There are many things to discover close to the Moulin du Boisset. To keep you informed, we are writing below articles about the local news, our discoveries during our walks, tourist news, our favourites...
Enjoy your reading.
Did you know that 300 metres from the Moulin du Boisset, just opposite, on the cliff covered by dense vegetation nowadays, is the site of Uxellodunum, where part of our history took place.
"Uxellodunum! But what is it ? »
Uxellodunum is the name of the stronghold where Gallic troops fought the last battle for the independence of Gaul.
Let's go back in time !
This is 51 B.C. The surrender of Alesia a year before and the capture of its legendary leader Vercingetorix, led to the subjugation of almost all the peoples of Gaul. But Gaul was still not reduced to impotence. The defeated soon recovered and decided to attack the Romans now in small groups and on several points at once.
Julius Caesar had to fight successively the Bituriges (Berry region), the Carnutes (Orleans region), the Bellovaques (Beauvais region), the Trevires (Belgium) and finally the Pictons, who were massacred in the region of Lemonum (Poitiers). More than 12,000 Gauls were killed in this way.
Pursued by the Roman troops, the Gauls, still alive, took refuge on the oppidum of Uxellodunum where they established a entrenched camp. It is a high place with a breathtaking view of the surroundings, steep, difficult to access, strongly protected by fortifications and embankments.
On the spot 2000 to 5000 men, heavily armed, determined and carrying out raids on the whole region to accumulate provisions.
Facing them were Caesar's Roman legions, about 70,000 men, ready to fight, organized, structured and trained for combat, and whose camps encircled the oppidum.
Caesar, seeing that the fortification works completely surrounded the square, decided to deprive the Gauls of water. Access to the river was forbidden by war machines and in front of the spring that gushed out at the foot of the ramparts, he had an 18-metre-high earth platform topped by a 10-storey tower (27 metres high) built to prevent the Gauls from getting water.
These works were a decoy, a diversion, because Caesar had another strategic plan: digging underground galleries, out of sight of the defenders, to dry up the springs. Despite fierce fighting and the burning of the tower, the Romans achieved their goal. The Gauls, deprived of water, thought they had been abandoned by the gods and surrendered.
Caesar was ruthless. He cut off the hands of all those who had borne arms, but left them alive. This cruelty was an example to prevent a new insurrection. The fateful date of March 1, 50 B.C. being the end of his proconsulate, he wanted to return to Rome victorious. A "bunch of brigands" had almost jeopardized the rest of his political career. This fight in 51 B.C. lasted about two months, from mid-July to mid-September.
Gaul was now subdued and became a Roman province.
This summer, the site and the galleries are open every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10.00 a.m. and the (free) visits made by the members of the association "Les amis d'Uxellodunum", true gangs of die-hard enthusiasts, are remarkable and plunge you into the heart of the battle.
More information and bookings on: www.uxellodunum.com
Just 20 minutes drive from Moulin du Boisset is Saint-Sozy, a pretty village close to the Dordogne. It is the starting point for our new hike. During a loop of a little more than 8 km, you will discover a multitude of varied landscapes representative of the Dordogne Valley.
Right from the start, you will find yourself in the corn fields and walnut plantations, cultivated on the fertile land along the banks of the Dordogne. The river flows not far away, peaceful, but you can still hear the cries of joy of children bathing in its bed, a group of young people camp on the beach of a small island, a fisherman throws his rod, a canoe passes, a bullhead swan, there is life.
The path, which at first follows the banks of the river, then begins to climb and narrow. We go along the limestone cliff that borders the course of the river. In places, the trees are all covered with a thick layer of moss and lichens, their branches dangling like arms dressed in green rags, considerably darkening the area and stifling the cries of birds. It's like being in an enchanted forest, ready to see an elf or an elfin.
Then the path continues, becoming steep in some places, to bring us to the entrance of many cavities. There is no doubt that these cavities, testimony to the karstic landscape of the Dordogne Valley, are the result of past geological and hydrological upheavals. Our journey even takes us to explore the bowels of the earth by entering, for a few meters, inside a narrow gut. The coolness reigning there, the archway too low, and the numerous mosquitoes having found refuge there, make us turn back.
