Village of Gentioux-Pigerolles

Passing by this village, I am surprised by an unusual monument !

A child made of bronze, an orphan, dressed with a smock, clogs on his feet, cap in one hand, raises his fist as a sign of rebellion towards an inscription. Getting nearer, under the list of the dead, we can read “Cursed be the war”. Fifty eight names of young men are inscribed on the memoral…
For the little town of Gentioux, it’s a true devastation.

This monument is attributable to Jules COUTAUD,  mayor of Gentioux, veteran, and his council who, in 1920, with the help of the town’s veterans, wished to honor their departed children’s memory.

Surviving WWI, they refused for their monument, the traditional and hypocritical format such as “died for France” or “fell in the field of honor” as if the unfortunate had a choice.

Boycotted by the civil and military authorities, considered a sacrilege, this monument was never inaugurated and forbidden to official ceremonies by ministerial circular. It’s only on the 15th of November 1985 that the Creuse Prefect went to salute it at the mayor’s initiative.

However, it was registered, as a memorial site, at the beginning of 1990.

Then followed the creation of an association “ The secular comittee of the Gentioux memorial friends” at the initiative of the Free Thinkers of the Limousin, whose aim is to fight against war, honor the victim’s memory and promote the bortherhood amongst populations. They call on the pacifists to meet every year on the 11th of November, around this memorial which since 1922, claims that the war is “cursed”.

But the visit of Gentioux-Pigerolles doesn’t end here.

Take the direction of the Town’s gites hamlet with their thatched roofs. Take the track which goes up the hill which overlooks the village. You’ll arrive at the top of the Condreau 874m and, surprise “Our lady of Building” looks at, from the height of 7m50, the Limousin countryside. Chisled with Volvic stone by M.Le Boeuf and unveiled in 1901, standing up on its pedestal where the workers’ tools are sculpted, she watched over the migrant at the beginning of the 20th century.
Let’s meet at the land of stonemasons !


Going back to the village, take the direction of the cemetary, Felletin road, where a tombstone differenciates with its sculptures : it is Jean Cacaud, child of Gentioux, who died in 1900.
He lived a long time as an ermit, in a sort of digged shack, built on the side of the De la Brauze hill (remains still visible), alongside the old Felletin road (today’s Gentioux-Luc pathl). He was a stonemason and sculpted his ife on his own tombstone : we see him as a child with his mother, busy chisling granit, with his good friends and to finish in the sky with angels…

To finish your road, several directions possible :

Going to Feniers, make the detour to the templar’s village of Pallier and near the windturbines you get a splendid panorama of the Sancy mountain range.

Finally, finish your journey to the renouned Senoueix bridge ! But we’ve talked enough about it already !

To complete your visit of Gentioux: