09 October 2012

Montrésor, alors

Here are seven more photos taken the morning we walked around in Montrésor, south and west of Saint-Aignan by 15 miles or so. It's one of the most beautiful villages in Touraine.

On the left above is the building occupied by the Montrésor mairie, or village hall. It's a 16th century residence called le logis du Chancelier. That turret on the corner of the building is called an échauguette (in French) or (in English) a bartizan or guerite. It's a watchtower built onto the building instead of being built from the ground up.

In the photo on the right above, and the one below too, you can see the thousand-year-old fortifi-cations of Montrésor, in ruins, just to the east of the Renaissance logis (residence).

From many points in town, you get views the château and the old fortifications towering over the houses of the village (as in the photos above and below). As the Cadogan Guide to the Loire says, "Montrésor exudes charm from every stone... The feeling is late medieval, although the village was much developed in the early 16th century..." (at the beginning of the French Renaissance).

Why is Montrésor called by that name? There are various legends, one involving a lizard covered in gold dust that supposedly emerged from the rocky promontory that the fortifications were built on. The Michelin guide says the real origin of the name is this: one of the first lords of the town was the treasurer of the cathedral in the nearby city of Tours. Montrésor was the "mount of the treasurer."

Above are pictures of several houses in Montrésor, in styles ranging from the modest to the grandiose. The village is picturesque and pretty quiet. Fewer than 400 people live in Montrésor — half the number who lived there in the mid-19th century.


  1. Thanks for the info on what the French and English words are for the échauguette-- never knew, glad to know :)

  2. Holy cow! How did I end up the only commenter today?

  3. I don't know, Judy, but I was glad to see your comment.


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