Le Grand Tour de la France - le Treizième Jour

Sheila NewtonStarred Page By Sheila Newton, 23rd Jan 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3liaph-k/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>France>The Massif Central

Le Grand Croix à Sens via le Château d'Essalois et Lac de Grangent.
On the thirteenth day of our road trip to France last September, we left the Grand Croix near St-Étienne to head toward Sens in the Bourgogne, just below the Île de France region and Paris. On the way, we visited Château d'Essalois and Château de Grangent in the Gorges de la Loire, in the Massif-Central region.

Leaving La Grand Croix to Make our Way North

The Formule 1 hotel we stayed at in Grand Croix is in a lovely setting, intertwined with the most gorgeous, geranium-filled village, with wild flower borders set by the roadside and in the hedgerows. We never did learn the name of this pretty place in the Grand Croix area: we looked out for a signpost on the way out of the tiny hamlet, but there was nothing to give this lovely little village a title.

This morning, our quest was to motor back to Les Gorges de la Loire, in the Massif-Central region, to visit Le Château d'Essalois and the château and lake at Le Lac de Grangent.

Château d'Essalois

The Château d'Essalois is a restored castle in the commune of Chambles in the Loire département of France, overlooking a dammed portion of the Loire River near Lac de Grangent.

The oldest documents mentioning the castle are from the 14th century. The puy (hill) of Essalois is quoted in charters from 1337 onwards, variously named Podium Deysaluym, Mons Deysaluym and Suc du Pré. In 1378, Arthaud de Villedieu paid homage to the Count of Forez for the house and the tower of Essalois which oversaw the Loire. In 1464, the tower of Essalois belonged to Beraud de la Bâtie. But, so far, the vestiges of this early construction have not be identified.

From the car park, we ambled along the gravel track to the château, enjoying the sweet smell of wild herbs and the sounds of birds singing on this warm, blue-skied morning. The views - way, way down to the Loire river - were amazing.

Reaching the château, situated on a small hill (puy), I've got to say, I've seen prettier castles in France, but the history of the place gave me a buzz, knowing that its origins are, as yet, unknown. All we do know, is that man has lived here, it would seem, since time immemorial.

Château de Grangent

Continuing on, past the Château d'Essalois, we came upon the most stunning vision. Looking across the steep gorge and down to the Loire, there's a small island with a fairy-tale château at its centre.

The château is situated in the commune of Saint-Juste-Saint-Rambert in the Loire département of France. At the time of its construction, originally around 800AD, it was on a promontory standing some 50 metres above the Loire Valley. The building of the Grangent dam means that Le Château de Grangent is now on a small island in a lake - Le Lac de Grangent.

I stood and stared at this beautiful castle until time was running out for our stay at the fabulous Gorges de la Loire. We needed to get motoring north to the city of Sens and our next Formule 1 hotel, just below Île de France and Paris.

Goodbye, Château de Grangent. I'll always remember the vision of lovliness that is you.

Tags

Chambles, Chateau De Grangent, Chateau Dessalois, France, Geraniums, Gorges De La Loire, Lac De Grangent, Massif-Central, Wild Flowers

Meet the author

author avatar Sheila Newton
A retired nurse and teacher, with two cats, a husband and a grown up son, I write short stories, articles - and I'm an ardent blogger. Catch up with me on my blog at: http://sheilanewton.blogspot.com

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Comments

author avatar Delicia Powers
23rd Jan 2012 (#)

So much beauty to enjoy, I am dizzy...what an exciting tour and page, beautifully done Shelia-amazing friend:0)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks so much my lovely Delicia.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
23rd Jan 2012 (#)

I think that Delicia said it all this time. Really beautiful photos.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Aw, thanks Jerry. Coming from such a great writer, I'm flattered. If you don't watch out I might begin to catch you up on the star pages. (JOKE!)

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author avatar Jerry Walch
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Nothing would make me happier than to see all the Wikinut writer equal me in star pages.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Jerry - for such a superlative journalistic writer, you are so very humble. Love ya, honey.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you, Sheila: I can't figure out if you are coming or going. Whichever it is, once again we see such beautiful pictures along with your commentary. So professional and I applaud you for an excellent page.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Wow - great comments indeed from my lovely Ivy. Thank you.

