A jewel on the Way of Saint James of Compostella
Built on the site of a Gallo-Roman village and a Roman military camp, Aulnay-de-Saintonge is a major destination for lovers of Romanesque art. A village to seduce you with its history and multiple heritage.
Discovering Romanesque Art
The church of Saint-Pierre, shown in UNESCO’s World Heritage list because of its links to the St James of Compostella trail, sits on the Via Turonensis (the route from Tours) between Melle and Saint-Jean-d’Angély. The quality of the decorative sculptures in the nave and on the capitals is a stunning sight to behold. Outside, more particularly by the southern doorway, are a wealth of Romanesque bestiary.
Towards evening, the golden light of our beautiful Saintonge enhances the blond stonework and its sculptures. The Medieval Garden behind the apse of the church and the remains of the Celtic temple complete the discovery of this exceptional site. Don’t forget the village centre, home to a medieval keep and to a 17th century dovecote.
Lifestyle in Dampierre-sur-Boutonne
Close by, Dampierre-sur-Boutonne is a wooded village nestling in the picturesque, verdant valley of the Boutonne. This charming village is an unmissable stop in this pretty area of Saintonge.
The Renaissance château of Dampierre is home to a number of surprises. Amongst its prestigious visitors are François I, Louis XIII and much later, the painter Dali. Revisit the playground of a life of pleasure, games and science by following the fun trail. Curio cabinet, gallery in alchemic décor, horse museum, green maze, covered way – an exciting programme to discover!
An unusual adventure – a donkey sanctuary
Not far from the château another adventure for young and old awaits - the Baudet du Poitou donkey sanctuary. A 55ha site devoted to the conservation of the Poitou mule breeds. Here you’ll find the home of this exceptional creature with its incredibly tousled coat. You’ll be invited to stroke mothers and babies or go for a ride on the back of a Baudet du Poitou. You couldn’t be closer to nature!