Castles and ramparts

    • Moncontour église

    Situated at 25 kilometers in the South of Saint-Brieuc, the medieval village of Moncontour has kept its  imposing ramparts from the XIIIth  et XIVth centuries which were aimed to protect the city of Lamballe, capital of Penthièvre region. Just like Locronan, its neighbour from Finsitère, Moncontour was known untill the Industrial Revolution for its sailcloth production exported as far as the Indies. From this flourishing period remain rich beautiful houses, theTown hall and the church.

    Themes

    • Ramparts and towers

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  • The high set houses of Montbrun-les-Bains overlook a plain swathed in lavender and protect the ruins of a medieval castle. The narrow streets lead from one fountain to the next down to the bottom of the village where, for the past twenty years, the pump rooms have given a new lease of life to an ancient spring that has beneficial effects.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The sulphur springs
    • Castles and ramparts : Ruins of the Renaissance castle
    • Panoramas : View of the plain and Mont Ventoux

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  • At about 70 kms from Nîmes, Montclus set up in a meander of Cèze river. The dungeon of the medieval castle still overlooks the village which has kept a part of the former Benedictine monastery built in the rock by the Templars. Surrounded by vineyards and fields of lavender, Montclus is nicely restored and offers to the visitors the charm of its small alleys with its white-stone houses, its covered ways, its stairs and its luxuriant vegetation.

    By themes

    • By the waterside : the river Cèze
    • Castles and ramparts : the dungeon
    • Unusual sights : remains of the monastery built in the rock

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    • Montrésor vue rivière

    50 kilometres southeast of Tours, Montrésor stands on the banks of the Indrois which reflects the remains of the double enclosure walls of this old fortress and its Renaissance castle. In the village, the houses with their white tufa walls or half-timbering mix with semi-cave dwellings.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Indrois
    • Abbeys and churches : Collegiate Church of Saint Jean Baptiste (15C)
    • Castles and ramparts : The remains of the double enclosure wall (11C), the Renaissance castle

     

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  • Montsoreau lies between Anjou and Touraine and has the River Loire as prestigious setting. The 15C castle made famous by Alexandre Dumas’ novel "La Dame de Montsoreau" is reflected in the waters of this legendary river. All around, flower-decked streets with slate-roofed, white tufa houses and green pathways lead to the Saumur vineyards.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Loire
    • Castles and ramparts : The castle (15C)
    • Unusual sights : The mushroom farm, cave dwellings
    • Wine : AOC Saumur wines, Saumur-Champigny, Crémant de Loire

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    • Mortemart place Royale

    This delightful village is in Limousin country and has grown up around the castle that was built in the 10C by Abon Drut, Lord of Mortemart. It was destroyed by order of Cardinal de Richelieu and all that remains of it today is the tower keep and a few rooms that now host exhibitions. While the Carmelite and Augustinian convents bear witness to the village’s religious past, the old covered market and leading citizens’ houses serve as a reminder that Mortemart was also a prosperous commercial centre.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : The Dukes’ castle

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    • Najac vue d'ensemble

    Najac is built along a rocky ridge, overlooked by a fortress that was once the envy of Kings of France and England. Its "lauze" stone-slab-roofed houses stretch out above the wild gorges of the Aveyron. Take the rampart walk and you will get an amazing view of the wild open spaces around you.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The Gorges of the Aveyron
    • Castles and ramparts : The 12C royal fortress
    • Gastronomy : Najac’s fouace
    • Panoramas : View of the village, the river and valley from the rampart walk

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    • Navarrenx vue du ciel

    At about 30 kilometers far from Pau, Navarrenx was founded as a "bastide" in 1316 and fortified in the 16th century which makes its particular urban structure. Navarrenx is also a stopping place on the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela overlooking the river Oloron...

    By themes

    • By the waterside : the river Oloron
    • Castles and ramparts : fortifications
    • Panoramas : View on the river Oloron from the "Bastion de la Clochette"

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  • Curled up in the hollow of a meander made by the River Serein, Noyers has two sides to show visitors : its medieval and its winegrowing facets. Place de la Petite-Etape-aux-Vins, Place du Marché-au-Blé or Place du Grenier-à-Sel (Wine, Corn Market and Salt Storehouse Squares) are all squares that call to mind the village’s flourishing period of farming and trade, as do the fine half-timbered fronts of the 15C houses

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Serein
    • Castles and ramparts : Ramparts, towers and gates of the old fortification
    • Unusual sights : Naïve Art Museum
    • Wine : AOC Chablis wines

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  • At 30 kilometers from Lyon, perched on a hill and surrounded by the Beaujolais vineyards, Oingt is one of the jewels of the "Pays des pierres dorées". With a medieval past, the village has kept from this time period the ancient chapel of the castle, the fortified door of Nizy, and a dungeon from which you will have a splendid vista on the valley of the Azergues river. In the heart of the village, ocre yellow facades houses are home of craftsmen and artists.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : Dungeon, fortified door of Nizy, castel chapel
    • Unusual sights : International festival of barrel organs and Mechanical Music and museum
    • Panoramas : Views on the Azergues’ valley and the Lyonnais mounts from the dungeon
    • Wine : AOC Beaujolais wines

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