Castles and ramparts

    • Castelnou

    Some twenty kilometres southwest of Perpignan, Castelnou is nestled at the base of Les Aspres foothills and the Canigou, the Catalans’ mythical mountain, is in the background. Vicomtal Castle overlooks the village and had to adapt its pentagonal shape to the sheer, jagged ridges of the rock it was built on.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : Vicomtal Castle, the fortified walls and their 8 towers
    • Panoramas : View of Mont Canigou and the village from the car park at the pass

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    • Charroux beffroi

    A short break in Charroux in the Bourbonnais, just 30 kilometres west of Vichy and 20 kilometres south of Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, promises great charm and difference ! The village is famous for its mustard that is used by several great chefs and exported around the world, but this former fortified village and centre of trade has other things to show off too.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : the ramparts, the East and West gates
    • Gastronomy : Charroux Mustard
    • Unusual sights : the "Cour des Dames" (small inner courtyard in the centre of the village), the truncated spire of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church

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    • Château-Chalon jardins

    Château-Chalon is the birthplace of the famous Vin jaune (literally yellow wine) made from late harvest grapes and it watches over its vineyards from the top of the cliff on which it is perched.
    The village grew up around the castle it gets its name from and the Benedictine abbey, but all that remains of these are the keep and the Romanesque church of Saint Pierre.

    Themes

    • Panoramas : View of the Seille Valley and Bresse plain
    • Wine : Château-Chalon, Côtes du Jura, Crémant and Macvin AOC wines

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    • Châteauneuf bâtisse fleurie

    Watching over flat open country and the Burgundy Canal, Châteauneuf and its imposing 12C stronghold bear witness to the strategic position the village occupied between Dijon and Autun. The medieval streets reveal the houses of rich Burgundy merchants from the 14, 15 and 16 centuries and lead up to the viewpoint which offers a splendid all-round vista.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : The fortress
    • Panoramas : View of the Morvan Mountains and the Auxois Plain from the panoramic viewpoint

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    • Crissay-sur-Manse maison troglodyte

    In the heart of Touraine, in the Manse Valley, this former lord’s domain belonging to L’île Bouchard and the archdiocese of Tours has kept the ruins of its 15C castle, its 16C church that houses the tomb of poet Joachim du Bellay’s cousin and its white tufa houses where square turrets, mullioned windows and finely sculpted windows are key features.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : The castle
    • Wine : AOC Chinon and locally produced wines

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    • Curemonte maison à tourelle

    At the southernmost tip of Corrèze, not far from the Lot, Curemonte stretches out along a ridge overlooking the Sourdoire and Maumont valleys. In addition to the round and square towers of its three castles and its 12C Romanesque church, the village also has several “noble houses” and a corn exchange dating back to the early 19C which houses a 16C cross shaft.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : The castles and ramparts
    • Panoramas : The view of the two valleys

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    • Eguisheim marché de Noël

    Just a short distance from Colmar, Eguisheim is the birthplace of winegrowing in Alsace and also the village where Pope Leo IX was born. The village is proud of its concentric, cobblestone streets and its floral decoration, which has won national and European awards. Visitors can admire the beauty of its 16C and 17C houses with their pointed roofs, bright colours and half-timbering.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : The castle and ramparts
    • Wine : AOC Alsace wines and Eichberg and Pfersigberg grand cru wines

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    • Estaing vue village et château

    At the foot of the Aubrac Mountains, not far from the gorges of the Lot and Truyère, Estaing bears the name of a family of Lords one of whom became famous by saving the life of King Philippe-Auguste in Bouvines. The king then gave the village the right to display the royal fleurs-de-lys on its coat of arms. Shale stone houses with their "lauze" stone-slab roofs are nestled around a keep and castle dating back to the 12C and 15C and some of the finest town houses can still be seen.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : Rivers Coussane and Lot
    • Castles and ramparts : The castle
    • Wine : "AOC Estaing" white, rosé and red wines

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    • Evol chapelle gothique

    The hamlet of Evol is attached to the village of Olette and is overlooked by the old fortress of the Viscounts of So and the steeple of its Romanesque church. The village still has a mountain feel to it today because of the pasturing and the houses with their shale walls and stone-slab roofs, the "lauze" slabs for which used to be cut in winter by the inhabitants.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : The viscount’s castle

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    • Flavigny-sur-Ozerain vue du ciel

    Built around a Benedictine abbey founded in the 8C, this Burgundian village not only relates its medieval history through its ramparts, fortified gates, cobblestone streets, houses and mansions but also through its aniseed-flavoured sweets that are still made in the former abbey and the smell of which will welcome you as you arrive !

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : The ramparts, the fortified gates of Val, Bourg, and Poterne
    • Gastronomy : Aniseed sweets
    • Panoramas : View of the Auxois hills from the rampart walk
    • Wine : Locally produced Coteaux de l’Auxois wine : Flavigny vineyards

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