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Easy French Practice

Biron Castle in Dordogne – A French English Bilingual Story

Pierre By Pierre on June 12, 2017
Pierre

Let’s practice our French with this easy French English bilingual story which takes us to the castle of Biron and the Bastide of Monpazier in the Lot-et-Garonne region.

Merci beaucoup à Roger et Liz qui ont écrit cette histoire bilingue en français facile et accepté de la partager avec nous !

Thanks a lot to Roger and Liz who wrote this easy bilingual French story and accepted to share it with us!

1 – A Week in French Immersion in Lot and Garonne

Notre premier week-end de notre cours d’immersion en France avec Pierre et sa famille a compris les visites de deux chĂąteaux et plusieurs belles villes de la rĂ©gion oĂč ils vivent.

Our first week-end of our immersion course in France with Pierre and his family included visits to two chateaux and several beautiful towns in the area where they live.

Nous avons déjà parlé de notre visite du Chùteau du Duras. Nous allons maintenant vous emmener faire une promenade dans un marché. déjeuner dans une Bastide et puis visiter le Chùteau Biron.

We already spoke of our visit of Du Duras Castle. We are now going to take you for a walk through a market and then for lunch on the Bastide of Monpazier and then a visit of Biron Castle.

2 – Issigeac Market

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Le dimanche matin Pierre nous a emmenĂ©s Ă  un marchĂ© Ă  Issigeac. Une belle ville mĂ©diĂ©vale avec de nombreux bĂątiments historiques. Un marchĂ© Ă  travers les rues pittoresques crĂ©ant une atmosphĂšre agrĂ©able et dĂ©contractĂ©e. Tous les types de produits locaux et les vĂȘtements Ă©taient disponibles, des bougies aux poissons, mĂȘme un petit-dĂ©jeuner Anglais!

 On Sunday morning Pierre took us to a market at Issigeac. A lovely medieval town with many historic buildings. The market wound through the picturesque streets creating a nice relaxed atmosphere. All types of local produce and clothing were available, from candles to fish, even an English breakfast!

3 – La Bastide de Monpazier

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learn french frenchtoday lot et garonne castle

Nous avons ensuite visitĂ© Monpazier, une ‘Bastide’ mĂ©diĂ©vale typique. La ville est construite autour d’un grand marchĂ©. La large rue (assez large pour les chars apparemment) reliĂ©e par des passages Ă©troits crĂ©ant la trame distinctive de la Bastide. Autour de la place sont disposĂ©s de larges passages couverts avec des arcs impressionnantes qui donnent accĂšs Ă  des magasins et des restaurants.

We then visited Monpazier, a typical medieval ‘Bastide’ town. The Town is  built around a large market square. The wide streets (wide  enough for chariots apparently) connected by narrow passages create the distinctive ‘Bastide’ grid pattern. Surrounding the square are wide covered walkways with impressive arches which give access to shops and restaurants.

learn french frenchtoday lot et garonne castle

4 – Biron Castle in Dordogne

AprÚs un bon déjeuner nous avons visité le trÚs impressionnant Chùteau de Biron, situé sur une colline dominant un petit village.

After a lovely lunch we visited the very impressive Chateau de Biron, situated on a hill overlooking a small village.

learn french frenchtoday lot et garonne castle

5 – The Taxes Tower of Castle Biron

Dans le coin de la cour basse il y avait une tour trompeusement modeste oĂč les impĂŽts Ă©taient perçus (la tour des recettes). Le rĂ©cepteur Ă©tait chargĂ© de percevoir la taxe sur le sel (gabelle – impĂŽt sur le sel), et une taxe directe – la taille. Les fermiers, les vassaux et les serfs devaient Ă©galement payer une taxe sur le travail (la corvĂ©e) Ă  leurs seigneurs fĂ©odaux, cela impliquait de travailler gratuitement pour un certain nombre des jours chaque annĂ©e.

In the corner of the courtyard there was a deceptively unassuming tower where the taxes were collected. The tax collector was responsible for collecting the salt tax and a direct tax. The tenant farmers, vassals and serfs also had to pay a labour tax to their feudal lord which involved working for free for a number of days each year.

learn french frenchtoday lot et garonne castle

6 – Modern Art Exhibit

Dans une autre partie du ChĂąteau il y avait une exposition d’art moderne. Je ne suis pas un fan de l’art moderne mais mon Ɠuvre d’art prĂ©fĂ©rĂ© Ă©tait une sorte de Bretzel gĂ©ant! Selon moi ces piĂšces fabuleuses Ă©clipsaient un peu les Ɠuvres d’art exposĂ©es. Les tommettes hexagonale et le parquet complexe ont Ă©tĂ© cirĂ© avec de la cire d’abeilles qui rendent les couleurs brillantes.

In another part of the Chateau there was a modern art exhibition, I am not a fan of modern art but my favourite piece was a giant pretzel! The fabulous rooms rather eclipsed the art. The hexagonal terra cotta floor tiles and the intricate parquet flooring were polished with bees wax which makes the colours glow.

learn french frenchtoday lot et garonne castle

learn french frenchtoday lot et garonne castle

7 – Beautiful Arches and Ceilings

Il y avait de nombreux beaux exemples d’arcs et de plafonds et de toits dans tout le chĂąteau. Il Ă©tait trĂšs intĂ©ressant de voir de l’intĂ©rieur comment certains des toits avaient Ă©tĂ© construits.

There were many fine examples of arches, ceilings and roofs throughout the chateau. It was very interesting to see from the inside how some of the roofs had been constructed.

learn french frenchtoday lot et garonne castle

Plus tard nous avons traversĂ© le beau village Ă  cĂŽtĂ© du chĂąteau, le soleil se couchait et la pierre des bĂątiments avait l’air d’ĂȘtre tel de l’or. Une belle fin de journĂ©e !

Later we wandered through the beautiful village beside the Chùteau, the sun was setting  and the stone of the building looked golden. A lovely end to the day!

learn french frenchtoday lot et garonne castle

Merci beaucoup Pierre. Vous Ă©tiez un guide merveilleux.

Thank you very much Pierre. You were a wonderful guide!

If you liked this article, why not consider a stay at Pierre’s home in Lot-et-Garonne to better your French? Here is more info about the French Immersion Residential courses recommended by French Today.

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