Located at the confluence of the Né and Charente rivers, the Merpins commune has been permanently occupied by men from very early times: arrowheads, pottery shards, and later an imposing medieval fortress, an 11th century church and an abbey dating back to the 12th century are the living proof. These fertile lands are home to meadows, cereal fields and a Grande-Champagne listed vineyard.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D) Starting from Saint-Rémy church in the old village of Merpins.
Facing the church, walk down Rue de l’Eglise then go right on to rue du Château, until you reach the junction with Rue du Cocuron that you will take to your right.
(1) Before the little bridge, take the white path (chemin Pas) to your right. After 2 km, take the little street on your right which leads up to the D732. At the road, turn left, cross over, then turn right on to Rue de la Frenade. Walk down to the railway track and cross it.
(2) 200m after the railway track, take the path on your left, then the first to the right. Go straight at the first crossing then head right at the 2nd. When you come to Avenue des Ponts, go right and right again after the little square (Rue de l’Abbaye).
Walk up Rue de l’Abbaye, then rue Fagnard and finally Rue du Fournil on your left. Follow this road then take the path to the left (3) (private lane but access agreed with the owner) towards Fontenelles Manor (manoir des Fontenelles). Go around it to the right-hand side and take the path opposite the manor house (4). Then follow the path to your left and to the left again at the crossroads.
Walk along the railway road which should be to your right, cross the train tracks and take the road to the right (5) walking up towards the buildings. Then go left, walk past the cemetery and cross the D732. Turn left then promptly right to get back onto the road that leads to Rue de l’Eglise, your starting point (D).
D/A : km 0 - alt. 20m
1 : km 0.3 - alt. 6m - Cocuron Bridge : turn right
2 : km 3.27 - alt. 20m - Turn left
3 : km 5.41 - alt. 9m - Private lane : turn left
4 : km 6.29 - alt. 17m - Turn left
5 : km 8.03 - alt. 7m - Turn right
D/A : km 9.14 - alt. 20m
Follow the blue waymarks. Path also suitable for mountain bikes.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
(D) Saint-Rémy Church – 12th century but mostly rebuilt in the 19th century (cf. information panel on the church).
De la Frenade Abbey built around 1140. The buildings were destroyed during the Religious Wars. Only the south wall of the 12th century nave remains as well as the 16th century chapter hall.
Old Merpins village :
Bordered to the South by the Charente river, theSaint-Laurent area consists of a small town gathered around its church and its 11th century portal, several villages spread across the valleys and the hills as well as farms and secluded dwellings.
Gimeux was built on a hillside overlooking the valley and marshlands of the river Né and enjoys a flourishing farming activity: meadows and cereal fields in the valley, vineyards on the hills. Ancient burial sites and the outline of the old Roman road called ‘Chemin Boisné’ are revealing of the ancestral occupation of the land. The parish church dates back to the 12th century. Also marking the landscape are an old chapel as well as the remains of a windmill on the Fanaud hillside.
Thanks to the natural beauty of its location and the richness of its heritage, Saint-Brice is one of the most picturesque areas of Cognac region. At the heart of the Charente and Soloire rivers valley, man has erected many symbolic buildings: dolmens, churches, abbeys, castles and manors, all expertly crafted.
Saint-Sulpice-de-Cognac is pleasantly located between the marshlands of the Antenne River and limestone hillsides. There, are hidden the remains of the Agrippa Roman road as well as forgotten local railroad.
Cherves-Richemont is graced with the Antenne River and offers an unexpected diversity of landscapes. Its historic heritage is particularly rich: Romanesque churches, Château Chesnel, watermills, manor houses….
A lovely walk through the Charentais vineyards, passing beautiful buildings and around the village of Roissac.
Angeac- Champagne counts numerous prosperous-looking Charentais houses, witness to the wealth which lies in the local economy producing cognac, its principal occupation. The entrances to the estates are marked by a gate or porch way: there are at least 50. They are unique and typical of our local heritage. At Roissac village they embellish the main street.
Situated at 25m altitude - the river Né and the Motte stream are the principal water courses which cross the locality.
In certain places there are excellent views towards and from the village, the Dolmen, of the vineyards, the landscape of the Grande Champagne and surrounding villages. In every season you can discover a certain charm and appeal in St. Fort.
Segonzac: the root of its name means 'strength, courage' in Gaulish.
Archaeological digs have revealed a Neolithic inhabitation (approx. 5000 B.C)
The Hundred Years' War persuaded the construction of numerous underground passages, which enabled the inhabitants to take refuge from extreme violence.
Protestantism has, without a doubt, left its mark in the area, particularly with the Segonzacais. The first Reformed church was founded in 1558. Troubles occurred in 1562 and the parish church was burnt down. Today's Temple is the third constructed since the Edict of Nantes.
According to a legend at the start of the 17th century, it was at Segonzac that a vintner named Chevalier de la Croix Maron invented double distillation.
The Gaul root of its name means 'strength, courage'. The Hundred Years War persuaded the construction of numerous underground passages, which enabled the inhabitants to take refuge from extreme violence. Without a doubt Protestantism has left its mark in the area, particularly with the Segonzacais. The first Reformed church was founded in 1558. Troubles occurred in 1562 and the parish church was burnt down. Today's Temple church is the third constructed since the Edict of Nantes.
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