Monday, 30 August 2010

Round and About Vitrac Saint Vincent

I thought that. today, I would take you on a quick tour of Vitrac Saint Vincent, one of our local villages. Quick, because I have visitors arriving to stay for the next 10 days, so my time at the computer will be at a minimum. Also, of course, after a couple of dry days, the new gates are waiting to be painted!

Vitrac was one of the main centres for the French Resistance during the Second World War. As it was in Unoccupied France, very close to the boundary with Occupied (by the Germans) France, it allowed the partisans to attack German installations in the occupied area and quickly return home. The very brave activities of the partisans are commemorated in a small museum in Chasseneuil, the main road through which is named after a well known Resistance leader, Claude Bonnier.
One of the narrow lanes.
The old Epicerie (grocery) is for sale (a vendre) as is the the little local bar just up the road.  Both would be important parts of the local community. The epicerie has sadly been driven out of business by competition from bigger businesses in local towns but the bar is a going concern.Any buyers out there?
A few pictures of the church.






Last but not least, the local Mairie, which is always kept in pristine condition, with the war memorial at the front.

46 comments:

  1. Very nice photos. The village looks like a charming place. It is really too bad that the epicerie has been driven out of business. Hopefully a new owner will buy it and be able to turn things around :-)

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  2. Thanks for the tour and a bit of historical background Diane - I love those rock buildings ... what is a 'Mairie'?

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  3. I just love the narrow street! Beautiful old stone houses and church. Great post.

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  4. Joyful, I don't think it is likely but it would be nice to think so. It would be wonderful if we could just have a local baker if nothing else. Diane

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  5. Thanks for sharing 'down your way' it looks an attractive part of France to be living in. Have a good time with your guests.

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  6. Graham sorry forgot not everyone knows! Mairie (mayor's office or "town hall"). The mayor is a VIP in France. Any changes you should make to your house on the outside, or fencing etc needs to be cleard by him. Diane

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  7. Thanks JM, it is a very pretty village and has many visitors during the summer months. Diane

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  8. Lindy, I have sent them off to La Rochefoucauld Chateau for the afternoon while I try to get some painting done!! It is good to see them again though. It is some years since we last saw them in Ireland. Just wish Nigel was here as well:-( Diane

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  9. I can almost imagine what it was like back in those days. Love the stained glass windows Diane.

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  10. What a lovely little village. It's a shame it survived a war but is becoming a victim of progress. I hope you enjoy you time with visiting friends. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  11. I'd buy the bar, but at first thought the "4 Sale" sign was on the church, which is a marvelous structure. Mike wonders if it needs a preacher?
    Thanks for the tour.

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  12. Joan I don't think the toen itself has changed much over the years, it just progress which is the problem! Diane

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  13. Mary you are so right, having survived the war it is sad the progress is taking its toll. Have a good day. Diane

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  14. Gaelyn it would be wonderful to have you running the bar - what a way to retire! I don't think there is a permanent preacher they share with other villages so....... Diane

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  15. I am always amazed at how narrow the old streets are. And, of course, I love your tours!

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  16. A very beautiful village!

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  17. Marjie I have actually driven down that narrow road with my mondeo but there was obout 2" to spare on either side of the wing mirrors! Diane

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  18. Jan it is a lovely village, just wish there was a shop there still! Diane

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  19. Thank you for the lovely village tour! The stained glass in the church is gorgeous. I hope you have a great time with your visitors!

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  20. Thanks Faith, finding it hard to keep up with the computer otherwise it is nice to have company. Diane

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  21. Lovely village!
    Your area is very attractive!
    Thanks for the tour, Diane!
    Enjoy your friends and see you soon again, then!

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  22. You live in a beautiful part of the world!

    C x

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  23. Noushka, It really is a lovely area, there is so much to see and do here. Diane

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  24. Lovely photos!! It's like looking through a magazine!

    I saw your link to your recipes on the top. Are you able to add that as a page on this blog? It might be viewed more that way. Just a thought! I'll take a look at them more later, thanks!

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  25. Hi Debbi, Thanks for the comment. I don't think I can add my recipe site as a page as it is a totally different website.

    Under the French word of the day there is a link to my websites though. I know it is not that obvious but....... Diane

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  26. What an absolutely beautiful place! This may be a really weird question but, does the town smell "old"...in the best possible way? I mean, when I travel the streets of downtown Boston I feel like I can smell the history of the city. I think a lot of old cities and towns breathe the stories of the past.