We then continue on, seeing the Dordogne River through the trees, which continues its course, and then we arrive at a charming village. It is the stronghold of a few farmers chatting next to a stationary tractor. As a vestige of the past, an ox shoeing loom sits in the central square. It is very hot and a beneficial fountain allows us to refresh ourselves.
We begin the return journey back to our starting point, now crossing fields of hay, grain and a vineyard. It still climbs, but when we reach the top of the cliff where a telephone aerial judiciously placed to water the countryside is installed, the reward is there, before our very eyes, one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Dordogne and a breathtaking view of the whole region.
We can see far, very far away by this beautiful clear sky.
The orientation table allows us to get our bearings, and we can imagine the silhouette of the Mill on the horizon...before going back down towards Saint-Sozy where the tables of the cafés/restaurants are waiting for us to end this day.
Of course, the route of this hike is at your disposal during your stay at the Moulin.
Did you know that just 15 minutes by car from the Moulin du Boisset is the village of Collonges-la-Rouge, whose particularity is that it is entirely built with red stones from quarries that have disappeared nowadays.
These red stones, whose colour comes from the iron oxide they contain, are also present at the Mill. The exterior paving is made of them. You can also see them, in places, on the facade and in greater quantities on the walls of the Royal Chamber. But let us return to Collonges-la-Rouge.
Historically present since the Middle Ages, Collonges reached its apogee at the beginning of the 16th century when it became the place of residence of judicial officers, administrative officers and other senior officials of the Vicomté de Turenne, one of the largest fiefdoms in France, enjoying complete fiscal autonomy. Thanks to this opulence Collonges developed and numerous castles and manor houses appeared, which adorned the village and contributed to its architectural wealth.
Then Collonges prospers by the culture of the vine, but in the 19th century, phylloxera destroys the crops and the town falls into lethargy. The houses begin to fall into ruin. In the 20th century, the rural exodus leads to the loss of a large part of the population.
In order to halt this decline, the municipality of Collonges began conservation efforts in 1905, resulting in the classification of several monuments. From 1970, the rebirth of Collonges, is initiated by Charles Ceyrac, its mayor. The elected representative of Corrèze does not solve himself to this economic decline which threatens to disappear a heritage as exceptional as it is unknown. He created with other elected officials, the association of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France" which became a label. He launches a programme of restoration of the village and gives it back its splendour.
Thus Collonges-la-rouge became the first village to be awarded the "Most Beautiful Village in France" label and nowadays it is a harmonious ensemble, in red sandstone, of small streets, towers, squares, castles, chapels and beautiful houses with slate or slate roofs.
To be discovered at sunset, seated at the table of one of the many restaurants. A must.
He just got out. THE guide published by the Dordogne Valley Tourist Office :
- It's our reference guide.
- The one we are pleased to offer you on your arrival at the Moulin du Boisset.
- The one which gathers all the sites to visit in our beautiful region and more precisely in the immediate vicinity of the Mill, in the Dordogne Valley and South Corrèze.
- It is the support with which we guide you, we draw you itineraries, according to your desires, to visit, discover, enrich you and spend pleasant days.
- It is the medium where you will find all the good addresses so that your stay, in addition to having a place such as the Moulin du Boisset, is as unforgettable as possible.
- It is in this guide that you will find all the dates of the festivities and animations.
So period of confinement obliges, to relax you, to change your ideas, to escape or to prepare your stay with us, we propose to you to download this guide for free by clicking here.
"Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do the same day." We all know this old adage, and we are all aware that we don't always have time to apply it. So we accumulate the little things to do, and we try as best we can to manage the priorities.
The exceptional situation we are currently experiencing, with the containment of ⅓ of the world's population, to fight and contain the COVID 19 pandemic, allows us to free up some time.
So at the Moulin du Boisset, in addition to the usual maintenance tasks, we roll up our sleeves and do some hard work to improve and beautify our property :
- Enhancing the gîte with the installation of a floating parquet floor inside and a nice Artois sandstone tile floor on the outside stairs.
- Renovation of an old bench, which was in great need of repair with its broken blade, and where many of our guests enjoy sitting to relax or read.
- Repairing the shutters of our daughter's bedroom, to measure.
- Reuse of one of the shutters to make a headboard in the Gauguin Room.
