Tournemire is a commune in the Cantal region in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, located at 25 km by road from Salers, in the north, and Aurillac, the prefecture town, to the south.
The village dominates the valley of the Doire, at an altitude of 780 m, part of the territory exceeding 1 000 m.
In the middle of a verdant landscape of medium mountain, south-west of the Regional Natural reserve of the Volcanoes of Auvergne, the village developed from the XIe and XIIe centuries around the castle in the form of medieval fortress of the lords Of Tournemire. But in the 15th century, a second castle was erected by a family of merchants originating from Aurillac who had acceded to the nobility, the d'Anjony. The rivalry between the two families turns in favor of the second.
The old castle is dismantled except its chapel which becomes the parish church, and part of the stones is used to build the houses of the village.
Of characteristic style of the region and of picturesque pace, Tournemire belongs to the association of the Plus Beaux Villages de France and its heritage as its environment make it a tourist step of quality.
If you only have about 130 permanent inhabitants in the town, a walk in the village streets and a visit to the castle in summer are always appreciated.
The discovery of the castle of Anjony erected around 1430 by a companion of Joan of Arc, Louis of Anjony, is impossible to circumvent. In the medieval building, there was added a more comfortable building in the eighteenth century by one of his descendants, Claude d'Anjony. Still owned by the family, the castle was not damaged during the Revolution which makes it an exceptional heritage testimony.
The guided tour includes the Basse room, decorated with tapestries, the Salle des Preux, decorated with 16th-century frescoes evoking a legend in vogue in the Middle Ages, and the Salle d'Armes. This one is of different architecture, of high height, with two keys of vault, and is adorned with a tapestry representing the triumph of the emperor Justinian, under the features of Louis XIII. Also to be seen in one of the towers, a room furnished in the style of the eighteenth. Do not forget, outside, around the medieval keep, to walk along the round path that offers a remarkable view of the valley. Guided visit of about one hour. Open from February to mid-November from 2 pm to 5 pm in February, March, October and November, and from 2 to 6 pm in April, May, June and September. In July and August, visits in the morning at 11h and 11h30 (except Sunday) and the afternoon from 14h to 18h30. Prices: 4 and 8 euros. Information on +33 (0) 4 71 47 61 67.
In the village, after a stroll along the picturesque alleys, you can visit the church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, the former chapel of the original castle. The nave dates from the twelfth century, but after the destruction of a siege in 1360, the building was greatly altered in the 15th century. Seven chapels and a porch were then added. The coat of arms of the lords of Tournemire are visible on the vaults. It should also be noted that since the church is attached to the mountain, the entrance is made laterally. Inside, a reliquary would contain a thorn from the crown of Christ reported by Pierre de Tournemire in 1095. A legend reports that the thorn sometimes blew in the Middle Ages on Good Friday.
During the summer, the church is open from 14h. Volunteers provide guided tours.
Another place of interest, among the charming houses sometimes built with stones of the old castle and always, carved in the volcanic rock (tuf), the House of Automata (a collection that also groups Dolls and miniatures). Open in July and August from 10am to 12pm. Information on +33 (0) 4 71 47 63 91.
Outside the town, a walk is possible until the Calvary erected in 1886 via the "high road" (marked trail).
Numerous hiking trails including historic heritage sites and protected or remarkable natural sites are possible from the village or crossing it. Attention: some routes may present difficulties related to the relief. Information on +33 4 71 40 58 08.
The environment is also conducive to the practice of fishing. Regulatory and practical information on +33 4 71 48 19 25.
Every Wednesday in July and August from 18h to 22h, a local market allows you to discover the local terroir (cheese, cured meats). It is even possible to taste on the spot in a convivial atmosphere specialties like the truffade or the bourriols.
The third weekend of October, a trail (natural race) brings together a large public. Several possible distances.