Sunday, September 20, 2009

Le Château D'Anjony

Very close to where we were staying in St.-Chamant is the tiny town of Tournemire and the Château d'Anjony, a sight that our friend CHM told us not to miss. On our second full day in Cantal we planned our day trip so that we would stop by the castle first thing.

Our little convoy of two stopped dangerously on a curve. There wasn't much other traffic.

We drove a bit east in our valley, then headed back west up the side of the mountain between us and the valley where Tournemire is situated. The roads were narrow, twisty, and wet as the morning was foggy and drizzly.

The castle in its valley.

All of a sudden we were surprised by a view of the valley and the château below us, so we pulled off the road a bit and got out to take pictures. It was a breathtaking view, but in a very soft and gentle way, if that makes any sense.

A close up of the château d'Anjony at Tournemire.

We made our way down into town and realized that we were not supposed to be driving in town, but should have parked in the lot outside of town and walked in. Which we subsequently did, but not after a little ride around the valley looking for a parking spot closer to the château. We failed and had to park in the lot. There were maybe one or two other cars there.


  1. I DO understand what you mean! It really does look like something out of a medieval story.

    I have a question: My impression is that the little pointy roofs must have been added (during the Renaissance??) onto what were originally medieval towers? Is that right? What the heck do we call those tower tops that have the cutouts for windows or arrow shooting... crenelations? embrasures? merlons? battlements? Something like that, I think. It seems like medieval castles have those, and never a roof top like this, until it is added in later centuries. From when does this château date?

    Great photos!

  2. Lovely pictures.
    A very Rapunzelesque château.

  3. When you three go out exploring, you don't mess around! Great photos of an extremely beautiful area with real storybook castles.

    Maybe the pointy roofs were added because of the weather, sounds and looks like they needed them. :)


  4. Judy, I'm almost sure those pointy roofs [how about rooves?] are genuinely "d'époque." In winter the weather is extremely harsh; there is a lot of snow and those structures are to be protected, as well as people defending the chateau from up there.

    BTW Anjony was built ca. 1430.

  5. I had to go to AOL France to find more about the chateau. Apparently, the chateau looks the same as when it was built. It is very well preserved and belongs to the same family.
    What are you going to do with the apples you picked? Calvados? (I think people forget to look on the right for "Newsiness").

  6. Very impressive Walt. I'm taking notes for our next trip in 2011.
    You seem to catch the mood with your camera.
    When will we see a book on your pics????
    Best regards

  7. Oh, yes, I looked at the "newsiness" too! It made me want to bake an apple pie (but, I'd end up eating more than half, and that's not a good thing).

    The earlier medieval keeps/donjons (like at Loches) didn't have those roof tops on them, but, since the oldest part of this château dates from early 15th c., which is almost Renaissance, I suppose they might be original roof tops. I know that I did read a blurb on their website about the other section having been added in the 1800s or the 18th C.


  8. cheryl, merci!

    judy, I see your questions have been answered by other readers - that's so cool! I always assumed most of the castles we see had wooden roofs that have burned away or just rotted away leaving only the stone structure. It's nice to see them intact.

    jean, there's something about a medieval castle, isn't there!

    bettyann, the only thing we didn't do was go inside any of them. It's impractical with the dog, and they had reduced hours (not summer season any more), and some are guided tours that take more time than we wanted to spend.

    chm, thanks for pointing us to Anjony!

    nadege, we're not allowed to make calvados, unfortunately. It's illegal to distill one's own hooch in France. Something about licensing and taxing and all that. Bummer.

    leon, do you know any publishers? ;)

    barb, thanks!

    judy, again, it's probably all about the construction style as to whether a castle had a conical roof or a more traditional pitched roof. But they all had roofs. Otherwise the people inside would have been wet and cold(er).

  9. oh, and judy, I think those parts of the tower are called mâchicoulis in French, with the windows cut out for shooting arrows or pouring boiling oil on assailants!

  10. Let me think about it (publishers).
    Self publishing is an option. Have a few contacts in OZ.
    You guys write and photograph in a way that captures a desire to visit the places shown in your blogs.
    Maybe its something we can ponder over in 2011 when Sue and I return.
    Can't wait.
    PS - I have another book due out at the Christmas, a boring MG book.


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