Libourne > Limoges
07/08/2023 - Stage 8 - 201 km - Hilly
On the road
Closest KM: Saint-Pardoux-la-Rivière (KM 123) for the Flow Vélo; off-route for the velodrome
The greenway of the Vallée de l'Isle, named after the river that meanders between the Gironde and Dordogne departments, beckons just a stone's throw from Libourne. Cyclists will discover natural wonders, historical sites (castles, churches, abbeys and charterhouses), industrial heritage (mills, canals, lime quarries and Beauronne pottery) and the culinary delights of Périgord. Local curiosity: you can even ride on the water with "Rouler sur l'eau"! To venture off the beaten track and tackle rough terrain, visitors to Porchères can explore the best route by hopping on a "waterbike" and pedalling with the flow on this new and ingenious means of transport near the mill, in the heart of a protected natural area.
NEW AQUITAINE REGION
Departments : Charente, Charente-Maritime, Corrèze, Creuse, Dordogne, Gironde, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Deux-Sèvres, Vienne, Haute-Vienne.
Population: 6 million
Area: 2,011 km2
Specialities: Bordeaux wines, Cognac, Armagnac, Espelette chilli pepper, Périgord walnuts, Marmande tomatoes, oysters from the Arcachon basin, Salers meat, Aquitaine cow, Bayonne ham, Pauillac lamb, Bordeaux canelés. Goose, duck, Sarlat apples, Basque chicken, garbure, lamprey. Black truffle.
Sport clubs: Girondins de Bordeaux (football), Stade Montois, Union Sportive Dacquoise, Aviron Bayonnais, Union Bordeaux Bègles Atlantique, Stade Rochelais, CA Brive Corrèze Limousin, Section Paloise, Biarritz Olympique, SU Agen (rugby), Elan Béarnais Pau-Orthez, CSP Limoges (basketball).
Competitions: Tour de France, surfing in Lacanau (Lacanau Pro) and Biarritz. Tour du Limousin.
Festivals: Bayonne festival, Dax festival, Madeleine festival in Mont-de-Marsan, Francofolies in La Rochelle, Angoulême comic book festival, Brive book fair, Nuits de nacre in Tulle, Grand Pavois in La Rochelle, Garorock in Marmande, Cognac detective film festival
Economy: Bordeaux wines, Cognac and Armagnac, aeronautics and space industry, biotechnologies, chemistry, scientific research. Image and digital sector. Agri-food industry. Port of Bordeaux. Tourism. Universities.
Sights: Bordeaux, Saint-Emilion, La Rochelle, Biarritz, Arcachon basin, Dune du Pilat, Lascaux caves, Futuroscope in Poitiers, Lacanau beaches, Biarritz, Biscarosse, Hourtin, Carcans, Soulac-sur-Mer, Gironde river mouth, Bordeaux vineyards, Dordogne castles, Pau castle, Pyrenees, Oleron island, Ré island.
Websites and social networks: www.nouvelle-aquitaine.fr
Region: New Aquitaine
Population: 1.6 million
Sub-prefectures: Arcachon, Blaye, Langon, Lesparre-Médoc, Libourne
Number of municipalities: 535
Area: 10,725 km2 (largest department in mainland France)
Specialities: Bordeaux wines, Médoc vineyards, Graves, Entre-Deux Mers, Saint-Emilion, Pauillac, Pomerol, Sauternes, Saint-Julien, Moulis, Margaux, Fronsac, Saint-Estèphe, Pessac-Léognan... Canelés. Lamb from Pauillac. Oysters from the Arcachon basin, lamprey, shad. Chabrot. Caviar from Gironde. Strawberries from Pessac. Lillet. Marie Brizard. Pigeons. Sarments du Médoc (chocolates). Bordeaux sauce. Ceps from Bordeaux, asparagus from Blayais.
