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Except from Cave Life in France... "[Lavardin] is very small. ... The caves are a novelty that many Parisians buy but never use except once or twice a year. However, on the weekends there is more activity because the Chateau and the caves are a tourist attraction. There are two chateaux. One is in Lavardin. The other is down the river about two miles in Montoire. These two chateaux were important fortresses from the eleventh through sixteenth centuries. They are ruins now but their basic forms still tower over the towns. Here is my translated description from the town's brochure:  

 LE VILLAGE

In a remarkable site in the valley of the Loir, LAVARDIN, a flowered village, huddles at the foot of the splendid ruins of its chateau. One reaches it by a beautiful gothic bridge with eight arches.
LAVARDIN? A tender and vigorous dream in rock.

The village that the Romans called LABRICINUM, LAVARZINUM, existed prior to recorded history and the Gaules made their weapons there. Christianity was implanted here and left us two shrines, St. Gildéric which became St. Martin and St. Genest which is today the parish church.

The Mérovingiens left us some sarcophagus, and beginning in the 10th century, lords bedecked in steel took over the chateau. The troops of Henry IV made a ruin of it. But what a ruin! One can still admire it, as well as the ancient houses and the cool caves.

LAVARDIN, recently admitted by the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of France, is also the cradle of the "chouine", a card game typical of the valley of the Loir.

 

       

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