Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Round and About Cognac-la-Foret

Cognac-la-Forêt is a small town, located in the department of Haute-Vienne, part of the  Périgord Limousin National Park Region. The area is rich in animal and plant life, some species of which are rare and protected.

The town stretches around what was originally a 15th century castle, as can be seen by the two towers, and apparently there is still the remains of the drawbridge! In the middle of its central courtyard, there is a 16th century fountain and in 1820, the moat was filled in. Only three different families seem to have lived in this building since it was built.  As you can see from the scaffolding, it is again undergoing restoration at the present time.

The photos had to be taken through this gateway, so I could not get very close.

This is the second tower, taken over the rooftops of other buildings.



In the church square, this lovely stone pump provided the inhabitants of the village with a good water supply. Can you imagine going every day with your bucket to get water? I am sure few of us can do that, and yet there are still so many places in the world where  people do not have access to mains water.

The 12th and 13th century church, formerly the castle chapel, shows the arms of former lords over its doorways. 


In the cemetery, there is a 13th century monument which sadly I did not get to see, maybe next time... the monument is called The Lantern of the Dead; I gather it is very beautiful and it has been a listed monument since 1946. Formerly, I understand a lantern was lit in these monuments during the night to mark the position of the cemetery -for nocturnal visitors, I presume!!.

The town centre with essential bar!

The oldest known name of the main town is: Compenach, which progressively became Counhac, then Coignac, and finally COGNAC. To avoid misdirection of trains bound for Cognac in the Charente, (where the famous Cognac spirit comes from) the administration again changed the name in 1919, to COGNAC LE FROID (COGNAC THE COLD). Residents found this name very unflattering and waged a long battle with the authorities until the State Council finally authorised the current name, by decree on 22 November 1979.

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognac-la-For%C3%AAt 

80 comments:

  1. Oh Diane this post was like a tonic tonight. I have been thinking of France throughout the day. I like the looks of the church which seems very unusual in its structure. And the story of the Lantern of the Dead! By the way, sorry you had to read an early edit on my last post, I published the wrong edit = whoops, silly me!

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  2. Do you know - thats not all that far from me!! I might go and have a look around now I know a bit about it!!xx

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  3. Another beautiful history lesson! The pictures are great!

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  4. I'm always impressed with the architecture.

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  5. It looks lovely, quaint and green! I could imagine some wildlife roaming happily around here.
    Ps. I truly love seeing the remains of historical things, such as the stone water pump in this post. The other day I told my Mom about the baguette box which featured in one of your recent-ish posts.

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  6. Dolly I spend all day dreaming of France, thankfully not much longer now and I am counting the days until 26 March. It is an interesting little village and yes I need to find out a bit more about the lantern of the dead. I only pass here when I go to the airport, so I need to plan to leave early so I can spend some time investigating :) Diane

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  7. Hi Roz, yes from what you have told me it must be quite close by. It will be interesting to see what else you find there that I missed in my rushed visit en route to Limoges airport. Diane

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  8. Peggy thanks for the kind comments, I am glad you enjoyed the post. Diane

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  9. Brittany I also loved that baguette box, but yes the water pump is also interesting. There are quite a lot of deer and sanglier around these places. I am surprised there are so many as the hunting season takes its toll! Of course there must be many smaller animals around that are not so obvious. Take care. Diane

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  10. Gaelyn the French architecture is always interesting and generally quite different to the English. Diane

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  11. Love these old buildings. Europe has such history in them :-)

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  12. Joyful you are right there is sooooo much history in Europe. The problem is tracking it all down and most of the French villages are all in French!!! My French is not very good and the translators are not very accurate! I try though :)))) Diane

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  13. As Dolly says - that was a real tonic. Just seeing a few roses perked me up no end! xxxx

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  14. Diane I am glad I can supply a tonic from time to time LOL. I am so fed up with this weather, spring can just not come fast enough :) Diane

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  15. Lovely town indeed!
    Must make want to come back from England!!!
    Only a few weeks left!!
    Have a great day,Diane!

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  16. Noushka I am counting the days. Just wish it was the two of us returning on a permanent basis. Diane

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  17. What a beautiful place to explore! The older buildings are so beautiful. You are inspiring us for a visit to France. Thank you for your lovely comment for Neil. I'm sure you are counting the days until your return. Have a wonderful day Diane!

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  18. Love the architecture and no, I can't imagine carrying the water from there every day. Another great door and gate too. Thanks for the tour!

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  19. Susan the days are just not going fast enough but when I return they will then fly by..... If you visit you will have to come to the Charente, it will be fun to meet you and so long as I know in advance (I only have one spare rom at present) you are welcome to stay. Glad you enjoyed the mini tour. Diane

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  20. Pam with the weather as it is here at the moment, freezing, I go out as little as possible. If I had to go and get water each and every day I would die of thirst and smell LOL. :)))) Diane

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  21. That church is a most unusual structure. I always love to imagine what the lives of the original inhabitants of these old castles was actually like. The town sounds like another French charmer. I hope you have a great day, Diane. Blessings...Mary

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  22. I can see that the baguette delivery impressed not only me :)
    Diane, thank your for the visual and historical tour. The interior of the church is beautiful. Especially I like the statues.

