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Description for B&B:Maison Rives, dating back to before the French Revolution, has a history as fascinating as Montolieu itself. The furnishings in all the rooms compliment perfectly the natural light pouring through the windows. Whether your view is over the bridge and the Alzeau Gorge or down a village street, our rooms are spacious, light and airy and have en-suite facilities.
Enjoy breakfast downstairs in the salon, where we can help you plan your day or find your way if you wish.
Families with children are very welcome and each of the double rooms can easily accommodate an extra bed (supplement payable).
Montolieu—originally Montis Olivis, or Mount of Olives—sits atop a rocky ridge separating the Alzeau and Dure Rivers at the foot of the Montagne Noire, welcoming its many admirers. Surrounded by Cathar castles, caves, abbeys, forests, rolling fields, clear-running rivers and lakes, this pretty village in the Aude region of France has an historical pedigree to match its natural beauty. Among its ancestors are Charlemagne and Colbert; the former founded the Monastery of St. Jean de Mallast in 800 AD; the latter, Louis XIV’s minister, established a Royal Manufactory that exported high-quality woollen cloth. In 1146, the Viscount of nearby Carcassonne fortified the village. It’s early inhabitants—those who weren’t nuns or monks—first made their living working the rich vineyards and olive groves; they also tamed the river torrents to run water mills, which powered highly successful textile and paper plants. As the times changed and ‘progress’ brought those heady days of success to an end more than fifty years ago, a community of more than 3,000 shrank to around 900.
A book lover stepped in to motivate the modern-day renaissance of Montolieu as a book village—a village du livre. Today, the village is on the itinerary of many visitors every year. Non-bibliophiles love the village as well, and can easily while away a few hours, perhaps visiting the glass blowers, the cultural centre, the art gallery, museum of print or just wandering and relaxing.
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Please contact the owners direct via e mail for detailed directions if required.