On the road between Royan and Bordeaux, you cross a small town with simple charm outside the attraction of towns and seaside resorts. This small town is the “Touvent” of Boutenac-Touvent. The two localities were brought together in 1972 to become a single village.
Less than 5 km from Mortagne-sur-Gironde, the town extends over the valley of Fondevine to the banks of the estuary. Each of the two entities has its own character:
- Often to the north, a town on a limestone plateau.
- Boutenac to the south, a hamlet in the middle of the Gironde hills.
Take the time to stop for a side step in the heart of rural Saintonge.
Touvent, a rural village on the road to Bordeaux
The name " often » is frequently used in Saintonge for paths open to the wind. On the slopes of the Gironde, man has been able to take advantage of this natural element by setting up mills. Moreover, on the road to Mortagne, the old tour of the Lande mill is the last vestige in the town. Near the Valleret forest, Touvent was a quarry village where limestone was extracted.
With their hillsides bathed in sunshine, the landscapes of Boutenac-Touvent are distinguished by the presence of vineyards. On the road to the beauty coast which crosses the village, the laboratory Mornet Oenology advises professionals and accompanies them from vinification to bottling both for Charentais wines, Cognac or Pineau des Charentes.
From the Town Hall Square, set off by bike on the mountain bike circuit n°9 for 14 km to discover the Charente vineyards and cereal fields: corn, wheat, barley and potatoes. The course is easy enough to appeal to the whole family. You then walk in the hinterland of Charente-Maritime. You cross the lands of Brie-sous-Mortagne and Floirac before returning to Boutenac-Touvent. The places are full of humility, past generations have modeled the landscapes with respect for nature.
Boutenac, across fields
The name " Boutenac » would derive its origins from Old French and would mean « from where the water springs ». Evidenced by the wash house of Pissot (Saintonge word designating a source flowing from a rock). It consists of stamps (stone bins) sheltered under a balet (courtyard). The women came there to wash their clothes during the day and in the evening, the men watered the herds there. In both cases, it was a place of discussion and exchange on the life of the village. The laundry is not the only vestige of the small heritage of Boutenac-Touvent. At a bend in the path, the former square dovecote continues to protect birds against migrants.
THEChurch of Our Lady of the Assumption with its rectangular plan is the only "pure" early Gothic church of the country of Royan. It dates from the XNUMXth century, when Romanesque art dominated Saintonge. In the middle of the hilly landscapes of the hills of the Gironde, its campanile with two bells can be seen from afar from the country lanes coming from Mortagne. Another distinctive element above the portal, the oculus makes it even more possible to distinguish Notre-Dame de l'Assomption from the other churches in the Royan area.
Boutenac-Touvent has retained all of its agricultural vocation. It transmits to its visitors a history of tradition and memory which makes it possible to better apprehend the campaign of the country of Royan.