June 13, 2012
Learning lessons from my last post, when I discovered how quickly the visual aspect of this landscape can change, I thought to record the swelling nature of the terrain looking down across Cabrerolles to the south and the sea. The slender brush strokes of the vines within the vineyards will become a mass of green very soon as the foliage develops into frothy mass when seen from from above.
This village grew because of the potential strategic situation within the area of mountains to the north, the valley of the river Orb weaving through east to west, and the great vantage point of being 700 metres above the plain of Béziers. The sea to the south visible within a 180 degree panorama. An ancient route for travellers and a military landmark.
Parts of the castrum – the ruins of the keep and 2 rectangular watch towers – give clear indication of the historical buildings set within the rock face. Notre-Dame de la Rocque sits on the top of the rock but below the mountainous backcloth. Sober Romanesque architecture, modest in size as this is a rural environment.
Desuz un pin, delez un eglanter
Un faldestoed i unt, fait tout d’or mer:
La siet li reis ki dulceFrancetient.
Blanche ad la barbe et tut flurit le chef,
Gentad le cors et le cuntenant fier.
S’est kil demandet, ne l’estoet enseigner.
Under a pine tree, by a rosebush,
there is a throne made entirely of gold.
There sits the king who rules sweet France;
his beard is white, with a full head of hair.
He is noble in carriage, and proud of bearing.
If anyone is looking for the King, he doesn’t need to be pointed out.
La Chanson de Roland Song of Roland 1140 – 1170