Saint-Émilion: Lost-in-Time Storied Village

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All blog posts are based on our personal travels around Europe, penned by J. Christina.

Scribbles and Smiles by J. Christina
Saint-Émilion is a charming medieval village located in the heart of the famous Bordeaux wine area.
Saint-Émilion is a honey-colored wine village in the Gironde department in southwest France, where it gracefully adorns a rocky outcrop overlooking the Dordogne river valley.  In 1999, Saint-Émilion was awarded the title Cultural Landscape by UNESCO; protecting its ancient  architecture, landscape, and historic vineyards that still produce world famous wines today.  This quaint wine village will pull at your heart strings with its photogenic beauty, glistening limestone facades, and  vine-laced vineyards.
The most practical piece of advice I can give you for visiting Saint-Émilion is to wear sturdy walking shoes. You will thank me later, as you navigate up and down those captivating winding lanes, all inlaid with centuries-old shiny and slick ballast-cobblestones, beckoning you forward - to explore this remarkably rich village.
Saint-Émilion is a medieval, fairytale-esque town with a maze of curlicue stone streets filled with charming storefronts, enchanting squares, and flower-laden terraces just waiting for you to enjoy the splendor. The village of Saint-Émilion grew famous and wealthy in the eighth century through its wine trade and prominence on the route to Santiago de Compostela. Visiting Saint-Émilion is so much more than wine; nowadays, you can spend time just strolling the crooked and charming streets without ever visiting a wine château (but wouldn't that be a shame).

Scribbles and Smiles by JChristina
Saint Émilion Monolithic Church

Postcard perfect Saint-Émilion is more than just renowned wines - it will steal your heart with its landscape, history, and serene lifestyle. In this blonde-colored wine village, just east of Bordeaux, perhaps the most extraordinary site is what lies below ground, the Monolithic Church from the twelfth century.  1300 years ago, a Breton monk named Émilion, came to this ancient town, then named Ascumbas, to escape religious persecution.  According to legend he has an intriguing and curious story - Émilion lived and existed in this dark and damp subterranean cavern-church, where it is said he performed miracles.  In this ancient story, Émilion was believed to have carved a limestone seat that aided women in fertility; and during this period more miracles appeared among his faithful followers.  Many believed the underground spring-fed pool of water used for baptism also cured blindness. 

The most dramatic sight from afar is a raising steeple from the corner of the Les Cordeliers: a fifteenth century bell tower, soaring up 68-meters high above Saint-Émilion. Where climbing nearly 200 steps upward situates you atop a glazed tile rooftop, with a majestic view across the valley of lush vineyards and châteaux.   
This lost-in-time storied town, Saint-Émilion, weaves an incredible visual story that goes with its legendary origins through Romanesque architecture, religious sites and cultural indulgences. Simply put, it’s a one-of-a-kind destination. This beautiful town with its scarred ramparts bears witness to battles, while weaving an amazing memoir. Truth is, there are many such treasures in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwest France all waiting to be explored.

*2016 travels

Saint-Émilion Tourism
Saint-Émilion is a quick car, train or bus ride from Bordeaux and the town is easily explored on foot, by petit tourist train, or even via tuk-tuk ride.

J. Christina is founder of Scribbles and Smiles, travel writer, and amateur photographer. Christina (Christie) is married to John, a.k.a. Mr. Christie. Where Mr. Christie is right on-board with their travel jaunts around the world - sharing in their blogging endeavors. He supports, encourages, handles gadgetry and embraces the role as editor - hence, their bespoke pen name, J. Christina.

After many years of intrepid travel, they thoughtfully opened their treasure-trove of European travelogues, artfully sharing with a worldwide audience. Intentionally sharing the joie de vivre through their words and images, so others can travel vicariously. 

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