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Quarante

Quarante was named after the stream running through the village - the Quarante.The Abbey church of Saint Marie was founded in the 10th Century. 

Despite several additions, the principal features of pure Roman architecture, characteristic in the Languedoc, have been preserved, with buttresses supporting walls decorated with pilaster strips. The small lantern which decorates the roof above the transept is composed of a central nave and two side aisles, the chancel, pierced by two large windows, ending in a quarter sphere vault (cul de four).

Last but not least, the church contains a much prized treasure, the pièce de résistance being a 3rd Century sarcophagus and a 15th Century gold plated bust of Saint John the Baptist. In the past, the people of Quarante affirmed that John the Baptist’s head had the power to cure migraine. When the bust was brought out on special occasions, people used to hold it on their heads in the hope of a miracle cure.

On the road from Quarante to Capestang stands the Domaine de Roueïre where there is one of Bollée’s windmills; an interesting example of the technical progress made at the end of the 19th Century. The Bollée family numbered several generations of inventors and engineers who specialized in a variety of fields including bell foundry and cars. The windmill, classified as a historical monument, used to provide the water supply to the nearby wine grower’s château, built by an aristocratic Cruzy family.

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