Turenne, Correze in Nouvelle-Aquitaine (formerly Limousin region) is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France (by Les Plus Beaux Villages de France group).
Turenne is a popular tourist destination thanks to its rather unique position on top of a cliff. What makes this so unusual and so spectacular is the sheer height – 320m up and perched on a very distinct hill. Full of beautiful winding streets, old buildings, castle ruins and a famous tower, Turenne sits atop a limestone hill known as the Martel Causse. The views from the top are spectacular, green fields, forests and beautiful countryside lay all around in an almost 360 degree application. On a clear day (and with good eyesight) you can see for 20 miles around – mountains, villages, forests and fields making a verdant patchwork of the beautiful landscape.
The cobbled streets, burgher houses made from limestone, abundance of towers and turrets make this little medieval village in the sky a place for exploration and discovery though the hilly paths are steep. The climb to the top cannot be undertaken by coach – passengers have to walk and only cars belonging to the inhabitants may be driven all the way up.
The town has a rich history, named after one of Louis XIV’s famous military commanders, Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne, known as Viscount Turenne. For a while the town was honoured with a quasi-independence from the crown; crusaders sheltered there, and thanks to the Sun King’s great Marshal Turenne it achieved a remarkable, international reputation. The castle was dismantled by Louis XV and there is now a garden among the ruins.
There are many very fine buildings, including a 12th century church and the César Tower built in the 11th Century and with a spiral staircase leading to a viewing platform for those who have no fear of heights!
Video showing just how high and spectacular this little village is: