A Trip to France 11: Severac-le-Chateau

by Brenda W. Clough

 Ah, the medieval villages of France! We are staying in Severac-le-Chateau, in the central Averyon district on the central massif. It is almost unbelievably picturesque — the only American equivalent may be found (I regret to say) at Disney World. Behold, the portcullis over the portal in the ancient walls — we are staying in a gite (a modestly-price hostel) just around the corner inside this gate.

 We have a front terrace, and here is a view from it. The other photo is of my husband opening the door into our impossibly period suite. Many steep crazy steps, nothing is square or on the level, and some of the windows let into the eighteen-inch thick stone walls are but a foot square. I will see if I can get enough daylight to take a picture of the steps, which are original to the building and surely over 500 years old. But there is the WiFi of the gods, and a bathroom that could have been designed in Switzerland yesterday. Also a wood stove! Which (it is late September) we will need tonight. It’s not going to freeze but it’ll get pretty chilly.

It is rural here, nothing like the big cities. We are so high up it is utterly quiet. A few cars can trundle through these streets (believe it or not they can get through that gate — French cars have a button so that you can flip your side mirrors in, to squeeze through tight places) but there is no traffic really. And the main tourist season is over. It is (except for that magnificent shower) almost like it was in the 1400s. Well, and the WiFi.






About Brenda Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her novel A Most Dangerous Woman is being serialized by Serial Box. Her novel The River Twice is newly available from BVC.


A Trip to France 11: Severac-le-Chateau — 4 Comments

  1. I remember a B&B in Winchester, England. It had been a bishop’s palace at one time. Corridors went off at odd angles. Floors tilted. Windows were never level. And the bathrooms were triangles–corners that had been sectioned off from the main room. Really charming in an odd, off-center way.

  2. There was a medieval house across from where we were staying, already updated (i.e. with electric, bathrooms etc.) and habitable. A mere 90,000 Euros, which works out to less than $100K US. I swear if you lived in this village you could write novels like the wind. The stories are everywhere. Last night an entire novel came to me, about the Gallo-Roman fountain around the corner from where we were staying.

  3. It looks lovely. We just returned from our Greek travels, and stayed in the Medieval walled city in Rhodes town. Very much like your experience, except not so quiet! So much history everywhere you step.