins West of Nimes and around 1 hour North of Montpellier. It's off the commuter catchment area for these two big towns and Anduze is truly the gateway to the Cevennes (mountain range).

The seigneurie of Anduze was established at the beginning of the 10th Century, and were an ally of the counts of Toulouse and participated in the crusades against the Albigensians.

At the end of the 13th Century Anduze was the main centre in this area for the silk industry. You'll see plenty of Magnaneries in the area : large square-ish farm buildings, in which they used to take the Mulberry tree branches to feed the worms. It was also an important area for wool.

In the 16th and 17th Centuries, Anduze was centre of Protestantism in the Cevennes. Many houses in the area have their own cemeteries, as Protestants weren't allowed into the village cemeteries until as late as 1860. You'll also find a lot of window shutters still painted grey or burgundy - the Protestant colours. I have friends who's old houses still have the places where the priests were hidden.

You'll find all the facilities you'll require in Anduze. Doctors, dentists, chemists, medium sized supermarket � well, just about everything you'll need. There's a weekly market on Tuesdays, that has a small covered area, right next to a stunningly beautiful tiled-roofed well. During the Summer there are night markets with fireworks, jugglers and lots of fun things. Sometimes there's an outdoor cinema in the park (very pretty with swans and activities for children.) They also have Christmas markets and during the Summer, special Sundays for locals to sell their own produce and pottery markets too.

Anduze is well known for the Bambouseraie - a large park full of Bamboo... worth a trip in the Summer when it's too hot as it's lovely and shady.

You can get to the Bambouseraie with the Steam Train - a gorgeous 40 minute journey from Anduze to St Jean du Gard stops en route. It takes a route away from the road into the Cevennes � beautiful unspoilt countryside. When you get to St Jean du Gard visit the Aquarium, or sit on the riverbank and eat a picnic.

Anduze is also well known for it's pots - large garden pots, mostly found outside of mairie's all over the South of France. They have a very distinctive pattern and shape. I particularly like the Poterie de la Madeleine � a fantastic shop selling everything from beautiful mosaic garden furniture through to oven to table ware... via the Vase d'Anduze.

Just nearby is the route that Robert Louis Stevenson took with the Donkey so it's ideal for people who love to walk. You can even rent Donkeys nearby by the day, week or even the hour.

Anduze is ideal for those liking the countryside, not wanting a huge town right nearby and happy to make do with local entertainment. It's where I would live if I had the choice!

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Wendy Johnson
Happy To Help Whenever We Can.....
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