- Painting work
- Cleaning the forebay
- Size of the pines...
Counting the work already undertaken in February such as the laying of an oak floor in the Gauguin Room and the Royal Room, it is in a brand new livery that you will discover or rediscover our dear mill.
In the meantime, we wish you all to take good care of you and your loved ones...
At the Moulin du Boisset, we like to inform you, make you discover things, or simply stay in touch with you. That's the interest of this blog. But that wasn't enough. That's why, as soon as we opened our guesthouse, we created a FaceBook page and an Instagram account. On these different media, you can follow the regular news of the Mill and its surroundings through our publications, our photos, our discoveries, our favorites...
Recently, we have even placed on our information counter, in the middle of the many tourist information documents of our region, this small counter of "likes" in real time, pure home-made, which allows you to participate in the development of our "community".
It also displays a calendar of local events, such as markets, festivals, demonstrations... Ideal for planning your day's visits.
And to encourage you, a gift is to be won, in a totally random way, if you like our page.
Who will be the next winner?
Valerie and I wish you all the very best for this new year that's beginning.
May health and happiness be at the rendezvous of your existence.
2020 is for us our fifth season at the Moulin du Boisset. We are on (well deserved) holidays at the moment but are already looking forward to welcoming you and seeing our usual guests again.
These few days of closure allow us to make a few minor transformations and improvements to our rooms. On the program, the Royal Room and the Gauguin Room. But we won't say more...
It is also an opportunity for us to explore our beautiful region, in search of "nuggets" for you to discover during your stay.
See you soon.
Every year, at the beginning of November, the Book Fair of Brive la Gaillarde It is the second national event, after the Paris Book Fair, dedicated to literature. It is one of the many events that attest to the dynamism of Brive. A large number of authors take part in this cultural event, and come to meet their audiences. A very large audience, because it's the perfect opportunity to come and discover what's new, to meet your favourite author, to shake hands with a politician who comes to present his new programme, or analysis, laid down on paper, and why not take a selfie with a star of the small screen (with moderation and politeness). You can buy the novel you've been waiting for, a new essay, a book of tips and trendy recipes, and dedications of all kinds can be found on the front or back covers.
The Moulin du Boisset participates in the event in its own way. Indeed, nothing could be simpler than taking the regional train from the Saint-Denis-Près-Martel station, located just 5 minutes walk away, to get to the heart of Brive town centre where the show is taking place in 25 minutes. So after a good day strolling through the alleys of the lounge, nothing could be more pleasant than to come and relax, have dinner and a good night in our guest house.
Every last weekend in September, and to close the summer tourist season, rich in cultural events, the sky of Rocamadour is painted with a multitude of colours.
Indeed, every year a grandiose spectacle takes place which enchants the sky of Rocamadour and attracts a very large crowd of visitors who sometimes come from very far away: the "Montgolfiades de Rocamadour”.
At the foot of this magnificent medieval city, built on three levels on the cliffside and a high place of pilgrimage, take off about thirty hot-air balloons. Their number varies according to the years, their shapes and colours too, but the spectacle always remains the same. Two daily take-offs, one at 8 a.m., the other at 5 p.m., because balloons require special conditions to take off. The coolness of the morning and the setting sun in the evening, combined with a light wind, constitute these ideal conditions.
All the outskirts of the city are taken by storm. A crowd of spectators occupies every square meter of sidewalks, terraces, rocks, cliffs to have the best place to admire the show and take the best shot immortalizing these balloons that grow then climb, quietly, from the bottom of the city to the sky and fly, at the mercy of the wind, to an unknown destination ...
We had the chance during the hot air balloons of 2016, to see one fly over our guest house and its silhouette above the Mill allowed us to take a magnificent souvenir photo.
At the Moulin du Boisset, we are greedy!
That's why breakfasts are rich in pastries, cakes and homemade specialities that we always take pleasure in making for our guests.
