Les Plus Beaux Villages de France – The Most Beautiful Villages in France
Friday 21st April 2017 – ‘Day 3′ of our travels (continued).
A bit of background on Castel-de-Montmiral:
The village of Castelnau-de-Montmiral is situated in the Tarn department in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France. It has Albi to the west and Gaillac to the north-west.
It’s perched on a hilltop amongst beautiful scenery, above the valley of the Vère river.
The village was founded as one of many bastide towns in the region in 1222 by Raymond VII of Toulouse and is among the ‘The Most Beautiful Villages in France.
After Puycelsi it was a short trip to the hilltop village of Castelnau-de-Montmiral. Though not as pristinely restored as the village of Puycelsi, the beauty of this ‘Les plus beaux village’ lay in its authenticity and the almost palpable sense of age and history that seemed to ooze from its narrow streets and stone buildings.
Half-timbered ancient houses with overhanging balconies lined the cobbled streets leading to the centre of the village where the medieval main square, edged with dark corbel-vaulted arcades and dotted with quintessentially French bistro tables, was perfectly positioned for people watching.
Thoughtfully placed blocks of stone were also evident throughout the village, worn smooth no doubt by a procession of weary travellers through the ages struggling with the steep and winding cobbled roads as we did.
Space is obviously at a premium in Castelnau-de-Montmiral and the closely packed medieval buildings are strangely reminiscent of the Shambles at York though on a far grander scale. Even the Church (Notre Dame de l’Assomption), home to a 14th-century reliquary and a 15th-century altarpiece, came as a bit of a surprise, hemmed in as it was between dwellings and other buildings.
There is no lack of space though in the glorious vistas to be seen from the village itself. Overlooking the river Vère and the nearby forests of La Grésigne, the views were beautiful, unfortunately, I don’t seem to have any photo’s of my own. The photo below is by Amanda.
All photos are either by Amanda or moi.
Thank you for coming along to take a look, hope you enjoyed it.