Our Heritage

Via Patrimoine

Via Patrimoine organises guided tours of the main heritage sites in Charente : short visits or full day tours, in Angoulême or in the countryside, for families, during the day or by night, thematic tours, conferences and exhibitions... You will discover the towns, villages, churches and abbeys, the countryside and the everyday life or the people in the past centuries.

www.via-patrimoine.com

Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, classified as "one of the most beautiful villages in France"

Aubeterre sur Dronne combines an exceptional cultural heritage with delightful natural surroundings.  Listed as one of "the most beautiful villages in France", the village once welcomed pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostella. Aubeterre has two important historic monuments, the extraordinary underground Church of St Jean and the Church of St Jacques with its romanesque façade. At the foot of the hill, an activity centre is set on the banks of the river Dronne offering swimming, canoeing, fishing and tennis.

The mills are open to the visit

Several watermills still perpetuate the local tradition and can be visited. The "Moulin de la Gravelle" in Lagarde sur le Né, the "Moulin de la Chaume" and the "Moulin de la Forge" produce their nut and hazelnut oil in the traditional way.
The mlls in Verteuil, Saint Même les Carrières and, near Montbron, the "Chabrot" and "Menet" mills produce flour : during the visit, you will taste the local traditional breads.
You will also visit the windmill In Villefagnan, and the "Moulin de la Pierre" (the Stone Mill) in Vilhonneur where enormous blocks of stone are cut with the water power.

Paper mills

In the 17th century, all the European countries bought Charente papermills their renowned vellum. The papermills "Moulin du Verger" and "Moulin de Fleurac" perpetuate this tradition and are open to the visit.

At the foot of Angoulême, the Paper Museum stands over the Charente river, in the former paper factory "Le Nil".

Angoulême

Angoulême, the Valois city, has kept many traces of its rich history : the tower "Marguerite", the ramparts and the streets of the old town. St Peter's Cathedral (12th century), has an imposing sculpted façade, illustrating the Last Judgement and the Ascension of Christ.

If you have a passion of comic strips, take the "Painted Walls" circuit in the streets of Angoulême and visit the Comic Strip Museum.