Turenne


Turenne, in the south of the department of Correze, between Quatre-Routes-du-Lot and Brive, was the major centre of power in Haut Quercy in the middle ages and must have been a formidable castle, visible for miles around.

The first seigneurs of Turenne appeared in the 9th century. Turenne became a state in its own right following the crusades and, as one of the greatest fiefdoms of France in the 14th century, the viscountcy of Turenne possessed complete autonomy throughout the middle ages until the 18th century. Until 1738, the viscounts acted as true sovereigns, levying taxes, minting money and creating nobles. Turenne was a state within a state.

The castle, now in ruins, stands on the top of the rock on the steep, conical hill that is unmistakeable when seen from a distance.

The domain of Turenne occupied the territory limited by Perigord noir, Bas Limousin and Quercy and notably controlled the movement of cattle between the plateaux of Limousin and of Quercy. Its power was greatest in the 15th century when its principal fortified towns were Argentat, Servières, Beaulieu, Gagnac, Martel, Saint-Céré et Turenne as well as the bastides of Bretenoux and Puybrun and the towns of Carennac, Vayrac, Curemonte, Meyssac and Collonges. The domain comprised 100,000 inhabitants in 18,500 dwellings, 111 parishes and 1200 villages, making it one of the most powerful vicomtés in the kingdom.

On 8 juin 1738, Turenne was sold to Louis XV to settle the gaming debts of Charles-Godefroy, the last viscount of Turenne of the family of La Tour de L'Auvergne. This brought to an end the last independent fiefdom of France. Future viscounts henceforth became tax-paying subjects of the king who ordered that the fortress of Turenne be reduced.

Nowadays, you can see:

* César's tower (13th century), the clock tower (14th century) and vestiges of the fortress
* The church, built in the 16th century, with its 17th century altar piece
* The village descending in a cascade from the 13th to the 17th century
* A number of grand houses of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries

Location: I
Restaurants and shops:
A small grocery shop, chemist, post office and gift shops, cafe, and restaurants open in summer. Also a restaurant at Turenne-Gare.

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Turenne

Origins of the Hundred Years War

The hundred Years War in Quercy

Evidence of the past