« La Venise Verte du Berry » is a charming little town beside the River Creuse.
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Argenton-sur Creuse, ‘La Venise Verte du Berry’
« La Venise Verte du Berry » is a charming little town beside the River Creuse. The Creuse is not perhaps one of the best-known rivers in France but it is certainly a very pretty one ! Here in the ever-changing light, the half-timbered houses which overhang the river are reflected in its clear waters. Walk up the hill towards the « Bonne Dame » statue of the Virgin Mary for wonderful open views of the town and surrounding hills.
Argenton-sur-Creuse also marks the beginning of the Vallée des Peintres (Valley of Artists). Around 400 artists set up their easels on the banks of the Creuse attracted by its natural scenery of magnificent contrasts. The town, nicknamed « Venise du Berry » certainly knew how to draw the crowds !
Argenton-sur-Creuse is equally a go-ahead town whose bustling centre is in perfect harmony with its old districts. In fact, Argenton-sur-Creuse was also a Roman town, as can be seen at Argentomagus with its theatre, baths and temples.
Explore the town at different times in its history !
Argenton-sur-Creuse – a town from Roman history
A tourist trail takes you from the main square in the town centre through streets and alleyways of bygone days. Water mills and medieval houses with galleries and balustrades add to the picture-postcard charm of walks along the banks of the Creuse, not forgetting the spectacular view from the « Bonne Dame » and the ruins of the town fortifications. It is also essential to visit the Musée de la Chemiserie which traces the history of shirt-making, the only one of its kind in France !
The Berry region was well-known and popular in Roman times. Those Romans certainly had good taste ! So it is unthinkable to leave Argenton-sur-Creuse without seeing Argentomagus, an exceptional archaeological site with a lively, modern museum which takes you way back in time from prehistory to the end of the Roman Era.
In summer, canoeing fans can paddle along the Creuse and through its locks while land-lubbers enjoy the many different music festivals (Debussy, Mercuria international music and dance…) while eating « bouchons » a sweet speciality of Argenton-sur-Creuse, named after the legendary town-centre traffic jams (‘bouchons’) on the N20 road !
Round and about Argenton-sur-Creuse : Le Menoux, Vallée des Peintres, Creuse Valley