In the countryside south of Royan, on the road to Bordeaux, barely 5 km from Mortagne and the banks of the Gironde estuary, you cross several rural towns including the rather discreet one of Brie-sous-Mortagne.
Discover the slopes of the Gironde by bike
Brie comes from the Gallic word "briga" meaning "height". Indeed, to the south of the town, the hilly plateau rises to an altitude of 60 m, one of the highest points in the Royan region. It dominates the Fondevine stream, the natural border of the town.
The town of Brie-sous-Mortagne has always been turned towardsagriculture which is still the main activity today. Vines alternate with fields, grapes with cereals. In the Middle Ages, a large fair was held in the town. old windmill towers on the heights of the town testify to the past cereal vocation of the town. Certain names of localities (“le Grand Moulin”, “le Petit Moulin”) are not misleading. If there are few left today and none in operation, it is enough to imagine a time when the heights of Brie-sous-Mortagne were covered with mills like the giants of Don Quixote.
To the north, the Lande forest borders the Seudre, which here is no more than a simple trickle of fresh water. This wood is dotted with small ponds called "the clones".
We take you for a short mountain bike tour around Brie-sous-Mortagne. THE tour n°9 makes a loop from Boutenac-Touvent for 13 km. It is suitable for the family and can serve as an introduction to the practice. Mainly on dirt roads, it allows you to survey the hillsides of Gironde without difficulty.
Brie-sous-Mortagne, a land of stone
In addition to the landscapes, the richness of the soil has also shaped the village. The facades of dwellings, whether rich or poor, are constructed from local stone. Here, no stone from the famous quarries of Crazannes, but a less soft limestone with flint nuggets from nearby sites. When the sun's rays – rising from the Saintonge countryside or setting over the Gironde estuary – strike the houses, you can admire their unique brilliance.
This stone also allowed the construction of theChurch of St. Peter. This neo-Romanesque building from the XNUMXth century is mainly distinguished by its bell tower-porch. We cannot advise you too much to take advantage of the tranquility of the small garden at the foot of his bedside. It hides a cemetery cross accompanied by a medieval sarcophagus engraved with original and mysterious arabesques.
A national reputation for a small village
On the way, you will probably pass the building of the Roudier company. First French manufacturer of fishing nets, the Roudier family has been based in Brie-sous-Mortagne since 1948. They notably manufacture fishing nets and tools. A local company that reminds us that the Gironde estuary is not far away...