Gargilesse Dampierre

**Gargilesse Dampierre* in the Indre department is one of les plus beaux villages de France. Set on the little Gargilesse river in the river Creuse valley, the picturesque houses and medieval castle have always attracted artists and writers, such as Claude Monet and George Sand.

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Indeed, the village was the favourite retreat of George Sand, and she passed long periods here in her little house, Algira; named after a rare butterfly that she came across one day near the village. The house is now a museum, containing objects relating to Sand, her work and travels.

It seems that Gargilesse is fated to attract those with artistic talent: the village has an interesting church with many medieval wall paintings; the castle is today owned by an artist, who has an art gallery there; and there are several exhibitions of painting each year, including one where artists exhibit their works in the streets of the village.

For those who want a little reality to go with their art, there is a particularly good walk 2km along the Gargilesse river to the point where it meets the Creuse, in a magnificent wooded gorge.

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