That's also why every year in May we go, when we can, to Beaulieu sur Dordogne. It is a charming medieval town with its abbey church and chapel of the penitents. It is the starting point for beautiful walks along the Dordogne river and for canoeing or gabare trips. But above all Beaulieu is situated at the epicentre of an important strawberry production area and the farmers/producers organise the "Fête de la Fraise" every year. It is an extremely popular and well attended event, with numerous stands where you can buy boxes and trays of strawberries, a market with local products and crafts, numerous café and restaurant terraces, pastries that offer strawberry cakes and tarts, a children's area, various animations...The highlight of the show is the gigantic tart, one of the largest in the world, made by pastry chefs and several times listed in the Guinness Book of Records. This year it was more than 30 meters long. At the end of the festivities, it is distributed to the public in attendance for a few euros. We couldn't resist it and it was with a full stomach and our arms full of a nice box of strawberries that we went home.
A new homemade "Strawberry-Cinnamon" jam will be served for breakfast...
Did you know that our region has often attracted a good number of directors to shoot part or all of a film on natural settings?
I can tell you that Cahors has notably been used as a location for films such as "Un amour de sorcière" by René Manzor with Jean Reno and Vanessa Paradis, or "Jeanne d'Arc" by Luc Besson with Milla Jovovich. The actress Juliette Binoche once shot in the Lot. It was for the film "Alice et Martin" by André Téchiné (1998), with Mathieu Amalric and Roshdy Zem.
Closer to the Moulin du Boisset and precisely in our little town of Saint-Denis-Lès-Martel, scenes from a superb film were shot. Indeed in 2003, Jean Becker filmed, around the railway station, passages of his "Effroyables jardins" with a dream casting composed of Jacques Villeret, André Dussolier, Thierry Lhermitte, Benoit Magimel, Isabelle Candelier, Suzanne Flon...
Synopsis: Lucien, a fourteen-year-old teenager, doesn't understand why his father, a serious and respected teacher, makes a fool of himself in an amateur clown act. One day, André, his father's best friend, reveals to him the origin of this vocation...
The scene above was taken on the road bridge linking Saint-Denis-Lès-Martel to Vayrac and spanning the railway line. For the occasion the asphalt was entirely covered with beaten earth to match the roadway during the 2nd World War. As for the German convoy, it takes the direction of Aurillac. Later in the film, one of the houses on the left will also be used for a scene. As a souvenir of this shooting, a cardboard set, the signal box, is on display at the Martel tourist train station. Not to mention a few locals who participated as extras and told me some very nice anecdotes.
You can watch the trailer here : https://youtu.be/ovx-3dZ7hV0
Another film, another village, not far from the Moulin du Boisset, Loubressac. It was the location of a much lighter film in 1972. "Quelques Messieurs trop tranquilles" by Georges Lautner, which brought together some of the sacred monsters of French cinema such as Michel Galabru, Jean Lefebvre, André Pousse, Miou-Miou...
Synopsis : The inhabitants of Loubressac are not happy about the installation of a gang of hippies in their homes. A murder is committed, the newcomers are blamed. A few citizens decide to conduct an investigation...
Many scenes, including the final shoot-out, were shot in the village of Loubressac, which hasn't really changed since then. The film also shows the castle of Belcastel overlooking the Dordogne, and images of Autoire. Note that since Loubressac and Autoire have been labelled among the "Most Beautiful Villages in France".
The trailer is here : https://youtu.be/JeYh_fCE11M
Did you know that 10 minutes from the Moulin du Boisset, you can board a time machine?
Indeed, at the old Martel station, you can take the Tourist Train of the Haut Quercy and make a fantastic journey back to the beginning of the 20th century, to the heroic era of steam rail transport.
The journey takes part of the old railway line from Bordeaux to Aurillac, put into service in 1889 and overlooking the Dordogne River by 80 metres. As soon as it opened, this line competed with the traffic of the gabares (flat-bottomed boats) on the Dordogne river, causing some stormy and muscular conflicts between the railway company and the bargemen. It was broken up in 1917 for military needs during the First World War, and was rebuilt in 1919 with American railways still in place today. During the interwar period, the train was used to ship truffles from the Martel market, one of the most important in France, hence the name of the locomotive "Truffadou".
Aboard the train, you will pass through breathtaking scenery with tunnels, a viaduct, cliffs and magnificent views of the Dordogne. Take advantage of the breaks to take some great photos. Get closer to the locomotive to chat with the mechanics. In the tunnels, close your eyes and breathe in, you can feel the warmth of the steam and the smell of coal enveloping you. Listen to the sounds of the machine, the movement of its rods creating like a breath, the whistles announcing the manoeuvres. Are you there? That's it, the magic has worked and you've gone back a century in time...
