AROUND AND ABOUT

The Limousin is an unspoilt region of upland pastures, forests and pure fresh water lying to the west of the Auvergne and north of the Périgord and the valley of the Dordogne. Situated in the heart of the Limousin, in the area known as the land of mountains and dams the picturesque Peyrat-le-Château is a quiet little town and an ideal base for exploring the surrounding unspoilt rolling countryside. It is situtated in Haute Vienne one of the three départements which make up the Limousin region, the other two being Creuse and Corrèze. This départment is a region of open countryside where you'll see the famous Limousin cows everywhere and perhaps even the Saint-Yrieix-La-Perche pig, often referred to as the 'cul noir' (black bottom).

PEYRAT-LE-CHÂTEAU

The town itself dates back to the gallo-roman period when it was known as Patriagum. During the Middle Ages it was known as Peyrat-Le-Fort and grew in size under the impetus of the Lusingian barons who built the original castle around the year 1000 AD. During the French Revolution the town was renamed Peyrat-La-Montagne before it became known as Peyrat-Le-Château.

During the 15th century the square tower - one of the five gateways to the medieval town - was rebuilt and now contains the Resistance Museum. The museum has three rooms and traces the history of the resistance movement and its local leader, George Guingouin.

When the town was founded Peyrat had two churches; one dedicated to St Martin the other to St Denis, the patron saint of France. The church of St Denis was destroyed in 1793 during the Reign of Terror which immediately followed the French Revolution. The original church of St Martin was destroyed by fire in 1184 and a new parish church was built in 1490. The church was completely restored in 1863 and a new bell tower added in 1893. During July and August there are concerts featuring music from around the world. These are often performed in the gardens of the tower.

The local lake was created by charter dated 16 June 1449 and initially designed as a watering place for animals and a reservoir in case of fires.The lake offers a beach, fishing, boules, a play area for children and a picnic spot. The lake is stocked with trout, pike, carp and tench and is ranked as a first category fishing site. A fortnight's fishing permit in the region costs €32 euros (2010 prices).

There are many old water mills in the area which testify to the ambundance and importance of water in Limousin which makes the surrounding countryside so luscious.

Ramblers will be in their element as there are several hiking trails of varying difficulty and length which start a short distance from our front door. They are clearly marked and maps and guides can be obtained from us or the local tourist office. There are also fantastic cycling routes to suit all ages and levels of stamina in the Limousin. A local equestrian centre offers horse riding for all ages and levels of expertise.

A market is held every Monday, Thursday and Saturday in the main square. The Village has a small supermarket, corner shop, bakers, butchers & deli. There are also Three bars and Three restaurants.

Situated as we are in the centre of the Limousin region we are in easy reach of many sights. We have listed & pictured some of our many favourites on these pages.

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