"St Paul, small town of many cultures" Saint-Paul-de-Fenouillet by TygerLyn

Faded Glory

St Paul de Fenouillet, famous for its Croquande de Almand biscuits, is the main "town" in the Fenouillade Valley. Situated between the Corbieres to the north and the Pyrenees to the south, it is now a rather run down little place which has some very pretty architechture and a thriving life. It needs either an EU grant or some TLC from a motivated Mayor.

In the centre of the old town, the narrow streets lead up to the 14 th century church, dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul . Its wrought-iron topped bell-tower and its 17th century altar piece are perfectly preserved . But the most symbolical building in Saint Paul is its chapter with a 17th pinnacle which tops the chapel . This collegiate church, which was very rich until the end of the 18th century was unfortunately sold by auction during the French Revolution and eventually was turned into private flats . The Ministery of Culture and of Historical Buildings and the Town Council have decided important restauration works . The inside of the Church is quite plain but also gaudy. Some of the artifacts are quite eye catching. It is cold! For one who has attended many Easter Vigils (complete with a Singing Nun!) I can advise that it is better to wrap up warm.

From its lovely heptagonal pinnacle, the only one to be found in Languedoc-Roussillon, you will enjoy a beautiful view over Galamus, the Gorges of la Fou, the valley of Saint Paul and its vineyards . But it is not always easy to do this - you have to be there at the right time.

More about St Paul


This excellent site gives you details about what is happening and when.

The Fenouillade Valley gets its name from the fennel that grows wild and it often perfumes the local the wines.

The People

The most interesting thing about St Paul is the amount of different nations in one small town. It is a small town, approx 1890 people, I lived in a village in the Midlands that had that many residents and the village of Oakley in Hampshire can outdo that easily! As with most towns and cites in southern France, many residents are refugees from the Algerian War and, sadly, most of these are the town "drop-outs". There are also quite a few Morrocans. This has meant that the town has made and stocked merquez sausages for decades. In fact, the first merquez sausage I tasted was in St Paul! Also they still make them with lamb only, France having a beef glut a combination is now the norm.

It is now quite common to see German, Dutch and Swedish car number plates in driveways, a popular second home town (the English tend to buy towards the coast or in rural villages as they tend to view a second home as a home but the Germans and Dutch see it purely as a holiday home, a base from which to do other things). Consequently, this has led to the small supermarket being stocked with a larger variety of goods than normal (they never stock English apples or cheese, though!)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Small old town with good shopping
  • Cons:Could be good but has gone to seed
  • In a nutshell:Needs a revitilisation!
  • Last visit to Saint-Paul-de-Fenouillet: Jun 2006
  • Intro Updated Sep 16, 2009
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