Plus Beaux Villages de France
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Beautiful Villages of France: Wandering in Turennes

Turenne sits perched high on a hill with its towers making a pleasing symmetry. In the central Correze department, it is deservedly designated one of the Most Beautiful Villages of France.

Beautiful Villages of France - Turenne, Correze-005

This hilly region is rich in beautiful castles and villages and Turenne was once a stopping point on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route. It has many houses and buildings from the 13th through to the 17th centuries.

Beautiful Villages of France - Turenne, Correze

Interestingly, this region was not part of the kingdom of France but an independent fiefdom until the 18th Century. In 1738 the feudal lord of the manor sold the viscounty to the French king to pay off his gambling debts. Louis XV demanded that the fortified castle be destroyed but the Marechal du Tourain insisted on retaining the two towers that we see today. From then onwards Turenne had to pay taxes to the French state.

Beautiful Villages of France - Turenne, Correze

Perhaps even more fascinating is the adjoining village of Nazarette sur Turenne, which was named by the Viscount on his return from the Crusades.

In the 1930s a kibbutz was established here by refugees from Nazi Germany and Jewish people were given agricultural training before emigrating to Palestine. Around 800 Jews lived here over three years, going on to help in the establishment of the state of Israel.

Beautiful Villages of France - Turenne, Correze

History aside, Turenne is a gorgeous place, filled with flowers in summer and surrounded by rich green countryside. It fully deserves it’s inclusion on the list of the most beautiful villages of France.

By Natasha von Geldern

Visit other beautiful villages of France, such as Sarlat, Collognes la Rouge and Beuvron en Auge.

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  1. I love these designated Plus Beaux Villages de France (Most Beautiful Villages of France). My favourites so far are Estaing, for its riverside location and Conques, like Turennes overlooking a valley. Both are in Aveyron which seems to have quite a high density of these villages.

  2. Nice compilation of photos. In my city (Graz) the big fortress had been destroyed as a outcome of a peace treaty but two towers survived by request of local people.

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