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    Aubigny-sur-Nère : a French Little Town in Berry Proudly Hoists its Scottish Colours

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    Aubigny-sur-Nère City of the Stuarts Berry France © 2010 Scotiana

    A Scottish piper welcomes the visitor at the entry of the town…

    Aubigny-sur-Nère 'City of the Stuarts' Berry France © 2010 Scotiana

    Aubigny-sur-Nère 'City of the Stuarts' Berry France © 2010 Scotiana

    Pieces of tartan stretched like sails within bamboo frames flap in the wind … hunting and royal Stuart tartans…

    Aubigny-sur-Nère 'City of the Stuarts' rue des Dames Berry France

    Aubigny-sur-Nère 'City of the Stuarts' rue des Dames Berry France © 2010 Scotiana

    On a charming little square, a yellow-harled house, which would not look out of place in Culross, proudly stands across the street, while a Stuart tartan sign invites us to enter the picturesque half-timbered ‘Mary Cottage’ …an emblematic red phone booth and a British-style bench, set on a manicured lawn, still add to the feeling that we are arriving in a Scottish town but it’s only a beginning !

    The Cutty Sark Pub Aubigny-sur-Nère 'City of the Stuarts' Berry France © 2010 Scotiana

    The tartan touch is omnipresent all over the very flourished French little town of Aubigny-sur Nère: in the shops, from the butcher’s to the insurance company, in the bars, hotels and restaurants and we’ve even found a Scottish pub…

    Hôtel de ville Stuart-Castle Aubigny-sur-Nère 'City of the Stuarts' Berry France © 2010 Scotiana

    A little further we fall upon an old castle bearing the Stuarts Arms. Across the street, a big sword in a rock seems to be waiting for William Wallace…

    Scottish Archer Hôtel de ville Stuart-Castle Aubigny-sur-Nère 'City of the Stuarts' Berry France © 2010 Scotiana

    In front of the castle a  Scottish archer is bending his bow, ready to shoot an arrow… the place seems to be well-guarded …

    Scottish and English knights Hôtel de ville Stuart-Castle Aubigny-sur-Nère 'City of the Stuarts' Berry France © 2010 Scotiana

    … no wonder,   at the entry of the castle, which bears the Stuart arms, there seems to be an intruder. Two knights are figthing, one is wearing the Scottish Stuart Tartan and we guess that the other, with the St George’s Cross on his clothes, is  English…

    The Saltire fluttering in the wind in front of the Aubigny Hôtel de Ville-Stuart Castle © 2010 Scotiana

    That day, a chilly wind was blowing and the sky was grey and rainy in Aubigny but nobody seemed to care, strolling along the streets, in summer clothes and bare arms, as if we were in Scotland  but  it took us a long time to get a satisfactory photo of the fluttering Saltire…

    The Aubigny Auld Alliance Scotch Whisky © 2010 Scotiana

    Our tour of Aubigny would not have been complete without a dram of the Scottish mythical malted breuvage but, yes, Aubigny-sur-Nère is proud to be able to offer its visitors an authentic whisky …Chin Chin !

    Aubigny-sur-Nère Fêtes franco-écossaises Programme juillet 2010

    But we’ve missed “le clou du spectacle” this year,  for if we had celebrated our “Fête Nationale” in Aubigny on July 14, it would certainly have been an extraordinary Scottish-French celebration !

    Aubigny-sur Nère rue des Foulons Bridge on the Nère © 2010 Scotiana

    The French ‘Stuarts City’ is very rich in history and if you want to know more about this picturesque and enigmatic Scottish-French town, then don’t miss my next post about Aubigny… I will tell you much more about its fascinating story.

    A bientôt.

    Mairiuna

    Scottish Teddy Bear Aubigny-sur-Nère Tourist Office © 2010 Scotiana

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    18 comments to Aubigny-sur-Nère : a French Little Town in Berry Proudly Hoists its Scottish Colours

    • Alastair Bruce

      Very nice, Philippe. We had a wonderful time in Aubigny again this year and are looking forward to welcoming Aubigny pipe band to Haddington next August. A bientot. Alastair

    • vannier

      merci pour avoir visité notre ville, je suis vice président du comité de jumelage AUBIGNY HADDINGTON,

      • Bonjour Mr Vannier! Un grand merci pour votre message. Faute d’avoir pu vous rencontrer sur place lors de notre petit séjour à Aubigny-sur-Nère, c’est un grand plaisir de prendre contact avec vous via notre blog. Il nous reste encore beaucoup de choses à découvrir dans votre très jolie petite ville aux accents écossais et nous ne manquerons pas d’y retourner peut-être à l’occasion des prochaines fêtes écossaises. Nous surveillerons de près les activités organisées dans le cadre du jumelage sur le blog Sauldre et Sologne. Nous sommes impatientes de découvrir Haddington et avons inscrit cette visite sur notre itinéraire écossais #7 (2011). Un autre post sur Aubigny sera bientôt publié sur notre blog. Bonne continuation dans ce travail fort sympathique de rapprochement entre la France et l’Ecosse. Mairiuna, au nom de l’équipe Scotianaise.

