Treignac the Ancient Village

DSC_0212One day in the week, we decided to go out for some visits.  Got into the car, simply dressed and off we went down the road to the charming village of Treignac.

DSC_0284Treignac is a village situated in the department of Correze in the Province of Limousin.  It is a small countryside village in the Arrondissement of Tulle.  Still keeping its medieval character – Treignac stands on the banks of the “Vezzere River.”DSC_0289This little village is chronicled as one of the most beautiful village of France.  As we strolled through its narrow cobbled streets we walked past beautiful old houses with shutters.  And believe me, most of the houses were closed that time, at which I hadn’t learned why they were all shut down and lonely, it was just a matter of minutes, I was going to find out why,  most of the houses remained closed.

DSC_0241Whilst I rambled around I realised that lots of doorways had carvings of shells.  I wouldn’t keep wandering with my big mouth shut.  I asked questions about the signs of the carving shells and I learnt that pilgrims who passed through here on their way to Santiago de Compostela left carving shells as signs that they have been at these spots and stayed the nights on the day of their pilgrimage.  (You can see one example in the picture above – on top of the ornate doorway of the “Maison Lachaud Sangnier,” which was a refuge where the pilgrims could spend their nights in the medieval times).  Meaning each and every door where there is a carving of a shell on the door, it is one of the venue that pilgims spent the night on their way to pilgrimage.DSC_0266Above is the lady with whom I met and had a some very interesting conversation about this old medieval village, yet I learned in a well informed manner the shocking tales of the population that once lived and still live the village.   She told me that Treignac is a very old village.  Everyone has left and gone.  And my next question, was “why have they left?”

She told us that at the time being in her vicinity where she lives, there is only three very old ladies, herself and two of her old friends.  I was surprised to learn of how not the villages outside Paris have not been developed to keep the younger generations living at home and making a life for themselves without moving away. She said to me that the reasons they left are because there are no jobs in the village and the young residents go to cities and big towns to live and work and most of them don’t return.  Young families with children have left their homes for many years and went away in search for jobs and better life, and that most of them have never returned, even for holidays.  I discovered that most of the houses I was seeing around the village have been closed for over many, many years.  To learn about beautiful homes standing and remained shut was a shocking news that if I never visited the village of Treignac, I would have never learned what is actually happening in beautiful parts of France

DSC_0257The village is lively only at summer holidays when schools are closed, some parents, children and families return to the village and as soon as the holiday comes to a close, they all leave. DSC_0268Above and below is the home of the lady who was so pleased to talk to me about the village.  She was wonderful and very respective.  What I learned from her, I imagined I would have never known such from a very younger person.DSC_0256She said to me that there are lots of houses that we were seeing around  have been left behind by their owners many years ago and they have never returned because life in the village became unbearable.  France did not build lifestyle for families in the villages that would match with the day to day living of the youths.  There were no fashion shopping for the youths, no cafes or restaurants – if you would only find one or two you’d be lucky.  Fashion lifestyle,  inventions of technology and lots more are abiding to cities and big towns only, they saw a decline in everyday commodities and there were not enough of social activities to keep their youths active and happy, therefore it made the younger generations, families and children vanished and never returned and their houses are closed and locked up.  To be honest I found only one shop in that village that was a “pharmacy.”DSC_0286

DSC_0233When I look at the inventions of technology, I realised that the French did not bring them into the historical Medieval towns, whereas most jobs and major developments in France are today found in greater cities and towns.  I imagine that life would have been more interesting if the French youths of today had everything it takes to have in their old villages, it would be challenging, lively and it would be a stay and live at home in their villages.  And holidaying would be even more interesting, alive and bubbly.DSC_0245Above is all made of stone with beautiful old shutters, yes it was a bakery, and it did not work out because of no population in the village.  It’s been closed down – so sad and shamed.  Below is a beautiful ancient home with its “la tour” in the middle of the structure which makes the stone framework very eye catching.  When in France one will never miss a “la tour,” since they are found everywhere.DSC_0219And visiting the “Chapel Notre Dame of Peace” which its bell “clochet” has an unusual spire with a twisted design that is very rare to find in the whole of Europe.La Chapelle de Notre Dame 01Leaving behind “The Notre Dame of Peace” we drove further up the road.  We did not want to miss the Chapel of the Penitents “below” that was built by the “brotherhood” of the White Penitents as a sanctuary from the Protestants in the late 16th  to early 17th century. La chapelle de penitents - 17eme au 19eme siecleThe church has not been in use for many decades.  It is sad to see beautiful Medieval history standing in ruin and not being used.  What a forgotten piece of history, adorable, pretty, interesting.  Not sure if the new generations are being told of their history!DSC_0288The village is beautiful with all its aspects of old tradition still standing.  The shutters were fantastic and keeping all the buildings looking cheerful and full of old characters, “such as pictures below.”DSC_0220

