Museum, church, music
You wouldn’t expect it in the French countryside, but there is plenty of culture around La Villonnière. Several towns have museums. There are churches and castles (for which there is a separate page). And you can also enjoy music performances or festivals.
The church of Le Menoux
The painter Carrasco arrived in the Berry region in 1967. He finds the inside of the church in Le Menoux a virgin canvas that needs to be painted. After a year, he received permission from “Les Arts Sacrés” and the commission of “Les Beaux Arts” to start painting. It has become a colourful whole in which each part has a meaning.
Musée de Argentomagus (Saint-Marcel)
The Gallo-Roman city of Argentomagus is one of the most important archaeological sites in France. You are invited to follow in the footsteps of our ancestors and wander through genuine prehistoric and Gallo-Roman habitats. For more information, follow the link in French
On the occasion of its 30th anniversary, the Argentomagus Archaeological Museum in Argenton-sur-Creuse recently acquired a 3D virtual and augmented reality application.
This is a unique app that allows you to enjoy a special experience in the ancient Gallo-Roman city: you can walk around in a virtually reconstructed environment and discover the daily life of the Bituriges in the second century AD.
The app (in French, English, German) is available on tablets (for hire) or can be downloaded onto your smartphone at the museum desk.
At several castles in the Loire Valley, it is also possible to experience history in 3D.
Le Musée de la Chemiserie (Argenton-sur-Creuse)
In Argenton is the Museum of the Shirt and of Male Elegance. It is the only museum in Europe that focuses on the shirt, its history and manufacturing process. It houses collections of shirts, lingerie, suits, accessories and the machines that made them from the XVIII to the present day.
Escape game in the museum. This year it is about the Rolling Stones and their influence on fashion. You can find more information here.
By the way, there are also several castles in the Loire Valley where you can play an escape game.
Musée de la minéralogie (Chaillac)
A small museum about gemstones and minerals. Open from 19 June 2023.
Find the museum’s website here.
Les Trois Musées (Prissac)
In Prissac there is a small museum with three sections. One section is about books and newspaper printing, one about old trades and the last section features old agricultural tools and tractors.
L'Espace Monet Rollinat (Fresselines)
This museum located in the Vallée des Peintres is dedicated to the famous painters Monet and Rollinat, but also has several changing exhibitions by other artists (painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, ceramics, etc).
Open from 1st April – 30th November
Léon Detroy house (Gargilesse-Dampierre)
This little-known artist is an important figure in the Valley’s pictorial movement.
His post-impressionist works are presented in a personal and intimate setting.
Open: from mid-May to the end of August, days and times vary according to the season.
Hotel Lépinat (Crozant)
Discover the history of the Creuse Valley from 1850 to 1950 through the paintings of men and women who were at the cradle of the Crozant School.
Residents, artists, tourists and journalists all participated in the creation and development of a strong artist colony and in making the Crozant School’s landscapes known in France and around the world.
Every year there are also temporary exhibitions such as in 2022 by Wynford Dewhorst. (See painting opposite)
– Open1 April – 30 November
In summer there are several classical music festivals near La Villonnière.
Eva Ganizate festival – 8th to 15th August – several concerts and an opera performed in the church with international singers (Saint-Benoit-du-Sault and surroundings)
Baroque festival Le temps suspendu (Saint-Benoit-du-Sault and surroundings) –25th July to 2nd August
Harp festival in Gargilesse: Festival d’été de Gargilesse – 7th to 21st August
The House of George Sand
George Sand, pseudonym of Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin (Paris, 1 July 1804 – Château Nohant, 8 June 1876), by marriage also Baroness Dudevant, was a French writer and feminist avant la lettre. The romantic and rural surroundings, where the writer lived and received her illustrious guests, served as the backdrop for her novels. The house of the writer can be visited in Nohant-Vic: 2, Place Sainte-Anne 36400 NOHANT-VIC
Tel. : 02 54 31 06 04
Here you can find the website.
About 20 km north-west of Limoges (~80km from La Villonnière) lie the remains of the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, a stark reminder of the reality of war. This village was left exactly as the marauding SS soldiers left it on 10th June 1944 when they murdered the entire population of 642 men, women and children, supposedly in retaliation for resistance activities. One of the many poignant relics is the rusting hull of a 1940 Peugeot, abandoned by the doctor when he was dragged away and shot with all the other men of the village. The women and children were killed in the church.