Inauguration au Vigan – Espérou – Avèze

The mediaeval days of the
CHEMIN DE SAINT GUILHEM™
At Espérou (Valleraugue) – The Vigan and Avèze

In partnership with the Departmental Committee of Tourism in the Gard
The communes of Vigan and Avèze
The communities of the communes of the territories of Vigan and of Aigoual.

The association of Friends of the Chemin de St Guilhem inaugurated this historic footpath 240 km long, recently renovated to meet the demand of hikers and pilgrims and to forge a new economic network on the four departments and two regions concerned.

Friday 27 may 2011 at Espérou (commune of Valleraugue) a presentation of the itinerary and the association attracted about fifty people. The president Pierre Muller gave an update on the progress of the association’s work (Networking of the structure – website – Meetings of the hosts – Trade fairs and events etc.), work that is only at its beginning, the association having only existed for two years. Romain Daudé, in charge of the heritage mission to the CDC of Pays Viganais, evoked the life of William (Guillaume) of Gellone and the foundation of the abbey of the same name. Frédéric Fesquet, professor at the lycée-collège André Chamson, produced a slideshow about his hiking experience on the chemin de St Guilhem ™. The actress Armelle Nouaille gave a reading of texts (A. Chamson – Hector of Saint-Denys-Garneau – G. Vieillerobe – F. Hallé). In relation to homelessness and travel. Finally, the head of the Venetian branch of the Cévennes National Park, presented a short film related the preservation work on the site of the Notre-Dame-du-Bonheur abbey located in the valley of the same name and founded In the year one thousand. This historic site is currently in danger and this heritage should be preserved at all costs. The evening ended with a glass of friendship offered by the CDC de l’Aigoual.

On Saturday, May 28, 2011, an RV was given in front of the Maison de Pays au Vigan at the end of the day. Sitting on the steps of the stoop, the participants, in medieval costumes for some, listened to the welcome speech given in the old local language, to reveal the program for the evening.
In procession, accompanied by “Supplement cornichon” a group of musicians, this troop crossed the city to go to the neighbouring town of Avèze by the chemin de Saint Guilhem ™ along the river Arre.
Arriving at Avèze, in the magnificent park of the Château de Montcalm kindly made available by the owners, goblets of Moretum and Hypocras, taken from a barrel, and prepared by the troop of the Knights and Troubadours were offered to the public before a Medieval cévenol meal was served. On the menu, “la bourbouillade” (flan of herbs and wild plants), tarts with sweet onion from the Cévennes, lamb stew and a chestnut desert, all accompanied by wines and apple juice offered from, “L’arbre a Vins” the cellar of a Viganais wine merchant.
After the meal, the company Partance kept the evening going, with an excellent medieval performance by storyteller Hervé Le Jacq who brought the captivated audience far back in time, to the time of songs of gesture and the troubadours who told the stories of knights in shining armour and saints, on the Way of Saint Giulhem twelve hundred years ago, accompanied by a dulcimer (a stringed instrument of the period).

Keywords: Inauguration, Espérou, Le Vigan, Chemin St Guilhem