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Gellone monastery
Gellone monastery
Coat of arms of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert
Coat of arms
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 Occitanie
Department Hérault
Arrondissement Lodève
Canton Gignac
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Philippe Machetel
Area1 38.64 km2 (14.92 sq mi)
Population (2008)2 256
 • Density 6.6/km2 (17/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
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 (Occitan: Sant Guilhèm dau Desèrt) is a commune in the Hérault department in the Occitanie 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's 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
Year Pop. ±%
1962 197 —    
1968 229 +16.2%
1975 274 +19.7%
1982 236 −13.9%
1990 190 −19.5%
1999 245 +28.9%
2008 256 +4.5%


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 in New York City.[2] 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.[citation needed]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Unesco: Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France.
  2. ^ Daniel Kletke, The cloister of St.-Guilhem-le-Désert at The Cloisters in New York City, Köster, Berlin, 1997.

External links[edit]