See the official Coulgens website HERE. The site is written in French unsurprisingly, but for those who cannot follow it, try reading it through the Google translator which you can find HERE . This is not perfect by any means, but it will certainly give you much of the information.
There are many old villages in France which have been augmented by the addition, on their perimeters, of a lot of new houses within the last 5 years. These new houses are mostly small rendered boxes, with "stick-on" shutters and zero character. Younger people sadly cannot afford the high restoration cost of the older stone village houses and many now prefer to buy, or build, something new (and characterless!), being less draughty and requiring less maintenance! This could account for the population rise, if the latter figure is a recent count. The expatriates have a lot to do with this, I am afraid, as over the last 20 or so years, France and its relaxed and civilised lifestyle became very popular with other Europeans. They kept buying and so pushed the prices up sky high, which in turn meant the French could not afford them anymore!
The town of Coulgens is at the intersection of two ancient Roman roads at a place called the Needle. The road of Agrippa and the way Angoulême-Bourges, currently the D45 and the D40. This location gives the site some geographical importance. There is a lot of history at the above website for anyone interested in reading further.
Coulgens is located partly on a floodplain. They say, with a direct translation that ‘Our river Tardoire is very unruly, dry in summer, she often leaves her bed in the winter.’ I loved the way this was worded and on the website there are a few suggestions about what to do during flooding!
The church, Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Coulgens is a Romanesque building. The character gives it a particular place among the religious buildings of the region. There appear to have been two major reconstructions during the Middle Ages. Again, if you would like to read further, please check out the website above. If all that history is a bit dry for you, dear readers, here are some lovely sun-soaked summer pictures to convey the village's attractive ambience.
|Church Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Coulgens|
|Sadly, the doors were locked, so I could not see the inside; to make matters worse,there was a long and high stone wall built not far from the front of the church, so it was difficult to take photos from any distance.|
|Coulgens Post Office - probably closed for lunch!|
|Coulgens Mairie (Mayor's office) with the war memorial in front. Mayor's offices are, almost without exception, kept in pristine condition and the surroundings immaculate.|
|A view down the road, with the church in the background.|