Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The village of Avaray .Loire Valley France.

The  Church at Avaray.

AVARAY  is a small  medieval village in the Loire-e-Cher area of France.It is located on the Loire River about 8 miles  from Beaugency and about 30 miles from Orleans.The Chateau D'Avaray was built in the 12th century and in 1667 it was bought by the Béziade family who was from the Bearnaise area of France. The Duke was the bailiff of Orleans and his family after him also filled  that position .King Louis XVIII created the the estate a duchy  under the title of D'Avaray in 1799 in favor of the Duke of D'Avaray who he called his liberator,
The town housed most of the workers who were employed by  the Duke . In 1793-around the French Revolution - the town had 709 inhabitants that grew to 967 in 1851  .It  declined to about 703 inhabitants consisting of about 294 houses in 2009.Today it is a charming little town and it feels if time stood still. 

The Avaray Church Square. Eglise Notre Dame de l"Assomption.

In 1137 King Louis VII chartered a church on this spot in Avaray  .The church was built  on the site of a eleventh century chapel - built on a pagan site The door on the north side of the church is from the eleven century.
 .The church was destroyed by the English troops in the 14th century.It was most probably only restored after  the liberation of Orleans by Joan of Arc in 1429.In 1553 the bell tower was built by masons of Avaray. There is also a corner stone dated 1604.
The Chateau D'Avaray was originally a fortress with four towers built in 1150 . Jehan Mineray bought the fortress around 1476 .He kept the four original towers but reconstructed a new building. .Later the Montgomery family owned the castle and in 1621 the  estate was bought by Jacques de  Beziade who's family built the current chateau in  1737..The chateau was sold as apartments in the 1950's ,
Eleven members of the Beziade family is buried in a vault under the church.

The Town Hall.
There was a tunnel that connected the Chateau to the Town Hall.


There are  several "lavoires" in the town .
The women of the town did their washing there.

Wall around the chateau.

Corner tower in the wall surrounding the chateau. 

View of the chateau over the wall .

Entrance to the Chateau D'Avaray from the town. 

The Avaray grave yard with some graves dated 1705

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