Secret history of buildings - February 2019

The very big secret history of France’s smallest commune - Jane Hanks tells the remarkable history of the tiny Gironde village that was the birthplace and occasional home of royalty

Castelmoron d’Albret, in the Gironde, is the smallest commune in France, a surface area of 3.5 hectares – but it has a big history.

In 2019, just 52 people live in the village; and the mairie is open once a week, on Wednesday afternoons. But in its heyday it was an important administrative centre ruling over 40,000 people.

The village is built on a rocky outcrop and its buildings are grouped around the church and its ancient market place.  

From 1556 up until the Revolution, ...

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