Charroux which is in the south of Vienne is ‘One of the most beautiful villages in France’. (Update, I recall it was designated as ‘One of themost beautiful villages in France’ but recently it seems to have lost that status….if you have more info on this let me know) It is beautiful, especially on a sunny day and it has the remarkable octagonal tower which is part of a former Benedectine Abbey. I suspect that were it not for the tower then it might just be a beautiful village but not ‘One of the most….’
The Abbey was built in the 8th century and was possibly the biggest Romanesque Church in Western Europe. It has a couple of somewhat gruesome claims to fame.
One is that Charlemagne gave the ‘Holy prepuce’ to the abbey around 800. If you want to know more details about the Holly prepuce then have a look on wikipedia and all is explained.
The other is that Richard the Lioneheart’s brain and entrails were buried there. This in 1189. Incidentally his heart was buried at Rouen and the rest was buried at Fontevraud which was where his Mother Eleanor of Aquitaine spent her final years.
Here are a few other photos I have taken in the village.
For more posts on other villages and towns in Poitou-Charentes click here.
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