More info : http://trainduhautquercy.info
The karstic landscapes that characterize our region have generated places of unimaginable splendor. There are what is visible, i.e. the meanders of the rivers, the apparent traces of the passage of water on the cliffs and the resurgence, but the most impressive is what is not visible: underground. Everywhere this one is tortured by this erosion which over the millennia has forged galleries, caves and chasms. It is an immense Gruyère explored, in a tiny part, by courageous speleologists, which offers you, in the places where it is exploited, a grandiose and unique spectacle.
Not far from the Moulin du Boisset you will find remarkable sites such as the Grottes de Lacave, the Grottes Carbonières, the Grotte des Merveilles, the Gouffre de la Fage and of course the most famous of all, the Gouffre de Padirac.
It reopens today, March 30, 2019 for a new season. It is also an anniversary year as the Gouffre celebrates the 130th anniversary of its discovery by Edouard-Alfred Martel, the founding father of modern geology.
We have visited this geological phenomenon several times. It is a vertical hole 75 metres deep and nearly 35 metres in diameter, with an underground river at the bottom, 103 metres below the surface. It is on this river that we board a boat to discover the 2 kilometres of galleries, open to the public, and rooms with multiple concretions : stalactites, stalagmites, draperies... Note that in all, speleologists have, to date, explored 42 kilometres of galleries on the site.
At each of our visits, the magic was omnipresent and the feeling of being in another universe, borrowed from the sounds of the water, the freshness (13°c) and the lighting judiciously positioned to bring out the beauty of the place, invaded our minds. The boatmen who accompany you along the way, make you discover all the richness of this unusual and marvellous place. In short, an experience to be lived at least once in your life (avoiding if possible the busy summer days with about 8000 people a day).
Today, on this unusually hot and sunny day in February, we decided to move a little further away from the Mill. The department of Lot is crossed by 2 rivers, in the north the Dordogne which we know well since it flows 5 minutes from our house and to the south the Lot which we know much less, watering the prefecture of the department, Cahors. Direction thus the south towards Bouziès, is a little over an hour away by car, which will be the starting point of our walk. The road is sinuous but passes through the superb landscapes of the Causse which characterize the karstic relief specific to our region, exposed limestone rocks, oak groves and low stone walls delimiting the plots.
When we arrive in Bouziès, after having photographed the superb and unavoidable "English Castle", we take the signposted path along the towpath to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, a village that has been labelled one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France" and has also obtained the label "Favourite Village of the French" from the eponymous tv show by Stéphane Bern. From the start, the trail borders the river and runs along the cliff. The cliff was dug from 1845 over 300m to allow the passage of horses to allow the gabares or flat-bottomed boats to go up the currents laden with local goods. The products loaded were rather wines of Cahors, dried plums but also the productions of wood turners and more precisely taps of wine barrels. Then the path crosses fields, then turns into a sloping path towards Saint-Cirq-Lapopie erected on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Lot. At this time the village is in hibernation. Few tourists are present and one can admire this magnificent place with its small streets, the ruins of the old castle, its small paved squares, its restaurants and shops selling regional products, without forgetting its breathtaking view of the Lot.
Then return to Bouziès, this time taking the road which is also little frequented at this time of the year. This road overlooks the towpath and the river flowing below. Another extraordinary panoramic view not to be missed to end this beautiful hike.
Passing through Saint-Céré, a pretty little town located 25 minutes from the Moulin du Boisset, and whose town centre, like many towns in the Lot, is rich in heritage, we decided to take a walk in a nearby forest. I don't remember how or where, I had learned that it had the peculiarity of being crossed by a path strewn with works by local artists. A real open-air art gallery.
Direction Latouille-Lantillac, 5 minutes from Saint-Céré, the starting point of this unusual "exhibition".
From the car park, we take the signposted path called "Sentier Art Nature" and cross the houses in the direction of the woods. No sooner have we arrived under the cover of the chestnut trees, very present in this part of the Lot near the department of Corrèze and Cantal, than the visit begins.