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author avatar Randy Duckworth
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Fabulous page! I love reading about your travels, and the photos are gorgeous! Bravo Sheila!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Aw, cheers, Randy.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Your lively description of the travel and the lovely photos make your enjoyment of this trip rub on me too, Sheila. Thanks for sharing and taking us along. The French names are a bit tricky, though! siva

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Such lovely comments. Thank you so much.

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author avatar Jules Castillo
24th Jan 2012 (#)

WOW....that's why you got a STAR!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Aw, bless you, Mr Cowboy. Thanks. It's so nice getting a star, isn't it?

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Wow, wonderful!
Beautiful!
Takes my breath away!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Jan 2012 (#)

How nice of you to say so, Rathna. Thanks honey

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author avatar ittech
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Sounds great.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks, Ittech, my friend.

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author avatar Val Mills
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks Sheila, for taking me places I'll never get to go. Nice work here.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Never say never Val. And anyway, I'll probably never get to gorgeous New Zealand. So we're quits!

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author avatar Buzz
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Exquisitely written, spectacular, majestic, stunning, fantastic, mind-blowing, magnificent STAR PAGE, dear friend Sheila!!!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Wow - love all the adjectives, Buzz. You're MY star.

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author avatar Retired
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Ditto Buzz's comment! Great pics!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Aw, shucks, Rama. Thank you.

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author avatar avery sandiego
25th Jan 2012 (#)

Beautiful France...beautiful article

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author avatar Sheila Newton
25th Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you so much averygirl. nice to meet you. Going to catch up on your pages right now.

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author avatar Buzz
25th Jan 2012 (#)

Wow, oh, I have commented already, haven't I, dear friend??? LOL. Just giving you a kiss.:D
BEAUTIFUL, ROYAL STAR PAGE!!!!!!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
25th Jan 2012 (#)

Kisses back atchya!!

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author avatar richardpeeej
26th Jan 2012 (#)

It sounds as though you had a great trip there Sheila..stunning pics too...

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author avatar Sheila Newton
27th Jan 2012 (#)

Aw - cheers, Richard.

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author avatar NEERAJ BHATT
26th Jan 2012 (#)

YOU HAD BEEN TO BEAUTIFUL PLACES WITH HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE IS COMMENDABLE.NAMASTE.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
27th Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you - namaste back to you, my friend.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
27th Jan 2012 (#)

Hi Sheila, One aspect about your trip comes shining through like a clear bright light, and that is the absolute joy you had experienced on your memorable trip. Aren't photos just so very wonderful since they ensure our very great memories of past events for a lifetime. Lovely share, thank you.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
27th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks my beautiful Tranquipen Wikinut friend. I DO love France, you're right.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
29th Jan 2012 (#)

J'taime le Francaise

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author avatar Sheila Newton
29th Jan 2012 (#)

Je vous aime, aussi, mon ami!!

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author avatar ppruel
29th Jan 2012 (#)

beautiful description about the place with fantastic photos too...thanks.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
29th Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you so much, ppruel.

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author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
29th Jan 2012 (#)

C'est bon!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
30th Jan 2012 (#)

Merci beaucoup, David.

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author avatar Songbird B
1st Feb 2012 (#)

Stunning and joyful Sheila.. So many of us don't tale the time to really appreciate the beauty of an area...You do and you also share that beauty..What a Star you are my friend..

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author avatar Songbird B
1st Feb 2012 (#)

Oops..tale should have read Take..Typo strikes again..lol

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author avatar Sheila Newton
1st Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks for the comments, my friend - even the typo!!!

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author avatar Denise O
5th Feb 2012 (#)

Yes my friend, the photos are lovely and I enjoy them but, it is the way you write about your journey that hooks us, just a great page, all the way around. As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
6th Feb 2012 (#)

Aw - Denise - what a lovely thing to say about my writing. I'm so touched. Thanx - thanx- thanx!

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author avatar NancyG in TN
19th Feb 2012 (#)

very good, beautiful photos, too!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks NancyG

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