Monday, June 23, 2014

Pujols Panorama

After a relaxing lunch in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, we set out to find Pujols, one the France's 'plus beaux' villages. Philip asked some folks who told us we could actually hike there; it's only about 2 kms. However, you can tell by this panoramic photo from the gates of the village that those 2 kms are straight uphill! We chose to drive. You can also tell why the village's original name during Gallo-roman times was Podiolus which means 'village on a raised hill.' It's a perfect place to build a fortified town. If you look closely at the photo, you can see (almost right in the middle) the tall, red tower of the Ste. Catherine church in Villeneuve
This village like Villeneuve was also a heretic (Cathar) stronghold and was destroyed during the Albigensian Crusade. It was rebuilt in the 15th century with its two streets oriented on an east/west axis consisting of 50-60 dwellings.

The tiny village has been beautifully restored and like other 'plus beaux' villages, it is full of flowers. There are two churches; the church of Ste. Foy is used now for art exhibitions. There was a watercolor exhibit during our visit, and we weren't allowed to take photos. Which is unfortunate because there are some lovely 15th century frescoes still visible on its walls.
Jean and Philip graciously agreed to have their photo taken by the Porte des Anglais which gives a nod to a consistent English presence here in the Aquitaine region since it came under English rule with the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henry II of England in 1152 AD. Pujols today welcomes tourists from all over the world...

Sign outside the Porte des Anglais
but not those who come on horseback!

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