22 juin 2018 - St Alban

Villebois-Lavalette : histoire et patrimoine

Villebois-Lavalette : Cité de caractère

HISTORY AND HERITAGE

On the edges of the Charente, at the gateway to the Perigord, Villebois Lavalette is a charming village of character between Angouleme and Brantome.

Perched on a hill and surrounded by a vast, undulating plain, protected by it's imposing medieval castle, a joyful serenity pervades Villebois Lavalette, a gentle, pleasant place .....

The Castle
Built on the site of a former Roman settlement, the castle was constructed in the 10th century, modified and fortified in the 12th and 13th centuries by the Lusignans.

Established as a Duchy in 1622 by Louis 13th, the castle had to be changed to reflect the Renaissance style by the Duke of Navailles, without losing its' six watch-towers.   Its' 12th century roman chapel is noted for its two levels:  the ground floor reserved for the pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela and the directly approachable seigniorial dwelling.

The sad fire of 1822 devastated the castle which, to this date, remains at the centre of a grand restoration campaign to restore it to it's former glory.

The Covered Market
The 12th century covered market had to be demolished and was reconstructed in 1665, as one can see them today.    In the 19th century the market hosted a large and reknowned livestock fair, an event which established Villebois as an important administrative centre.

One must not forget to admire the remarkable framework of the building supported by the tall wooden columns and the stone plinths and the stalls worn and polished by time ....

Also, note the 17th century sundial .... Les halles hosts the market every saturday morning and many other events including suppers, concerts and shows.

Cornuelles

Les Cornuelles, a unique speciality of Villebois, are small Easter biscuits.

They are instantly recognisable by their shape, a small triangle with a hole through the centre, symbolising the creation and the Holy Trinity.

In days gone by, these little shortbread biscuits were threaded onto long sticks to carry them to market.   They also decorated the branches of boxwood trees blessing Palm Sunday.

A treat for children and adults alike, the Cornuelles are always popluar and herald the arrival of Palm Sunday with the Cornuelles Fair!

Horte and Lavalette Tourist Office in Villebois Lavalette

To begin the discovery of Villebois Lavalette and its' surrounding villages, contact the Tourist Office.

Tourist Office
1 place due Champ de Foire
16320 Villebois Lavalette

Telephone: 0545 64 71 58    Fax:  0545 64 71 58
Email:  otlavalette@charente-verte.fr
Internet:  http://www.charente-verte.fr











 




Vie de la Commune

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Mairie de Villebois-Lavalette en Charente - 16320 VILLEBOIS-LAVALETTE - Tel : 05 45 64 90 04 - contact@villebois-lavalette.com
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