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Curemonte (just outside the Dordogne in the Correze department) is one of the "plus beaux villages de France" (most beautiful villages of France). It stretches out along a hilltop overlooking the valleys of Sourdoire and Maumont.
The charming village of Curemonte is dominated by its feudal castles. There are three in the village; the Chateau de St Hilaire (14-15C), the Chateau de Plas (15C) and the Chateau de la Johanne.
Two of the chateaux - Saint Hilaire and Plas are linked internally by one of the thick castle walls. These two were owned in 1940 by Bel Gazou, daughter of Colette. Colette stayed here for a while during the 2nd World War and mentions Curemonte in one of her books -' Journal à Rebours'. The round and square towers of the castles dominate the village and add drama to its skyline.
Chateau de la Johannie is similar in style to Saint Hilaire and is next to the halle which was added in the 19th century and shelters a 16th century cross.
There are also three churches. L'eglise de la Combe is roman in style and dates back to the 11th century making it one of the oldest in the area. It is very simple and attractive. This church lies on the outskirt of the village in a small hamlet. The church of Saint Bartholomew in the centre of the village dates from the 12th century and has a lovely wooden altarpiece. Saint Genest church is now a museum displaying religious art.
Spread out around these are narrow streets, almost too narrow for a car to squeeze through in places, and lovely stone houses built of a honey coloured stone. Some of these are 'noble houses' owned by officers who were employed by the feudal lords who owned the chateaux. Some of these houses also have turrets adding to the fortress-like impression of the village.
The rooves are an interesting mix of terraccotta tile and slate tiles and throughout the village there are a scattering of turrets and carved doorways making exploring Curemonte a real pleasure. Notice the Maison Perne which now has an attractive contemporary garden and also the 19th century corn exchange.
Curemont is officially classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France, one of several in this part of France. As well as being beautiful it sits above the surrounding Correze countryside and the views from the village are excellent. There is a viewpoint at the top of the village with an orientation table.
It is as you approach or leave Curemonte that you can best appreciate the series of defensive walls and towers of Curemonte. Stop your car down the road for a look at the lovely skyline the village offers. Better still walk the 7 km signed walk from the centre which leads you to some splendid views of the village.
Visit on a Wednesday evening and you can enjoy the night market where you can grab a table and wander round the stalls to buy your hot or cold food for your evening meal al frescoe! For something a little unusual head to the Lou Pé de Gril farm where dandelions are harvested and made into dandelion beer and dandelion liquors. They are also known for their prize winning walnut jam.
Places to Visit Nearby
Curemonte is only 10km from the Dordogne river and makes an excellent base for visiting both the Dordogne region and the Correze.
Nearby Martel is one of our favourite towns in this area and is also home to many towers! Another favourite is Carennac which like Curemonte is classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.