I was born in Paris, but my parents moved to the south of France when I was 4 years old. There they bought a house in a small town called Malves en Minervois.
Malves en Minervois is located in the department of Aude, in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, 12 km from the UNESCO listed town of Carcassonne.
Malves en Minervois is a very small village of about 1,000 inhabitants. Like every village it has a catholic church (to be classified as a ‘village’ a town in Europe must have a church, otherwise it is a ‘hamlet’.) It’s where I did my two communions. Like in most French villages, the bells ring every hour.
The village also has a city hall, which only open a couple of hours a day (where I will be married in September 2014), and a school which I attended from the age of 5 yo to 11 yo. One of the main attractions is the Château from the 13th century. It has four towers, three levels and a large park. Unfortunately the Château is not open to tourists.
The other local attraction is the 5 metre high Menhir (standing stone), the largest in the region. Unfortunately, very little is known about it.
The village has a river, called La Clamoux and is surrounded by vineyards producing famous AOC wine Minervois. In the summer the sun is hot and the air is dry. Malves en Minervois is a quiet place, all you can hear are the cicadas.
It’s strange but when I go back to the village where I grew up, where my parents still live and where I will be married next year, I have mixed feelings. I find that it hasn’t changed in the last 25 years and that’s worrying me. Unlike many other small towns in France, it is definitely not a tourist attraction in the region. Unfortunately, it is one of these many villages that have died over the years – even the local bakery has closed. I guess it is a result of modernisation and globalisation.
Do you like village life
or do you prefer the busy urban lifestyle?