    • Iwas very lucky to have spent sometime in this part of france,I was on my own mission –trying to recover from illness,as at that time lived in holland and could not go to visit my homeland on west of scotland ,threw a friend i was blessed to come to this fantastic part of scottish history ,We were outside the town in a lovely pottery village,the peeps were so nice that once i said i get stronger i will return …..Now i hope to come….with lots of friends ..to enjoy the moments of this wonderfull part of our scottish history…….think i better bring some young men to marry the locals…and keep this …stronghold…..like you are doing every yr with history ..living on ….in our hearts..cant wait for july xxx maryann now in scotland

      • Bonjour! Please accept our apologies for delay in replying. We sincerely hope that you quickly recovered and had the opportunity to come back to France. Maybe you are in Aubigny now for the celebrations. On our part, we are eager to go back to Scotland and especially to the western coast which is one of our favorite places. Wishing you all the best, Mairiuna and Janice.

    • Kathryn Stuart-Stevenson

      Hello, my husband’s grandmother, Helen Stuart-Stevenson initiated the twinning of the towns of Aubigny and Haddington in East Lothian, Scotland in 1965. This was predicated on their ancestor, Sir William Stuart of Castlemilk, who died at the Battle of Herrings during the siege of Orleans in France in 1429. The Scots had been asked to come help fight the English during the Hundred Years War. William and his half brother John are interred in the cathedral in Orleans. The Scots/French connection in Aubigny is a direct result of the gift of lands there to the brothers’ descendants for their service to France. Those descendants also became the Earls of Lennox in Haddington, hence the twinning effort by my husband’s grandmother. Cheers!

      • Bonjour!
        We are very happy and quite honoured on Scotiana to have received a message from a lady whose husband happens to be a descendant of the Stuart family! How kind of you for taking time to write this very interesting comment about such a fascinating page of Scottish-French history when you must be so very busy preparing the July celebrations in Aubigny.

        Last year, when we visited Aubigny-sur-Nère, it was such a ‘coup de coeur’ that we promised ourselves to go back there soon to learn more about local history! We’ve particularly liked the Auld Alliance Museum which illustrates, in such a lively way, one of the most moving pages of the Scottish-French history. And Aubigny is such a nice little town in itself, with its old church and castle, its picturesque streets lined with ancient half-timbered houses.

        As we are great fans of Scotland we’re always very happy to learn about Scottish historical links with France and Québec, like those we’ve found in Aubigny-sur-Nère and its neighbourhood (The château de la Verrerie is a true enchantment!).

        Last time we went to Orléans (my parents are buried there) we did want to take pictures of William’s and John’s graves for we had been quite moved by their story, but it was the eve of ‘Les Fêtes de Jeanne d’Arc’ when we came there and the town was so crowded (especially in the streets around the cathedral) that we soon gave up our project. Mais ce n’est que partie remise! ;-)

        Merci encore de la part de toute l’équipe de Scotiana et peut-être, à bientôt, à Aubigny!

        Mairiuna

    • Kathryn Stuart-Stevenson

      We live in the States but did attend the festivities of the Bastille Day/Auld Alliance/Twinning in Aubigny last year. At a luncheon kindly hosted by Aubigny’s mayor, Yves Fromier, we met Count Bernaud de la Vogue, the current occupant of Chateau de la Verririe. He invited us to lunch and a tour of the private rooms of the Chateau during our visit. He showed us the room my husband’s grandmother (her mother, Constance Marie de Lormet, was French) stayed in when she visited and rode horses with his mother. We will be in Scotland in August for Aubigny’s pipe band/Twinning Association’s reciprocal visit to Haddington between the 16th and 22nd. This alliance is alive and well and we look forward to seeing our friends from Aubigny again this August in Scotland. I have some wonderful pictures that I can share for those interested.

      • Hi Kathryn !

