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Tours Route Map? and Villejesus?

Robo

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Time of past OR future Camino
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Was talking to my sister yesterday, who lives a few kms from Villejesus. (Department of Charente)
The village is between Poitiers and Saintes.
She said there were scallop shell signs in the village of Villejesus.

I was wondering if the village is on a recognised Camino route.
Perhaps the Tours route?
Or maybe it is off route a bit?

Is there a detailed route map of the Tours route anywhere.
I was just curious.
 
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Hi @Robo. I haven‚Äôt walked Chemin du Tours but it‚Äôs likely th√© village may be on or nearby as the Way does go between Poitiers and Sant√©s. This site has good information including map and stages ūüėé

 
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Hello @Robo
The Voie de Tours is part of the GR 655. Here is a link:


*Villejesus is roughly 38 kilometers from Aulnay which is situated on the GR 655 and just 5.9 kms from Tusson which is on the GR 36.

* There is an église de Saint Jacques (13th century) in Tusson.

* Here is a link to the Amis de Saint Jacques en Charente. One can contact them for advice. The Chemin de Saint Jacques in Charente is a work in progress. Signing is incomplete.

*Geoporteil interactive map (scroll in or out): Villejesus, 16140 Aigre
The GR trails, PR trails and GR de Pays trails in France are shown in fluorescent pink. Local paths and other ancient paths are shown in black.

Bon chemin!
Lovingkindness

Ps @Barbara has cycled extensively near here, I think. She was searching out trails for a guide book. She writes, 'Tusson was an amazing tiny town...' #20
 
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This article https://www.sudouest.fr/charente/an...ins-sur-la-route-de-saint-jacques-3071929.php describes a ‚Äúsecondary path‚ÄĚ of the ‚Äúvia Turonensis‚Äú that goes through Villej√©sus.

When I walked through France towards the Pyrenees, which was quite a number of years ago, the paths through the north of France and from Paris and from Tours were not yet as firmly in the hands of the usual Camino/Compostelle stakeholders (associations of volunteers, regions, town adminstrations and tourism offices) as they are perhaps now and the ‚Äúvia‚ÄĚ was still more thought of as a broad corridor from Tours to Dax and beyond and you walked from one town to another town as you saw fit, whether it was a ‚ÄĚprimary‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúsecondary‚ÄĚ path classified by someone as such or not at all categorised and marked by shells or arrows. At least that‚Äôs what I did.

I couldn’t find a trail through Villejésus on the Geoportail maps (which are excellent, btw).
 
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Villej√©sus is about 28 miles (45 km) east of Aulnay, on the Voie de Tours, and double that distance west of Limoges, on the Voie de V√©zelay. It does not appear to be on any established Camino route, but perhaps was an old stopping place for pilgrims walking from Limoges to the royal abbey at Saint-Jean-d'Angeley, where a relic of Saint John the Baptist was housed in the 9th century. As it happens, Aulnay itself has one of the most magnificent churches of the Voie de Tours, the 12th century √Čglise Saint-Pierre. It would be interesting to find out if there is any local tradition of such a route.
 
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Villej√©sus is about 28 miles (45 km) east of Aulnay, on the Voie de Tours, and double that distance west of Limoges, on the Voie de V√©zelay. It does not appear to be on any established Camino route, but perhaps was an old stopping place for pilgrims walking from Limoges to the royal abbey at Saint-Jean-d'Angeley, where a relic of Saint John the Baptist was housed in the 9th century. As it happens, Aulnay itself has one of the most magnificent churches of the Voie de Tours, the 12th century √Čglise Saint-Pierre. It would be interesting to find out if there is any local tradition of such a route.
It would also be interesting to know how Villejésus got it's name. Perhaps the land itself was owned by or associated with abbey lands. Villejésus is on route (5k).to the splendid Abbatiele de St Maur in Marcillac-Lanville. See more with photos/French text here and here.
 
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Villejésus is on route (5k).to the splendid Abbatiele de St Maur in Marcillac-Lanville. See more with photos/French text here and here.
The Abbatiele de St Maur looks fascinating. The east apse and the capitals are very similar in style those of the √Čglise Saint-Pierre at Aulnay, and both were built from about 1120. Although the Abbatiale was an Augustinian foundation and the √Čglise Saint-Pierre was Benedictine, the stylistic similarities are remarkable. Perhaps both are linked to a lost pilgrimage route between the Voie de V√©zelay and the Voie de Tours.
 
Hi @Robo. I haven‚Äôt walked Chemin du Tours but it‚Äôs likely th√© village may be on or nearby as the Way does go between Poitiers and Sant√©s. This site has good information including map and stages ūüėé


Very useful, thanks.
 
Hello @Robo
The Voie de Tours is part of the GR 655. Here is a link:


*Villejesus is roughly 38 kilometers from Aulnay which is situated on the GR 655 and just 5.9 kms from Tusson which is on the GR 36.

* There is an église de Saint Jacques (13th century) in Tusson.

