dr_me_provencale_903aLocated in Bas-Vivarais, between Fish ponds and Borough-Saint-Andéol, the commune of Saint-Montan extends around his old medieval borough.
Saint-Montan has as an originality to be the only commune of France to bear this name. 

The prehistorians recognize in Bas-Vivarais one of most populated the areas southernmost France for the period of the Neolithic era. With the origin, the habitat is in caves or shelters - under - rock, which constituted a privileged refuge.

At the first century after J-C, an important locality exists in the North of Saint-Montan. With the Roman occupation and the Emperor Auguste, she experiences a considerable development and becomes Alba Augusta Helvirium, capital of Helvie. The Roman way of Narbonne in Lyon crosses Borough-St-Andéol, then moves towards North and Alba while passing through Saint-Montan.

dr_me_provencale_894The origin of the village of Saint-Montan goes back to the 5th century at the time of the stay of a hermit of the name of Montanus, related at the house of Lorraine and resulting from a princely family of Austrasie.  The legend reports to us that at the 5th century lived in Laon piles character called Montanus. Its reputation of holiness was large and it predicts with Célini lady that she would put at the world a son and that he would have a great destiny. This wire was Saint Remi, archevâque of Rheims, which baptized Clovis into 496. Montanus, importuned by the multitude of the visitors whom his reputation of holiness attracted, left Laon and sought in midday a loneliness where it could request God in peace. The hot valley allured it by its roughness and its proximity with Borough-Saint-Andéol. It would have lived 30 years in the cave of the hot valley a life of loneliness. Then it was discovered by the hunters and receipt the visit of Remi Saint and Jean, bishop of Fish ponds, which requested it to settle in a more accessible place (current place of the vault San Samonta). The multitude of visitors obliged it to leave the country and it was withdrawn in Fère, in Picardy, where it would have died and where his relics would be preserved.
The name of the village thus comes from this saint hermit, and is written correctly without T. “Per the san Montan the oulivo with the man” becomes a saying of the country (with the Montan Saint, one can gather olives…)

Saint_MontanThe hermitage became a priory thereafter. The seigniory of Balazuc settled at the beginning of XIe century and built there a castle at side of which was born a strengthened medieval village.

The strong castle, built on the spur rock of Agache, will constitute the starting point of the current borough. The central building seems to be built with a strictly military aim in XIème century. Then with the wire of the centuries, the castle increased with new constructions having a residential vocation. Progressively with these extensions, the ramparts were increased to ensure the protection of the houses. In the current of XVème century, the borough castral will reach the banks of the two brooks: its total surface is 2 hectares. It will be surrounded then of an important traced enclosure very regularly, which exists in major part still today.
With the XVI ème century the borough becomes seigniory of the Greenhouses, with the XVII ème, Co-seigniory with prevalence of the bishop of Fish ponds.

Church San Samonta

San_Samonta_1It is located at the exit of the village, in direction of Larnas, on the site of the second residence of Montanus. It is in its honor that a vault was built. The current building is composed of two distinct parts: a vault of Xème century and a Romance church of XIIème century. In XIIIe century, it is the parish church of Castrum.

Saint_Montan_2The small vault underwent some small modifications (windows, carries of entry) which do not denature initial construction. It is composed of an arched rectangular room, followed to the East of a lengthened apse.

Saint_Montan_3Between this vault and the church is a rectangular room which was used as cell for the monks. It communicates with the church by an arcade in full-clotheshanger. The church is of a disconcerting architecture and was altered on several occasions. It is established in an exiguous place, against cliff, which explains a special design. It is a church about the cistercians, from where a great sobriety, few decorations and not bell-tower. The porch was added subsequently vraissemblablement at the end of the XII ème century.

dr_me_provencale_887aOutside, one can notice many stones of re-employment, sundials, concise signs. Western side one can see the site of a former priory. Inside, two sealed inscriptions coming from the primitive church.


dr_me_provencale_885aThese places very early seem to be attended because of the presence of sources associated with the caves, the rocks and the very close forest.
The most important source, which never dries up normally (I do not know what they did, but more water of the whole when I passed… on the other hand, it is quite clean, the quite white stones… grrrrr) names “the Fountain of the Fevers” (Montanus having communicated the virtue to him to cure the fevers); it is seen sourdre under the road, with the height of the small stopping. It remained a long time one of the principal water points of the villagers, the way which connects it directly to the castle in fact faith.

