There are so many beautiful towns to explore in the South of France, such as the compact and characterful city of Narbonne. Here we mention just a few of the historical treasures that you can explore there.
Cathedral of Saint-Just and Saint-Pasteur
One of the most imposing sites in the city is the Gothic cathedral. It was built in the thirteenth century in the style of the great cathedrals of northern France, with impressive flying buttresses, soaring stained glass windows and a vaulted choir. However, this beautiful structure was never finished – there is no knave or transept, as constructing these would mean knocking down part of the city’s defensive ramparts. This was considered unwise at this troubled time when defense against attack was a very real concern.
It is recommended to take a look at the cathedral’s Treasury, which houses a remarkable collection of liturgical objects. These treasures – which include a sixteenth-century tapestry depicting the Creation, an eleventh-century pyxis and a carved ivory plaque from the ninth century – reflect the immense wealth and status of the medieval Archbishops of Narbonne.
The palace of the Archbishops can be found nearby in the centre of Narbonne. It has multiple towers and consists of two palaces: the Romanesque Palais Vieux and the Gothic Palais Neuf.
Although it started as the modest residence of the town’s ecclesiastical elite, it is now the grand setting for Narbonne’s Town Hall, as well as the Museum of Art in the old apartments and the Archaeological Museum in one wing.
The Via Dominita
Just outside of the Archbishops Palace there is an exposed section of Roman road.
This was once part of the Via Domitia, built in the second century BC as a vital access route from Rome in the west to the Cadiz in the east. Narbonne was the capital of the ancient Roman province of Narbo Martius, the first Roman colony in Gaul. This glimpse of the road’s original surface is a reminder of the city’s important ancient past.
THE CANAL DU MIDI
This 330-year-old waterway skirts the sun-drenched shores of the Mediterranean before meandering inland through ancient villages, Roman fortifications and famed vineyards. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this canal is defined by its beauty, lined with shady plane trees which often touch to form an arc of green above the water from bank to bank, and crossed by pretty arched bridges. The warm Mediterranean weather and relaxed pace of life is sure to lull you into unwinding as your luxury Canal du Midi barge meanders gently along.
This is the perfect place for cycling or walking along scenic tow paths, or simply watching the scenery pass by as you relax on the deck of your Canal du Midi barge with a cool drink. In the distance you can see the Pyrenees, whereas closer to hand are the vineyards that stretch for thousands of square miles. Enjoy private wine tastings at one of the various chateaux en route.
Midi cuisine is a delicious combination of Provençale and Mediterranean flavours. Fresh seafood and regional specialities, paired with the excellent local Corbières and Minervois wines, produce an unforgettable repertoire of gastronomic experiences.
Online brochures for Canal du Midi hotel barges:
- ANJODI : http://bargecharters.com/barges/anjodi/
- ATHOS : http://bargecharters.com/barges/athos/
- EMMA : http://bargecharters.com/barges/emma/
- ENCHANTE : http://bargecharters.com/barges/enchante/
- ROI SOLEIL : http://bargecharters.com/barges/roi-soleil/
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: www.BargeCharters.com