I've been studying and learning French since 1963, when I was 14 years old. I've been spending time in France, either living here or coming here for vacations, for nearly 52 years — since 1969.
I've seen a lot of French towns, and I've spent significant amounts of time — about a third of my life altogether — in towns named Saint-Aignan (18 years), Paris (5 years), Rouen (1 year), Metz (9 months), Aix-en Provence (6 months), and Grenoble (6 weeks).
In my travels, as you can imagine, I've passed through or spent a few days in innumerable other French towns. Still, there are so many I've never seen, and so many I've so often heard of and would love to see but haven't yet had the occasion or the chance.
Do you know how many towns there are in France? I'll tell you; there are close to 35,000 of them — exactly 34,836 as of January 1, 2021. Many of them go by names that I've heard or read for years and years, and I love it when I can go to one of them and come away with an image of it imprinted on my mind and in my memory.
In this post, I give you one of those towns that I have actually seen, even though only one time for a few hours. It has a population of about 3,300 brave souls, and is not really close to any big cities. I'm sure nearly everybody in France knows its name, but I bet only a small percentage of the French population has ever actually been there.
I won't tell you its name right now. It has existed since pre-Roman times. Have you ever seen any place like it? If you've traveled around France, you probably have. It's not pictures like these that made me decide to go there one day. It was just a name I'd heard hundreds of times and I finally got to put a "face" on it.