Depuis quelques mois, une rumeur lancée sur Internet prévoit que le village de Bugarach sera épargné par la fin du monde, annoncée le 21 décembre 2012 par le calendrier maya.
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The end of the world is nigh – and that is excellent news for the small French village singled out in doomsday cults as the only place likely to survive the apocalypse.
With esoteric groups circulating a rumour that everyone will perish on December 21 unless they are on Pic de Bugarach, in the Pyrenees, locals can scarcely believe their good fortune.
They have spotted an opportunity to make money from New Agers who believe that extraterrestrials will emerge from the mountain top and rescue anyone who is there on the fateful day.
The French authorities, however, are clamping down on doomsday fever. Police have been ordered to investigate a flourishing trade in end-of-the-world memorabilia linked to the notion – based on a dubious interpretation of the Mayan calendar – that Bugarach is a sacred site.
One landowner, for example, is offering to rent out his four-bedroom house on the slopes of Bugarach for 1500 euros ($1870) a night next month, or a field in which to pitch a tent for 400 euros. He says it is a small price to pay for peace of mind during Armageddon.
“I possess a rare asset, the land of immortality,” the owner, who was not named, told La Depeche du Midi, the local daily. A bed and breakfast room 19km away is available on December 21 for 500 euros – even though the person who normally stays there will be outside the “safety zone” and will die, according to the prophecy.
“Authentic Bugarach stones” are selling for 1.50 euros a gram online and a 500ml bottle of water from its stream for 15 euros, a drink will cure a range of health and financial problems, according to the advertisement.
An online French auction offers a “natural pyramid of pyrite iron” from Bugarach while a local winemaker is marketing an End of the World vintage – and a Survival Vintage next year, just in case the prophecy is wrong. The Italian restaurant in Limoux, about 32km to the north, is to put an Apocalypse Pizza on the menu.
Eric Freysselinard, the prefect of the Aude county which encompasses Bugarach, this week expressed indignation over the trade. “I find it really outrageous to abuse the naivety of people and rush into commerce that defies common sense.”
He said he had told local police officers to launch an inquiry and clamp down on trade, although it is not clear whether any offences have been committed.
Claims that Bugarach will be taken over by New Agers this month might prove unfounded. But with the French government’s watchdog on sects warning that believers might mark Armageddon by committing mass suicide, Mr Freysselinard is taking no chances.
Dozens of officers will block the mountain top and filter access to the village during a four-day period around December 21. Gatherings of any sort will be banned, and anyone landing in a light aircraft will be arrested.
Oyé, oyé, la fin du monde arrive le 12.12.12 Sauf a #bugarach, vignoble catalan sauver par les mayas. Si, si, si...
[Note du Curateur] Il ne faut pas le renverser avant de le consommer.
Mystery and suspense currently surround the village of Bugarach. Situated 75 kilometres from the Mediterranean and 110 from the Spanish border, it lies at 460m above sea level but is completely overshadowed by the Pic de Bugarach, a mountain in the foothills of the Pyrenees, which rises to 1230m. The first mystery is the weather and its vagaries. Roussillon is the hottest and driest region of France but in the week we were there in early June, there was some sun but in general it was cool and overcast, and it rained heavily on some days. We even lit the fire on the one day we stayed at home … which was cosy and comforting, but not really what one expects. But it is the human beings who really complicate things. One set of mysteries is the latest gossip in the village among the expats and the locals. Further, completely inexplicable ones are put about by those who believe that 2012 will see the aliens landing on the mountain or being released from their home within it. And some of us thought next year was going to be dominated by the Olympics!
As you can see, this is a spectacular landscape, by turns majestic, rural or domestic. The villages are inhabited by a mixture of local people, French second-home owners and a positive pot-pourri of expatriates attracted by the life style, the inexpensive and decent quality wine, the arts and the mystic fringe. Others will relate immediately to the wild life, especially the raptors, or the remnants of former times – whether the Cathar castles or, as in the picture below, the Roman aqueduct below Antignan, which still carries water from one side of the valley to the other.
Needless to say, Janet’s and my reason to be here was at least in part wine-related. We had a long-standing invitation to stay with a member of Andover Wine Friends who has a house in Bugarach. This was a great offer and enabled us to get a really good insight into the wine scene in Roussillon and the most southerly parts of Languedoc. Wine has been made here since at least Roman times and the climate is excellent for robust and characterful reds, decent whites, some sparkling wine from one area, as well as the style which is said to be have been invented here, the vin doux naturels, These are alcoholic wines, mostly drunk before or after a meal, sweet but not overly so, capable of developing over many, many years. The last twenty five years of so has seen a new direction for the region, away from its role solely as the provider of inexpensive wines of colour and substance. In the past these provided blending material to improve wines from cooler, more northerly areas or just cheap quaffing wines. Roussillon can still provide inexpensive everyday wines but now, with the advent of private wineries and inward investment, also wines at medium to high quality levels. It is a fantastic zone to visit – even without the prospect of alien invasions. The main articles from our visit will appear in the next few weeks on the French regions pages of this website.
