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A day out to Chauvigny today, we drove up along the Vienne and stopped to take some photos of the nuclear power station at Civaux. I have very mixed feelings about nuclear power and the more so when you are confronted by the enormity and all encompassing presence of the power station up front. I could not live there, not with it in my back yard.

Chauvigny is a small city a bit further north from Civaux but also on the Vienne. The old city is the tourist area and overlooks the modern area which is next to the river.  There are 5 Chateaux or castles on the rocky promontory which makes up the old city and a church. Some are better preserved than others.

They are as follows.

1. Castle of Gouzon or Donjon de Gouzon, this was built in the 12th century and subsequently restored, it is a big square building and houses a museum now.

2.The Baronnial Chateau or Chateau des Eveques, this now houses the display of birds of prey… ‘The giants of the sky’.

3. Chateau d’Harcourt, this was built at the end of the 12th century and is the best preserved. It came into the Harcourt family by marriage when one of the Harcourts, Norman aristocracy, married the vicomtesse of Chatellerault who had possession of the castle. However they only retained ownership till 1447 when it was sold to the Bishops of Poitiers.

4.Chateau Neuf, all that remains is one wall but it is quite a big tall wall.

5.Chateau de Montleon, this is the least well preserved and was abandoned by the middle 15th century.

Also in the middle of all this lot is a very well preserved church from the 12th century it is Saint Pierre Collegiate Church and it is very tall and has beautifully decorated columns, topped with some quite disturbing decorations.

Chauvigny has much more to offer than these five castles and a church, and if you look at my page on towns and villages there you will see some of that. It also has lots of places to eat we choose Les Choucas which is opposite the Donjon de Gouzon and you can see our review in the Restaurants page.

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To see posts on other villages and towns in Poitou-Charentes click here.

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