Not long ago we visited the excellent Museum of Medical History at Hautefort – a fascinating (sometimes scary) collection of medical instruments and treatment methods from medieval to modern. But that’s definitely not the main reason to visit the little village of Hautefort in the Dordogne in the deep heart of France. Most people come here for the castle. In fact, this whole area is noted for its spectacular castles – the great defensive fortresses at Castelnaud and Beynac are testaments to the violence and instability that wracked this region during the Hundred Years War and the Wars of Religion. But even in an area where there are many spectacular chateaux, the Chateau de Hautefort stands out as one […]
Here’s an example of truth in advertising at its best: the little village of Collonges-la-Rouge in the départements of Corrèze is called “la Rouge” because… well, because it’s red. And it is officially one of France’s “most beautiful villages” because…it’s really beautiful. In fact, Collonges-la-Rouge has a legitimate claim to be called the original “most beautiful village in France”, since it was the town’s mayor, Charles Ceyrac, who conceived the idea of creating an association of exceptional sites in 1982. He eventually convinced 66 of his fellow mayors all across the country to sign on to the project, and the list of plus beaux villages now counts 157 towns in 70 of France’s 101 départements.