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History of the fig in Vézénobres

A family history that has become a major tourist attraction

Of ancient origin and having crossed the ages, how the fig became the central tourist attraction of the medieval village of Vézénobres?

The fig

Cultural heritage of Vézénobres

The history of the fig in Vézénobres is millennial. It is indeed the Romans, in the second century BC, who imported the fig tree in France and implanted it in Vézénobres.

From that time on, this “bush” (because yes, it is indeed a bush and not a tree, contrary to what one might think), will remain in this village and contribute to its fame. However, it is only between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries that the culture of the fig becomes more widespread, with a great eventcommercial around this fruit (which by the way is not really a fruit): the fair of Saint Andrew, which was held every year on November 30. The fig, dried, then began to make the reputation of Vézénobres, until becoming nowadays a real tourist attraction.

A family tradition

From personal consumption to markets

In Vézénobres, the cultivation of figs has always been a matter of family production on a very small scale.

In the past, almost every family had a fig tree in its garden and could dry the figs at home, for its own consumption or to resell them onthe markets.

For the most modest families, figs were dried on “traffiches“, a kind of metal rods planted in the facades of houses on which fig “necklaces” were hung.

For wealthier families, “calaberts” were built, i.e., large open terraces, added in front of the facades of the houses, under which figs were placed on claies (or racks), a kind of wooden or metal lattice. The whole allowed the figs to be dried in the sun and protected from the weather.

The fig nowadays

If the village ofVézénobres has become a must-see place in the discovery of the Cévennes, it is partly for the fig, which is today one of its most appreciated tourist attractions. Just for fun or curiosity, you too can visit theHouse of the Fig as well as the Verger Conservatory and you’ll understand.

Created in 2019, The House of the Fig is a scenographic complex composed of playful places, a space offering a small projection and, of course, a boutique rich in local products based on fig.

As for the Conservatory Orchard, it contains no less than 800 fig trees, representing a hundred different varieties of which you, can taste the production during theguided tours or by visiting the sales store of the House of the Fig.

You should also know that various animations (guided tours, storytelling walks, breakfast in the orchard, winegrowers’ aperitifs, cooking workshops…) are organized and allow you to enjoy Vézénobres and the fig in all seasons.