Sights: Gironde estuary, Pauillac quays, surfing on the Côte d'Argent (Lacanau, Hourtin, Carcans), Arcachon basin, Dune du Pilat, Lège-Cap Ferret, medieval town of Saint-Émilion (Unesco World Heritage), Cordouan lighthouse. Citadel of Blaye. Castles of Roquetaillade, La Brède, Langoiran, Rauzan, Vayres, Cadillac, Cazeneuve, Villandraut. Villages of Saint-Macaire, Rions, La Réole... Abbeys of Vertheuil, La Sauve-Majeure. Ornithological park of Le Teich. In the name of Le Corbusier: La Cité Frugès in Pessac.
Sports clubs: Girondins de Bordeaux (L1 football), Union Bordeaux-Bègles (Top 14 rugby), Stade Bordelais ASPTT (D1 women's rugby), Boxers de Bordeaux (ice hockey)
Competitions: Décastar (Talence), Lacanau Pro (surfing), Médoc Marathon, Bordeaux Metropole Marathon, Tour de Gironde (cycling), Jumping International de Bordeaux (showjumping), BNP Paribas Primerose Bordeaux (tennis)
Festivals : Bordeaux International Women's Film Festival, Bordeaux Coupé Court Short Film Festival, Bordeaux European Short Film Festival, Escale du livre, Fest'arts, Bordeaux Cinémascience International Film Festival, Bègles Animation Film Festival, Pessac International History Film Festival, Bordeaux International Independent Film Festival, Pauillac Film Festival, Festival des Hauts de Garonne, Lire en Poche, Festival Musicacité, Musik à Pile, Nuits atypiques, Ouvre la Voix, La Part des anges (festival), Reggae Sun Ska Festival, Les Rendez-vous de Terres Neuves, Les Riches Heures de La Réole, Festival VivaCité, Scènes d'été en Gironde, Bordeaux Fête le vin, Bordeaux Fête le Fleuve, Reggae Sun Ska, Bordeaux Open Air, Ouvre la voix.
Economy: viticulture, forestry, oyster farming. Tourism. Aeronautics, agri-food and wood-paper. Administration, services.
Websites and social networks: https://www.gironde.fr/ / https://www.gironde-tourisme.fr/ / https://www.facebook.com/Departement.Gironde / https://twitter.com/gironde?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor / https://www.instagram.com/departementgironde/?hl=fr
The village is mainly known for its exceptional wines and the prestigious chateaux located on its soil. The presence of the Hospitallers of Jerusalem, at the origin of winegrowing in the Libourne area, is attested by the Croix de Gay, a 16th century crossroads in the shape of a Maltese cross (listed as a historical monument in 1987, visible at km 7).
This appellation is renowned for its most famous crus, Pétrus, Le Pin, Lafleur, La Conseillante, Gazin, Maillet, Rouget and many others. It produces exclusively red wine and, if almost all the Bordeaux grape varieties can be used (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, etc.), it is Merlot which clearly predominates, even representing 100 pc of the vineyard for certain vintages, such as Le Pin. The birth of winegrowing in Pomerol was marked in the 12th century by the installation of the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, which set up a hospice in Pomerol as a stopover for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. The vineyard is attested as early as the Middle Ages, mentioned among the destructions of the Hundred Years War. The vineyards of Pomerol are favoured by the proximity of the town of Libourne, which has a small port for exporting the wines.
It is one of the most famous wines in the world, if not THE most famous, and yet its origins are modest. In 1923, Marie-Louise Loubat, a woman from Libourne, bought a few acres of vines on the heights of Pomerol from a family, the Arnauds, who in the 19th century had the curious idea of naming the place after the first pope, Petrus. The rise of Petrus is linked to the tenacity and ambition of this woman who became the sole owner in 1945. But the vineyard was in a sad state. She then entrusted Petrus to a visionary winemaker, Jean-Pierre Moueix, whose family now controls nearly 50 pc of the Pomerol trade. After a dispute over inheritance when Marie-Louise Loubat died in 1961, Petrus is now owned by the Moueix family. In just a few years, Petrus has reached new heights. It was served in 1947 at the wedding of Elizabeth, the future Queen of England, who had the thoughtfulness to invite the owner to the royal wedding. Later, it conquered the White House, the Kennedys, Marilyn Monroe and many other Americans made Petrus their favourite wine. Today, Pétrus is breaking all records: the 2000 Petrus, rated 100 (the maximum) by Robert Parker, is currently trading at €8,132 per bottle. In October 2011 in New York, a case of 1961 Petrus won the highest bid at Christie's: $144,000 (€104,200), a price never before achieved for a case of Pomerol.
