Île Bouchard and us!!!

Ah my road warrior ways in my belle France! Always beautiful and interesting indeed…This is the case of our latest trip in the Loire Valley about 3h30 from our house. We came by car of course, going first by toll roads A11/A85 and coming back on the D749/D751 free roads. I needed to rent me an apartment for 5 including wheelchair Dad and our dog Rex!  The search was easy in booking that has it all nowdays it seems. I took a peculiar sounding name call La Isla Bonita or the beautiful island as we thought indeed it was in Île Bouchard or island! Indeed it look central to our idea of weekend trip.

This is my take on the town which is an island in the middle of Vienne river, call Île Bouchard! by the way 17 km from Chinon.

The Île-Bouchard island has a sanctuary that became a place of pilgrimage following Marian apparitions in 1947 in Saint Gilles Church. Extending over 3.5 km², it has a unique configuration since it is made up of two suburbs, Saint Maurice and Saint Gilles, respectively on the left and right banks of the Vienne river, linked by a bridge and separated by L’Île, cradle of the city. Île-Bouchard is crossed by the Vienne river for 1.7 km, which constitutes a dividing limit.  L’Île-Bouchard is located in the Indre-et-Loire department,37 in the Centre-Val de Loire region. Located 280 km from Paris, L’Île-Bouchard is also 43 km from Tours, 75 km from Poitiers and 45 km from Saumur. The nearest larger towns are Chinon, Azay-le-Rideau, Saint-Maure-de-Touraine and Richelieu, all four located equidistant from the town, about 15 km away. It is about 329 km (204 miles) from my house.

A bit of history I like tells us that a lord named Bouchard laid the foundations of a castrum on the island around 885. He led, among other things, an expedition to bring back to Touraine the relics of Saint-Martin, which were in a church of Auxerre. The successors of Bouchard, on the lordships of the island, Rivarennes and Bréhémont crossed the centuries, L’Île-Bouchard, in the Cartulary of the Abbey of Noyers, was designated in 1189 under the name of Insula Buchardi. On this island, Roman remains have been identified, At around 1629 the island passed to Richelieu, whose family (the Vignerots du Plessis dukes of Richelieu, descended from his sister Françoise du Plessis, wife of René de Vignerot: their great-grandson was the famous Marshal-Duke of Richelieu) kept it until the French revolution, but in fact ignoring it. In 1832, the current town of L’Île-Bouchard was created by the merger of the villages of Saint-Gilles-de-l’Île-Bouchard and Saint-Maurice-de-l’Île-Bouchard.

The Isla Bonita chambre d’Hôte or B&B is located on an island, on the edge of the Vienne river; in fact the terrace is right next to it!. The B&B  allows you to enjoy the charm and tranquility of Touraine while offering a variety of attractions nearby. We stayed at the Trinidad room , a family room: it is made up of 2 separate rooms which communicate: a parent room and a child room. Each room has access to the balcony. 28.17 sq meters with inside bathroom. The price 113€ breakfast included and the dog!  They set up a table so we can eat our pizzas Tintin in dining room style ,greatl! Also, they gave us their living room TV so we can watch the France vs Kazakhstan football game (we won 8×0!) One of the highlight of the stay was that the couple husband is from Havana Cuba as I!!! The Val de Loire tourist office on La Isla Bonitahttps://www.valdeloire-france.com/organiser/hebergements/chambres-dhotes/la-isla-bonita

We did ordered from the Pizza Tintin cannibale beef and other varieties with the old fashion Sprite for a change of pace on the road.You ordered and go to pick up about one km from the apartment. This was recommended by the owners and was good. webpage: https://pizza-tintin.business.site/

The things to see in the Île Bouchard are (in addition to sanctuary above):

The Priory of Saint-Léonard, (not seen) built in the first half of the 12C, is one of the oldest Romanesque buildings in France. All that remains today is the choir, its ambulatory and its chapels.The Saint-Maurice Church, (stop by) dating from the 15C, terminated by a very beautiful stone spire decorated with openwork sculptures. Its flamboyant Renaissance-style naves rest on pillars decorated with medallions. The Musée du Bouchardais, a museum of Popular Art and Traditions and local history, it is located in the old train station of Île-Bouchard, near the Prieuré Saint-Léonard. It makes it possible to discover the richness of the heritage of the canton through the tools, materials and objects of the rural world.This one did not go in.

Ile Bouchard ch St Maurice belltower nov21

The Saint-Gilles Church, (saw see next post) built in the 11C. It is established that Joan of Arc, going to meet King Charles VII not far from Chinon, entered and heard mass there on March 6, 1429.   

The City of the Île Bouchard on its heritagehttp://www.mairie-ilebouchard.fr/fr/information/93701/patrimoine

The city of the Île Bouchard with more on its history:  http://www.mairie-ilebouchard.fr/fr/information/93647/histoire-ile-bouchard

There you go folks, a nice secluded real France stay with easy connection to the wonders of the Loire Valley, and very friendly folks at La Isla Bonita! Hope you enjoy the post and discover with me this pretty island.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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2 Comments to “Île Bouchard and us!!!”

  1. Very nice there. As it is indeed a very huge church there.

    Liked by 1 person

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