Rochechouart – un beau village

When we first came to Rochechouart we instantly saw a town full of charm and character, dominated by its 13th century chateau and 11th century Saint Saveur church with its twisted spire. References to the giant meteorite which hit the area over 200 million years ago are also visible throughout the town, with information and physical evidence both abundant. Before finding our new home our ideal was to find a small town or village with enough shops to serve its residents and visitors, but not so big that it attracts the multi-national retailers. We visited so many quaint locations that had one, maybe two amenities, usually a coiffure and pharmacy which seem to be even more vital than a boulangerie. Sadly the last year seems to have taken its toll on many small businesses that can be the heartbeat of its community, a tabac or cafe laying dormant, displaying closed or for sale signs. The wait for normality is almost heartbreaking.

Rochechouart has everything we need and there’s not a Mcdonald’s in sight. But more important than that, even in covid times it feels like a community where everyone has time to stop and chat. Shops are a hive of friendly gossip and pleasantries and the supermarket counter is no different. We are getting to know names, faces, shortcuts and various random opening hours to avoid unnecessary trips. To walk around the centre ville for an hour or two as I did today allows you to see all of its old town, from up around the chateau and castle down to the bottom of the chemin and beside the rivers and lake. Rochechouart looks and feels like the sort of place you can snuggle into, to get to know its nooks and crannies, its quirks and personality. Here’s a medley of photos taken on a late afternoon, late February stroll with the town yet to bloom both florally and socially.

Here’s the road where we live, just down from the chateau and one of, if not the oldest road in Rochechouart…

Centre ville, around the church of Saint Saveur and its environs…

And from down by the river looking up to the chateau, where our gite sits at the foot of the chemin de remparts…

In the last week the muted colours of winter, evident from our home and during our walks are changing, becoming more vibrant, teasing us with what is to come in the coming months. Restrictions, curfews and any amount of social restraints cannot hold back the charm and beauty of Rochechouart, our medieval gem in the heart of the Perigord-Limousin Natural Park.

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