The church of Saint-Pierre, listed as a historical monument in 2011, has the particularity of preserving a revolutionary inscription on one of its walls: "The French people recognise the supreme being and the immortality of the soul."
Manufacture of Abzac
Construction: 17th century
History: in 1763 the mill became the property of Gabriel de Goderville and was mentioned as early as 1480. It was transformed, notably by the addition of two wings, a forge and stables in 1780. A witness to the Atlantic trade which was anchored on the banks of the rivers, this grain mill supplied the crews travelling between Bordeaux and the West Indies. Its location and architecture attracted conventionalist Romme, during the revolutionary period, who hoped to make cannons there. Sold as national property, the site was soon used simultaneously as an oil mill and a flour mill. Attracted by the water and by the power of the river, on which a hydroelectric micro-power station is installed, the Abzac cardboard company took over the buildings in 1928 and extended them.
Listing: Historical Monument since 2014.
Construction: 17th and 18th centuries.
Characteristics: the building is a long rectangular building on which the outbuildings are supported by a square return, enclosing an inner courtyard closed off by a main gate.
History: the name of Abzac derives from Avitus, a Gallo-Roman chief who is said to have set up a camp here, traces of which were found in 1825 next to the present residence. In the Middle Ages, the castle belonged to the Sires of Fronsac. In the 14th century, the castle was taken by the English and destroyed. Around 1660, the current residence was built. During the 18th century, it was considerably embellished and enlarged before being abandoned in 1794. The castle was sold as national property in 1796.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 2013.
The Dronne, dams and mills
A little-known river, the Dronne was described as "the most beautiful river in France" by geographer Elysée Reclus. Its clear waters swell the flow of the Isle at Coutras. It has known its hours of glory with its many mills with diversified activities. At Eglisottes-et-Chalaure, the Monfourat mill, a paper mill with more than 600 workers, manufactured watermarked paper for the League of Nations (the forerunner of the UN), while the Reyreau mill, with its 1,500 workers, manufactured the famous Baudou rubber boots, the official sponsor of the Tour de France for many years with its advertising truck.
Henri IV and the Battle of Coutras in 1587
On October 20, 1587, during the Wars of Religion, a famous battle in French history took place in Coutras. Henry of Navarre, the future king Henry IV, won a resounding victory over the Duke of Joyeuse who was leading the Catholic army. Witnesses of the time spoke of 4,000 deaths in two hours. The victory at Coutras was decisive in his accession to the French throne in 1589. The emblem of the town, the "Henry IV well”, located opposite the Town Hall, is associated with the memory of the battle of Coutras.
Prefecture : Périgueux
Sub-prefectures : Nontron, Bergerac, Sarlat
Surface area: 9100 km².
Specialities: foie gras, truffles, Bergerac wines, cabécou du Périgord, chestnuts, walnuts from Périgord, Pôle d'Excellence Cuir, arts and crafts.
Sports clubs and events: Boulazac Basket Dordogne, motorbike enduro la Grappe de Cyrano, kilometres of Belvès running race, Périgord Raid Aventure, mountain bike and cycle touring events.
Festivals and exhibitions: Jeux du Théâtre and film festival in Sarlat, Mimos and Sinfonia in Périgueux, Le Grand Souk in La Jemaye , Festival du Périgord Noir, Itinéraire baroque en Périgord Vert, contemporary art exhibition at the Château de Biron.
Economy: tourism, agriculture, viticulture, food industry, paper industry, subcontracting, luxury industry (Hermès, Repetto)
Websites and social networks: www.dordogne.fr / www.facebook.com/cddordogne/ / www.twitter.com/cddordogne / www.instagram.com/cddordogne
The result of the merger of the communes of Saint-Aulaye and Puymangou in 2016. Saint-Aulaye, an ancient bastide founded in 1288, is the most northerly of the Périgord. It has preserved its castle and part of its ramparts from that period, as well as the 12th century church of Sainte-Eulalie, which has been listed as a Historical Monument since 1946. In Puymangou, the 17th century castle was restored in the early 2000s.
