Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Advent postcards, Tumulus de Bougon, Deux-Sèvres


French Village Diaries cycling adventures advent postcard Tumulus de Bougon Deux-Sèvres
Advent postcard, Tumulus de Bougon, Deux-Sèvres

Advent day nineteen

Today’s cycling advent-ures postcard comes from the Tumulus de Bougon museum in the Deux-Sevres where we spent a hot Sunday at the beginning of July.


Our visit had been timed to take full advantage of the FREE museum entry on the 1st Sunday of each month, saving 6€ each, and was part of my 2023 plan to visit as many local museums as I could fit in around work. The only tourist information point in Chef-Boutonne is us at the Château and rather than just hand out leaflets, I wanted to be better able to recommend other places for our visitors. I quickly developed museum envy. Rather than our tiny museum in Javarzay, that is run by the local council, Tumulus de Bougon is on a huge site with a restaurant, indoor exhibits and exhibition space, plus the numerous burial mounds in the outdoor park, all run by the Deux-Sèvres Department. 


After a coffee we picked up the audio guides, that we could use in English, and started our visit indoors, learning about seven million years of history and the evolution of man. It was fascinating, but too much for my brain to take in on one visit, which gives us a great opportunity to return. This area in France has a number of standing stones, dolmens and megaliths, often found in woods or fields, but also including one in a residential street in Poitiers. There are many legends that tell tales of giants and fairies moving these huge stones around, but we now know a lot more about them than fairy tales. The first thing I learned was that these tabletop stones or pierre levée are actually the three entrance stones to a long-eroded burial mound – which seemed so obvious when it was pointed out, but not something I’d ever considered before. The museum is home to round and long burial mounds, many of which you can access some of the inner chambers, which is properly exciting for children of all ages. We had a blast exploring and admiring the amazing construction work that predates Stonehenge. 

French Village Diaries cycling adventures advent postcard Tumulus de Bougon Deux-Sèvres Pierre Levée Poitiers
Pierre Levée, Poitiers

Our day continued with a picnic in the neighbouring village of Pamproux where we then set off on a Terra Aventura bike ride treasure hunt, that gave us even more local history to discover. I can 100% recommend a visit here. 

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