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  23. Mary I always wish that walls could talk, just think how much we could learn. Perhaps though imagination can do a good job as well LOL. Take Care, Diane

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  24. Olga I am still wondering if I get a baguette box if I can talk a local baker into delivering, LOL.
    I loved the way the two statues were facing each other and one was reaching out to the other across the church. Diane

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  25. A couple of years back, people in the state of North Dakota (which is way north and absurdly cold) talked about changing the name of their state to "Dakota" so people wouldn't think it was so cold. So even now, people don't want to be saddled with the label of being cold. It is a very pretty little town. I love all the stonework.

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  26. Another excellent post! That church is so cool looking inside.

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  27. Marjie I can understand people not want to live in a town that 'sounds' like it may be cold, I guess it does not exactly invite tourists :).
    The stone work in all these little villages is quite stunning. I just wonder how many people could build the same way today even though they have all sorts of fancy equipment!! Diane

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  28. Thanks Pam, it was really nice little church. Diane

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  29. That is one very quaint church Diane. Keep taking us to your place, I am loving it already!

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  30. What an interesting village. I love its name, Cognac and la forêt, a great combination. I enjoyed your narrative too.

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  31. What a beautiful name for a French village - I love the stained glass window in that old church - just magical.
    xx
    Dianne

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  32. chubskulit I am more than happy to keep taking you to places in France. My photos are getting a bit low now so not sure how much there will be over the next 2 months before I return :( Diane

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  33. Vagabonde it is a cute little village but I was in a bit of a rush. Now I know more, I will try to plan another visit to see what else I can track down :) Diane

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  34. Dianne it is a beautiful name, but it took them a while to get to that so it seems! There are so many lovely stained glass windows in France in the churches but it is not alway easy to take photos of them. Diane

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  35. It was lovely to be transported to France on a bitterly cold afternoon. You might be surprised but our neighbours do not have access to mains water and neither did we at our last house!

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  36. What is a town without a bar and a church.. what does that say about we humans! Great tour of another town I know nothing about... you are the best French tour guide! I think we often get stuck in ruts about countries and only go to a select few places and towns.. we miss so much!

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  37. Lindy do I dare say that I am happy that you are cold there as well? It does not make me feel so bad while I sit here frozen :) I just wish we had the wood burner that we have in France here!
    It is not fun having no mains water, I know from experience in good old Zimbabwean days in the bush!! Take care, Diane

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  38. lostpastremembered you are not likely to find me on the tourist route very much - I do not like crowds and I do not like large cities in general. The odd visit to Paris is fun but it needs to be short :)) Diane

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  39. Very interesting post Diane! Did not know anything about Cognac until now! I've got to reread and review the wonderful pictures to assimilate everything the lovely tourist guide offers. I always have the habit of taking notes of every new thing I see when I travel. Your blog is the same thing, I must say.

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  40. What a pleasure it is to see these beautiful pictures. Love the quaint feel of it all! Thanks!

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  41. Love the Charente, maybe one day I will move down there, but happy in Brittany at the moment, if I moved that way I would like to live around Aubeterre.
    http://rozinbrittany.blogspot.com/

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  42. michelangelo glad you enjoyed this post. When we went to Cognac itself, I was not doing the blog and took few photos. One day I will go again and then I will do a post on the town. We did do a tour of Hennesy while we were there, I may just be able to scrape up enough old photos to do a post on that, not sure but will see what I can track down. Cheers :) Diane

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  43. Lyndsey thanks for your 3 comments I have answered each one. Glad you enjoyed the photos and yes I guess quaint is a good word to use. :)) Diane

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  44. Paul and Roz, Aubeterre is beautiful but those hills !!!!! I love the Charente as it is a bit warmer than further North :))) Thanks so much for your visit, hope to see you back. Diane

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  45. Dianne, hi,
    Very nice reportaz and photos !!!
    Thank yoy for this travel !!
    This town gave its name to the famous drink cognac? Is'n it;
    Greetings
    Magda

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  46. Magda there are two places, the small village of Cognac-la-Forêt, and then the town of Cognac, which is in the Charente. The latter is famous for the spirit. Diane

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  47. Of course you can say you are happy that we are cold here in Italy. The winters have got progressively worse since we moved here or am I becoming a wimp? Thanks for your encouraging words on News From Italy, this week much appreciated.

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  48. Lindy I don't think you are being a wimp at all. I think the weather is changing world wide and certainly my neighbours in France have said the last couple of years have been extra cold. I have been pretty much in a frozen state since the first frost here in the UK, even in the house with masses of clothes on I still complain :( Bed seems to be the only place where I feel reasonably happy. Roll on spring and summer and hopefully it will be along summer. I look forward to keeping an eye on my garden and comparing it with yours. Hope the January blues soon vanish. Take care Diane

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  49. Several years ago my nephew had the opportunity to travel a good part of the French and German countryside by bicycle. Your pictures remind me of many of the photos he took. All so lovely. It must be very rewarding to live in a part of the world with so much beauty to see.

