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Tour-en-Sologne

Town, village, neighbourhood in Tour-en-Sologne
  • The Latin name for Tour-en-Sologne is TURMA, meaning "cavalry detachment". Tour, a humble village located on the Beuvron river, thus originated as a small military outpost charged with guarding the region (Charlemagne's charter in favor of the abbey of Saint-Aignan-d'Orléans dated around 800, which owned land in Tour).

    According to other sources, the name Tour may only have been given to the village because of its motte, which probably contained a tower, and this tower could not have been...
    The Latin name for Tour-en-Sologne is TURMA, meaning "cavalry detachment". Tour, a humble village located on the Beuvron river, thus originated as a small military outpost charged with guarding the region (Charlemagne's charter in favor of the abbey of Saint-Aignan-d'Orléans dated around 800, which owned land in Tour).

    According to other sources, the name Tour may only have been given to the village because of its motte, which probably contained a tower, and this tower could not have been better placed than on the eminence where the church enclosure now stands. Until the creation of the bishopric of Blois under the reign of Louis XIV (1697), Tour was a parish of the diocese of Chartres, archdeaconry of Blois.

    From the late Neolithic period, two polished axes were found in Tour (and three in Mont), now housed in the Blois archaeological museum. This region, which was so marshy, was not inhabited until the end of this period.

    In Sologne, more than 200 tumuli have been recorded, dating from the Iron Age, Celtic or Gallic period. Twenty of these are located in the Boulogne forest. The construction of ponds is attributed to Gallic times, as they provided food for Sologne's inhabitants and purified the land. They also contributed to defense. A number of mottes and oppidums were protected by ponds, such as the Cave enclosure at Tour-en-Sologne.

    An archaic passageway, this village was built alongside Gallo-Roman roads, of which a few rudiments remain. Waterways were important in Gallic times, with their rowing boats and almost flat bottoms. On our commune, two bridges spanned the Beuvron; the first, still standing, was built by the Romans: the Pont d'Arian and its low wall running from the Carrefour d'Arian to the Carrefour de Villesavin. It owed its name to the emperor Adrian, who passed over it on one of his expeditions to Gaul. The second bridge, which no longer exists, was located not far from La Folletière, at a place known as "les ponts neufs", and ended near the cemetery to join the Chemin des Ogonnières.

    On the site of one of the towers, the church dedicated to Saint-Etienne
    and its presbytery. A papal bull from 1144 by Pope Celestin II shows that the church depended on the abbey of Pont-Levoy. With its Gallo-Roman fountain and 12th-century mill, La Folletière must have been a hamlet in Roman times, probably destroyed by the barbarian invasion. Remains of stones, bricks, tiles and a stone sarcophagus, probably Merovingian, have been found.

    Like many villages in the Middle Ages, Tour-en-Sologne had a priory, "Notre Dame de Boulogne", which, as its name suggests, was located in the Boulogne forest, far from looting (see www.archeoforet.org). It was established in 1163 by Thibault V, Count of Blois, on an estate belonging to the chapter of Saint-Aignan d'Orléans, which in the 8th century had been given to them by Charlemagne in gratitude.

    The Chaise farm and Baignoux mill belonged to the monks of the Chouzy priory on land donated by Hue de Chatillon, Count of Blois, around 1299.

    Villesavin
    Villesavin is one of the oldest seigneuries in the Blais region. It was mentioned in a sale granted to the first Count of Blois, Guy de Chatillon, in 1315. It was traced back to 1515, when Hubert le Chat, squire to the lord of Ruye, inherited it from his mother. In 1527, the Villesavin estate belonged to Jean Breton, the King's Secretary of Finance. He had followed François 1er to Italy, where he lost his freedom at Pavia while trying to defend the King's freedom. On his return, Jean Breton, administrator of the County of Blois, was charged with paying for the construction of Chambord, and he decided to build the Château de Villesavin during the major works. The lord of Villesavin was in constant contact with the army of artists called upon to decorate the new royal residence.

    Local legend has it that a tombstone at the entrance to the château grounds is the final resting place of a Russian officer from the Napoleonic era.He was buried with all the friendship of the heart of the châtelaine de Villesavin, who had the honour of guarding the life and death of this great lord.