Two concerts and a visit to an abandoned medieval village have been part of the entertainment recently while in France. The concerts, both held in small village churches were both delightful though very different from each other. The first concert we attended together with about 60 other people, local residents, second home owners and their visitors was in the church at Le Vaulmier, was part of a series organised by the Festival of Baroque Music in the Auvergne with Cantica Sacra. Concerts are usually held in some of the many Romanesque and other churches in the Auvergne region. The two women musicians making up a part of Cantica Sacra, Bogumila Gizbert-Studnicka (harpsichord)and Paulina Tkaczyk (flute and harpsichord) were excellent and played a variety of Baroque music. The second concert was by a solo pianist, Jean Baptiste Mathulin and was superb. This took place in the church in Trizac, a large village a few miles away, under the auspices of Les Hauvergnales, a local organisation holding a series of events celebrating the village and its area.
I also visited the site of Cotteughes, an abandoned village on the plateau de Trizac. The abandonment took place during the latter part of the 14th century, possibly due to a variety of causes, including the Plague, the I00 Years War, which affected the Auvergne quite badly, and a change in the climate for the worse, making life up on the plateau which is over 1200 metres above sea level, that much more difficult. The site has been excavated, but few articles of interest have been found.
The guides to the visit were a lady who was very knowledgeable about the history of the site, and a gentleman who explained the local plant life, of which the former inhabitants made good use. Cotteughes is situated close to the Marilhou stream, which also has a small waterfall not far away through a pretty woodland path.