Friday, November 03, 2006

Montignac, on the Vezere

First off a picture of the war memorial in Montignac. We go here for our weekly shop so decided to pop into town for some more blog pictures. The town occupies the west and east banks of the river, all of these pictures are from the west bank which was the original settlement with the remains of the castle. The east bank was a river port in years gone by.
The bridge now connects both parts of the town. The dates in the 1700s can be seen carved on the left hand pillar of the bridge but I am not sure whether this was when it was first built or rebuilt.
View from the bridge looking along the west bank. some of the buildings are 6 or 700 years old. This was a Roman settlement once, but I can see no evidence of any Roman buildings.
Plenty of very old buildings here. On the left is a small cafe which serves fine local food at cheap French prices.
When they built the 18th century church in on of the small squares they left one if the original 13th century church doorways there for all to see.
This fine old half timbered building still with its balcony still stands next to the church.
Opposite the church are the remains of the castle with a house built into parts of it. The castle was finally demolished in 1825 after many years of being fought over through the various wars.
The other end of the half timbered house shown two pictures above.
A typical small street leading up from the river into the town. This would have been a much used route in times gone by to move goods up and down from the river.
I think this may at one time have been either some sort of customs house or could be the house of the river pilots. Whatever it was before it now stands empty.
View looking south down the river from the picture above. This was a trade route many years ago and the river leads down to the Dordogne and then onto Bordeaux to access the sea. The vikings even came this far up river.
The rear face of the buildings on the river front, note the standard French street cafes further up the road. The tables and chairs are opposite the actual cafes.
This is the one that we stopped for coffee at. The sign on the wall commemorates someone who lived here and was deported by the Germans in 1944 and died in captivity. There are many signs like this in towns and villages all over France.
Following the river downstream you get very nice views of the surrounding countryside. The river Vezier is in the middle of this photo, but cannot be seen due to the undergrowth. Upstream, to the left, is Montignac and Chateau de Losse. Downstream is St Leon (see and earlier post) and Roque st Cristophe (also and earlier post).
Montignac it now a popular tourist spot in the summer, but has not suffered through that. There is a thriving market there. The famous Lascaux cave is also just outside the town and has coloured cave paintings dating back 17,000 years, this is a world heritage site.


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