There is so much to do, and so much going on, in the village of Sallèles d’Aude that we decided to give it a page of its own!
An important part of the village is the Museum of Amphoralis. This is situated on the site of a Roman pottery factory and, open since 1992, it chronicles the life of the potters and tile makers who for three centuries, mass produced amphorae, tiles, bricks, pipes, dishes and oil lamps.
For the past two years there has been an annual bagpipe (yes, bagpipe!) festival here in Sallèles – there are many regional variations of the bagpipe on display, there is a celebration dinner, a Mass with bagpipes in the church and many more bagpipe-related activities.
In August of each year there is a Potter’s Market (Marche des Potiers) in the Place de la Republique and local artists come and display and sell their produce in honour of the ancient potters who followed their craft hundreds of years ago.
Every third Sunday in July there is the Festival of Water, Land and Wine to celebrate all that the village has to offer. There is fun for all the family – various ships and boats, fighting jousters, evocations of the life of the last century Sallélois and exhibitions and tastings of local products.
Among the architectural gems of Sallèles d’Aude are the lock and dry dock of Gailhousty (constructed in 1770) which is situated near to where the Canal de la Robine meets the River Aude. This is also the seventh of the seven local locks (les Sept Ecluses). Nearby is a lovely picnic area called Le Bois de la Nation and you can walk from there down to the river.
An historic monument is the Chapel of St Roch, dating from the 17th century, and containing two marble columns from the village of Caunes, just to the north of the village. It is said that Saint Roch visited Sallèles d’Aude in the fourteenth century and looked after the victims of the plague – this was remembered when the plagues hit Narbonne and so this church was built in his name. There is a regular festival each year, in August, associated with this beautiful little church and the local horses come to be blessed.
Right next door to l’Olivier is the monument called Le Calvaire. This was built in 1834 by Sophie Viramontes to commemorate the deaths of her husband and three children, all of whom died quite tragically. This is currently being redeveloped as a park for the people of the village to share.
At various times of the year there are Flea Markets (Vide Grenier) along the side of the canal and these are advertised locally. People empty out their attics and bring their unwanted items to sell on to someone else. It is quite a spectacle!
For those of us fortunate enough to live here all year there are many associations and activities – keep fit, glasswork, choir, youth activities – something for everyone in this busy village.