Photographer's Note

July 10th, 2010
Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert 340261 34150
Herault Languedoc-Roussillon
43.733 3.550 128 m

Divine night, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert

On view, June 26th, 2010.
Other view, August 17th, 2008.

Abbey of Gellone, or of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, of the 9th 11th 15th 17th centuries, classified historic building in 1840.
There remains cloister only the northern gallery, and part of the western gallery. Part of the sculptures of the cloister are in the museum “The Cloisters” in New York.

Guilhem is the Romanesque form of the frank name Whilhelm, (Whil: "will", helm: "the helmeted head").
Born towards 742, Carolingian Prince, first cousin of "Charlemagne", grandson of "Charles Martel", said "Guillaume d'Orange" or "Guillaume au Court Nez" in "the Epic of Guillaume d'Orange" "chanson de geste" telling its exploits against Buckwheats, also said "Guillaume fiérébrace", and also "Guillaume de Gellone".
In 790, Guilhem is named viceroy of Aquitaine at "Louis le Pieux" which is then old only twelve years. The thirteen following years will have passed to fight the Basques and Buckwheats and will lead into 803 to the catch of Barcelona, after, Guilhem will choose to deposit the weapons.
It is in the valley of Gellone, that it melts into 804 the monastery of Gellone. Guided in its advance by "Saint-Benoît d'Aniane", friend of childhood, founder into 782 of an important monastery with Aniane and reformer of the rule bénédictine.
It was withdrawn into 806 and died there on May 28 812. It is canonized in 1066 and becomes known then under the name of Saint-Guilhem.

Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, in occitan Sant Guilhèm dau Desèrt, is a French commune located in the department of the Herault of the Languedoc-Roussillon area, populated of 245 Saint-Guillaumois, distributed on 39 km², that is to say 6 hab./km².

Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert which counts among Plus Beautiful villages of France, is classified, since 1999, Grand National Site.
The abbey of Gellone, is registered today with the World Inheritance by the U.N.E.S.C.O., the title of the Ways of Saint-Jacob de Compostelle in France.

During prehistory, the man will evolve on this ground and will leave them many traces (dolmens, menhirs). At the third century before J-C, the arrival of the Volques tribes then that of the Roman legions in 118 before J-C mark the end of the old occupations.
Last nine centuries later, in the valley of Gellone where the man was sedentarise for a long time, Guilhem melts the Abbey of Gellone.

My images of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert.
My images of the Hérault river valley and canyon.

Copyright © All rights reserved. The use or the reproduction, on any media, for profit or not profit, of my photographs, including my photographs published in workshop, the notes or the texts, is prohibited without my written authorization. Joel Berthonneau.

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Additional Photos by joel berthonneau (jlbrthnn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 7186 W: 0 N: 22963] (76041)
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