|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Philippe Machetel|
|Area1||38.64 km2 (14.92 sq mi)|
|• Density||6.6/km2 (17/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|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.|
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.
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.
A part of the cloister of the monastery was moved to The Cloisters museum in New York City. 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.
- Unesco: Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/868/multiple=1&unique_number=1019
- Daniel Kletke, The cloister of St.-Guilhem-le-Désert at The Cloisters in New York City, Köster, Berlin, 1997.
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