In the heart of the natural region of Alpes-Mancelles nestles a small village oozing with the charm of a painting masterpiece. It’s no surprise that this is an artists’ retreat! In Saint-Cénéri-le-Gérei, listed as one of France’s most beautiful villages, let the wonderful local history and folklore guide you around this town full of character.
Enchanting walks among dwellings and gardens
Listed among the “most beautiful villages of France” and officially a “characterful little town”, Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei is sure to charm you. Its little ivy-covered stone houses create a bucolic scene that can only inspire anyone with an artistic streak. During your walks, learn about the history and legends of Saint-Céneri in the company of a guide whose stories will prove just how bewitching this place is. And to make your outing even more magical, take a walk in the Mansonière gardens, smell the different fragrances of the ancient varieties in the rose garden, be inspired by the tranquillity of the Asian garden or lunar garden, and learn the art of planting in the neogothic kitchen garden. A whole walk full of wonders..
Painters’ haunt at the Auberge des Sœurs Moisy
Saint-Céneri and the Alpes Mancelles region have caught the eye of many a curious artist in search of inspiration. These painters needed a place to meet up, chat and unwind. The Auberge des Sœurs Moisy is the venue they chose and even today it’s easy to imagine the enthusiastic atmosphere generated by those meetings in this characterful little inn. Get the picture? Nowadays, this impressionist painters’ meeting place invites you to discover the local history and heritage in an ancient and highly original inn that even features a “Room of the Decapitated”. We’ll leave it to you to imagine what’s in there…
The church and chapel of Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei watch over the village
The church of Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei watches over the villagers from the top of its rocky headland. For a muscle warm-up, follow Rue de l’Eglise up to the church where you’ll be rewarded by a stunning panoramic view over the valley and spot the bridge across the River Sarthe. Step inside and stand in awe amid the incredibly warm atmosphere of this church whose walls are decorated with impressive 12th- and 14th-century frescoes. Beneath your feet, amazingly, ancient sarcophagi form the church’s foundations! After your visit, go for a walk to the Petit Saint-Céneri Chapel. Standing alone in the middle of a vast meadow tucked in a bend of the River Sarthe, it beckons you… to let its poetic charm permeate your mind.