Farmers, craftsman, merchants lived together with religious clerics from the four monastic communities settled in Saint-Emilion over the course of centuries and who transformed an ancestral place of worship in a pilgrimage centre. Pilgrims and scholars lived in these calm, serene, bright cloisters, farmers and winegrowers shaped the vineyard landscapes and bring to the designation a reputation never denied.
The whole village shows this peaceful development, every house keeps a mark of the architecture, a high church with a few murals remaining, sculptures showing the intellectual and spiritual wealth, all the marks telling the story of the inhabitants’ wealth and dynamism.
Saint-Emilion succeeded in building a commercially thriving and self sufficient city: livestock farming on the Dordogne’s banks was an important sector of the regional agriculture, the production of food crops guaranteed significant resources and showed that the vineyard did not make, despite of its fame, the whole local resources.
Men and women knew how to protect what they created going as far as legislating to make the vineyard last. The village finds a balance that will allow it to live through the centuries.