Abbeys and churches

  • Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is a stopping place on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela ; its church is a gem of Romanesque art of the Languedoc. The village is situated in a wild spot at the entrance to the Gorges du Verdus and the cirque de l’Infernet. The narrow streets spread out from Place de la Liberté square and its imposing 150-year-old plane tree and as visitors stroll around they can still admire Renaissance mullioned windows, twin-arched openings and gothic lintels.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : Gellone Abbey (11C church)
    • By the waterside : The Gorges du Verdus

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  • The River Côle, a delightful river spanned by a medieval bridge with bull-nosed cutwaters projecting into the river, runs through this village that boasts ochre-walled houses with brown-tiled roofs and is a pleasant stopping place in Périgord Vert. Saint-Jean-de-Côle’s history is linked to the 12C and 15C Chateau de la Marthonie which overlooks the pretty Place Saint-Jean and to the priory whose old Romanesque-byzantine style church has an original layout.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : 12C church, 11C priory
    • By the waterside : The river Côle

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    • Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port rue en soirée

    Nestling between the Basque hillsides and the Spanish border, on the right hand bank of the river Nive and situated at the foot of the mountain peaks of the « col de Roncevaux », Saint Jean-Pied-de-Port has a story to tell.  Discover its multi-layered history through its architecture which is typical of the Basque region: it is has always been an important stopping-off point on the pilgrimage route to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle, it was an ancient stronghold of the Navarre Kingdom (824-1620) and still today remains an active crossroad for international commerce.

    By themes

    • Abbeys and churches: The Gothic Church "Notre-Dame"
    • By the Waterside: The River "Nive"
    • Castles and ramparts: The citadel ands its ramparts (17th-century)

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  • Halfway between Lascaux and Les Eyzies, this former flourishing port on the River Vézère is situated in countryside that is typical of the Périgord. The village is well guarded by its castles – the Manoir de la Salle at the entrance to the village, Château de Clérans above the river and Château de Chabans, jewel of the Côte de Jor – and is proud to host the Music Festival of the Périgord Noir in its beautiful 12C Romanesque church.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : 12C Romanesque church, the expiatory chapel
    • By the waterside : The river Vézère
    • Castles and ramparts : Manoir de la Salle (14C), Château de Clérans (16C), Château de Chabans (14C to 17C)

     

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  • Saint Quirin is situated in a land of green hills in the Vosges Mountains and has been here since Gallo-Roman times as the archaeological site of La Croix Guillaume shows. In the more recent past, the priory and its twin-towered church each with three onion-shaped domes are evidence of the village’s religious calling in the 13C. Traditional glass making and the legend of a miracle fountain are also features of this pleasant stop.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : The priory complex

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    • Saint-Robert la Vieille Rue

    The village is arranged around a Benedictine monastery built by the followers of Saint Robert and was the scene of violent religious clashes. And yet a fine fortified 12C Romanesque church and stately freestone houses still remain intact from those times in this hilly countryside on the borders of Corrèze and Dordogne.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : Romanesque church of Sainte Marie (12C)

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    Saint-Suliac offers a panoramic viewpoint of the Rance estuary. For a long time it was a village of trawler men who fished off Newfoundland and the statue of the Virgin de Grainfollet watched over these fishermen. In the narrow streets where children play as they come out of school, flowers grow between the granite stones of the magnificent houses. A tide mill, old salt marshes, a menhir or standing stone are just some of the local treasures to admire in an exceptionally well-preserved site.

    Themes

      • Abbeys and churches : The 12C church and its cemetery
      • By the waterside :

      • Panoramas : View of the port and estuary from the statue of the Virgin of Grainfollet
      • Unusual sights :

      Old Viking camp The river Rance

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    • Sainte-Croix-en-Jarez vue arrière

    A Carthusian monastery has become a village in the heart of the undulating scenery of the "Parc Naturel Régional du Pilat" Nature Park. Although most of the site’s religious buildings are houses today, the 17C monastic church and its remarkable furniture, the monastery kitchen, cloister and a restored cell are open to the public thanks to the work of the Association for the Preservation of the Carthusian Monastery and Grounds.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : 17C church and 12C chapel
    • Unusual sights : Carthusian monastery that is now a village

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    • Sainte-Enimie vue sur les toits

    On the slopes of a canyon cut by the gorges of the Tarn, Sainte-Enimie sets out its massive limestone houses in tiers at the foot of an old Benedictine monastery, all that remains of which is a chapel and a chapter house. At its feet is Burle spring which is said to have cured the Merovingian princess Enimie of leprosy.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : Gorges du Tarn, Burle spring
    • Abbeys and churches : Romanesque church, chapter house and l’Ermitage cave

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    • Sainte-Eulalie-d'Olt vue d'ensemble

    Sainte-Eulalie is on the right bank of the River Lot and the village is laid out in a succession of arcs around the church square, a church which is a masterpiece of Romanesque and gothic art. In the narrow streets paved with stones from the Lot, the houses date from the 15C to 18C and are lovingly bedecked with flowers by their inhabitants. The mills along the River Serre are a particular feature of the village and bear witness to the former crafts of tanning and drapery which used to use the water for power.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : 11C and 12C church
    • By the waterside : Rivers Lot and Serre
    • Castles and ramparts : Les Curières de Castelnau castle (15C)

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