The History of the Templars of Launac-le-Vieux

It was in Fabrègues, in 1175, that the Templars came to settle in Launac. The Templars settled partly on land in the parish of Mujolan given by the bishop of Maguelone. Their house with chapel still exists (Launac le Vieux). They attached their name to the sanitation of the Coculle pond. They dug a large canal: called "La Capoulière des Templiers" to drain the pestilential waters of the pond towards the "Garelle" stream. The lands thus drained became suitable for cultivation. The Templars of Launac devoted themselves mainly to culture, but they also fulfilled surveillance and safeguard missions in the vicinity. The Commandery was created in the 12th century thanks to the Templars. Rebuilt in the 14th century by the Hospitallers, it took its final form in the 16th and 17th centuries. In turn Templar house then property of the Knights of Malta, it was sold as national property during the Revolution.
Launac's name comes from a Gallic man's name + suffix: acum.
It would be a large agricultural domain (name of man:Launus) Right in the middle was a large pond called Coculse Pond.
We notice very well this strong depression between Launac the old; Launac St André and the domain of La Barthe. Various documents mention next to this pond, a barn (or farm) of Granouilleres. It was around 1175 that the Templars arrived in Launac. The bishops of Maguelone gave them land in the parish of St Médard de Maguelone for the herding of the herds. The Launac commandery depended on the commandery of St Gilles (Gard).
It was essentially agricultural property. The Templars will immediately see the interest they would have in drying up the pond both from the point of view of public health and culture. They therefore undertook this big work with the simple means of the time, that is to say by the strength of the wrists. They dug a big trench to evacuate these stagnant waters towards the neighboring stream La Garelle this trench is known in the country as the Capouillère des templiers (capoisère du patois cap: tête - tête Creek which collects others).So they highlighted this huge depression that used to be a pestilential pool
We know the famous lawsuit brought by King Philip the Bel to the Templars and the condemnation by Pope Clement V. In the famous night of October 13, 1308 the Templars were arrested throughout France. Some managed to flee, others imprisoned and sometimes after summary judgment, condemned to the stake as was the case of the great master of the order Jacques de Molay who assigned the king and the pope to the court of god for the year In progress. The king seized the goods of the order and mainly money. What happened to the Launac Templars in particular we do not know. But their lands like most of the possessions of the order passed to the knights of St. John of Jerusalem or the order of Malta.


The Launac chapel seems to represent the characteristics of 12th century architecture. The vault presents a bizarre sculpture with 21 elements, would it be the figuration of the cross of St Andrew, patron of the chapel and the house of Launae?According to Canon Segossdi historian of the diocese of Maguelone the Templars would have founded the church and the parish St André of the work of the church of St Jean des Clapas The cross of St André and its famous formula: By this sign you avaineras, written in Greek, was on one side of the building. La Capouillère cuts the national road (old path from Montpellier to Pèzenas) at the level of the domain of St André. The passage under the road required a very neat device, unfortunately since the repair works it is no longer visible. During this repair the engineers were struck by the regularity given to the slope for the water flow and said: Today we would not do better. Thus the Capoullière of the Templars all lined with raoulets (small streams) perpetuate in the plain of Launae the honor and the benefits of these soldier monks that men have forgotten a little. Thus the knights of St John of St John of Jerusalem or Order of Malta remained owners of the place until the revolution. In 1792, this beautiful property was sold as a national ben.It included between arable land and meadows about 500 hectares. It was first divided into five lots, almost all acquired by merchants from Montpellier (Bazille - Landon - Cambon - Besard - Hue). In the spring of 1794 an instruction camp was set up on these lands for the soldiers who were to supply the Pyrenees army commanded by General Dugommier. The various farms around were occupied for the needs of the camp. The Templar Launae (known as Launae the Elder) was occupied by a bread oven. The camp was lifted in September 1794 because the highly unruly recruits caused a lot of disorder in the surroundings. At the time of the revolution, there were eleven shepherds at Launac for the herds.
Subsequently the area was divided into many plots.


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