DSC_0283Next I came up the Market Hall in the town which was built in the 12th century.  I met with some tourists from Holland who knew no words in French.  The map in their hands was a torture since it was in French and they were looking for the Market Hall, and since I spoke English to them, it was a great relief for them because they wanted to know where they were and if they were in the right way to the Market Hall, and lucky we were all walking up the narrow cobbled path where the Market stands.  When in France if you don’t speak some French, huh, I imagine it is so difficult a time, but hence everyone can enjoy a lovely holiday.DSC_0225 - La HalleFurther down the road we met some more tourists whilst on our strolls.  And I am more than sure they found the same story as myself did about the village. DSC_0295Everywhere I passed by I realised that all the shutters and doors of homes were shut, and lonely. And below I came across this home that all shutters were open with a lovely garden.  Guess, my camera did not miss it either!DSC_0264

DSC_0231Flower pots on old steps are very much adorable, it is the real French way of livingDSC_0234Above is the stone step which reminded me of the step at my grandmother’s house many years ago.  The French has always kept their old tradition living for as long as they themselves have lived.DSC_0254I love climbing foliage.  They were too nice to allow my camera to miss them.  DSC_0216France is famous for their old walls.  I adore old walls with foliage taking their tolls.  They are just beautiful!DSC_0274Above and below are pictures of a 17th century Home built in 1806.  It was too interesting that I couldn’t miss a shot of it! DSC_0275

DSC_0294Above is a picture of a Medieval home with its front “La Tour.” Plus it was For Sale “A Vendre.”  I would imagine this home is or was a previous Presbytery.  “Carvings of Cross and of Angel on the top of the doorway.”  As I mentioned earlier in one of my paragraph about the Carvings of shells on the doorway, this home has one too and it would have been a stop to sleep for the pilgrims who passed through the village on their way to Santiago De Compostella. 

In France, mind you, wherever you may go, you will never miss ancient towers which the French calls “La Tour.”

One of the most beautiful aspects of France are their “old village petites rue.”

tranquility, peace and quiet lavish this ancient village.

It was such a pleasure of a chance to have visited the “Treignac Medieval Village” in the Province of Limousin and I hope one day I will return.

(please note that pictures and writings are the original properties of “My Country Epoque”).  Thank You.

6 thoughts on “Treignac the Ancient Village

  • Il est vrai que Treignac est un beau petit village. Vos photos sont magnifiques. J’aime la maison avec des volets et des fleurs. Dans l’ensemble, vous avez écrit un beau blog sur Treignac. J’ai bien aimé le lire.


    • Catherine, it is very true. Such a beautiful village with no movements of youths. Everywhere are locked up and shutters closed. It was more than quiet, though we love tranquility and peace, there was beauty of nature, but no beauty of humanity, such a loss and sadness really. Thank you for stopping by and hope I will continue to read from you. Juli


  • Thank you Henry. so true, I love it so much how they built the coblestone streets in The Netherland, it is absolutely beautiful. France is beautiful too, the more you go into villages, it may changed your mind to live there one day. And the French are warm people and so welcoming. They love the French accent of foreigners and they will never laugh at you if you don’t speak French perfectly. You should go visit one day. And thank you for stopping by and writing your comment. Juli


  • I wish all towns were like this, made of old stone, with flowers everywhere.
    We have some old stone houses in Owen Sound, but the city is not very charming except in spots. I love old cobblestone streets which remind me of the paved brick streets in most of the towns of Holland.
    Concrete is okay for highways, but I love stones. I’d love to see these villages in France, and live there.


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