By the waterside

    • Sant'Antonino vue mer

    Sant’Antonino is like an eagle’s nest clinging to a granite peak at an altitude of nearly 500m. It is one of the oldest villages in Corsica and one of the highest in La Balagne region. Alleyways, covered passageways and houses blend in with the rock. The view of the plain and sea from the remains of the old castello is superb.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : Mediterranean Sea
    • Panoramas : View of La Balagne and the sea from the ruins of the castello

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    Ségur-le-Château is situated on a peninsula formed by a loop in the River Auvézère and is, as its name says, a "secure place" in which the Viscounts of Limoges chose to set up their fortified castle. Although only a keep of that 12C building remains today, many noble houses with turrets or half-timbering bear witness to the opulent period the village lived through from the 15C to the 18C when it was the seat of an Appeals Court extending jurisdiction over 361 seigniories in the region.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Auvézère
    • Castles and ramparts : Remains of the 12C castle
    • Unusual sights : Fête des Culs Noirs (Black-bottomed pig festival in August)

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    • Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval cascade du Rouget

    This is a strange name for a village but it hasn’t stopped it from being labelled a Grand Site ! Although the Cirque du Fer à Cheval has made Sixt famous, it is not its only treasure. The Cascade du Rouget waterfall, nicknamed Queen of the Alps, and the nature reserve that covers most of the district add to the site’s exceptional character. The architectural heritage is not to be left out either as shown by the priory and church stemming from the former abbey founded by Ponce de Faucigny.

    Themes

      • Abbeys and churches : 13C church and priory
      • By the waterside : River Giffre

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  • 15 kilometres south of Royan, Talmont sits on a rocky peak overlooking the Gironde estuary ; it still has its original layout as a "bastide", built in 1284 by Edward I Duke of Aquitaine. Towering above the village, the magnificent church of Sainte Radegonde, symbol of the Poitou-Charentes region, is still protected by ramparts. In the village, whitewashed houses and blue shutters peep out behind hollyhocks

    Themes

      • Abbeys and churches : Romanesque Church of Sainte Radegonde (12C)
      • By the waterside :
      • Castles and ramparts : Ramparts
      • Panoramas : View of the estuary and the cliffs at Meschers-sur-Gironde from the cemetery

      Gironde estuary, Atlantic Ocean

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    • Tournemire Maison

    In the heart of the Cantal Mountains, Anjony Castle, a magnificent square building with four round towers, keeps watch over Tournemire, a delightful leafy village. Around the 12C Romanesque church, the 14C and 15C houses with their tufa stone walls and "lauze" stone-slab or slate roofs are typical of traditional Cantal houses.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : Anjony Castle (15C and 18C)
    • Panoramas : View of the Doire valley from the rampart walk

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    • Tourtour façades et cadran solaire

    Perched at an altitude of 635 m, it is easy to see why Tourtour is nicknamed "the village in the sky of Provence". The stone houses topped with round tiles, Place des Ormeaux and its fountain, the arched passageways and narrow streets bathed in sunlight amid countryside of vineyards, lavender and pine trees : nothing is missing ! The walls of the medieval castle and the 17C castle tell several tales of the village’s past.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : Walls of the medieval castle
    • Panoramas : View of the Maures Massif, the coast and Sainte Victoire Mountain from the esplanade in front of the church
    • Unusual sights : Fête de l’Oeuf (Egg Festival) (Easter Sunday and Monday)

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  • This former commercial town was the capital of Conflent and has kept exquisite traces of its history and of its status as a defensive site. For instance, the ramparts and La Viguerie tower, both built by the Count of Cerdagne in the 11C, then strengthened with fortifications added by architect Vauban in the 17C and the Fort Libéria, recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, or the stalls and houses that belonged to leading citizens or rich traders.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Têt
    • Castles and ramparts : Ramparts, towers, Fort Libéria
    • Unusual sights : Caves with limestone concretions

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    • Vogüé vue château

    Built against a cliff on the banks of the Ardèche, the castle of the Lords of Vogüé and its four round towers watch over the village and its narrow streets lined with arcades and arched passageways. The pretty houses that sport warm colours and round-tiled roofs are evidence of the village’s southern French character.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Ardèche
    • Castles and ramparts : Castle and ramparts

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    • Vouvant balade sur les remparts

    Vouvant is girdled by a loop of the River Mère and stands behind a wonderfully well-preserved fortified wall. The origin of the village is linked to the legend of the Fairy Mélusine, an ancestor of the Counts of Lusignan, who is said to have given the village a castle overnight. The keep called "Mélusine Tower" is all that remains of that building and it watches over the whitewashed houses. The magnificent 11C Romanesque church is not to be missed.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : Romanesque Church of Sainte Marie
    • By the waterside : The river Mère
    • Castles and ramparts : Ramparts

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    • Yèvre-le-Châtel vue église

    Yèvre-le-Châtel is situated between Paris and Orléans and combines the power of its ramparts and 13C castle, which watches over the Romanesque Church of Saint Gault and the unfinished nave of Saint Lubin, with the charm of its flower-decked streets, its old limestone houses and the gardens that inspire international painters and performers.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : Romanesque Church of Saint Gault (12C), remains of the Church of Saint Lubin (13C)
    • Castles and ramparts : The fortified castle (13C)
    • Panoramas : View of the Rimarde valley from the fortress

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