Chateau de Valon

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We had seen Valon from the Belveder in Rouens across the valley set high on the hillside above the Truyère gorge. It is a pretty settlement of old stone houses with stone slab roofs, a small chapel (locked) with bell cote with two bells and an old sun dial on the wall, a communal bread oven and the graveyard with white tombstones at the end of the peninsula. There is a small park at the start of the village by the restaurant. The Art Gallery had a few paintings and local crafts for sale.

Château de Valon dominates the settlement but is one of those buildings that is more interesting from outside as there is not a lot left inside. It is only 2 Euro for entry, but even so, I don’t think we would bother going in another time, although the views from the top of the donjon were good.

When we visited the outer curtain wall had scaffolding over it for restoration work. There is a large entrance gateway which now doubles up as Tourist Information as well as the ticket office. Staff were welcoming and very helpful giving us a mass of information about the area.

On the inside of the gateway are remains of domestic quarters including the kitchen and the ivy covered 14thC chapel. Local children have been repainting some frescoes on the walls. This still has it’s vaulted ceiling with carved boss.

The donjon is at the end of the site and is a tall 12thC square tower. The inside of the chateau has been partially refurnished in a modern interpretation of what it might have been like. This didn’t work for us with a small drape hung above a trestle table with upholstered chairs in the great hall and a modern four poster bed complete with cushions on the floor above. Did they have the modern fettish with cushions then? Rooms had large fire places and vaulted stone ceilings with carved heads in the corners.

The different floors and roof are accessed by a narrow spiral staircase in the wall. Passing on this is difficult.

Valon is well worth visiting for its dramatic site. I’d rate the outside of the château 5* but the inside only 2*.

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