The French countryside is full of unexpected surprises, many of which would be missed if one was travelling in a motor vehicle. The fact that we deliberately sought out quiet routes for our rides also meant that we saw less of the traffic and saw more of the real way of life in rural areas. I really enjoyed coming upon things that we had not anticipated and then stopping to enjoy them.
On this particular day, we had left Clamecy and were heading towards Narcy when a small gap in the trees showed a tantalising view of yet another château. This one was in a valley, not on a hilltop and not as large as some of the others we had seen.
It was difficult to get a photo as the roadside was lined with thick shrubbery, and eventually we tracked back to where we had got the first glimpse of the buildings. I was intrigued and thought if I got one photo, I could look up the local guides and find out what the place was called and a bit about its history.
Going on a bit further, the entrance to the estate gave us a better view of the place and also provided a nice wall where we could stop and have a coffee break.
I was most impressed to find a information board next to the wall which provided a lot more information including the history of the buildings.
We found these in a number of places in France and they were very helpful – instant identification of what one was looking at and some of the more interesting facts about the buildings.
They certainly tested my grasp of the French language, but with the aid of a tiny dictionary and in the context that most of the signs were presented, I did manage to understand most of the information 🙂
The Château is currently dominated by four large main towers which date from the 14th century. A main central two storey building was added between the two southern towers in 1559 by Etienne le Muet. Since this time, a large terrace (front of the building) and a big kitchen (at the rear) have also been added.
Nowadays, the Château is open to visitors during the summer months. One can stay overnight and enjoy the cuisine of the establishment each evening, while enjoying the many things to see and do in the district during the day.
I enjoyed our break in this lovely corner of France. It was very peaceful for a long time, until a volley of shots and lots of barking broke out! We had come across our first of many parties of French hunters! We found this fascinating (if a bit alarming at first!). Hunting/shooting is very popular in France which I had not realised. I will add more information on this sport in a future post.
(Follow this link for the itinerary and details for our Tour of France)