Saint-Benoît-du-Sault in the department of Indre
within the Centre Val de Loire Region is listed in the association
'Les Plus Beaux Village de France'
and its appeal lies in the fact that its centre has changed very
little since its priory was founded in the 10th century by Benedictine
monks. It has managed to adapt to
modern times without sacrificing a great deal of its original charm
though 'shabby chic' may be a better description.
Actually, if you enter the village from the A20 (J20) travelling
south along Route d' Argenton you just might wonder at its 'Beaux'
The choice of location for the
priory, on a raised rocky outcrop washed by river Portefeuille,
was for obvious defensive reasons. It was further protected by an additional rampart
and the forming of a man-made 'lake' by the damming of the river.
As the village grew up around the priory this was also
surrounded by a second rampart, evidence of these can still be seen
around the village in the form of its remaining arched gates.
As you walk through its narrow cobbled streets you are
transported back in time, the medieval houses having changed very little
since they were built during the 15th and 16th centuries.
Like most French villages Saint-Benoît-du-Sault tries in
different ways to attract visitors with fetes and festivities from
its firework displays on Bastile day to concerts in its Romanesque
It has a small market each Saturday and a larger one on the 4th
of each month in the village square .
A surprise you will find in the village is the garden of
artist Jean Remo. He opens the doors taking you along wooded
driveways showing you his ancient-style vegetable garden while
sharing his passion for botany.