Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Assier

Market hall
You might think that I only take photos of old churches here in France. Not true! While churches are usually the most interesting buildings in these medieval villages, there are sometimes other things that catch my eye. Like this 19th century market place in Assier. It was built in 1884 for the weekly sale of cereal grains, apples, chestnuts and other nuts. Farmers raising those crops now deal directly with large companies. The current weekly market here is much like those in other villages offering fresh produce, cheeses, charcuterie, etc. Sheep are the main livestock raised locally, and the village boasts of a sheep market held in its industrial area where 1000-1500 animals are sold each week.
This is the main road through the village, the D653. The village was electrified in 1932. A water system was installed in 1962; prior to that time, residents obtained their water from either wells or cisterns. Population records kept since 1793 reveal the village reached a peak population of 928 souls in 1861. Interestingly, its current population (684) is just about the same as it was in 1793! If you're interested in more village history, click on this link. Unlike most Wikipedia entries for small French villages, this entry is very complete. I wish I could learn as much about every village I visit.

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