Construction: 13th and 19th centuries
Style: Medieval and Renaissance.
History: built in the 10th and 11th centuries, the medieval castle overlooks the Dronne and the Double forest. It was transformed into a residence during the Renaissance. After having belonged to many lords until the Revolution, it was declared national property and abandoned. After several restorations, the municipality bought the building, which for a few years housed the Post Office, then became the Town Hall.
Trivia: Saint-Aulaye has recently started to produce a cognac which is aged in the castle tower.
The commune was created on 1 January 2017 as a new commune and brings together the former communes of Festalemps, Saint-Antoine-Cumond and Saint-Privat-des-Prés. The churches of Saint-Martin de Festalemps (where Scottish actor Ewan McGregor married in 1995), Saint-Pierre-ès-Liens de Cumond and Saint-Privat are all listed as Historic Monuments. The commune also has several remarkable châteaux, Château de Cumond, Château de la Mothe and Château de la Meynardie, a small Renaissance château built under Henry IV and now a charming hotel.
Construction: 18th century.
Characteristics: Cumond Castle was built between 1700 and 1702, with an H-shaped plan and a central building flanked by two pavilions. The bower in front of the castle was planted at the end of the 18th century. The landscaped park was created at the end of the 19th century according to the plans of landscape gardeners Denis and Eugène Bühler.
History: the lordship of Cumond was mentioned from the 14th century, it belonged to the sires of Cumont. At the beginning of the 15th century, it belonged to the sires of Chalais and in 1464 to Aubeterre. It was then divided into three separate fiefs: Cumont, la Courre and Salleboeuf. In 1600, Cumont belonged to the Cropte de Bourzac, then to the d'Arlot de Frugie in 1664. In 1702, Jacques d'Arlot had the present castle built in place of the old medieval dwelling.
Listed: Historical Monument since 2005.
Birthplace of one of the most famous troubadours, Arnaut Daniel (1150-1210), this former sub-prefecture of the Dordogne (until 1926) has three listed churches, the former collegiate church of Notre-Dame (12th century), which now hosts exhibitions, the Art Deco church of Notre-Dame de la Paix (1933) and the small church of Saint-Pierre de Faye. A prosperous former viscounty until the 17th century, Ribérac organised two prestigious festivals between 2008 and 2019, the Grand Souk and Fest'In. Ribérac, which hosted the Tour du Limousin in 2022 (Alex Aranburu won), is also the birthplace of Frédéric Brun, who competed in nine Tours de France for Peugeot between 1980 and 1990. He won the Grand Prix de Plumelec in 1988. Another local rider, Jean-Claude Daunat took part in the Tour in 1971 and 1972. The town also hosted the Tour de Mareuil-Verteillac-Ribérac, where some of the best French riders, Thibaut Pinot, Arnaud Démare, Pierrick Fedrigo and Warren Barguil, won.
Like most of the localities in the Périgord, Tocane-Saint-Apre has several castles: the best preserved is Château de Fayolle (18th century), listed as a Historic Monument in 1969, while Château de Vernodes, of which only ruins remain, is the oldest (probably 11th century).
Château de Fayolle
Construction: 1766, then 19th century.
History: on the site of an ancient mole, a medieval stronghold was built, which was attacked several times during the Hundred Years War. A fortified castle replaced it in the 15th century but it was burnt down by the troops of the Lords of Bourdeille. The present castle is the result of two successive periods of construction, the first in 1766 by architect Chauvin; the second, at the end of the 19th century, by architect Léon Drouyn.
Characteristics: it is a private property. It comprises two parallel dwellings adjoined by their eaves walls and finished at each end by projecting pavilions, i.e. four in total. To the south-west of the castle is a dovecote.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 1969.
As the seat of one of the four baronies of the Périgord, Bourdeilles still has one of the most beautiful castles in the region, which is in fact the union of two separate castles, the medieval castle and a Renaissance pavilion built in the 15th century. There are four other castles in the commune, as well as several manor houses and houses, including Maison du Sénéchal (15th to 17th century), which has been a listed building since 1971.