    Have a wonderful time hosting friends. =)

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  27. Ree it is a beautiful, but as for smell... I have discussed this with my friends here and they agree with me it smells like the country and fresh air. BUT they agree with you that downtown Boston going towards People's Park you can feel the history. Diane

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  28. Have fun with your house guests. The church is lovely!

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  29. I never was keen on History at school but in the last 25 years my interests have changed and one yes is the second world war so interesting post to me and great shots looking at these pictures reminds me of that BBC comedy Aloa Aloa sorry just my British comming out in me. LoL!

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  30. Philip I was also not a history fan at school, but since being in France my interests have also changed. That was a great BBC comedy, in fact it has just had another run:-) Diane

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  31. Beautiful. For some reason I never thought that the small, historic towns in the lovely French landscape would have troubles with the mega businesses. Hopefully, someone will want to take over these establishments and maintain the charm.
    Hope you have a nice visit with your guests.

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  32. Beautiful conversation about your tour to village and its surroundings.
    I love village life and bank of rivers. I myself usually go to village and enjoy being with my old friends,childhood friends and my family.

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  33. Thanks Mya. Unfortunately the big supermarkets are not doing the smaller shops any good at all. Sadly Vitrac has not even a baker anymore, while just down the road Chasseneuil has four. It just means the locals can't walk to get bread anymore they have to drive! Diane

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  34. traveldestination, thanks for the visit. There is actually a lovely little river running through Vitrac but I did not get a good photo of it. Diane

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  35. I've just 'discover' your Trip to Rhodesia site! This is so amazing!!! What an adventure, now I envy you! :-) Awesome!

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  36. I can't imagine anything more fun than running a bar in a small French town... oh how I wish I could. The village looks wonderful.. I hope you have a great time with your guests!!!

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  37. JM it was quite something in my life. I often say I wish I had been a little older to appreciate it more, but I have relived it so many times that maybe age made no difference. I have been trying to write my memoirs as there have been a number of exciting 'things' in my life but I am not gettiing very far. Perhaps when my husband and I both retire full time to France........ Diane

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  38. longpasatremembered, if I had plenty of money and did not have to sell the house we are in now, it may be fun to run the pub. At least it may improve my French:-) Diane

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  39. Many thanks for bringing back some of the best memories of my childhood. Your pictures are wonderful and so are your comments.
    I spent a summer in the early 50's in Vitrac and probaly ate my first candy from that epicerie. Toys were hanging from the ceiling and there were jars full of candy every where.
    For a couple of years I lived in "Le logis de Saint Vincent" a few km from Vitrac, I would walk to school to Chasseneuil 3km away thru woods and dirt roads, I was 5 years old then. My Father was the "Boulanger"/ Baker then in Chasseneuil. It is a long story why I was not with my parents. I have often wondered if the old logis Of Saint Vincent is still there as it was in bad shape when I lived there in about 1953. Later my Parents bought another Boulangerie/Patisserie at La Rochefoucauld where I spent my teen years. I left France before I turned 16 years old and after a few stops I am now in Texas USA where it is best suited for my lifestyle, thanks again for your wonderful pictures and comments. John.

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  40. John great to hear from you and I am pleased I brought back good memories for you. Take a look at
    http://www.terroirbio.fr/ it may mean something to you! I have to go into Chasseneuil later and I will see what I can find but I have never been down that tiny track which I think it must be. I also found the name of a Frank Olivier that lives there who is classed as a Agriculteur, Compostage, operational, Gestion privee.

    I wish the boulangerie was open in Vitrac I am sure it would be very well supported. There are now 4 boulangeries in Chasseneuil.

    If I had a contact for you I could let you know what I find. Diane

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  41. Hi Diane,
    what a breath of fresh air, your tour of Vitrac.
    Lovely photos and nice comments.
    My partner and I are buying Le Bourg (the house by the river) and we should be moving in around December.
    We are looking forward to meeting you, and to a new life in Vitrac.
    Kind regards
    Gilberto and Ivan

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  42. Hi Pellaprata, as you can see from my recent posts I am back in the UK for winter. I will return at the end of March 2011 and look forward to meeting you when I go down to Vitrac. Meanwhile I will still be posting mainly on the Charente so keep an eye on the round and about posts. We hope to make the final move permanently towards the end of next year. Diane

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  43. I live in this village, my house is on the right in the second photo, beautiful place, very peaceful, unfortunately since the bar closed it has began to lose some of its community spirit, which is a shame as it was one of its charms.

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  44. I am also sorry that the bar has closed, we are not that far away, and go to V St V often. In fact we cycled through there yesterday! Diane

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