Mirambeau , on my way!!

In my road warrior ways of my belle France,I have come to meet many small towns that really makes France, the best, In one of my favorite regions of France, let me bring out more visible these lovely towns that were hidden in bigger older posts in my blog ; hope you enjoy them as I.

The town of Mirambeau is located in the Charente-Maritime department 17 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, Small town established at the foot of a cuesta having formed a major defensive site over the centuries, this former stronghold, barony then marquisate under the old regime (monarchy), is now one of the poles of balance of the canton of Pons and an active commercial and artisanal pole. The Mirambeaulais vines belong to the Cognac vineyard and are classified as Fins Bois; they are used to produce mainly three types of products: cognac, pineau des Charentes and vin de pays charentais. Wonderful vineyards indeed !

The “Gateway” to Bordeaux, it is served by several important communication routes, including the A10 highway, which places it less than half an hour from Bordeaux, Saintes or Royan. The town of Mirambeau is located in the canton of Pons, a territory marked by rurality of which it is one of the main agglomerations behind Pons and in front of Saint-Genis-de-Saintonge (see post), and in the district of Jonzac 40 km from Saintes ,60 km from Bordeaux and 95 km from La Rochelle, The town is served by the A10 highway of Aquitaine, which allows rapid access to the main towns in the region: Bordeaux to the south, Saintes, Niort and Poitiers to the north, and to Paris. The Mirambeau interchange exit/sortie n ° 37 has been set up a few kilometers from the city center, The one we like back door roads and crosses the town on a north / south axis is the D 137, also a first category road supporting significant traffic, allows you to join, to the north, the towns of Saint-Genis-de-Saintonge, Pons and Saintes, and to the south, those of Étauliers, Blaye and Bordeaux. And of course, the road warrior also tried the D730 as below entering Mirambeau!! Also, connects to the A10!

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The history of Mirambeau remains relatively unknown during the following centuries, When the Duchess Aliénor of Aquitaine and the King of France Louis VII separated, and Aliénor remarries with Henri Plantagenêt, future king of England 1152, the region comes under English influence. Mirambeau becomes a coveted stronghold , On a political and military level, the madness which strikes the king of France Charles VI quickly revived a war which, in spite of episodic truces, never really ceased. The whole of France sinks into chaos and is divided into two antagonistic factions: the Armagnacs and the Burgundians.  On October 16, 1650, King Louis XIV, who returned from Bordeaux which he laid siege to after the events of the Ormée, stopped at Mirambeau and spent the night there. On December 28, 1700, it was the turn of Philippe V,(Felipe V)  grandson of Louis XIV, who left to take over from his great-uncle Charles II of Spain, to cross the parish in terrible weather. On October 18, 1685, by the edict of Fontainebleau, Louis XIV revoked the edict of Nantes granted by his grandfather. The faithful of the RPR (supposedly reformed religion) are asked to join the bosom of the Roman Catholic Church, willingly or by force . A convent of Récollets fathers was established in Mirambeau in 1715 in order to develop religious instruction and say Mass; in reality, the goal was above all to counter Reformed ideas, and to prevent the “New Converts” from going back to their “mistakes”.

A modern church was built from 1856, and was almost completed when Emperor Napoleon III visited the city on July 27, 1860. A monumental town hall was erected (1875), the streets were named (1877), and were cleaned in order to fight against the frequent epidemics of cholera (1884). The city is connected to a network of narrow gauge railway, and the station of Sept Fonts is built (1895). The telegraph is set up, a mutual aid society is established and a gendarmerie is built (1900). The telephone was introduced shortly after (1902). In 1916, the heir of the Duchy donated the castle to the state, so that it could serve as a convalescent home for the wounded “Poilus” (veterans of WWI).

The main things to see here me think are

The Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption Church. Built in the 19C, it replaces an old chapel of the Récollets, which has become dilapidated. The establishment of a convent of Fathers Récollets intervenes in 1715, in order to counter the influence of Protestant ideas, to develop religious instruction . Assuming the role of parish church for nearly one hundred and fifteen years, it is in such a state of disrepair that in 1836, they gave up the idea of ​​rehabilitating it and prefer to consider a total reconstruction. In 1841, the Récollets chapel was demolished, without a new church having yet been built. It was not until 1856 that the current church came out of the ground The vaults were laid in 1857, but the facade and the bell tower were not raised until 1875. Finally, in 1889, the choir and the transept were decorated with frescoes in blue and gold tones. The church is in neo-Romanesque style. In the shape of a Latin cross, it consists of a single vessel covered with a plaster vault, a basket handle, a slightly protruding transept and a semi-cylindrical apse. The interior retains woodwork, at the level of the choir, a painting representing the Immaculate Conception, executed in the style of the Spanish painter Bartolomé Murillo, as well as a Crucifixion, donated by the Emperor Napoleon III, who visited this church in 1860. . The south brace houses a statue of the Virgin and Child in painted and gilded wood, while near the entrance are the 17C baptismal font, in stone with relief decorations, remains of the old chapel of the Recollets. Adorned in particular with heads of angels.

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The Saint-Martin Church is located in Petit-Niort, a former town that merged with Mirambeau shortly after the French revolution. This former priorale and parish church is one of the few in the department to retain pre-Romanesque elements. The north wall of the nave is in fact made of a small device, and has the particularity of being pierced with a small semicircular bay with a claustrum, that is to say an openwork stone window, characteristic of a time when glass was the prerogative of the wealthiest parishes. Partially rebuilt between the 11C and 12C, which saw the flourishing of a particular form of Romanesque art called “roman saintongeais”, it is notably endowed with a facade with a single portal with five arches and a double cordon, surmounted by a series of arches and modillions.

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Another curiosity stop would be the Château de Mirambeau, The castle (private property), whose existence is mentioned from the 11C, is located on a height overlooking the city of nearly forty meters. Hidden by a park, the castle is difficult to see from the city center. It retains only a few really old elements, except a châtelet and a section of curtain walls, redone in the 17C. The main building dates from the 19C, and mixes neo-Louis XIII and neo-Renaissance styles. The chapel, a little behind, is in the neo-Gothic style. The Château de Mirambeau is now converted into a luxury hotel, classified 5 stars, Webpage: https://www.chateauxmirambeau.com/en/

The city of Mirambeau tourist office info: http://www.mirambeau17.fr/fr/information/31175/office-tourisme

The Haute Saintonge tourist office information on Mirambeauhttps://tourisme.haute-saintonge.org/ot-mirambeau

There you go folks, another dandy in my road warrior off the beaten paths of my belle France. This is wonderful Charente Maritime in the gorgeous Nouvelle Aquitaine region. And this is Mirambeau on my way!!! Hope you enjoy the tour as I.

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

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2 Comments to “Mirambeau , on my way!!”

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