This ancient paper mill began production in 1522 and now produces paper for many artists. You can also see the beginnings of the printing press. Tours can be pre-arranged in English, and there are workshops for children, where they can make their own paper and try printing. It is an excellent half day, and children are surprisingly fascinated. It is located just outside St Leonard de Noblat, the beautiful medieval town, always recommended for its enormous gothic church and architecture as well as its mouth-watering cake shops!
It is 15 minutes away from the Chateau and a lovely drive.
Paul Rebeyrolle was a modern painter (1926 -2005) who created huge and striking canvasses. He was born in pretty Eymoutiers, where his gallery now stands, and houses important temporary exhibitions, as well as his own work. The gallery runs art workshops on the first Sunday of each month (from children of 4 years to adults) and every day during the holidays, but booking is essential. We took two 6-year-olds and a 13-year-old and all the children enjoyed themselves and each brought home a Picasso style work of art.
Eymoutiers is 35 minutes from the Chateau, it is a very pretty drive.
Chateau Rochechouart Contemporary Art Museum
The Chateau was sacked during the revolution, so its new life as an art museum breathes new life into its existence, but it is also a lovely and impressive building. There are art workshops for children. It is closed on Tuesdays and has slightly irregular opening hours during the winter.
It is 45 minutes from the Chateau.
Oradour Sur Glane – Second World War Martyred Village
Oradour Sur Glane was an ordinary small town with a modest amount of commerce; bars, restaurants, hairdressers, a garage etc, and it still not known why this town was singled out for destruction and the massacre of its 644 civilian inhabitants.
When General de Gaulle visited the ruins in 1945, he immediately made the site a monument to the suffering of the French civilians during the war and it has remained untouched since.
Not an obvious outing with children, but the visitors center is excellent, and deals with the rise of the Third Reich in a clear way, whilst showing the stories of people who resisted. It is a somber experience, but everybody who visits is glad that they went, and it is a good way of beginning to explain the war (and conflict in general) to older children, from about 10 years. Having said that, there is nothing graphic that would upset a younger child accompanying. Open every day.
It is about a 30-minute drive from the Chateau. The new village of Ordadour is built next to the site.