Collonges La Rouge is an old french village with a lot of heritage. 420 ha of it is classified as ‘monument historique’. The town is located only 23 km north of our castle. The village is built in red sandstone extracted from Puy de Valège, a 404 m summit located just north of the village. The sandstone soils (sandstone and red clay) of the crystalline plateau to the north, are occupied by copses of chestnut trees or mixed copses, moors, and their slopes are a display orchards or vineyards. The small stream of Collonges La Rouge, which is dried up in summer, follows the valley at the foot of the village. It springs out at Puy Boubou, and has a 8 km north-south course, before flowing into the Tourmente, a tributary of the Dordogne. Despite its low flow, it stands out in the landscape for its riparian forest made up of tall poplars, and water-loving trees. Collonges went through the Wars of Religion, in a relatively peaceful way. After the sale of the viscounty to the Crown of France in 1738, the village lost it’s tax privileges. Then the Revolution came, which ended up destroying the buildings. Many inhabitants left the village, and Collonges became a stone quarry. Entire hillsides of diseased vines were later uprooted and replaced by walnut trees.
The region then turned to mixed farming in the 19th century. Breeding and force-feeding of geese on the limestone plateau, and cattle breeding on the more humid Limousin plateau. The municipality of Collonges began conservation efforts from 1905, making it possible to classify several buildings as historic monuments. Some Collongeois had the idea of creating an organization whose mission, with the assistance of the public authorities and the town hall of Collonges, was to highlight the heritage of the village. Collonges and its surroundings, including the hillsides overlooking the village to the north, have been listed as classified among the most beautiful villages in France since 1996. Tourists started coming, and financially well-off people bought second homes in the heart Collonges to settle or rent their property.
We would advise a visit to this very special village. There is also a good chance you will pass some truffle trees on the way.