Focus on.......RANCON - Haute-Vienne

rancon Rancon is a small village situated in the Haute-Vienne in the Valley of the river Gartempe. In Roman times it was known as Roncomagus. The valley has been declared an area of outstanding natural beauty as as a result no new-builds are permitted. The village was once a bustling market town with numerous shops and commerce and tramway. Unfortunately a landslide destroyed the tramline in the early 1900's and as the
shopkeepers retired the businesses closed. The town still has a boulangerie, bar (Café du Commerce), grocery store, restaurant (L'oie et le Grill), post office, health food/organic grocery store with tea rooms (Ranconmagus)and a hairdressers.

The village is centered around the XII century Roman church and the "Lantern de mort" which once marked the cemetery. There is also a beautiful roman bridge crossing the river. The chateau was plundered after the revolution and bits of it can still be seen "recycled" on several buildings throughout the village.The XI century chapel is currently undergoing restorations work, though disaster struck at the start of the project when the end wall collapsed. Fortunately no-one was injured as the workmen were having lunch at the time!

The village has it's fair share of festivals and they are certainly worth a visit. Bastille day is celebrated on the 13th July with an Eclade (smoked mussels which are cooked by placing them on oak boards these are then covered in hay and pine needles. The whole lot is then set alight! When the fire goes out the mussels are cooked! ) There is also a firework display and dance which lasts until the early hours.
There is also a Cider and Chestnut festival in October with a large vide greener. The local farmer owns an old apple press and prepares the cider. All the village assist with the gathering of apples and chestnuts for the occasion.
The local hunt organise a meal at the end of the hunt season in March. This involves at least 7 or 8 courses and 6 hours eating!
There is a children's festival at the end of August. The whole day is arranged for the children nd last year had an Indian theme. A Mexican theme is planned this year. There are a variety of games and activities for which prizes can be won.
This year a music festival is also planned to coincide with music week in July.

Click here for the official Rancon Website







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