Verteuil-sur-Charente is a town in the Charente, in the Aquitaine region, 6 km south of Ruffec and 38 km north of Angouleme.
The territory of the municipality bordered on the west by the RN10 is crossed by the course of the Charente which is composed of two arms forming islands at the village level.
Already inhabited during Antiquity, the village takes off in the Middle Ages when is built a first castle attested from the eleventh century, property of the lords of powerful family of La Rochefoucauld. The stronghold is a strategic issue during the Hundred Years War, the English long holding the site.
In the 15th century, while Verteuil was erected as a barony, a new castle was erected. During the Fronde (XVII), in which François VI participates, Duke of La Rochefoucauld, the author of the famous Maxims, its defensive elements will be removed. From Charles V to Louis XIII through Marie and Catherine de Medici, the distinguished guests succeed each other over the centuries.
Long focused on agriculture, a small industry (flour mill, sawmill) having been established in the nineteenth century, the town that counts some 650 inhabitants now legitimately highlights its exceptional heritage (the castle and its outbuildings, its church) and its environment peaceful. Verteuil-sur-Charente is an essential step during a stay in the region.
Before visiting the castle, several other historical sites of interest can mark a stroll in this small village of character.
This is the case of the church Saint-Médard, built in the twelfth century, then in the center of a priory. Having suffered somewhat from the wars of religion, a wooden vault having replaced the original stone vault, the building houses an exceptional sculpture: a representation of the installation in polychrome wood in the workshop of Germain Pillon (XVI), master of the Renaissance. The work, classified since 1908, was originally intended to adorn the castle chapel. To see also, a wooden tabernacle carved Louis XV style (eighteenth). Free tour. Information on +33 6 85 03 24 16.
On the religious level, one can also observe, but from the outside only, the old Cordeliers convent built in the 16th century on an island of the Charente designed to house the burials of the family of La Rochefoucauld. Divided into lots at the Revolution, the whole is protected since 1970 but it is a private property.
In the village always, the former home of the directors of the castle (XV) became a wine bar, a mill of the XIIIe beautifully restored and partly transformed into restaurant and guest rooms (free visit, information on +33 5 45 29 04 77) and authentic alleyways will appeal to patrons of heritage as picturesque.
Always property of a descendant of the family of the lords of La Rochefoucauld, it is then advisable to visit the castle and its park which overhang the borough and the valley.
In the heart of a nineteenth-century park, the building restored after the horrors of the Revolution was designed on a triangular plan with a large round tower at the tip, a gatehouse and two wings. An isolated tower shelters on two floors the library and separates in two the curtain "is". The buildings in the south-east were little affected by the restorations, except for the chapel. There are also several walls of the old primitive dungeon. More recently, a Romanesque chapel has been unearthed in this ensemble.
The tour includes the park, the kitchens, the main courtyard, the chapel and the old guard room. One will appreciate the pretty points of view on the borough and the Charente. Price: 7 euros. On reservation at +33 6 71 89 06 88.
Note also that guided tours of the locality are offered in season and it is now also suggested to families to discover in the form of treasure hunt. Information on +33 5 45 31 05 42.
Once this jewel visited, place the charms of the banks of the Charente, the heights of the village and the green landscape giving rise to pleasant hikes. Maps and information on +33 5 45 31 05 42.
On the banks of the river, a picnic area with sports field and play equipment for children has also been developed.
A canoe trip (contact at +33 6 81 15 65 20) or a game of tennis (reserve a court at +33 5 45 31 42 05) are also possible, unless you opt for a quiet fishing session (inquire at +33 5 45 69 33 91).