Destinations Magazine

Jonzac - La Cité Médiévale

By Josephharrison1990 @JTAH_1990

All good things must come to an end, just like my French holiday to the South-West of France did. But before my Birmingham bound flight I had one more place to visit! I have been to Bordeaux, Cognac and Chatenet so far, but it was time to revisit one final place. Jonzac, a medieval and endearing town was my last adventure for this trip. Let's make the great escape to the town where castles, rivers and cute French bakeries exist! Are you in? 

Jonzac - La Cité MédiévaleJonzac, I have previously been to this medieval town once before back in January 2011. During my latest trip in France I wanted to recapture the essence of this quaint town during a brighter time as my first visit was very cold. Arriving at the top of Jonzac's town center I saw the charm and beauty of this place staring right back at me. Calling Jonzac a town might be the wrong way to describe this small French area, as I would call Jonzac a community within the castle walls of the chateau that still stands today. 

Standing before me was a majestic chateau, honestly you could not see anything that was more French! I would say that Jonzac's chateau had a fairy-tale feel, I loved it! Within the castle walls their is the 'Hotel De Ville' which is the town hall, where all issues are dealt with by the Mairie of Jonzac. There was just something special walking through the castle's main entrance into the courtyard. I just loved it! 

This castle looked over the rest of the town, revealing the green pastures that sit amongst the houses close to the river. It's crazy to think that just five minutes away there is a out-of-town shopping centre, two large supermarkets and a McDonald's restaurant, time waits for no one so that's just life! Does Jonzac have the best of both worlds? All this talk of castles makes me want one here in Birmingham! 

Jonzac - La Cité MédiévaleJonzac has a cute cake shop, which sells cakes and all things sweet. In French the words 'Patisserie' and 'Confiserie' basically means pastries and cakes. I would say that this sweet addition to Jonzac sets this town perfectly. There's nothing quite like a French cake or bake because they are great, but to be honest I will have both if I have the choice. On the day I walked past this bakery, I noticed things were looking a little quiet but I can imagine during the summer months this place would be busy with people enjoying their French fancies! 

French culture marginialises different places that sell specific products, like bread from a 'Boulangerie' and meat from the 'Boucherie'. Anyway, I loved Jonzac's answer to 'Greggs' because it looked quintessentially French. I would love to see classy cake cafes in Bilston and around the Midlands, maybe it would bring a bit of much needed sophistication to the high streets of England? I unfortunately didn't have a sweet treat from the cake shop pictured to the right because I went to McDonald's for a McFlurry before I arrived in Jonzac's town center. I do feel bad now!

Jonzac - La Cité MédiévaleAlong with the kitsch and historical delights of Jonzac, I almost expected to see 'Belle' from Disney's 'Beauty and The Beast' walk past with a pile of books like she did in the film! I didn't see 'Belle' or 'Gaston' but held that vision in my head as I walked down the hill in the center of Jonzac's old town. Disney fantasies aside I loved the winding streets of Jonzac's descending paths, leading the way to the main shopping streets. Each place I have been to during my French holiday has been very unique, for instance Jonzac showed me something that made me feel like I was in another time period!

Most of Jonzac's architecture dates back to the 17th century, something that I had never seen before I had been to Jonzac. I look back to my previous visit to Jonzac back in January 2011, I found the atmosphere of the town to feel very cold so this time around I found this town much more inviting. I would highly recommend a visit to the town of Jonzac, for something different and quintessentially French.  

I did witness some works going on as I walked further away from the chateau, the equipment used didn't suit the aged buildings at all. Since France joined the European Union stark changes have been seen in the smaller towns and villages of France, I can only speak about the developments in the 'Poitou-Charentes' region. Word on the street is that main drainage and sewerage systems are being introduced to towns like Jonzac, so it looks like modern facilities will be making its way to a Jonzac near you. 

Jonzac - La Cité MédiévaleFrance must be a country of rivers because almost every town or city I have seen this past week has got it's own river. 'La Seugne' river flows through the town of Jonzac, which has been captured to the right. I will be brutally honest to say that France does have some beautiful rivers, which have some very picturesque surroundings. Looking at the river that flows through Jonzac it looked less frozen compared to my 2011 visit. 

I originally thought that this river shared its name with the Parisian river called 'La Seine'. Only because my paternal grandfather asked a local passerby what this rivers name was, his response did not make a whole lot of sense. Later finding out that the river in-question was actually called 'La Seugne' not 'La Seine' from the local Jonzac Tourist Information Centre. If 'La Seugne' river was a tributary of 'La Seine' river it would be like saying the river 'Nile' flows through parts of 'South Africa!' How mad?! All in all the river topped my afternoon in Jonzac fantastically. 

Belle and Gaston, I Know That You Were Both Hiding! Disney In Jonzac? Sacre Bleu!Joseph Harrison 

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