midicanal⎈Archaeology and Pottery at Sallèles d'Aude - Amphoralis
Musée des Potiers
One of the largest sites in Europe, certainly the largest in France. It was near here (Narbonne) shortly before the birth of Christ that the Romans established their provincial capital, and in Sallèlles that the clay necessary for the production of the amphoræ, so essential for transporting the wine that was the region's new industry. This industry continued for three centuries, the larger kilns were capable of firing up to a thousand amphoræ at a time, the process took several days.
A dozen kilns have been discovered on the site, which covers a very large area, complete with living areas and the quarry. Each year around the middle of August a reproduction of one of the original Roman updraught kilns is constructed to fire hand
made pots. The museum which now stands above a section of the site, is magnificent and well worth a visit. For more details about the museum you can contact them on : Tel : +33 (0) 468 468 948 or via the "syndicat d'initiative" (tourist office)
on : Tel : +33 (0) 468 468 146 or via the "Mairie" (town hall) of the village on : Tel : +33 (0) 468 466 868.
The village of Sallèlles d'Aude has many other features worth a visit, the museum of old Sallèlles, where they have a collection of more than a thousand hand tools from bygone ages, the old château, with superb Renaissance decorations. The village straddles the Canal de Jonction, the canal which joins the historic Canal du Midi to the river Aude, after the river the Canal de la Robine leads to Port la Nouvelle via Narbonne.
The chapel of St.Roch, near the village centre was built in 1694, in memory of the miracles performed by this Saint.
Nearby, the footbridge that crosses the canal, was designed by Gustav Eifel, of the tower in Paris fame.
In the village you will find shops, restaurants, doctor, dentist, all the things you might need whilst holidaying in the area. There are several guest houses and bars, and lots of interesting things to do.
There is even a tourist train from Narbonne, which pauses at the museum on its way to Bize-Minervois, the tour is run by enthusiastic volunteers, and there is a commentary. The train stops at many places of interest.
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Revised -- 17 November 2016