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France : les plus belles maisons de campagne

Houses in limestone of the Loire Valley, Maine-et-Loire, France.

France: the most beautiful country houses

Posted on 13 June 2014 in France

Tile or slate? Timbering or flint? Slate or thatch? At each corner of countryside architecture. Before renting a house this summer, choose your favorite cozy nest.

1. Savoyard chalet (Savoie, Haute-Savoie)

Due to access constraints due to the slope and snow, mountain chalet has always used local materials , wood and stone, depending on the availability of these materials. In some valleys, like the Aravis and Beaufortain , wood is omnipresent in the roof framing and walls, due to large forest areas. In other areas further south, as Tarentaise and Maurienne , is the stone, extracted from local quarries, which is mainly used for roofs and walls, including shale, limestone and slate.

The village of Chinaillon (Haute-Savoie) features fine examples of old authentic wooden chalets (tourist office www.legrandbornand.com).

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Savoyard chalets, Savoie, Haute-Savoie, France.image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/all/themes/zen/lonelyplanet/images/creative-commons.png

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2. Cases Béarn (Pyrénées-Atlantiques)

The box is the founding element of the identity of a family and its continuity over time. Hence the Bearn surnames widespread as Lacaze, Bonnecaze, Cazenave, Casassus … The social dimension of the case is such that it comes before the individual. For a long time it was passed, with all the land, only the eldest, whether man or woman, in order not to break up the property. From theXVIIIth century, it was built in hard, with walls in pebbles carried by the mountain streams or buried in the earth, and slate roofs — sometimes tile. The roof is often of steep, up to 50%, especially in the mountains to evacuate more easily rain and snow.

To see beautiful squares, scoot in villages around Pau (Valley Ousse, Nay plain …) or in the three mountain valleys. To Orthez, roofs are mostly tiled.

3. Chaumières Normandy (Seine-Maritime)

The Normandy countryside without his cottage is like a pie without a crust. Taking its name from thatched straw wheat or rye covering its imposing roof and heavily sloping, the cottage is also characterized by its frame and its timber wood, and clay daub walls. An assembly which we find the first traces in Normandy more than 4500 years BC. AD! It was not until theXIVth century, the cottage Norman took its typical form, which flowers toXVIIIth century and, despite its dark and narrow interior, eventually included the Normandy idealized peasant. The Larousse illustrated theXIXth century nevertheless warns: «the cottage is the taste of those who do not live.»

The Regional Natural Park of loops of the Seine Normandy has marked a route of 53 km, the «road of the thatched cottages» to assess this rustic habitat around the Marais Vernier and the river (www.pnr-seine-normande.com).

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Norman cottages, Seine-Maritime, France.

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4. Burons (Cantal, Puy-de-Dôme)

At the turn of GR®400, crossing large areas and punctuated with beautiful gradients, we discover here and there august ruins ranging from sketch of building and piles of stones. Lost in the heart of vast expanses, often inaccessible to cars, burons , originally of shepherds huts , have not said their last word. If some still harbor shepherds and herds during the summer pastures, most of those still standing have made ​​B & B — the hard way, without running water or electricity.

To enjoy excellent products, visit eg buron Fages (www.au-buron-de-fages.fr), Part of the cheese route.

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Burons, Cantal, Puy-de-Dôme, France.

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5. Alsatian Caves

Classified as »  most beautiful villages in France  «, Riquewihr and Hunawihr escaped the bombing of the Colmar Pocket in December 1944. Getting found intact of winegrowers houses typical of the region dating fromXVe -XIXth century. Umbrella of flat tiles (the famous «beaver tails» Alsatian), they rise on one or two floors, sandstone rubble on the ground floor, timber and mud on the floor, exterior lime plaster pigmented everywhere. Well, presses, semi-underground cellars and ultrafleuris balconies complete this postcard.

Follow the slopes of the Vosges hills; Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr are on the wine route between Colmar and Sélestat.www.ribeauville-riquewihr.com

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Hunawihr, Haut-Rhin, France.

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6. Basque Houses (Pyrénées-Atlantiques)

Pillar of social organization, the Basque house proudly displays its white plaster and of exposed beams , painted mostly in red brown. The facades of these massive houses were mostly oriented is not to be exposed to the rains. According to the Basque customary law, they are transmitted from one generation to the eldest, and furniture remained attached to the house. In return, the heir had to ensure that the family economic unit remains viable for all members of his siblings.

Old traditional Basque farmhouse, home Ortillopitz, dating from 1660, on the heights of Sare, is visited in season (www.ortillopitz.fr).

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Basque houses, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France.

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7. tchanquées Cabanes (Gironde)

Emblem of the Arcachon basin , the two huts »  on stilts  » wood on stilts, whose name comes from the Gascon »  stilts  » see their environment evolve over the hours depending on the tides. They are sometimes anchored to the ground, sometimes lapped by wavelets; up to their pillars was calculated based on the highest point reached by the tide. Aimed initially at the oyster farming — they were inhabited by the oyster beds guards — these rustic cabins are now dedicated to recreation.

The two cabins are located in the municipality of La Teste-de-Buch (www.cabane-tchanque.fr).

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On stilts, Gironde, France.

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8. houses Avesnois (North)

The Avesnois is no different only the rest of the department with its green and hilly landscapes. Its traditional houses also mark the entry in the »  little Switzerland of the North  «. If the brick — ideal for moisture control — is always present, the tile slates and especially blue stone give the habitat avesnois a charm that does not leave indifferent the citizens of Lille, more and more people elect their second home on the banks of the Helpe .

The open-air museum in Villeneuve d’Ascq, near Lille, exposes 24 houses or farms XVIe atXIXth century, typical of the North (museedepleinair-asso.org).

9. Habitats Cevennes (Gard, Lozère)

In this rural area, isolated and harsh, the vast horizons of plateaus and deep valleys, houses testify to the incredible adaptability of man to nature. A centuries-old expertise of the frame was transmitted from generation to generation, to the point that it is difficult to date the building. The land, poor, yet rich is a founder member, a »  bedrock  » in Lozère , granite; in Causses , limestone; and, in the Cévennes , shale, black and shiny stone. The tall, narrow houses , clinging to the rock or in part carved in, draw dark silhouettes that appear out of the ground.

Classified by UNESCO as a cultural landscape of the Mediterranean agro-pastoralism, the Cevennes National Park (www.cevennes-parcnational.fr) Reveals three housing types.

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Habitats Cevennes, Gard, Lozère, France.

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10. Houses in limestone of the Loire Valley (Maine-et-Loire)

Characteristic of the Loire Valley , the tufa stone gives its habitat this soft and luminous whiteness that highlights the black slate roofs. This limestone , cut into square blocks well, made ​​a cameo on the facades from white to yellow or yellowish on the most modest houses. Its »  soft  » favored the presence of carved ornaments not only about castles and mansions but also simple village houses. The cave dwellings carved into the t uffeau cliffs bordering the Loire, are also characteristic of this area.

Slate was long extracted near Angers and in the Country segréen, where you can visit an old slate mine (www.laminebleue.com).

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