Very close to Argenton
(15km) and near the Eguzon lake,
the village of Gargilesse,
deserves a detour. This is particularly true because you'll need only 1h15mn
by car from l'Ecole Buissonniere.
village unites several interesting features:
Gargilesse, one of the " most beautiful villages of France"
Gargilesse and George Sand
Gargilesse, one of the " most
in France "
sites are sometimes
given pompous designations or labels which leave you quite
dissatisfied and make you wonder why such a site was given such
a name? This is not the case for Gargilesse,
and we can in fact congratulate the organization which
delivers the classification of "
the most beautiful villages of France " for the
quality of its selection criteria.
is a very beautiful village.
First, thanks to its geographical
situation, nestling in the hollow of a small valley following the
river of the same name, just before it joins the ... Creuse
! Once more ! Definitely, this Creuse valley abounds in attractions!
The natural setting of the village is identical to those we evoked
with respect to L'Ecole de Crozant,
as it is one of those sites so appreciated by landscape
painters. When they were not painting or drawing on la
Grande Creuse, la Petite Creuse or la Sédelle,
they certainly were down by la Gargilesse
So, take time to stroll along this charming
river and along the Creuse banks.
Secondly, thanks to its
serene atmosphere full of history:
Serene because Gargilesse
also deserves to be qualified as an "artists
has conduite many painters, musicians
and craftsmen who have chosen to live and to create there.
presence contributes to a pleasant impression of nonchalant rhythm,
a little out of time...
With respect to shaping of history, let us cite
the harmonious architecture of these
old houses gathered around a castle which was formerly
the site of a Gallo-Roman castrum,
of a romanesque- byzantine church of
the XII and XIIIth centuries and the refuge-house
of George Sand.
The Eglise Notre-Dame
has one of the most beautiful sets of capitals in Berry as well
as a statue of the Virgin in polychrome wood dating from the XIIth
century which is the oldest of the Indre.
of the page
and George Sand
At the age of fifty three , George
Sand, writer at the height of her literary fame, but
weary of her lady's manor life in Nohant,
too famous, surrounded by parasitic and uninteresting society
people, dreamed of retirement, of a haven of peace, in a word,
of a place "to settle".
It would be in Gargilesse.
She settled there in 1857 with Alexandre
Manceau, a young engraver less wellknown than her
previous lovers, Musset, Chopin or
Jules Sandeau, but who followed her by love after
Maurice, her own son, had him thrown out of Nohant.
In fact, the house of George Sand in Gargilesse, this
small doll's house with two rooms, joined with other
houses in the middle of the village, is mainly a love gift from Alexandre.
Very quickly, Gargilesse proved to be a paradise
for George Sand and the beauty of nature, the simplicity
of the contact with country people and the pleasure of
a healthy life (walks, butterfly catching, trout fishing, gathering...)
did not cease to inspire her.
notes de voyages à Gargilesse" recall,
all along the thread of the pages, the happiness that this small
village of Berry gave to the writer.
But this happiness
was not to be to the detriment of her writing work , on the contrary:
between 1857 and 1862, she wrote practically thirteen
novels, two volumes of essays and three plays.
Her work "Elle et Lui"
(1859) recounting her adventure with Alfred de Musset, was written in 25 days, that is to say 620 pages!
of Gargilese has been the property of the commune since 1959.
Thanks to the restoration by her grand-daughter,
Aurore, this place is, today, a
museum which admirably testifies, through furniture
and familiar objects which belonged to the writer, to the
simplicity of life that George Sand, as famous as she was, aspired
and visits: Tel.: 02 54 47 84 14
The site has
existed since some remote time but it's known history begins in the
VIIIth century, when Les Comtes de
Gargilesse built a fortified
some dates as reference marks:
century : Hugues de Naillac
becomes Lord of Gargilesse and illustrates himself by leading a
crusade to the Holy Land. He brings back a
statue of a byzantine Virgin
for which he has
Romanesque chapel next to the castle
1389 : after the Hundred's
Year War, the Naillac, through lack of direct successors, lose the
property of the castle which falls by will to Jean
de Prie and then to the
family of Châteauneuf.
: Antoinette, lady of Châteauneuf brings Gargilesse in dowry
to her husband, Jean de Rochefort.
- beginning of the XVIIth century
: Charlotte de Rochefort
sells the building to René du
Bost du Breuil. These are the arms which are reproduced
on the lintel of the entrance gate. The castle is besieged, destroyed
by fire and dismantled by a detachment of the Turenne's armies.
- 1750 : the castle is
rebuilt in the shape of a manor of the time by Olympe
de Chevigny, the wife of
Louis Charles du Bost du Breuil. From the old feudal
masonry remains only the postern and some buttresses. The square
tower of the XVIIth century, also preserved, was at the beginning,
the vault of the Lords of Gargilesse.
- from 1960 to 1986,
the husband of the Countess of Danne,
last owner, leaves the building neglected. It will be saved
from total ruin by a couple of private citizens.
In 1998, Annick Thevenin, painter
impassioned of old stones, repurchase the castle to carry on its
restoration and to create an Art gallery
to give a new life to the monument.
of very great quality unfold from April to September and you will
be able to admire there works of painting, sculpture, art glasswork,
Tel.: 02 54 47 76 16
We recommend that
you visit the site www.chateaudegargilesse.com