* Here is a link to the Amis de Saint Jacques en Charente. One can contact them for advice. The Chemin de Saint Jacques in Charente is a work in progress. Signing is incomplete.

*Geoporteil interactive map (scroll in or out): Villejesus, 16140 Aigre
The GR trails, PR trails and GR de Pays trails in France are shown in fluorescent pink. Local paths and other ancient paths are shown in black.

Bon chemin!
Lovingkindness

Ps @Barbara has cycled extensively near here, I think. She was searching out trails for a guide book. She writes, 'Tusson was an amazing tiny town...' #20

Great information and links, many thanks.
 
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Hello @Robo
The Voie de Tours is part of the GR 655.
errrr, no, the GR655 is a long-distance hiking route roughly following the Tours Way, which itself includes a few major variants, several starting points, and many secondary and minor variants.

Especially the Chartres or Orléans choice, though there is a DIY possibility leading through both.

The Tours Way is the combination of multiple individual routes having in common that they pass over the bridge there over the Loire, including those that get to Tours along the Left Bank of the river.
 
Villej√©sus is about 28 miles (45 km) east of Aulnay, on the Voie de Tours, and double that distance west of Limoges, on the Voie de V√©zelay. It does not appear to be on any established Camino route, but perhaps was an old stopping place for pilgrims walking from Limoges to the royal abbey at Saint-Jean-d'Angeley, where a relic of Saint John the Baptist was housed in the 9th century. As it happens, Aulnay itself has one of the most magnificent churches of the Voie de Tours, the 12th century √Čglise Saint-Pierre. It would be interesting to find out if there is any local tradition of such a route.
A saying in Spain is that every village is on the Way of Saint James, and every road.

Howsoever you may interpret that, the Way of Saint James is far more complex than just a small number of hiking routes established and waymarked since the 1960s.

Though the fact that the Parish church is dedicated to Saint Peter would suggest a traditional link with the Way to Rome rather than to Santiago principally.
 
It would also be interesting to know how Villejésus got it's name. Perhaps the land itself was owned by or associated with abbey lands. Villejésus is on route (5k).to the splendid Abbatiele de St Maur in Marcillac-Lanville. See more with photos/French text here and here.
Hi there @mspath. I have had lots of fun today rummaging about for information. If I find more I'll post again.

Happy reading!
Lovingkindness

*Gallo-Roman statues and statuettes were found in Villejésus (pb. 1845).... https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k3046170j/f383.r=Villejesus

* Villejésus was a commandery of the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem. It was established sometime before the 13th century. It was a vassal fief (homage lige) of the bishopric of Angoulême; part of the Grand Priory of Aquitaine, but close to the possessions of the order which were attached to the Grand Priory of Auvergne. (From Wikipedia)

*Name changes:

Cassini map (18th century) Villejerus.jpg
Cassini map (18th century): Villejérus

Villejesus. Carte de l'etat-major.jpg
Carte de l'etat (1820-1866): Villejésus

*Etymology of 'Ville'
"From Latin villa (‚Äúcountry house‚ÄĚ); with Gallo-Roman, Merovingian and Carolingian villas gaining prominence as the Middle Ages progressed, the meaning shifted to village, as some became villages and some became towns. The name gradually followed their evolution and replaced the Latin vicus while city was maintained."

*Etymology of 'Jérus'
Could it refer to Jérusalem i.e from L’ordre de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem? There is a blog online which suggests this...

I wonder what the place was called in Gallo Roman times and if it is on an old map of Aquitaine?
 
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Hi there @mspath. I have had lots of fun today rummaging about for information. If I find more I'll post again.

Happy reading!
Lovingkindness

*Gallo-Roman statues and statuettes were found in Villejésus (pb. 1845).... https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k3046170j/f383.r=Villejesus

* Villejésus was a commandery of the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem. It was established sometime before the 13th century. It was a vassal fief (homage lige) of the bishopric of Angoulême; part of the Grand Priory of Aquitaine, but close to the possessions of the order which were attached to the Grand Priory of Auvergne. (From Wikipedia)

*Name changes:

View attachment 138625
Cassini map (18th century): Villejérus

View attachment 138626
Carte de l'etat (1820-1866): Villejésus

*Etymology of 'Ville'
"From Latin villa (‚Äúcountry house‚ÄĚ); with Gallo-Roman, Merovingian and Carolingian villas gaining prominence as the Middle Ages progressed, the meaning shifted to village, as some became villages and some became towns. The name gradually followed their evolution and replaced the Latin vicus while city was maintained."

*Etymology of 'Jérus'
Could it refer to Jérusalem i.e from L’ordre de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem? There is a blog online which suggests this...

I wonder what the place was called in Gallo Roman times and if it is on an old map of Aquitaine?
Great info Lovingkindness thanks so much! I have seen the Cassini maps of course. Those links for Jérus/Jésus are especially intrigueing.
 