Construction: 14th century (castle) and 16th century (Renaissance pavilion)
Style: medieval for the castle, Renaissance for the pavilion.
History: the lords of Bourdeille are mentioned among the companions of Charlemagne. Nothing remains of the buildings that may have existed at that time, and the oldest parts of the present castle do not date back beyond the beginning of the 14th century. The enclosure also contains a Renaissance house built at the end of the 16th century (1585 or 1589) by the Marquise de Bourdeille, who drew up the plans herself.
Characteristic features: the four walls of a two-storey building, which was once divided into two large rooms by a dividing wall, remain from the castle; chimney jambs; the bases of a cross vault; and large, gemeled bays. The octagonal keep is crowned with machicolations. A circular staircase in a turret on one side gives access to four floors of vaulted rooms. The important remains of the surrounding wall, crowned with machicolations, and the entrance door which opens between two large round towers, complete the medieval part. The Renaissance building remains unfinished and its single square pavilion was to be connected to another similar building by a gallery. The interior has retained some decorative remains: gilded arabesques on the ceilings, panelling decorated with landscapes in monochrome, monumental fireplaces, etc.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 1919.
The age of the commune is attested by the presence of dolmens listed in the 1960s, and several castles, the oldest of which is Château de Ramefort. Since 2019, Valeuil has been attached to Brantôme-en-Périgord.
Construction: 13th, 15th and 19th centuries.
History and characteristics: the lair is said to have been built in the 11th century. Built high on the rock, with an enclosing wall pierced with loopholes, the castle commands the road that runs along the river, halfway between Brantôme and Bourdeilles. The main building is flanked by three towers which were razed during the Revolution. A fortified entrance closes off the courtyard, which forms a complete enclosure, but whose annex buildings were replaced in the 19th century by the current constructions, including a columned gallery. The old wall of the keep, with a three-lobed window, remains.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 1980.
Brantôme-en-Périgord is a French commune formed in 2016 from the merger of the two former communes of Brantôme and Saint-Julien-de-Bourdeilles. In 2019 it absorbed six other former communes: Cantillac, Eyvirat, La Gonterie-Boulouneix, Saint-Crépin-de-Richemont, Sencenac-Puy-de-Fourches and Valeuil. Brantôme, the main town, nicknamed "the Venice of the Périgord" because of the canal dug by the Benedictines for the pilgrims to Compostela, developed around the abbey of Saint-Pierre, founded in the 8th century under Pepin the Short and developed by Charlemagne. It came under English rule in 1152 and remained so, with interludes, for nearly three centuries before becoming French. From this history, Brantôme has preserved an important heritage, as well as the churches of all the former communes which are attached to it, two of which are protected as Historical Monuments.
Saint Peter's Abbey
Construction: 13th, 15th and 19th centuries.
Style: Romanesque with Gothic parts.
History: the abbey was built at the foot of a cliff, on the banks of the Dronne, which surrounds the medieval town. As early as the 8th century, Benedictine monks lived in troglodytes, the cliff providing shelter and material for construction. Tradition has it that Charlemagne consecrated the abbey by depositing the relics of a martyred child, St. Sicarius. The first abbey was destroyed by the Vikings in 848 and 857. It regained a certain prosperity from the 10th century onwards, when the Limousin Romanesque bell tower with gables (11th century) was built, the oldest bell tower in France. Destroyed by the Franco-English wars, the religious buildings were rebuilt during the Renaissance. The most illustrious abbot was Pierre de Bourdeille, the memoirist known as Brantôme (abbot from 1558 to 1614). He saved the abbey during the Wars of Religion. The abbey then declined and disappeared during the Revolution.
Characteristics: nowadays, the abbey church (11th-13th centuries), part of the cloister (14th century) and the conventual buildings (18th century) remain, which house two municipal museums as well as the town hall of Brantôme.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 1840.
