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Discover/The municipalities of the Varennes Forterre territory

The municipalities of the Varennes Forterre territory



Lavoir circulaireZoomCircular washhouseBoucé is a small village, both peaceful and alive at the heart of the “Forterre” and it stays the symbol of a fight which opposed men to nature for a long time. It is thanks to the work of three men (the industrial RAMBOURG and the administrators of VAULX), who cleared out and cleansed these swampy plains during the 19 century, that the land became fertile and productive. This municipality has today a strong polyculture and Charolais farming and livens up around a very peculiar circular washhouse and the pond of the Moulins de la Presle.


Château de PuyfolZoomCastle of Puyfol Fontaine, Puyfol, Le Petit Chambord, Grouges, le Grand Montet, the castle of Cindré... all these constructions are a reminder of History with a capital H.
The bishop of Clermont HERVE, Count of NEVERS or Louis II Duke of Bourbon, the monks of the SEPT-FONS Abbey are amongst the important figures of Cindré. Cindré is a municipality belonging to the administrative district of Jaligny and is connected to the Communauté de Communes Varennes-Forterre. It is today oriented towards farming and cultivation through its rich soils.


Le pré redanZoomThe Redan meadow It is located between Moulins and Vichy, and stretches from the river Allier with its fertile valley to an Eastern calcareous plateau on which the well-exposed slope used to be covered in vines.
The church, of the same era than the original castle, was built at the end of the 11 century, beginning of the 12. It houses three bell towers of which two date from 1522 and 1526.
We could count several fiefs that still bear the name of Chambon, Toulle, Sauvage...
The municipality has also several calvaries, a few dovecots and old bread ovens.


église de LangyZoomChurch The municipality of Langy lies on a Gallo-Roman site and its name would come from a rich owner of this era called “Langius” whose villa was located near a roman way.
The locals are proud of their 11 century roman church and fight to protect their heritage. Several points of vue offer a view over the valley of the Allier to the northeast, over the chain of the Puys to the west, over the mountain chain of the Bourbonnais to the south and over the plain of the Forterre to the north.
Langy is oriented towards cultivation.


chemins pédestre ZoomWalking trails Montaigu-le-Blin offers its visitors a moment of quiet and relaxation in silence and greenery with the remains of its medieval fortress and priory, its roman church, its castles and character bourgeois-style houses, its amazing shaded square, its gourmet inn and its rural museum reminding the long History of the families of the land.
Its soil is located at the heart of the Forterre, is adorned with “tureaux” (small calcareous hills) and has been able to attract lime-kiln and cement workers. This transformed durably its landscape during the 20 century but “labourage et pâturage” (ploughing and pasture) remained along with the love of nature.


Donjon de GayetteZoomDungeon of Gayette The municipality located at the edge of the forest holds an important place in the diversity of the fauna and flora. It spreads on a high ground with soils quite fertile, ponds and the forest, and on a lower ground with soils filled with humus: the Forterre.
Several kingdoms gave it their name like Gayette, the Valençon and the Echelettes.
The dungeon of Gayette, built in the 15 century, is the last vestige of the feudal castle. It has a quadrangular shape and reaches 30m high on 6 levels. This is where the Constable of Bourbon betrayed Francis I for Charles V in the night of the September 6 to 7 1523.
Gayette is today a nursing home.


château du MéageZoomCastle of Méage The name of Rongères would come from the latin “rotonder agus” (round field) which seems to fit the centre of the small town, or from “ronceraie” which is a field where the brambles grow a-plenty.
Other than its 12 century church and its 19 century bell tower, you can also find the castle of Méage surrounded by wonderful moats and greenery. Along with its corps de logis, there are two round towers in the north and a square staircase tower in the south. An impressive wrought iron gate opens onto the court of honor and its gardens.


Pigeonnier du domaine de ChatardZoomDovecote of the Chatard domain This municipality is today oriented exclusively towards cultivation and spreads on an argilo-calcareous plateau of 520 acres with an amazing view over the Monts du Forez. A few old houses still show the traces of the past.


Etang communalZoomLocal pond Near the woods and ponds, the municipality has a strong architectural heritage: not less than 5 castles, amongst which one is open to the public from Easter to All Saints’ Day to relive the famous story of the abduction of an heir who owned 15,000 acres in the Allier, dovecotes, a washhouse, a wonderful portal, etc.
St Gérand, named Mont-Libre during the Revolution, is a haven of peace where the past combines with the present. Even Julius Caesar took refuge before the Battle of Gergovia on a Gallo-Roman clod in the woods of Moines, not far from here!
An 8-acre pond will satisfy regular or occasional fishermen.


Lavoir dodécagonalDodecagonal washhouse This village has been known since the Gallo-Roman era and is cut across by the “Route Bleue” (Blue Road) that the holiday-makers love so much. You will discover there many artisans and will follow the traces of the exile of the famous Irish writer James Joyce who lived there in 1940. Saint-Gérand-le-Puy pays him tribute with a cultural area (museum, library, etc.). Important fiefs like la Croix, Gondailly, Saint-Martin, the Aragons, la Commanderie du Rédan show how important Saint-Gérand-le-Puy used to be. St Gérand offers a beautiful and varied land with a rolling countryside.


égliseChurch The municipality is located in the south of Forterre (soil fertile for any culture) which is between the rivers Allier and Besbre. It is characterised by a rolling relief with plateaux and a calcareous hill curiously shaped by the natural erosions, the “Tureau de la Motte”. Sanssat owes most of its buildings to owners of a very important seigneury: the Noailly family who initiated the construction of a new spacious and bright church, of a new presbytery, a nursing home and a washhouse.


Etang communalLocal pond With its 5 acres and fed by natural sources, the local lake is the must for the fishermen, families and travellers who can also enjoy the leisure facilities: campsites, picnic areas, playground and miniature golf, etc. Treteau is a village located on a Gallo-Roman oppidum on which laid a castle with significant dimensions of which there are only remains left. The church of Saint-Maurice was built on the remains of the chapel of the feodal castle. A few caracteristic houses like the Pessonnets, Belleau, the Motte-Vesset, the Vieux Chambord embellish the municipality with their architecture.


La Besbre - rivièreThe Besbre - river The municipality was for a long time a train intersection between Dompierre, Lapalisse, Varennes and Digoin with its famous “tacot” (train travelling at 12,43mph), and stretches along the Besbre, river famous for fishing.
Many remains remind the seigniorial life with its towers, its dovecotes, mansions and castles, etc. The Besbre river runs through the whole municipality of Trezelles and the lake with lock brings happiness to the fishermen.


La PoterneThe Postern The town has been since the Gallo-Roman era, with the antique Vorocium, a step at a crossroads linking the Mediterranean Sea to the Channel and the Alps to the Atlantic Ocean.
Chef-lieu of the administrative district of the arrondissement of Vichy, it has many shops and local services.