Great info Lovingkindness thanks so much! I have seen the Cassini maps of course. Those links for Jérus/Jésus are especially intrigueing.
Hi there @mspath & others
I am really enjoying myself. Today I have lost oodles of time scrolling through the ¬īVillej√©sus¬ī entries in Gallica. Here¬īs what I found:

Many artefacts from the Gallo-Roman period and earlier have been found in la Charente, some not far from Villejésus.

In 1844 a museum was created by the Société Archéologique et Historique de la Charente to house the artefacts. An illustrated catalogue was published in 1915. One of the sketches is of a terracotta head found in the commune of Villejésus. View here.

Re figuring out the name of Villejésus in Gallo-Roman times, who knows? A clue might be found in this book which contains archeological sites, villas, maps and roads in La Charente . It is not available for reading online, though.

16_Charente.png

I wonder if there is a list of names somewhere of Romans who owned villas in Aquitaine....

Cheers!
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.
Being as it is the festive season...
A few centuries ago, up until the 17th century at least,
...if Robo had found himself celebrating Christmas and the New Year in Villejésus, he may well have been an onlooker or participant in a curious local custom, la fête des fous.

Gustave Chauvet (1840-1933) describes it here in
l¬īhommage du roitelet et la f√™te des fous de Villej√©sus. Pages 8-10:

..To the sound of trumpets and with shouts of Vive le roi!¬ī, on the 1st of January a group of inhabitants would process through the streets of Villej√©sus to the church, carrying aloft four naked children holding in their hands a cage in which perched a live wren. At the church the wren was offered as a tribute to the Commander de Malte.

Joyeueses fêtes, @Robo, et
Bon chemin, 2023.

Le roitelet
 
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Despite the excellent links provided earlier in the thread I did not find it easy to visualise Villejésus in an overall context of a Tours Route Map. @Peter Robins's superb website with interactive maps is unfortunately no longer maintained and what is is still on the web appears to not work well anymore.

I used the French Geographic Institute's Geoportail site to create an overview map. Today's economic centres like Tours, Poitiers and Bordeaux were economic centres one thousand years ago during the Middle Ages and even two thousand years ago when the area was under Roman administration, and these centres were connected by roads. If you come from Tours and want to reach Spain, Bordeaux is an obvious place to aim for. One can see that Tours-Portiers is a straight forward line. From Poitiers, there are three obvious options, via Niort and Saintes, via Aulnay, St-Jean-d'Ang√©ly and Saintes, or via Angoul√™me. Villej√©sus is marked by an X and is in the Portiers-Angoul√™me corridor. I'd say, sure, one can mark a pilgrimage way that goes through it :cool:, and it appears to be a pleasant section to walk. For a long walk and coming from far away, I would again want to walk through Aulnay and the other small places between Poitiers and Saintes, like Melle, that are not shown on this map. The Romanesque church of Aulnay in particular was quite an eye opener for me. ūüėć

Poitiers to Bordeaux.jpg
 
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if Robo had found himself celebrating Christmas and the New Year in Villej√©sus, he may well have been an onlooker or participant in a curious local custom, la f√™te des fous. Gustave Chauvet (1840-1933) describes it here in l¬īhommage du roitelet et la f√™te des fous de Villej√©sus: ...To the sound of trumpets and with shouts of Vive le roi!¬ī, on the 1st of January a group of inhabitants would process through the streets of Villej√©sus to the church, carrying aloft four naked children holding in their hands a cage in which sat a live wren. At the church the wren was offered as a tribute to the Commander de Malte.
@lovingkindness, you have been quite thorough in exploring documents about Villej√©sus on gallica.bnf.fr. ‚ėļÔłŹ

I see now that the bird, called roitelet in French, is also known as roi Bertaud which means literally King Bertaud, and that customs such as "crazy days" when the usual social rules and hierarchies were publicly mocked and inverted, so that a bird was treated as the king or a small boy was treated as the abbot were once common throughout Europe and in particular during the period from the 28th of December (Feast of the Holy Innocents) until the 6th of January (Three Kings' Day). Most of these customs are now lost and forgotten but I remember an earlier thread in particular where we discussed the fact that, in Spain, the 28th - día de los Inocentes - is a day for practical jokes, similar to the 1st of April elsewhere.
 
roitelet in French
Thanks again for the leads, @lovingkindness ‚ėļÔłŹ. I had not really been aware of this, but roitelet sounds of course also like little king, and this bird is called Zaunk√∂nig (king of the fences or hedges) in German and there is a widely known legend / fairy tale / fable about the eagle and the wren and which of all the birds can fly the highest and would be the king of all birds. Neat.
 
Thanks again for the leads, @lovingkindness ‚ėļÔłŹ. I had not really been aware of this, but roitelet sounds of course also like little king, and this bird is called Zaunk√∂nig (king of the fences or hedges) in German and there is a widely known legend / fairy tale / fable about the eagle and the wren and which of all the birds can fly the highest and would be the king of all birds. Neat.
Yes, that is what Chauvet suggested, too, that whilst it could be the wren itself to whom the inhabitants shout Vive le roi!, it was more likely, he thought, that the shout recalled le roi des fous festivities in the town of Noyen...
 
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Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

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