La Marie - the Town Hall 1999 Flood damage 1999 Flood damage

Durban-Corbières is about 35 kilometers (± 22 miles) from Narbonne, 45 kilometers (± 28 miles) from Perpignan to the South, and a similar distance from Carcassonne to the North West.

On the other side of the River Berre is a modern extension of the town. There is the 'Mairie' or Town Hall, the school, the retirement home for elderly people, new housing and a camp site.

Many families were glad to move out of the small roomed dark housing of the old town and into lighter modern houses with a garden leaving the old houses to be bought by strangers to the town who open up the rooms, expose the beams put flowers in the windows and enjoy the cool interiors during a hot southern summer.

The town has a Bank, Post Office, a bakers, small supermarket, two petrol stations and a couple of garages. There is a Tobacconist, Hôtel and Restaurant, Chambre d'Hôte, a Pharmacist, a small Medical Centre, swimming pool and tennis courts.

Durban has suffered greatly in the last few years. Its Cave Co-operative where the grapes were taken to produce good Corbières wine, has closed and the building demolished. The economy of the town depends on making and selling wine. Some growers have become independent wine producers and others take their grapes to centres managed by 'Les Producteurs de Haute Corbières' at Tuchan. The town also experienced the flood in November 1999. The Berre, normally a gently flowing river which can dry up in summer, became overnight a raging, destructive torrent. Since that time the Nursery School and the Supermarket have been re-built on new sites, the Local Taxation Office found a new location and the Camp site placed well away from flood waters. There is still a lot of work to be done before the town can finally put that disastrous 24 hours into the past.

The Canton of Durban has fourteen Communes or villages of which Durban is the most important. It is proud to see itself as the start of any exploration of the area known as " Cathar Country " (Pays Cathar), proud of its heritage or Patrimoine. and welcoming to any stranger who visits.

The two lower photos show the results of the November 1999 floods.

Text and Photographs by Maggie Comley, Cascastel 2003 ( deceased 2010 )


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