Free walking tours Bordeaux

foto de verduras en el mercado de saint emilion

The Saint Émilion market: charm and tradition

When it comes to mentioning charming places near Bordeaux, there is no doubt that Saint Émilion tops any list, in particular the Saint Émilion market. This wonderful place seems to have been trapped in time, with its medieval style that enchants anyone who visits it from the first moment they arrive.

If you are passing through this area of Bordeaux, a free tour of Saint Emilion is definitely an option to consider, because apart from its architectural beauty and the charm of its inhabitants, one of the best wines in the world is produced here, so you can find many things to do, such as a wine tasting in Saint Emilion.

Saint Émilion is always worth a visit

There are many things to see in Saint Emilion, starting with its cobbled streets, buildings with hundreds of years of history and of course, the vineyards that adorn the landscape everywhere you look.

At any time of the year, it is worth visiting Saint Emilion to enjoy its architecture, where Gothic and Romanesque architecture blend together in its temples, the monolithic church being one of the most famous as it is carved in stone, reaffirming why this is one of the most beautiful villages near Bordeaux that you should include in your itinerary, with at least three days to enjoy it to the fullest.

Saint Emilion covered market: a journey through history and tradition

The Saint Emilion Covered Market, located in the picturesque Place de l’Église Monolithique, is a place brimming with history and charm.

This historic site, which today offers visitors shelter from both sun and rain, has a remarkable past. During the Middle Ages, its barrel-vaulted arcades and Gothic mouldings extended out into the square. At that time, this space was a vital centre for the grain trade.

To protect the crops from rodents and adverse weather, wooden slats were used, which were fitted into holes still visible in the large market openings. In addition, there were also “celemines”, measures of grain carved in stone, with examples preserved in the chapel of the Trinity or in the cloister of the Collegiate Church.

In 1199, the history of the market took a significant turn when John Without Land, King of England and Duke of Aquitaine, signed the Charter of the Falaise, granting independence and privileges to the territory. The Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion, clearly defined and managed by a municipal council known as the Jurade, established its seat of power in the Roy Tower for several centuries.

In the 18th century, the Jurade decided to move to the covered market. Holding public meetings in the heart of the city, the councillors enjoyed a perfect view of the market and potential criminals. In addition, it is rumoured that the small wooden door at the foot of the staircase served as a dungeon.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, the Covered Market also housed the town hall of Saint Emilion.

In short, during medieval times, the market was not only a trading centre but also a storehouse for grain. The history and architecture of the Saint Emilion Covered Market reflect the importance of the site in the daily and economic life of the region over the centuries.

Or are you looking for the weekly markets?

Well, as much as the name suggests, you won’t be able to find anything here. However, there are weekly markets where you can buy everything from local produce and baked goods to handicrafts. Market days are Wednesdays and Sundays, and the stalls take up the entire central square until just after midday.

In July and August, Saint Emilion often hosts a weekly night market, giving night owls a chance to see what they might otherwise miss.

Where to shop in Saint Emilion?

In Saint Emilion, tourists and locals alike enjoy a variety of shopping options, which go beyond the weekly markets and extend throughout the town. Below is a detailed summary of the main shopping venues in Saint Emilion:

  • Galerie d’Art Contemporain L’Orange Bleue: A family-run art gallery, where you can explore and buy contemporary art.
  • The Wine Buff: Specialising in wine, offering tasting experiences guided by expert winemakers.
  • The Little Gallery and Natasha Hawes: Other art galleries where you can view and purchase works by local artists.
  • La Cave Dourthe: Combines a gift shop with a wine cellar, offering a wide selection of local wines.
  • Atelier Galerie Emmanuel Macouin: Another art gallery noted for its original and colourful painting style.
  • Vignobles Et Châteaux: Known for its excellent wine selection and welcoming atmosphere.
  • Macarons De Saint-Emilion and Artisans Créateurs à St Emilion: Offering speciality local produce and crafts.
  • Bordeaux Classique and Ets Martin: Specialised gift shops with a focus on the wines of the region.
  • Vitrail Color and Le Cellier de Saint Emilion: Other options for specialty gifts and local wines.
  • La Cave de la Halle, Les Délices du Roy, and Marchand de Soif: Shops offering a variety of local products and gifts.
  • Le Cellier des Chateaux, Chocolaterie Maelig, and Le Cercle des Oenophiles: Places to find speciality wines and chocolates.
  • L’Essentiel and La Boutique Du Tertre: Specialty gift shops offering a variety of unique products.

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