Discreetly a face, sculpted on an old trunk, looks at me with its big eyes as if it wanted to warn me of some dangers. Then the stone silhouette of a woman, playing at hiding behind a tree and certainly the guardian of the tranquillity of these places, tells me with a finger resting on her mouth not to make any noise. Then came the suspensions. Here a wooden monkey hanging from a branch, there a head hanging from a corkscrew-shaped body. Then, along the path, groups of characters on makeshift bicycles or other heterogeneous harnesses, a scrap metal tyrannosaurus ready to pounce on you, characters posted on the right, on the left.
We play the game of looking for the hidden sculptures because the spirits of the forest have told them not to reveal themselves so easily. Our imagination and curiosity are put to the test and the atmosphere is special in this forest where the slightest noise, the cracking of a branch, the cry of a bird, sends us back to our childhood fears. We don't dare to imagine the atmosphere of a nocturnal visit to this place.
There is no doubt that this walk was another beautiful discovery, showing yet another facet of the cultural richness of the Lot...
It's been 3 degrees under 0 for the last few days. The cold is dry and the sun is shining. Well covered with our jackets, hats and scarves, we feel like going for our favourite hike. Close to the Moulin du Boisset, the village of Autoire, labelled one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France", lies in the middle of a natural circus with the most beautiful and highest waterfall in the region at its end. As usual, we decide to leave Autoire and go in its direction by taking the small path through the woods. Without their leaves, the oaks give us a clear view of the sunny cliffs.
Unlike at the end of the summer when a simple drip runs off, this time the waterfall pours out streams of water. The frost has created ice stalactites in places, reminding us of the cold winter. The place is in the shade and to warm us up we decide to continue our hike in the direction of the "English Castle", halfway up the cliff and totally sunny. After a few minutes of ascent, we arrive in front of the entrance to the ruins of this observation post dating from the 100 years war between the English and the French. There is no doubt that from here, brave warriors had an unobstructed view of the region and the enemy troops. The spectacle is grandiose: on our right the castle, on the left the waterfall, and opposite, below, the village of Autoire.
Once again, we will leave this place totally amazed by the landscapes that it offers, with the particularity today, a string of ice stalactites hanging from the cliffs ...
First of all, Valérie and I wish everyone a wonderful year 2019, full of emotions, joys, discoveries, love(s) and an iron constitution.
2019 is for the Moulin du Boisset a new season that begins. Our 4th since our opening in 2016. We are looking forward to welcoming our next guests and hope that this new season will be as rich in beautiful encounters, both with our French friends but also with our foreign friends curious to discover our guest house and our beautiful region. We will always have as much pleasure to guide you for your visits.
2019, it is also a new version of our website, now online, which will allow you to browse our guest house and our services, but also to understand all the treasures of our beautiful region through its remarkable sites, its villages to visit and the many activities that you can practice.
2019, it is also the reopening of our masterful fireplace with the integration of a new wood stove in January: beautiful flames in perspective.
Finally 2019 will be many new arrangements in the rooms, but shush for the moment it's secret ...
Cinnamon and spice fragrances emanating from the mulled wine pots flood the beautifully decorated street leading to the square where the Christmas market stands. Like Collonges-la-Rouge, and close to it, the small village of Meyssac is built of red stone, and the Christmas lights will light up the walls in a very special way. The shop windows catch the children's eyes as they see the silhouette of Santa Claus, the characters and animals in the cribs and the beautiful decorations. There is a bustle in the streets where everyone is busy around the wooden horses on the merry-go-round, the chalets full of festive items and the stalls selling sweets or hot chestnuts. Then comes the moment when the organizers cut huge logs made by the village's pastry cooks and distribute them free of charge to passers-by.
On its side Sarlat-la-Canèda, the pearl of the Périgord Noir, less than an hour from the Moulin du Boisset, receives, as every year, a foreign delegation for the celebration of the Christmas festivities. This year, it is Spain which is in the spotlight and for 15 days will enliven the Christmas market and the shopping streets. Children (and the not-so-young) will be able to slide on the ice rink placed at their disposal among the trees.
No doubt that Santa Claus will make his appearance there. That's the magic of Christmas!