Did you know there are only 18 shopping days left to the Apocalypse? Yeah, time to get all those last minute end-of-the-world supplies and figure out what bunker you're going to hide out in!
A lot of ideas have been kicked around from this guy's house, a luxed-out underground missile silo, to a porn bunker for the apocalypse.
Well, while you were packing your Apocalypse Go Kit, the French village of Bugarach was cracking open the End of the World wine. (Read More: Tips for the Apocalypse)
That's because this sleepy little village at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains, population 176, has been designated by Mayan legend and Internet rumor as the Chosen One (cue sunrays from the heavens, angels singing) – the one town that will survive the end of the world, which the Mayans predict will occur on the night of Dec. 21.
The story goes that on that night, aliens are going to emerge from their "spaceship garage" in the mountain that sits behind the town,and whisk everyone in the town to safety before the world comes to a spectacular end. (Read more: Can Aliens Help the Economy?)
Well, this little farming village, initially alarmed over the attention it started receiving a few years ago over this whole apocalypse business, has decided to welcome the end with open capitalist arms.
You can buy a rock from the magic mountain of Pic deBugarach for 1.50 euros, bottled water from a local spring that allegedly has healing powers for 15 euros, and one dude is offering up his four-bedroom home with views of the mountain for 1,200 pounds a night – or the ability to camp in his backyard for 400 euros a night, the Daily Mail reports. The local Italian eatery is even gearing up for a Last Supper rush, with "Apocalypse Pizza" and "End of the World Wine."
It's called "Cuve Bugarach," the Guardian notes, bearing the tagline: "If there's only one left, I shall be that one."
The panic over the end has spread all the way to Russia but the Communists have had it UP TO HERE with all this end-of-the-world talk. Moscow's Minister of Emergency Situations declared recently that "The world will not end on Dec. 21."
Just in case – they're selling vodka-loaded Apocalypse GoKits in Siberia. (Read more: What's in Your Apocalypse Go Kit -- Beer or Vodka?)
Like the Lottery Curse, it hasn't been all high fives and champagne-flute clinking in this Chosen Village. There are TV and camera crews everywhere asking everyone what they think about the end of the world, which,despite what everyone thought would be a real-estate and tourism boom, has actually put a damper on tourism in recent months. The town sign has been stolen three times – which, frankly, gets expensive to replace. And, they're going to have to figure out how to beef up security for an expected influx of wannabe survivors.
Of course, with the apocalypse, there's an app for that. The Mayan Calendar iPhone app is available for 99 cents (www.mayan-calendar.com/phone.html). Just so, you know, you can calculate your birthday – and "destiny" – according to the Mayan calendar.
- population: 176
- has been earmarked by doomsday cults as the only place in the world which is going to survive Armageddon
It is based on an interpretation of the Mayan calendar which claims a planet is on a crash course with Earth and will impact on December 21 2012
According to prophecy aliens will emerge from their 'spaceship garage' in the town's Pic de Bugarach mountain and pluck believers to safety
'Authentic Bugarach stones' are on sale for €1.50 a gram while a bottle of water from the local spring will cost an eye-watering €15
One landowner is offering up his four-bedroom home for £1,200 a night and can offer a camping space in his field for £324
'Apocalypse pizza' and 'End of the World vintage' wine also available
Bugarach - population 176 - has been earmarked by doomsday cults as the only place in the world which is going to survive Armageddon, scheduled for December 21 this year by an ancient Mayan prophecy.
As it says, translating from the back-label: "Inspired by the oldest legends, this Bugarach wine should survive the end of the world and help you get in touch with extraterrestrials. This wine will be at its peak in December 2012..."
Cue Edge style guitar strumming... remember the U2 song used for the soundtrack of that early-90s arty apocalyptic Wim Wenders movie? Well, I like a man with a sense of humour, and it makes a refreshing change to come across this Roussillon red in the cluttered wine world. As it says, translating from the back-label: "Inspired by the oldest legends, this Bugarach wine should survive the end of the world and help you get in touch with extraterrestrials. This wine will be at its peak in December 2012..." He's called Jean Pla (pic.) and is probably best known for the "resto-cave" he and his wife used to own in Maury, Le Pichenouille, which he sold this year to focus on his wine broking / making activities. I remember someone also once called him "the Godfather of Maury," with respek.
Cuvée Bugarach 2010 vin de pays des Côtes Catalanes, Jean Pla Sélection (Grenache, 14.5% alc); subtitled as "S'il n'en reste qu'un, je serais celui-la" = "If there's only one left, I'd be this one."