This is the birthplace (in 1961) of sailor Kito de Pavant, who learned to sail on the small pond of Milhac-de-Nontron, close to Saint-Pardoux and evokes this childhood in the book Le plus grand navigateur de tout l'étang (The Greatest Sailor of the Pond). Winner of the Solitaire du Figaro in 2002, he won the yachting Tour de France in 2003 and the Transat Ag2R in 2006. He also finished 2nd in the Jacques Vabre Transatlantic race in 2013.
As in all the villages of the Green Périgord, a large population of British people has settled in and is making daily life more dynamic. They brought with them some of their customs, such as the game of conkers, an old schoolyard game. Each participant hangs a chestnut on a string and the aim is to break the chestnut of his neighbour. The French championships of this amusing game take place in Abjat every autumn... The village's Saint-André church is a listed building.
The Miallet reservoir was created to support the low water flow of the Côle and Dronne rivers and to allow the irrigation of cereal crops. Beyond this initial vocation, the maintenance of a minimum flow in these two rivers allows the preservation of aquatic species and the continuity of leisure activities. The Miallet dam is one of the largest bodies of water in the department. With an 8-kilometre-long path around the dam, it is a popular place for walking and cycling. Situated on the north-east / south-west migratory route, the Miallet reservoir also provides a stopover for many migratory birds.
Prefecture : Limoges
Sub-prefectures : Bellac and Rochechouart
Surface area: 5,520.1 km².
Specialities: Limousin cattle (veal raised under the mother), "Cul Noir" (Black Ass) pork, Baronet lamb, madeleines, marzipan (biscuits made from marzipan since the 19th century), burgou (traditional chestnut cake), feuillardier (chestnut liqueur).
Sports clubs: Limoges CSP (basketball), USAL (rugby union), Limoges Handball 87, Limoges Football Club, ROC ASSJ HB87
Competitions: Tour du Limousin (cycling), Course nature des gendarmes et des voleurs de temps (trail), Randonnez-vous en Haute-Vienne
Festivals : Culture au grand jour; La Route du Sirque; Graines de Rues; Urbaka; Les Bandafolie's; 1001 notes; National Festival of Bellac; Festival du Haut-Limousin; Musical Nights in Cieux; Le labyrinthe de la voix (The labyrinth of voice) in Rochechouart; Saint-Yrieix music festival; Cuivres en fêtes ; Mont-Gargan Festival; Paroles de conteurs (Tellers Tales); Francophonies in Limousin ; International caricature, press cartoon and humour festival in Saint-Just-le-Martel ; Biennale Danse émoi ; Eclats d'émail
Economy: agriculture (cattle and sheep breeding), porcelain industry, European ceramics cluster, Elopsys high-tech competitiveness cluster, wood and paper industry, crafts such as enamel, leather, "Made in France" clothing (Smuggler, Weston, Broussaud, Parallèle), electricity and home automation (Legrand).
Websites / FB / Twitter: https://www.haute-vienne.fr / https://www.chalucet.com / https://www.facebook.com/departementhautevienne / https://www.youtube.com/user/conseilgeneral87/videos / http://www.dailymotion.com/user/conseilgeneral87/1 / https://plus.google.com/+D%C3%A9partementHauteVienne
Castle of Montbrun
Construction: 13th century.
History: the site was occupied as early as the 11th century, as evidenced by the castral mutt located in the immediate vicinity of the present castle. In 1199, the lord of Montbrun, Pierre Brun, led the garrison of the castle of Châlus-Chabrol during the siege in which Richard the Lionheart was killed. In the 12th century, a stone castle was built, of which the Romanesque keep remains. This castle was burnt down, and almost entirely rebuilt, in the 15th century. Ransacked and looted during the Revolution, it was restored in the 19th century. It suffered another fire in 1917 and has been extensively restored since 1995. In 2019, the castle was for sale for 21 million euros.
Characteristics: the site has preserved the island platform as well as the 12th to 14th century ponds. It includes, behind the castle, the mound which bore the primitive 11th century castle, the ponds, the remains of the knights' houses and the castle rebuilt at the end of the Middle Ages. Although an ideal model of a fortified castle, Montbrun has many features that make it primarily a pleasure castle.
Trivia: the castle was used in the film The Visitors. It can be seen at the beginning of the film on a wooded hill, then deformed by the vision of Godefroy under the effect of the potion.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 1990.
