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Whist sifting through stuff on the internet about La Charente I discovered that the Charente was home to three types of barges known as Gabare de Charente.

Originally they were working barges  transporting wine and cognac downstream and other materials like coal up-stream. The originals were known as La barque de Lace and from these two other designs were developed. I have not found a good photo or painting of these early types of barges probably because they had all disappeared before photography was invented but I do have a not very good drawing.gabare_charente

The next photo is of a recently constructed vessel which is a Barque de lace but it is one from the Loire, however the same designs were used on most of the rivers .

Barque de LaceThere are some restored examples of the later types of barges still around and they are largely used for pleasure now. Of the two types developed from the Barque de Lace one is, Le Gabare de Saint Simon which is the type in the photo below.gabare_st-simon_cognac2

The other type is called Le gabare de Port d’Envaux. It is quite a beautiful boat considering it is really only a working vessel, this restored example is now used as a pleasure craft.gabare_portdenv_rd

Finally here are a couple of photos of the Charente from the turn of the century ( 18th going to 19th) the first one is Cognac 1895. P-6-039585aand the second is Tonnay-Charente 1904 but in both you can see some old barges.P-6-042220a

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