France’s Saint-Emilion: Echoes of history amid World Heritage-listed vineyards

Headshot of Niall McIlroy
Niall McIlroyThe West Australian
St Emilion in the afternoon sun.
Camera IconSt Emilion in the afternoon sun. Credit: Niall McIlroy/The West Australian

Mystery and anomaly are etched into the hillside at Saint-Emilion.

Crumbling walls stand, final vestiges of the town’s 12th century Cardinal Palace. Built to keep out intruders, they are pockmarked with holes once framed by windows and doors — a little too welcoming for purpose.

The palace was named for Cardinal Villemaurine, a nephew of Pope Clement V. But he wasn’t born for another 200 years. The building’s original identity has been lost.

Founded by a Breton monk, Emilian, in 767 the town is the first vineyard region to be world heritage listed. A grape idea.

Read the full story on West Travel Club »

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