        Many thanks for your very interesting comments on Scotiana.

        We’re very happy to see that the crucial and often very bloody pages shared by Scottish and French allies during the “Guerre de Cent ans” on this part of our territory are still very lively today. We happened to pass by Aubigny on Sunday 17 July and though we arrived at the end of the twinning festivities the moving tunes of the pipe bands still resounded in the crowded streets. The atmosphere was most friendly and very cheerful as it certainly will be next month in Haddington.

        We ended the day at Le Château de la Verrerie. It was closed at this late hour but the old castle was reflecting its romantic figure on the peaceful waters of the little lake together with a few thistles gently swinging in the wind. We took pictures before leaving this enchanted place and I intend to include some of them in a post as soon as I come back home.

        We’re always very happy to add new pieces to our great Scottish-French historical mosaic, still more when they come from our readers, so we are very grateful to you, Kathryn :-) :-) MERCI BEAUCOUP. We wish you a very nice holiday in Scotland ! Mairiuna

    • Kathryn Stuart-Stevenson

      We are now in Ireland where my husband’s parents married. We return to Scotland next week to join in the annual celebration of the twinning of Aubigny and Haddington-this year in Haddington, East Lothian-another Stuart town. We plan on being in Aubigny in 2015 for the 50th anniversary of, the twinning which should be quite the celebration and invite all to join us!

    • J’ai été dirigé à ce site par mon cousin James Stuart Stevenson. Ma famille descend du Bonkyl, Aubigny et Lennox linage du Stuart. Faire vous est s’il vous plaît si gentil comme me mettre à jour sur les événements futurs, comme je serais enchanté pour assister si mon plan permet.
      —–
      I have been directed to your site by my cousin James Stuart-Stevenson. My family are descendants of the Bonkyl, Aubigny and Lennox lines of the Stuarts. Would you please be so kind as to keep me updated on future events, as I would be delighted to attend if my schedule permits.

      Charles.

      • Bonjour Charles !

        Many thanks for getting in touch. It’s great to have received a comment from a Stuart descendant! We’re quite sorry for not having answered sooner but we’ve just returned from a tour in the South of France which led us in Roussillon on the steps of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife, Margaret MacDonald. A very interesting and moving trip about two of the greatest Scottish artists. Your request is all the more ‘à propos’ than festivities must already be in preparation for the 2012 celebrations. We’re keeping a very close eye on the happenings in Aubigny-sur-Nère, as we are ourselves very interested by the events taking place in this marvellous little town in Berry. Until next, take care and all the very best. Mairiuna

      • Bonjour Charles,

        C’est un peu tard pour vous donner le programme des festivités franco-écossaises d’Aubigny-sur-Nère mais “mieux vaut tard que jamais” comme l’on dit en France ;-) .

        Vous pouvez télécharger ce programme en format pdf sur notre dernier post (lien ci-dessous).

        Je me permets de vous écrire en français car j’ai vu que vous maîtrisiez bien notre langue ;-)

        Toutes nos amitiés franco-écossaises-québécoises

        Mairiuna

        http://www.scotiana.com/waiting-for-the-scottish-bagpipes-in-aubigny-sur-nere/

    • Yvonne Murphy

      Dear Charles

      Please have a look at http://www.scottishdiasporatapestry.org
      This is a tapestry project on the Scottish diaspora. We would like to hear from you.

      Yvonne

    • Cher Mairiuna,
      Merci tellement de votre email aimable.Ma commande de Français n’est pas aussi grande! Je ne l’ai pas parlée pendant beaucoup d’années, satisfais ainsi me sens que gratuit pour communiquer dans car je suis des beaucoup sûrs autres anglais peut apprécier nos échanges.
      ————————————————————-

      Dear Mairiuna
      Thank you so much for your kind e-mail.

      My command of French is not so great! I have not spoken it in many years, so please feel free to communicate in English as I am sure many others may enjoy our exchanges.

      Charles.

    • Dear Yvonne,

      This is a wonderful website and thank you so much for sharing the content.

      I cannot imagine how I may be able to assist, however, if you have some ideas, I would welcome them. Perhaps some information from my family website may be of use, so please feel free to view it. If you would like a password, please request the same “on site” and I will be sure to ask my webmaster to include you in the list of receipents.

      http://www.stewartsofcampbeltown.com

      With Seasons greetings and regards,

      Charles.

    • Hi Maja. And a happy New Year to you too! Thanks for the link to the miniature bayeaux tapestry, they are great images.