Unusual sights

    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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    • Seillans Paysage

    Seillans is just a few kilometres away from Fayence and has everything a typical Provencal village should have : houses arranged in tiers on the hillside, narrow paved streets, arched passageways, little squares where fountains babble, sunny weather and vistas of vineyards and olive groves. The spot appealed to the painter Max Ernst who spent the last years of his life here and whose work can be admired at the Tanning-Ernst Collection.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : Chapel of Notre Dame de l’Ormeau, Church of SaintLéger (11C)
    • Castles and ramparts : Medieval castle, Sarrasine gate, tower, etc.
      • Gastronomy : Olive oil (celebration in November)
      • Unusual sights :
      • Wine : AOC Côtes de Provence wines

      Tanning-Ernst Collection (engravings)

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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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    • Venasque vue d'ensemble

    At the foot of Mont Ventoux, clinging to a rocky peak overlooking vineyards, garrigue and cherry trees, Venasque is an old medieval settlement which only has the remains of the ramparts and three Saracen towers to show as evidence of those times. Steep lanes, creamy stone houses, Notre Dame Church/Cathedral and a magnificent 11C baptistery are to be found in the heart of this Provencal village.

    Themes

      • Abbeys and churches : 11C, 12C and 13C baptistery (restored in the 19C)
      • Castles and ramparts :
      • Panoramas : View of Carpentras plain

      Ramparts and Saracen towers

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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 sur le château et les toits

    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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    • Yvoire vue sur le port depuis le Léman

    Yvoire’s stone houses with wooden balconies and its narrow streets decked with wisteria and geraniums are just two of the reasons that have earned it the name of "pearl of Lake Geneva" (Lac Léman in French). The village was once a fishing and boatmen’s port overlooked by a square keep which today is one of the relics of Yvoire’s medieval past. In 2006, Yvoire celebrated the 700th anniversary of its fortifications that were built by Amédée V the Great, Count of Savoy.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : Lake Geneva
    • Castles and ramparts : The castle, ramparts and Rovorée and Nernier gates
    • Unusual sights : The Garden of the Five Senses

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