Secret history of French villages - June 2019

Turenne, the quiet medieval village that boasts independent history

The remarkable story of Turenne, in the Corrèze, which was an independent fiefdom for more than 750 years

Today, Turenne, in the Corrèze, is a small, picturesque village that is home to just over 800 inhabitants. For centuries, however, it was the seat of the  last independent fiefdom in France – and immensely powerful.

From 984 to 1738, the Viscounts who ruled it and its population of around 100,000 – stretching about 50km in every direction – were given special privileges allowing them to make their own laws, mint their own money, raise an army and collect taxes, without having to give any to the royal family.

The ...

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