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Saturday, 30 October 2021

Uzes and the Occitanie Region of France: A Slow Travel Road Trip

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Occitanie was created in 2016 by the combining of Languedoc - Roussillon and Midi-Pyrenees regions in southern France, and at 28,000 square miles is France's second largest region, with a population of 5,840,000. This region accounts for 40% of protected natural parks and reserves. 


We secured our Peugeot in Marseille and we were off for our two months of exploring. After a two hour drive we arrived at our flat in Saint- Quentin- la -Poterie (pop. 3,100).


The small apartment had a modern kitchen and an interesting bathroom/shower, and would be our home base. Saint-Quentin was just 5 km from the town of Uzes (pop. 8,500).


Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie is best described by the website: cleopatraknows:


“The town is built on a hillside, a cascade of rectangles, cubes, arcs, cones and prisms facing southwest. Cézanne could have painted it. On a hot day, you bake in St. Quentin, as if the whole town is one of the kilns that are regularly fired here. In the 14th century during the Popes of Avignon, St. Quentin provided the bricks and tiles for the papal palaces, made out of the surrounding red earth. The colors of the maisons de village are the ones I never used in the Crayola box – sepia, burnt orange, burnt and raw sienna, orange yellow, goldenrod, maize.”


We linger, wondering and pausing to absorb this seemingly impressionist-like village. The high quality of clay in the soil has supported the development of the village’s highly dramatic ceramic production. Because of this vibrant pottery business, the village received the “Ville et Métiers d’Art” label.

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The small medieval town of Uzes is the capital of this region called l’Uzege. Uzes goes back to Charlemagne’s time (700 AD). We also learned that there are over 100 craft and art workshops of all kinds scattered around this beautiful town. The 17th century Neoclassical Cathedral of St. Theodorit was an extravagant beauty. The Tour Fenestrelle, its Romanesque bell tower, was the only part to survive from the 12th century medieval original structure.

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Last modified on Sunday, 31 October 2021

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