Paradoxplace South West France Photo and History Pages

Paradoxplace France Photo & History Pages

Links to French Cathedral and Abbey Photo Pages in Paradoxplace

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Poitiers to Périgueux the (very) Long Way


Poitiers - St-Savin - Civray - Aulnay - Périgueux


Link to Maps of the Pilgrimage Roads of France

Link to some early medieval French Saints, Kings and Queens

Back to Paradoxplace South West France Pages



It was to be a straight forward run down the via Turonensis from Poitiers to Aulnay, then east to Périgueux.  However, as explained on the St-Savin page, we took a last minute decision on the way out of Poitiers to head back to St-Savin, to photograph the Abbey from the river side, and ended up doing an interesting  400K drive which no right minded crow would even think of flying.





The Abbey of St-Savin on the Gartempe River - to the east of Poitiers - now captured from across the river





Back along the same (unattractive) road towards Poitiers, we decided to head off south west at the many-ruined-castles town of Chauvigny (above), down the minor D2 then D1 roads to Civray.   This too was a pilgrimage road, and judging by its straightness a Roman road in earlier times.  It's also a good road to drive down, being a bit too low grade to handle the HGVs which make travel on Europe's better secondary roads such a pain.







On the way, we dropped in on l'Eglise St-Maurice-la-Clouère in the little (deserted) town of the same name.  Dating from the 1100s, this grand old Romanesque lady is now still full of dignity, but suffering problems of damp and decay, which must be a major issue for numerous unfamous pilgrimage churches in this huge country. 




At Charroux, this huge tower is all that remains of the Royal Abbey of St-Saveur, said to have been founded by Charlemagne, and clearly an enormous place in its time.




Our real interest was to have a look at the facade of L'Église St-Nicholas in nearby Civray - you would think there might be one or two little gems hidden here, and ....



Here's a link to a pleasant gȋte in the village of Vanzay, which is in the area between Civray and Aulnay





L'Église St-Pierre - Romanesque pilgrimage church all built in one go at Aulnay




Romanesque characters from the south door of St-Pierre, Aulnay



Our late autumn afternoon drive from Aulnay to Périguoux passed through some beautiful countryside, particularly the stretch from Angoulême to Périguoux.   Angoulême itself has another of the broad façaded Poitou style churches as a cathedral, but unlike the other places pictured it's a large town with all the access and parking hassles implied by this, so we just took the bypass!





Périguoux, its food, and the Cathedral of St-Font



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