A Limousin village not to be missed, a little town of red stone, hence its name, with its slate roofs. Wander, get lost in its streets, enjoy the surrounding area as there are other beautiful villages nearby, such as Turenne or Curemonte, and eating is a good plan for a perfect weekend.
Moutier d'Ahun is a small village which is really close to Ahun, in the middle of the Creuse. To get there leave Ahun heading towards the river, for about 1 km. It's all downhill, so you'll make the most of the easy walk and use the camera for the beautiful scenery along the river, the abbey and bridge. Just before entering Moutier d'Ahun on the left is the Benedictine abbey, founded in the 10th century. It's a nice example of Roman style, and highly praised wood carvings can be found inside, these are baroque and kept in very good condition as they were declared historical French monuments. The abbey can be, and is, used for weddings and communions. Later, crossing the village (about 70 m from main road), we arrived at a beautiful Roman bridge across the River Creuse with lovely views on both sides. It often visited by families and older couples who come at the weekend to have something to eat in nature. It has several tables and there are play areas along the river.
Oradour sur Glane is also known as the martyred village. The name is referring to the trafficking events of June 1944. Entrance to the ruins of the village is free and the walk through the "memory center". The village is on the N141 when you travel from Limoges in the direction of Angouleme. On June 10, the town was quiet until the arrival of a group of German military personal at 2pm. They gathered all in the people in the village church, destroyed all the houses and burned the 642 people alive, including nearly 200 children. The town has been preserved like this, burned and destroyed. It was quite large and you can see on the walls of the houses the name of the people who lived there or business that was there. You are asked to go dressed decently.
Ahun is a beautiful town in Creuse, France. It has a beautiful 11th century church, and was formerly an abbey. Next to the village is a river perfect for strolling and picnicking. To reach Ahun, you can get from The SOUTERRAINE (three hours by train from Paris). There are several buses that come to town. You're also about 20 minutes drive from Aubusson, for where there is also a bus operated by the SNCF, the French railway company. Therefore you have to buy a train ticket plus bus, but I find it more expensive. The region has developed a lot with English tourism in recent years, since Ryanair reaches Limoges, about an hour from there. But the region retains a strong character and is perfect for holidays that combine nature, sports and good food with culture.
A trip to the Black Perigord is not complete without a foray into the valley of the Vezere where you can check out the prehistoric cave paintings. Lascaux is the most important one to see, even if you only get to see the copy, called Lascaux II., if only to see the copy (Lascaux II), due to the poor condition of the originals. The replications are simply in the two main rooms (the Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery), but it is so worth visiting. The visit is done in groups, and it is not possible to have it done in English (although at least our guide didn't dominate much) and, importantly, the tickets must be purchased in the village of Montignac, next to the tourist office, saving hours of the visit. It is very important not to forget to do this because you can't buy the tickets at the entrace. The visit begins with a couple of rooms museizadas to explain the history of Lascaux, its importance, the technique ... And then he goes to the replica of the cave. Unfortunately, the visiting groups (at least in summer) are very large, and is a bit tight, but still worth it.
If you go through the middle of Creuse, for example Ahun, Aubusson, Banize, etc.. I highly recommend that you ask for the goat-herder of Banize, "le Chevrier". It is set away from the village, about 3-4 km, so getting there you'll have to go by car or bike, or take a long walk in the "creusois" countryside. The goat farm is quite large, with several blocks, a little store, room to store cheese, etc. It is located next to a road, in a small valley. As you can imagine, everything is very quiet, so do not despair if you do not get served in 5 minutes. If you ask nicely, you can visit the animals, blocks, etc., and thus understand where all these round delicacies come from. The cheeses that you can get (all goat cheeses), are basically cured and semi-cured, although there are different sizes and some are flavored with spices. There's "Crottin de Chavignol", a typical semi-hard goat cheese found in many places in France. Prices range from about €2 per piece for the smallest cheeses to €7-8 for the larger pieces.
Le Donzeil is one of the towns that I liked in Creuse because I have nice memories from there. It's a town of about 500 inhabitants, and gradually, people have left for the capital, diminishing this beautiful place. Today, the residents, their children and grandchildren continue to buy houses and give a new breath to the town. It has, among other things, a beautiful 13th century Roman church with interesting stained glass windows, and a Roman stone sarcophagus, which no one knows where it comes from. Other than that, the town used to be occupied by the Roman Empire, and there are several artifacts on the streets and the dry stone walls that divided the country into regions and municipalities. There is a guest house 5 rooms that you can rent by room or as a whole where they serve typical, regional meals.
The Creuse is a French site in the Limousin region, bordered by the river of the same name. Traditionally poor, known for only cattle and potatoes, it was unappreciated by most of the French and tourists, until five years ago, when Ryanair started flying to Limoges. Many English bought country houses and restored castles, giving this site a breath of life. There is little public transport if you wish to visit. The train, three hours from Paris, comes to the SOUTERRAINE or Limoges, then a shuttle bus to Aubusson, or Ahun. It is four hours away. I love riding my bike through the woods. It is very green for 600 feet high, conifers and other trees that lose their leaves stand here. Fall is the best time to visit, as the leaves become red and yellow, and you can choose and prepare nuts, chestnuts, mushrooms for a delicious meal next to the fireplace. The month of May is also nice for cooler temperatures, and the ability to swim in many of the lakes in the region. The best way to stay is in a "chambre d'hotes", a guest house, the tourist offices of Limousin offer lists, or online.
This is the old church of Oradour sur Glane. Now they are building another church, more modern and with a nice little design, on the opposite hill, where the modern town of Oradour is located. But this old church will never be destroyed to commemorate the tragedy of Oradour. On June 1944. At noon, the German army arrived in the village, and forced the entire village into the church. No one knows why that day, they wanted revenge, but the 642 people who were not currently working in the field were burned alive in the church. It's a place the stays with you, very shocking. It has no roof, the walls are all burned. Upon entering, visitors immediately go in silence. A poem on the wall invites you to reflect on atrocious acts that occurred in Oradour. Admission is free, and if you want to know more about what happened, there is a museum at the exit.
Here I leave a picture of a sunset taken from my room in Limoges. You can take these kinds of photos even in the middle of the city! Sunset is a magical moment which, in my opinion, should be immortalized. Besides, every sunset is different and all have something special. Limoges is a beautiful city where you can enjoy calm and peaceful moments like this.