The arrival of the last day of the school holidays and a definite hint of spring in the air had us out geocaching on Sunday morning. Today the destination was Crozant, a very toursity spot in Creuse, but one we’d never yet been to.  Which is silly as it’s not that far away.

Crozant sits on a rocky outspur with the river Creuse on one side and its tributary the Sédelle on the other.

crozant spur

The settlement started out at as Croso, became Crozenc, then Crozent and even Crousant before finally settling on its current name. A fortress was built there around the year 1000 and then a castle in the 13th century, the ruins of which you can see today. One of the towers is named after Isabelle of Angouleme, King John the First’s widow.

crozant castle1

The castle was seized by the Catholics in 1588 (from whom I’m not sure) and from  the early seventeenth century was used a source of building supplies for the locals with the result that not much is left now. All that remain are part of the square donjon (keep), two towers, a water tower and the chapel. The ruins have recently been bought by the Maire and the commune and they’re open to visitors in the summer.

crozant ruins

These mournful ruins attracted the interest of painters in the past, a bit like Fresselines. Paul Castans and Armand Guillaumin were amongst the first and helped to estable l’école de Crozant which was all about anti-neoclassicism apparently.

In 1926 the Eguzon dam was created which has given the new feature of a lake close to Crozant too.

Our geocaching trail took us up into the woods across from the ruins along a walk called the ferns and spinners walk. We encountered stone frogs…

crozant frog1

a stone lizard…

crozant lizard

and this distinctly strange dragon with boobs (and yes, those are square nipples you can see). I need to find out more about this sculpture.

crozant dragonnear

We found one cache but didn’t attempt the other as it appeared to involve a bit of rock climbing which we weren’t exactly prepared for. It has to be said that some geocachers get a little carried away when hiding their caches and forget that there’ll be family groups with young kids and middle-aged dogs and mums in neck collars who many not be up to abseiling into chasms!

The sun came out properly for the return leg of the trip and it even felt warm so it was a great way to end the hols.

crozant river ness