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Gellone monastery
Gellone monastery
Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is located in France
Coordinates: 43°44′05″N 3°33′02″E / 43.7347°N 3.5506°E / 43.7347; 3.5506Coordinates: 43°44′05″N 3°33′02″E / 43.7347°N 3.5506°E / 43.7347; 3.5506
Country France
Region Languedoc-Roussillon
Department Hérault
Arrondissement Lodève
Canton Aniane
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Philippe Machetel
 • Land1 38.64 km2 (14.92 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Population2 256
 • Population2 density 6.6/km2 (17/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 34261 / 34150
Elevation 54–812 m (177–2,664 ft)
(avg. 89 m or 292 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert (in Occitan Sant Guilhèm dau Desèrt) is a commune in the Hérault department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France.

Situated in the narrow valley of the Gellone river where it meets the steep sided gorge of the Hérault River, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is essentially a medieval village located on the Chemin de St Jacques (St James' Way) pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostella.


The village has maintained its historic state. Because of its isolation, in 806 Saint Guilhem established the monastery of Gellone here.


Historical population of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert
Year 1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2008
Population 197 229 274 236 190 245 256


Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France ("The most beautiful villages of France"), and the Abbey of Gellone, along with the nearby Pont du Diable were designated UNESCO World Heritages sites in 1999.[1]

A part of the cloister of the monastery was moved to The Cloisters museum of Manhattan.

A new sculpture museum, containing stone works from the abbey, was dedicated on June 26, 2009. In coordination with this event, a weekend of music and a colloquium was organized in large part by the Camerata Mediterranea.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Unesco: Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France.

External links[edit]