Thursday, December 1, 2016

More delights of the Entre-deux-Mers

Today I am sharing some miscellaneous memories of a recent day trip through the Entre-deux-Mers. This area, translated to "between two seas" actually is between two rivers: the Dordogne and the Garonne. Primarily known one of six wine-growing regions in the Bordeaux vineyard. Grapes grown here are found in 12 wines including Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur, Cadillac, Côtes de Bordeaux, Côtes de Bordeaux-Saint-Macaire, Crémant de Bordeaux, Entre-deux-Mers, Graves de Vayres, Loupiac, Pemières Côtes de Bordeaux, Sainte-Croix-du-Mont and Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux.

The summer tourism season is long over, so we find much of the area closed to tourism. But the hills and vines (some still laden with grapes on the day of our visit) are lovely, and our exploration yields some interesting sites.

Bastide de Cadillac

Looking toward one of the gateways in Cadillac
Two of Cadillac's four fortified gates remain standing in this town, which was founded in 1280. Cadillac's church, built in 1494, contains a marble-and-bronze altarpiece.

Interior L'église Saint-Martin in Cadillac

Château de Cadillac (unexpectedly closed on the day of our visit) was built for Jean Louis de Nogaret de La Valette, the first Duke of Epernon, under the reigns of Henry IV of France and Louis XIII. The building was used as a prison for 100 years, but today offers a visitors a good example of French-style architecture. The château is open all year; closed on Mondays in the winter. Check the website here to confirm hours.

Moat at Château de Cadillac


Pujol's château now houses the town's Mairie and post office.

Located on a rocky spur overlooking the Dordogne River, Pujos is considered a gateway to the Entre-deux-Mers region. Highlights of the town include its castle, which now houses the town hall and post office; its church, which contains a gray marble Merovingian sarcophagus from the 5h or 6th century; and its views, which are open all year round.

Walls of Pujol's château

Arrow slit along the wall in Pujols

Stately old home in Pujols-sur-Dordogne


L'église Sainte-Florence in Sainte-Florence

I am compelled to stop in this tiny village because of a legend. It is said that the inhabitants of Sainte-Florence hauled rocks to the top of hill with the aim of constructing a church. The next day, the rocks were at the foot of the hill. Rather than thinking that gravity had something to do with this mystery, they decided to build the church where the stones lay. Notwithstanding the legend, L'église de Sainte-Florence is really quite lovely, even from the outside. The adjacent lavoir is said to have a miraculous spring. 

Doorway of L'église Sainte-Florence in Saint-Florence

Legendary wash house (lavoir) in Sainte-Florence

This is the third in a row (and final, for now) post about Entre-deux-Mers sites. There's still more of this pretty region to discover, but I think next time, we'll taste some wine along the way.

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