of geological interest
Late Cretaceous limestone ridges
near St. Chinian.
information on the region: its geography, geology and culture.
Geological sites to
- Just north of
the A9 2 km NW of Mèze - La Plaine des Dinosaures. Nests being discovered
all the time on site and displays of bones traded from other sites.
- Cap d’Agde. Quaternary
d’Enserune. An excellent viewpoint, as well as a fascinating archaeological
d’Aude Roman Pottery – basin clay ideal for making amphorae, roof tiles
- St. Chinian area - Pierrerue
site of bauxite, red tropical Cretaceous soil developed on Lower Jurassic
- Caunes-Minervois marble
quarry on local road NE of town but west of small gorge from N.D. de Cros
- walk up forest rd to steep cliff (columns for Versailles)
- Esperaza – D118 south
of Carcassonne and Limoux. Dinosaur bones and nests are being discovered in
the soft Cretaceous soil to the west and in the old station is an excellent
small dinosaur museum.
- Rennes-les-Bains. Mineralisation
in a number of spots in the area, hot springs. (village
- Gorges de Galamus -
very twisty and narrow.
- Chateau de Quéribus.
- Chateau de Peyrepertuse.
Peyrepertuse to Quéribus)
- SE of Durban
on the D77. Cuts on east side of road contain highly deformed Triassic gypsum
with bipyramidal quartz. Please don't hammer the outcrop!
Long south-facing hill on D106 just south of D40. Excellent outcrops of late
Cretaceous to early Tertiary conglomerates, sandstones and siltstones, deposited
by ancient river systems.
- Fossils on D322 between
Jonquières and Coustouge. Outcrops on south side of the road contain
Eocene marine foraminifera, corals, gastropods etc.
- St. Victor Hermitage.
Narrow, twisty road (accessible by car) to fire tower and hermitage. Superb
all round views. Views north to Boutenac,
thrusted from south east and west to sides of gentle anticline of ancient
lake limestone. Terroir
de St Victor.
Ancient abbey with slices of Lower Cretaceous thrust over Upper Cretaceous.
Rudist reefs in front.
Vinea (Caves Rocbère). Underground gypsum quarry storing wine now
exit of A9.
Of the mountain top castles,
in fact, it was Peyrepertuse - at the top of a 2,625-foot crag in the Corbières
- that helped me most fully appreciate the drama of Cathar country. The ruins
of Peyrepertuse are more extensive and better preserved than those of any other
Cathar castle. Entire rooms are still standing. Above the main gate is a guardpost
with a stone bench, whole enough that one can easily imagine a medieval soldier
sitting there, watching for approaching crusaders.
Here and at all remote
castles sites, the trail to the top is steep and rocky. Don't expect handrails
except in the most precipitous spots during the half-hour to hour climbs. I'd
advise getting into pretty good shape, wearing sturdy hiking shoes, and carrying
a water bottle. Of course, maybe I'm just being overly cautious. Elderly men
and women, some using canes, seemed to make it up even the longest and steepest
trails - those at Montségur and Peyrepertuse - with little problem.
Last updated 22 January, 2009 at