As a part of the study abroad trip to France, students visited St. Emilion, which is located in the heart of wine country in southwestern France.
The region is primarily known for its red wine and is home to dozens of chateaus that produce some of the most expensive wine in the world. Students took a train from nearby Bordeaux to St. Emilion and were allowed to explore the countryside and town before meeting for a tour of the city.
The countryside is gorgeous and boasts vineyards as far as the eye can see. The vineyards, which were first planted in the 2nd century by the Romans, remain the main tourist attraction at St. Emilion.
The city of St. Emilion, however, is perhaps more gorgeous than the vineyards themselves. Built with limestone found in the region, St. Emilion has touches of Roman influence and is a very historic city, having been shaped from the 2nd century through the Middle Ages to the present day. The city was a very important city throughout history because of the limestone, the wine, and its location on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. It got its name from a monk named Emilion, who, in the 8th century, was said to perform miracles. In order to escape persecution, Emilion fled to a cave in the present day city, and the town became to be known as St. Emilion.
The largest attraction in the town of St. Emilion is the monolithic church, which is carved into the limestone beneath the giant bell tower shown in the picture on the right. The church was constructed in the 12th century and also contains ancient catacombs and medieval drawings inside.
The guided tour of St. Emilion was fascinating, as students learned about the historical significance of St. Emilion, as well as the region’s history of wine production.
Around one million people visit St. Emilion each year to experience the history, culture, and wine the region has to offer. Few cities in the world are able to combine gorgeous countryside with breathtaking architecture like St. Emilion. In addition, the history of St. Emilion makes it one of the most unique places in France.
The combination of the history and views that St. Emilion has to offer make it a place everyone should try to visit.
By Adam August