Caunettes en Val
The village of Caunettes-en-Val is located at the bottom of the valley by the Madourneille stream that descends from Maironnes and flows into the Orbieu.
The town of Caunettes-en-Val is home to nearly 50 inhabitants (an increase of nearly 50% in a few years), called Caunettois and Caunettoises. Caunettes covers 8.7 km² and is surrounded by the communes of Mayronnes, Rieux-en-Val and Saint-Martin-des-Puits.
Caunettes-en-Val is located 3 km southeast of Rieux-en-Val, the largest of the communes in the area.
The history of Caunettes-en-Val
The village is situated at the bottom of a valley created by the Madourneille stream coming from Mayronnes that flows ito the Orbieu. This ecclesiastical village was built between the 11th and 13th centuries to provide protection: an ecclesial enclosure being, in theory, an inviolable place, when confronted with the first feudal aggressions
The old village was surrounded by fortifications: there are traces of an old doorway near the church.
From the 11th century, the lordship of Caunettes belonged to the Abbey of Lagrasse. It was then passed to Olivier de Termes who returned it to the Abbey in 1260.
In the seventeenth century it was divided into four parts, one of which belonged successively to Messire Dominique Baudema, priest and rector of Caunettes, then to the noble Pierre de Saint Colombe and then the noble Martin, Lord of Rieux-en-Val
What to see in Caunettes-en-Val
- The Romanesque church is under the patronage of Saint Léocadie; it has been restored several times. Inside, there is a stone font and a decorated altarpiece repaired in 1860.
- The square’s fountain erected in 1875 provides excellent spring water
- The wash house of 1881
- The presbytery must have been the seigniorial castle; it is flanked by a tower at the southeast corner.
- The town is close to the Haut-Languedoc Regional Natural Park.
Walks and hikes around Caunettes-en-Val
- The GR 36a traverses the commune
- A pleasant winding road leads to the Carrus farm (goat cheese, eggs, …)
- It is near the sculptural walk of Mayronnes
- The ruins of the Priory of St Clement
Caunettes-en-Val, or the little cave
The name of Caunettes traces back to as early as 1110, under the name Caunettis of the Occitan cauna: cave + diminutive suffix eta