Gargilesse, classed as one of the « Loveliest Villages in France », lies proudly wrapped around its castle and charming Romanesque church in a sea of greenery in the Creuse Valley, a source of inspiration for numerous Impressionist painters.
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Gargilesse - inspirational village of Romanticism and its Villa Algira, home of George Sand
Gargilesse, classed as one of the « Loveliest Villages in France », lies proudly wrapped around its castle and charming Romanesque church in a sea of greenery in the Creuse Valley, a source of inspiration for numerous Impressionist painters. In fact, there are still several art galleries and busy studios in the village. In the past, the painter Léon Detroy settled there and Monet also set up his easel. Gargilesse-Dampierre was definitely a village of artists ! George Sand, leading light of Romanticism, settled in Gargilesse and often came to her little haven in Indre to find the peace and quiet conducive to writing.
The writer had a deep interest in butterflies and named her home in Gargilesse after a very rare species she had spotted there, Villa Algira, bought by Alexandre Manceau in 1857. Gargilesse has beautiful natural scenery around ‘Pont Noir et la Chaumerette’, a tranquil spot on the River Creuse. Gargilesse is a holiday destination with many themes : sporting with walking and fishing, romantic with the spirit of George Sand and family-friendly along the banks of the river !
Begin your discovery tour in the steep, narrow village streets at George Sand’s house with its collection of the writer’s personal belongings, reflecting her numerous passions and her day-to-day life in the Berry region. Another house to visit at the heart of the old streets is that of the painter Léon Detroy which displays his works in a private, intimate atmosphere. The artist, sadly little-known, is nevertheless a major figure among the Impressionist painters of the Creuse Valley. Continue on to the Place du Château to admire the gorgeous views of the river and houses nestling on the hillside and don’t forget to call in at the ‘Galerie d’art du Château’ !
Gargilesse, a village right in the middle of the Val de Creuse