A 5 km of Saujon, equidistant from Royan and Saintes, Saint-Romain-de-Benet hides behind the woods but challenges motorists from the expressway by the original roof of its church. Surrounded by forests, fields and vineyards, its inhabitants are blessed ("Benet" would come from the Latin benedictus) for the tranquility offered by their village. Here you are in the heart of the Saintonge countryside where stones and waterways tell the story of these places invested with serenity.
Saint-Romain-de-Benet, a village on an old Roman road
To the south of the town centre, hidden by the trees, surrounded by vines, the Pirelonge Tower stands to remind walkers that they are at the border of the country of Royan. Train travelers can see it near the old Saint-Romain-de-Benet station, which now houses Emmaüs. Borne, beacon, bitter… its role remained mysterious for a long time. It is probably a Gallo-Roman funerary monument (one of the best preserved in Charente-Maritime) in honor of an important personality.
For those who walk the country roads, the mention of "Camp de César" should not surprise them. On the wooded heights of the hamlet of Toulon, vestiges reveal medieval constructions. It was probably an old castle mound (the site shows traces of a dungeon surrounded by ditches with fortifications). The place is listed Historical monuments since 1886, today it is a private property.
If you pass by to admire the tower of Pirelonge (why not take the short 25 km PR7 hike starting from the square of the church of Saint-Romain-de-Benêt), take a side step towards the hamlet of the same name, meeting the Brillouet family, a family of winegrowers and distillers. From its eco-museum, made up of 4 old Saintonge farms, its members transmit and share traditions and know-how around different themes: stills, lavender, printing and weaving.
Saint-Romain-de-Benet, a village on the way to the abbey of Sablonceaux
At the very north of the village, by side roads, we discover at the bend of a grove, a fountain with a rather basic structure. Divided into two basins, it served both as a washhouse and as a basin for retting the hemp. Was the fountain used by the canons of theAbbey of Sablonceaux ? Still, we are here very close to the Chemin des Prêtres, the two municipalities being bordering. The mountain bike circuit n°14 de Saujon passes near the abbey, the fountain and the tower of Pirelonge. Riders can also link Saint-Romain-de-Benet to Sablonceaux by the Route des Cardinals.
In the heart of the village, listed as a Historic Monument since 1921, the church owes its originality and interest to 2 domes giving its roof a false oriental air. On the church square, a monument bears witness to a beautiful story…
The statue of Madame Minal reminds us that between the end of the 2th and the beginning of the XNUMXth century, a resident of the village dedicated her life to the poorest and especially to the education of young girls. She creates the Rosières festival which, each year, honors two deserving young girls. This ceremony always takes place on the XNUMXe Sunday in June and bears witness to Madame Minal's legacy.
Exotic visits in the heart of the Saintonge countryside
The cupolas of the church have warned you without you realizing it. There is here, a perfume from elsewhere. By always pushing a little further on the country roads, you can find surprising places...
The Alpaguettes are one of them. Saint-Romain-de-Benet is Peru! Discover a huacaya alpaca farm in the heart of the country of Royan. There are also “Croix de St-André” donkeys and “Brahma Perdrix Maillée Dorée” hens on the estate. And if you want to stay there longer, you can book a trailer.
The trip around the world does not stop there! Destination Asia with the Olosa private garden. A garden where we linger over the Japanese space, the Koi carp pond, the maple collection, the Chinese space...