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  50. Bela reportagem...Espectacular....
    Cumprimentos

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  51. Yes, France is full of little villages like this one ... I love to drive through our countryside ... There are so many lovely places, with ancient castles, churches ...
    Have a nice day !
    Hélène

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  52. Some lovely photos! You must feel very homesick, even though you are home, but as you say, not long now before you can return.

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  53. Mya I could not love living anywhere else more, other than my very strong love of Southern Africa. The main difference though is that I am at peace with the safety of living in France, where safety where we lived in Johannesburg was always a problem. I do miss though the wild open spaces, the bush and the animals of Africa. Diane

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  54. Fernando, Muito obrigado por seus comentários tipo. Diane

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  55. Hélène there are as you say so many beautiful places. I often stop off in small places where there appears to be nothing, but then you find all the secrets in the back streets. Take care. Diane

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  56. Jan, home to me now is France. I have never really lived in the UK although I was born there. My second home now would be S.Africa! I will soon be home in France though :) Diane

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  57. I so love your posts!!!
    I will be posting "your" St. Nicolas church next week!!! Thanks so much for letting me use your photo...I look forward to linking to you!
    Blessings for a lovely Sunday!
    Ann

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  58. Anne thanks for the kind comments. I will be keeping an wye out for your next weeks post :) Take care, Diane

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  59. I can't remember which town it was, but I was in a bar that looks like this one day, there was three bars all in view of each other, one was used by the English, one the Dutch and the other the French, could this be it?

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  60. Paul and Roz, I have my doubts as I don't remember seeing any other pubs here. I will driving to Limoges 15 April and will drive past so will try to remember to look!! Diane

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  61. I always enjoy your posts so much, Diane! This is another charming town that I would absolutely love to visit!

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  62. Faith maybe one day you will get the chance to see all these for yourself :) Diane

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  63. Wonderful post, I enjoyed reading it very much, happy week ahead.

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  64. M.Kate, thanks for visiting, I enjoyed your post as well. Take care and enjoy your preparations for the Chinese New Year. Best wishes Diane

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  65. Hahahaha!! My turn laughing with you!!
    Don't worry, be happy! tomorrow is another day!!!
    Cheers!!!
    XXXXXXX

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  66. Reading your reply to me, I had to smile your view on winter sounds so similar to mine. I doubt you would be any more comfortable in France, apart from being somewhere you want to be, you would still moan about the cold I think Diane. :)

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  67. Lindy I just hate the cold and I think Nigel even more than me if that is possible! The wood burner in France makes the cold bearable :) Diane

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  68. This must be such a nice little town. I love its name and your photos are just great, Diane.

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  69. JM, yes the name is nice, but obviouly the residents did not like the previous name! Diane

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  70. I have really missed reading your posts it is lovely to be back and get to read this one. I love the way you make me feel through your photos and writing that I am right there with you! Lovely! :-)

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  71. Hi Diane!
    Lovely post as usual!
    Just wanted you to know that I just posted about your St. Nicolas church in Newbury!!!
    Many many thanks for this gem of a St. Nicholas Church!
    Ann
    PS If you wanted anything changed or added to the post, please let me know!

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  72. Happy Frog it is good to have you back. So glad that you enjoyed the post. A bientot, Diane

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  73. Hi Ann, thanks for all your kind comments. No changes necessary hope your followers enjoy it as much as mine did. Thanks, Diane xx

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  74. Another wonderful blog..Very interesting and what a place to live. History is all around you..
    Again, I laugh..Our family, father's side, landed on Long Island, New York around 1640..Hey, my dates are getting better..haha..
    I'm doing good for a "baby country"..
    Rosebud/Carolyn

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  75. Carolyn I now wonder why I did not like history at school as now I love it!! Maybe it was the miserable history teacher we had that just put me off:( You are right there is so much history around me. Diane

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  76. What a lovely, quaint village. If I were a resident, I would not be pleased with the name Cognac le Froid either. It's hard to believe only three families have lived in that castle.

    This is my first visit to your blog Diane and I'm having a fabulous time looking around. I've seen your comments numerous times on other's blogs and recognize your photo. It's my pleasure to finally meet you. How fabulous to be able to live in France.
    Sam

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  77. Hi Sam and thanks for the visit good to meet you as well. It is fabulous to live in France, I just hope that it will not be too long before it is permanent and I do not have to spend winter back in the UK. I have a very patient husband who allows me to stay in France all summer while he can only come over for short holidays. With the cost of fuel and flights going up even that has now become expensive. The quicker he can retire the better :) Diane

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  78. Dear Diane: Sorry for not visiting as much as I would like, but I've been having problems not only with my camera, but entering some blogs. Actually, I could not post a comment on the top post, which I enjoyed as much as this. OH that horse is just so beautiful, and it looks like a very modern sculpture, great!! big hugs

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  79. Pamela even if you can't comment I hope that you manage to read the posts that you want to. Yea that horse is quite something. Take care, Diane x

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