Paysage La Celle Dunoise La CreusePaysage La Celle Dunoise La Creuse
©Paysage La Celle Dunoise La Creuse

Cities and villages of character

The Pays Dunois territory is composed of 17 communes, some of which really have interesting tourist assets! Whether you’re driving, biking or riding a motorcycle, here’s an idea for an itinerary that will promise you small picturesque stops especially along the Creuse Valley… Extend the escapade on the Indre side to Gargilesse and even Argenton…

Unavoidable

Tourist itinerary

Crozant, a stopover on the way to Compostela

This village, perched on a promontory overlooking the Creuse and Sédelle rivers, owes its fame as much to its exceptional landscape and historical site as to its “School of Painters”, carried notably by Armand Guillaumin. George Sand was the first to discover this site with its picturesque landscapes and brought in her wake a large number of artists leaving their Parisian studios to come and paint the subtle and changing lights, the colorful reliefs of heather and broom, the flowing rivers and the fortress dominating the confluence.

Crozant Fortress ©J.Damase

Fortress of Crozant ©J.Damase

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Fresselines, a village of History

This small town, at the confluence of the two Creuses, unveils tumultuous waters and steep coastlines that Claude Monet immortalized through a series of 24 paintings. In particular, he studied the confluence, which he painted 10 times at different times. A real challenge for the artist constrained by the different variations of the landscape, due to climate changes. Maurice Rollinat, a Berrichon poet, was also inspired by the landscape of Fresselines, which he evokes in his collections of poetry.

 

Confluent Des 2 Creuse©j. Damase

Confluent Des 2 Creuse©j. Damase

 

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La Celle-Dunoise, a picturesque village

Clinging to a side of the Creuse valley, this village seems to be an island emerging from the greenery, a site coveted by fishermen. This town has always been a place of passage thanks to its 14th century bridge, built where the river becomes gentler. Since the mid-nineteenth century, many artists have succumbed to the charm of the very beautiful panorama of La Celle-Dunoise and the great meander of the Sillons. The village is also a hub of outdoor activities and festive gatherings around regular concerts in the inns.

Village De La Celle Dunoise©j.damase

Village De La Celle Dunoise©j.damase

 

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Le Bourg d’Hem, village of History

Le Bourg d’Hem, located on the middle valley of the Creuse owes its fame to Pierre Maillaud, known as “Pierre Bourdan”, nephew of the impressionist painter Fernand Maillaud, and to its steep valley, its site of the Roches Galets, its beach, its tourist facilities, its shaded paths dear to lovers of outdoor activities. The famous historian Marc Bloch settled there as early as 1935, in the village of Fougères, it is moreover there that he wrote his book entitled “the strange defeat”. His house and his library are witnesses of his stay. Other artists stayed there, such as Raymond Christoflour (writer and friends of Bernanos), Alphonse De Nussac (famous photographer) was born there.

Hostellerie Du Bourg D'hem

Hostellerie Du Bourg D’hem

Dun le Palestel

Chief town of a canton of 17 municipalities, what you should remember “is that it is good to live in Dun le Palestel”. Only a few kilometers separate it from the tourist villages whose artistic fame is no longer to be made, many painters who have set their easel in the Creuse Valley. But it is especially in Dun, in a dynamic economic environment, that local shops and the traditional Thursday market, which attracts a large population, are concentrated. The commune is committed to renovating and maintaining a rich and varied built heritage: the ensemble formed by the town hall and schools, the BORD house and its wooded park, the post office and its tower, the Apollo room with its Art Deco facade, the Notre-Dame de la Reconnaissance church… Also worth seeing: the portal of the old church classified as a Historic Monument, the War Memorial, the wash house and the Dunet fountain, and the three-lobed basin.

Haystack - countryside landscape, nature ©J.Damase

Haystack – countryside landscape, nature ©J.Damase

Chéniers

Located in the northeastern part of the department, the commune of Chéniers is crossed by the “Petite Creuse” river and covers 34.9 km2. Since 2002, the Ecomuseum “la Tuilerie de Pouligny” attracts many visitors curious to discover the history of man and clay, as well as the multiple events that take place there such as the festival of old trades or the potters’ market… Without forgetting an unusual event of the Mad’Jacques, a hitchhiking race that ends its course on the site of the Moulin de Piot, an ideal place for nature and family vacations (campsite*** and 14 gites). Also to be discovered: a church classified as a historical monument, an old wash house, the Rosary Cross, the Sainte Claire fountain in Héret…

Tuilerie de Pouligny - Chéniers

Tuilerie de Pouligny – Chéniers

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Heritage & small heritage of our villages….

Extend your

Indre side

getaway...

Gargilesse-Dampierre, most beautiful village in France

Gargilesse has welcomed many impressionist painters seduced by the romantic aspect of the site. Classified as one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France, the village stands magnificently in the heart of a cloud of greenery. Wrapped around the castle and its charming Romanesque church, it still has a few galleries and lively workshops. Painter Léon Détroy settled in Gargilesse, as did George Sand, who set up her second home, Villa Algira.

Gargilesse Adti 01

Gargilesse Adti 01

Argenton-sur-Creuse, gateway to the Creuse Valley

Attracted by the landscapes of the Valley, the painters gradually arrived at the Argenton-sur-Creuse and Saint-Sébastien stations. Following the rhythm of the Creuse, sometimes calm and serene, sometimes swirling and animated. Argenton, known as “the Venice of Berry”, reveals itself through the narrow streets of the past, old mills with wheels, houses with galleries as if suspended above the river… From the esplanade of the Bonne Dame, a superb panorama stretches towards the green hills of the valley.

02 Argenton 01 Teddy Verneuil 2016

02 Argenton 01 Teddy Verneuil 2016

 

 

Eguzon, a new era

The construction of a dam in Eguzon in 1926 contributes to the end of the coming of the painters to the Valley. The landscape was transformed, giving rise to a lake with over 300ha of water. The numerous hiking trails that border the lake allow you to discover the wild gorges and green overhangs of the valley. The open beaches on the Creuse allow swimming and the practice of many water activities.

04 Eguzon 03 Teddy Verneuil 2016

04 Eguzon 03 Teddy Verneuil 2016