Châlus is known as the place where English king Richard the Lionheart was mortally wounded in 1199. Its position at the natural crossroads of ancient roads, is reflected in the mixed influences of the Limousin, the Périgord and the Charente. This frontier character has guided a development based on trade, with fairs in the Middle Ages, and a history rocked by the sieges of its castles. Marked by the agricultural activity and the exploitation of the chestnut tree, it is maintained today thanks to tourism and sustainable development in the heart of the Périgord-Limousin regional natural park. Châlus also owes its fame to the aura of the personalities whose memory is attached to it, from Richard the Lionheart, of course, to humorist Pierre Desproges, who spent all his holidays at his grandparents' home during his childhood, but also novelist Georges-Emmanuel Clancier, who was born in the town, or even ... Lawrence of Arabia.
Lawrence of Arabia's Tour de France
It was in Châlus that the young T.E. Lawrence celebrated his twentieth birthday, at the Grand Hôtel du Midi, on 16 August 1908, during the bicycle tour of France that the future Lawrence of Arabia had undertaken as part of his history studies to visit the greatest French citadels. His route had inevitably led him to the place where Richard the Lionheart had died. He wrote a thesis on the influence of the Crusades on military architecture. During the First World War, he became a British intelligence liaison officer in the Arab countries, encouraging independence in the interests of the crown and, above all, publishing a book on his experience, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, which made him a legend. He was killed on a motorbike in 1935 while trying to avoid two cyclists.
Castle of Châlus-Chabrol
Construction: 11th-17th century.
History: Due to its location, Châlus was at the heart of the conflicts between the French and the English from the 11th century. In 1199, the castle was besieged by the troops of Mercadier, an Aquitanian warlord in the service of Richard the Lionheart. It was the knight Pierre Basile who mortally wounded the King of England with a crossbow bolt from the top of the keep. Richard died of his wound on 6 April 1199. Dismantled during the Revolution, Châlus-Chabrol was restored in the mid-19th century by the Count of Châlus, who installed nuns there. The castle was restored again in 1995.
Characteristics: the castle of Châlus-Chabrol is made up of an old main building, an adjoining corner tower and a keep, which date from the erection of the castle. They are completed by the remains of a 10th-11th century castral chapel, which became a parish church, and a 15th century chapel, a well and a 17th century main building. It was in the chapel that Richard demanded that his entrails be buried.
Trivia: in 1999, Queen Elizabeth II of England and President Jacques Chirac celebrated the eighth centenary of the death of Richard the Lionheart at the castle.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 1981.
The economy of Nexon was first linked to war, through the breeding of horses for military combat, practised by the de Nexon family on their land. It was in the Nexon stud farms that the cross-breeds that gave birth to the Anglo-Arabic breed were developed. Today, the château stud farm is the home of the Nexon equestrian centre, which since 2007 has been equipped with a covered riding arena and all the facilities needed for horse shows. In 1987, Annie Fratellini set up her circus school in Nexon, where approximately one hundred and fifty trainees, from five to sixteen years old, were introduced to trapeze, dance, wire, ground acrobatics and acrobatics. Now known as the Sirque, a national centre for circus arts, the institution has set up its premises in the park of the 17th century castle which is also the village hall.
Come and see the majestic scenery of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the largest region of France.
Where rolling countryside meets traditional towns and villages, visitors can expect picture-perfect views and experience the diverse history of this region.
Top of your list should be the port city of Bordeaux: the largest urban World Heritage Site and home to notable landmarks and museums servicing a variety of interests. Inland, less crowded Limoges offers equally charming streets dotted with galleries, food markets and antique shops. Nouvelle-Aquitaine is well known for its variety of products, from porcelain to meats and cheese and, of course, wine! A trip to the country's famous vineyards is an unmissable experience - whether to sample the local produce or simply take in the landscape and grand chateaux, typical of the area. Visiting this region is a true taste of France.
Top 5 things to do:
1. Explore Bordeaux's old quarter
2. Discover one of France's top wine regions
3. Get cultural at a museum
4. Stroll the historic streets of Limoges
5. Sample local delicacies at a food market
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