Aspiran

 

The presence of different ancient sites and the traces of manufactured wine vases are all evidence of inhabited, communal areas in the Gallo- Roman era.

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In the Middle Ages, Aspiran became attached to the Abbey of Aniane. The village that developed with a surrounding wall around it was made up of four gates of which two are still standing.

For a living there was mixed farming and working with wool which gained new momentum with the creation of the royal manufactory at Villeneuvette in the 17th century. Between the 15th and the beginning of the 17th century new houses were built, the remains of which reflected the rank of their occupants. During the 19th century, Aspiran spread out of its walls and the centre of the village moved from its square “la Placette” towards the new “Place du Peyrou” and then to the “Jeu du Ballon”. After the phylloxera crisis (around 1865), the vineyards extended and wine growing became the main source of activity. The building of the railroad and the creation of the wine cooperative were favourable to commercializing the wine. The well-known Clairette of Aspiran received the AOC (“controlled designation of origin”) label in 1948. After the Second World War, there was as attempt to industrialize the broom shrub.

The Gallo-Roman villa of Saint Bézard at Aspiran

About a decade ago, part of a big wine-growing domain was rediscovered near Aspiran. It appears that this is one of the biggest Roman wine-growing domains ever discovered in France, complete with “chais” (wine storage buildings), “dolia” ovens (large earthen-ware jars), , “natatio” (Roman swimming pool) and pottery workshop. The owner’s villa “Quintus lulius Primus” has not yet been discovered, but it has been located. The domain was apparently founded at the beginning of the first century, next to the river Dourbie and on the edge of the ancient road that runs along the river Hérault from the coast of Lodève, thus allowing the distribution of locally produced goods towards the Massif Central and the Meditarranean, from the Port of Agde towards the Roman Empire.

There is an interesting anecdote about grape seeds found during the excavation. It transpired, after analysis that the ancestor to our Clairette of today was being cultivated 2000 years ago!

If you want to spend time in Aspiran: seasonal lets, the restaurant «Les Moulins» and wine-growing domains (such as the Villa Symposia), will all enable you to have an agreeable stay.

To see

  • The house of the Viguier
  • The East gate
  • The house of Lapierre
  • The Little Square
  • The south porch
  • The chapel of the Pénitents
  • The church of Saint Julien
  • The remains of the Gallo Roman villa of Saint Bézard

Cultural Heritage Booklet

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Aspiran

Pictures

The war memorial of Aspiran - JPEG - 132 kb
The war memorial of Aspiran

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Excavations of the Gallo-Roman villa of Saint Bézard of Aspiran - JPEG - 143.7 kb
Excavations of the Gallo-Roman villa of Saint Bézard of Aspiran

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The ancient covered market of Aspiran - JPEG - 147.8 kb
The ancient covered market of Aspiran

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The church of Aspiran - JPEG - 86.6 kb
The church of Aspiran

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House of Lapierre - JPEG - 149 kb
House of Lapierre

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The village fountain - JPEG - 167.1 kb
The village fountain

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La maison du viguier - JPEG - 149.5 kb
La maison du viguier

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Ancient door to a town house at Aspiran - JPEG - 123.8 kb
Ancient door to a town house at Aspiran

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Entrance gate to the church of Aspiran - JPEG - 180.6 kb
Entrance gate to the church of Aspiran

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