A must visit for all wine lovers is Saint-Emilion. One of the most beautiful wine villages and attractions. Saint Emilion is a small town near Bordeaux, France. It's known for wine produced in its surroundings. Administratively, Saint Emilion is a commune of the French department of Gironde in the Aquitaine region, in Occitan. It is a medieval village, built on a semicircle of hills facing the river Dordogne, with multiple overlapping plains, with their houses forming a kind of amphitheater and full of narrow, steep streets. The story of Saint Emilion goes back to prehistoric times and is a World Heritage site, with fascinating Romanesque churches and ruins that are scattered around the area. Saint Emilion is a major red wine producer within Bordeaux along with Médoc, Graves and Pomerol.
The monolithic church of Saint Emilion is completely carved in limestone and underground, the rock architecture makes it look like an underground cathedral. It is one of the most extensive in Europe. The bell tower was built much later (the twelfth century to the fifteenth) and the church was carved directly into the stone, hence its name, the monolithic church. This church is the result of the enlargement of caves. It was said that some of the monks that dug were 55 years old. The interior is like the breadth of a ship, cut into the stone, a perfectly regular cutting of the vaults and pillars. It measures 38m long, 20m wide and 11m high on vault. A bas-relief in the bottom of the nave depicts two angels guardians of the gates of Paradise. Emilion was a Celt, and some consider him of the first of the Christianized Druids. This Benedictine hermitage included a fountain and it became a stunning chapel, the vault was enlarged and a baptistery created. He was buried there at the age of 76 and his successors continued to dig the mountain to create an amazing architectural site. Because of the French Revolution little is left though initially the inner walls were filled with paintings and sculptures of wood. The church was abandoned which led to the formation of salt because of the humidity and lack of conservation. At that time salt was in high demand so it was collected since it was used to make gunpowder and as a result, many of the paintings were destroyed. Construction of the bell began in the twelfth century. However, only the ground floor and first floor date from this time. The second and third floors were constructed in the thirteenth century, completed with ladder included at the end of the Middle Ages, (XV century).