Perouges, one of the most picturesque villages of France

On a small hill sits Perouges, a tiny medieval fortress-like stone-walled village. Founded some 1000 years ago, possibly by Gauls returning from a visit to Perugia, Italy, it’s streets are rough stone, difficult to walk on. The walls and buildings are stone, as well as just about everything else, a perfect example of what we refer to when we say, “They don’t build ’em like they used to.” I’ll say.

The town was on the border between France and the Duchy of Burgandy, which was not annexed until 1477, thus the need for its defensive walls.

Once housing a few hundred, now just 90 people live there as it converted into a tourist destination. It is about 40 minutes from Lyon by train (reduced prices on Sundays), and . You have to walk into town up a short but steep hill to get there. We came via the route that leads you to the main gate.

From a plaque in the church (translated and edited): Built around 1440 (time of Joan of Arc), Sante Marie- Madeleine is Gothic in style although the walls and narrow openings are Romanesque. This came about as a result of the church being built as part of the defensive wall of the city, found on three of its sides. It is thus a fortress church, (of which there are few- ed). There is a nave and two aisles. The sanctuary is not quite in the alignment of the nave, which gives the church a leaning character. This is due to the configuration of the fortifications, perhaps giving it a spiritual meaning by seeing the bowed head of Christ on the cross. A series of floor elevations: past the door main, we climb six steps to reach the entrance to the nave. At the end of it, we access to the choir by two steps, then into the sanctuary (ed) by three other steps, which produces a permanent ascent, from entry to sanctuary, and illustrates the spiritual path of Christian. The church gives the impression of great homogeneity. The nave is made up of seven spans. It is supported by large octagonal pillars (five of each side) Vaults and edges offer many decorative elements, particularly at the base of the edges (lamp bases) where we find plant decorations, animals and even small characters, a few grotesque ones, including devil figures.

There are signs of human habitation since circa 2500 BC, leaving behind the pottery they made, I imagine. The present humans specialize in making galettes, a sweet or savory flat bread. It is made with flour and butter, and in at least one recipe I have seen, they put in a bit of vinegar for the savory type. We ordered a tomato sauce, mozzarella and oregano version. It’s a pizza, other than the crust is softer, probably harder to make a crusty bottom given the butter. They are also into tulips, somehow connected with looking for a cancer cure.

A savory galette

Comment here (login optional)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.