SOREZE PICNIC AREA
As early as the Neolithic period, Berniquaut was visited by hunters. In the 4th and 5th centuries BC, the Gauls had set up an oppidum there to take advantage of its dominant position. But Sorèze only developed after the foundation of the Benedictine Abbey by Pépin le Bref in 754. Destroyed by the Saracens, the Normans and then during the Wars of Religion, it was the Benedictines of Saint-Maur who revived this abbey in the 17th century by opening a school there. From 1776 to 1792, the school which was enlarges housed one of the twelve "Royal Military Schools" created by Louis XVI and the teaching provided attracted pupils from all over the world. From 1854 to 1861, Father Lacordaire gave the school a new lease of life and its fame spread beyond the borders of the country. It was thus a place of intelligence, an intellectual laboratory from the 18th century onwards. Today, Sorèze is rich in its past and remains a historical and Cultural highlight. The Village, its natural environment and the Abbey-school, form a whole that retraces 12 centuries of a rich and eventful history.