Land of the Dukes of Bourbon, the time of a stroll in the heart of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, which saw radiate this powerful lineage related to the kings of France and linked to the abbey of Cluny.
Bourbonnais is, like Berry, an old historical province, cradle of the Bourbon family which appeared in the 10th century in Bourbon l'Archambault.
The Dukes of Bourbon made Moulins the Capital of Bourbonnais. A place never denied since, which have seen the construction, until the 19th century, of very bourgeois mansions and those of the most beautiful successes of Art Nouveau, including the unmissable "Grand Café".
They also initiated an inheritance practice which, along with that of sharecropping, today makes Bourbon a human scale landscape. Each hedge in this bocage province is like a bookmark in a great open-air history book that you can leave or resume, reading as you please.
Churches and castles as far as the eye can see. Here, the Priory of Souvigny, there, the castles of Vieux-Botz or Riau, further on, the Donjon de la Mal Coiffée and the Pavillon Anne de Beaujeu. The stone from Bourbon carries the magnificence of ducal and monastic powers. (from: ville-moulins.fr)
The bocage and forest landscapes, and in particular the magnificent forest of Tronçais, make it a typical and preserved terroir.
The forest of Tronçais has 11,000 hectares of centuries-old oaks. It is one of the most beautiful forest in France. (The "square oak" dates from 1630 and the "sentinel" from 1580.)
The nearby castles of Ainay-le-Vieil are a remarkable alliance of feudal and renaissance architecture.