dr_me_provencale_880I could thread me rather far in the cave, and aisi to see me that the network acquifère is divided into several boyeaux, of which one which goes up in direction of the church, and another which is inserted in the depths of the ground.
A small source appears now downstream. There remains, dug in cliff, the drain on the basis of the crowned source, empties now…

fontainedesfievresaI found a photograph where one sees the source with his miraculous water…

saint_Montan_4The cave of Doors, built in an excavation of cliff opposite, was set up in 1905. Some miracles would have occurred there. The source was to still run… This place at that time is currently interdict of access for reasons of safety.

Saint Montain or Montan, hermit in Fère (5th century)

dr_me_provencale_864While Gaules, at the 5th century, were the theatre of the wars, of misappropriations and the plunders, a recluse, named Montain or Montan (Montanus), lived on Expensive, close to Juvigny, in Luxembourg. Formed with the virtue as of childhood, it lived separate world to have of trade only with God and to be delivered entire to the exercises of penitence. Worried in its retirement by the races of the Barbarians, it left it and went to seek a major loneliness with Fère (Aisne), place then filled with wood, surrounded chasms and marsh. There, Montan, all occupied needs for the Church disturbed by the wars and the heresy of Nestorius that the Ecumenical Council of Ephèse (431) had just condemned, did not cease beseeching the help of the Sky. Its prayers were not without effect. One day that Montan rested of a light sleep, it by 3 times was informed to predict in Célinie, noble lady region, that it would have a son, and of him to declare of them at the same time the name and the merits. Suddenly it seems to him that, by a divine grace, it is transported in the middle of the chorus of the Angels and the assembly of the holy hearts, holding council unit and conferring subversion or restoration as of the Churches of Gaules: all declare that time had just had pity of it; and, at the same time, a voice which resounds with softness makes hear of a higher place and more secrecy: “The Lord looked of the Sky and Holy of Holiesdr_me_provencale_895a, in the ground, to hear the moanings of those which are enchainés, and to break irons of wire of those which perished, so that Its Name is announced among the nations, and that the people and the kings meet together to serve It”. - The voice said “that Célinie would design a son, named Remi, to which the people would be entrusted to be saved”.
After having received so great and so soft consolation, the saint character, 3 times informed to achieve its mission, came to announce in Célinie the oracle of the celestial vision. However, this happy mother had had a long time before, in the flower of her youth, sound alone and single husband Emile, a son named Principe (or Prince), since bishop of Soissons, and father of saint Loup, her successor with the episcopate of the same city: happy Célinie is astonished; she cannot include/understand how, already old woman, she will give birth to her son and will nourish it ofdr_me_provencale_871its milk, the more so as her husband and itself, largely advanced in age, exhausted, had any more neither hope nor desire to have from now on children. But happy Montan, become blind for a time, so that the merits of patience abounded in him, declares in Céline that its eyes must be sprinkled with its milk and that at once it will recover the sight. However the happy parents deliver themselves to the joy of a so great consolation, and, “when the moment arrived”, the future potife of Jesus-Christ comes in the world fortunately and receives, on the saints font of Baptism, the name of Remi. The happy promise made to the Prophète saint is thus accurately accomplished: because, during breast feeding, its eyes are sprinkled milk of the happy Célinie mother, and it covers the sight miraculeusement. - Dom Lelong says “that it is in Cerny, where was the castle of Celine, which the preceding scene would have occurred”. - If Montan still lived a few years after having recovered the sight, it turned over in its loneliness of Fère, to the bond says the Pit of Saint-Montan; it died there on May 17. The city of Fère and its collegial took for holy owner Montan. One preserves, still today, a small portion of his relics to the parish church and the vault of the Hospital; they were recognized authentic by the Roman bishop of Beaulieu, mgr Leblanc. The festival of the Saint is celebrated with Fère with a great solemnity on May 17; and, during the 9 following days, the faithful ones continue to come to venerate its relics. - The catbédrale of Laon formerly had the chief and an arm of the solitary saint; the abbey of Juvigny had the principal part of its body.