Collonges-la-Rouge, the red village of France

A visit to Collonges-la-Rouge during your holiday in France will take you back in time. It seems as if you  are entering the Middle Ages because a large majority of the houses were built during that period. Collonges-la-Rouge has retained its original character over the centuries. But the village has more to offer than just that. For example, all the houses are built with red stones. That’s why the village has the addition "la Rouge". Collonges-la-Rouge is located in the Corrèze, just southeast of Brive-la-Gaillarde near the Dordogne valley and the Périgord. The area is a green hilly landscape with various nut trees such as chestnut trees. Take the time to visit the village, which is one of the most beautiful in France. On a sunny day you can take beautiful photos, visit the shops and galleries and have a drink on one of the terraces.

Go for a walk and explore Collonges-la-Rouge

The village, also referred to as the village with the 25 towers, has a lot to offer tourists. Several houses even have a monumental status. One of such houses is the Maison de la Sirène which dates back to the 16th century and is now a museum for art and folk traditions. The museum displays how establishments where like in earlier times. Maison Boutang du Peyrat was built in the 15th century and is another old building in the village. Part of the priory, the old court and the old town hall also have this status. The village also has multiple city palaces. The construction of the church marked the start of the 11th century. All across the village you can see remains of the old defense systems and the occasional gate and tower. The Castel de Vassinhac, Castel de Maussac, Maison Ramade de Friac and the castle of Benge all still have towers you can go and visit. The church of Saint Pierre with its beautiful interior is also worth a visit.

Sights to see !

  • Maison de la Sirène
  • Maison Boutang du Peyrat
  • Priory, church St. Pierre
  • Court, town hall
  • City palaces
  • Castel de Vassinhac
  • Castel de Maussac
  • Ramade de Friac
  • Château de Benge
  • Eglise Saint Pierre

Plus beaux villages de France

Collonges-la-Rouge is on the list of Les plus beaux villages de France. On this list you’ll find the most beautiful villages in France which meet certain conditions. This list was created by the mayor of Collonges. Around 1980 he read a book by Reader's Digest about the hundred most beautiful villages in France. A short description of all the villages was included. The mayor of Collonges then contacted the mayors of all those villages. Almost everyone agreed with his proposal to unite the beautiful old villages of France under a label and to establish a foundation called "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France", which organizes an election for the ranking annually.

History of Collonges-la-Rouge

The village originated in the eighth century when the monks of the abbey of Charroux established a priory. A priory is an annex of a monastery. The priory was under the protection of the nearby state of Turenne and its main task and source of income was to give shelter to the pilgrims who were on their way to Compostella. Soon houses were built around the priory and a prosperous village arose.

Around the 13th century Collonges received certain privileges from the Count of Turenne and it was further expanded. In the 16th century it started to become a holiday resort. Many members of the local nobility had large houses and city palaces built to stay there in the summer, such as Castel de Vassinhac. After the transition from Turenne to the French state, many inhabitants left the village of Collonges and during the Revolution many houses were destroyed. In the beginning of the 20th century there was renewed interest in Collonges and the houses were rebuilt in their original state. Collonges became Collognes-la-Rouge in 1969 when more and more tourists started to visit the village.

Collonges la Rouge 1 in de correze bij de Dordogne Frankrijk vakantiepark.jpg

Play a Game of Goose

The goose has always been important in and around Collognes. To promote this, a huge version of the famous game "Goose Game" was made between the nut trees at La Grange aux Oies. Goose Game is a great game to play as a family. You will get a dice and whilst playing the game the importance and history of the goose in the region will be explained. The game ends at square 63. You’ll find a barn here where you can taste delicious regional dishes.

Castel de Vassinhac

Castel de Vassinhac is one of the most remarkable buildings in Collonges-la-Rouge. It was built at the end of the 16th century by the lord of the village and served as a palace. The beautiful towers of Castel de Vassinhac and the loopholes in the towers are some of the most interesting features of the castle. These loopholes were built for ornamental  purposes and not to protect the castle.

Eglise Saint Pierre

The village church was built between the 11th and 15th century. It was built on the foundations of an 8th century church which had been destroyed. The church is built in Romanesque style and has a robust bell tower. The tympanum above the main entrance is eye-catching. The tympanum is beautifully decorated and is in theme of the Ascension.

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