Gargilesse-Dampierre travel guide

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Visit Gargilesse-Dampierre (Centre-Loire Valley, France)

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Gargilesse-Dampierre is a small village in the Indre department of central France to the south of Chateauroux and about 10 kilometres south-east of Argenton-sur-Creuse

The village is a member of the 'most beautiful villages of France' organisation and perhaps best known as the village where the 19th century novelist George Sand wrote some of her works.

Exploring Gargilesse-Dampierre

France This Way review: the village is situated in a peaceful and picturesque setting in the valley of the river Creuse, and although it is very small, we highly recommend you visit Gargilesse-Dampierre when in the region.

The combination of the pretty houses of the village, the historic castle around which Gargilesse-Dampierre developed, the church and the river, combine to make for a very picturesque village with a great deal for visitors to enjoy.

In addition, from several places in the village you have lovely views into the river valley below and across the houses that stand above the valley.

Quiet street in Gargilesse-Dampierre

In Gargilesse village you will see numerous picturesque houses, typically in the light stone of the region, and many of them tall buildings overlooking the river valley and covered in plants or featuring unusual architectural elements such as enclosed balconies.

Gargilesse castle, dating from the 10th century, has had an eventful history. The imposing castle entrance with towers either side dates from the 12th century. The original castle building was largely destroyed during an assault in 1650, then rebuilt in the 18th century in a much simpler style - more a grand manor house than a castle.

Escaping damage during the revolution, this castle also fell to dereliction, but towards the end of the 20th century it was renovated and turned into a modern art museum.

The other important monument in Gargilesse-Dampierre is the 12th century roman style Church of Notre Dame, which was originally the church for the castle. The church is in a quiet setting a short distance along a quiet country lane and the Gargilesse-Dampierre tourist office is in a round stone tower next to the church.


Inside the church there are numerous exceptional carved capital stones and in the crypt there are colourful frescoes some of which are said to date from the 13th century and are a fascinating discovery.

Note in particular the fascinating fresco of Christ, as a rather boyish figure (how He was often painted before later artists established the image of Christ that we are familiar with today) with a broken knife in his mouth.

Enthusiasts of roman style architecture will also want to visit the small church at Dampierre, small but perfect and just a few kilometres east of Gargilesse.

Maison de George Sand: the writer George Sand had a small and unimposing house in the village in the 19th century, which has now been restored and furnished in a style of the time and contains many items that once belonged to the writer and her family.

An artist called Serge Delaveau lived in the village in the latter part of the 20th century and there is now a museum displaying many of his works. These are very impressive and typically colourful works in the post impressionist and expressionist styles that were popular in the early decades of the 20th century.

The strong artistic heritage is now reflected in the art galleries and artists established in Gargilesse.

Approach to the church in the heart of the village

Attractions nearby

Take a stroll along the river banks through the Creuse Valley, a popular spot with fishermen and a chance for children to paddle in the river. The forests around Chateauroux also offer many chances to enjoy walks in the region.

If you enjoyed a visit to Gargilesse-Dampierre you are certain to enjoy a visit to Argenton-sur-Creuse, 10 kilometres to the north-west and also elsewhere along the valley of the River Creuse. A visit to Saint-Benoit-du-Sault is also recommended.

You can find more travel ideas in the Indre guide and the Loire Valley guide.

See also: 

Photos of Gargilesse-Dampierre

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Map of Gargilesse-Dampierre and places nearby


Visit near Gargilesse-Dampierre with France This Way reviews



There are several churches of interest here in Argenton-sur-Creuse, and a very pretty walk along the banks of the Creuse river

Argenton-sur-Creuse guide


The unspoiled medieval streets in the 'most beautiful village' of Saint-Benoit-de-Sault quickly take you back several hundred years in time

Saint-Benoit-du-Sault guide
La Chatre

La Chatre

La Chatre is a small town and quick to explore - before setting off to discover the other castles and countryside nearby

La Chatre guide


The 18th century French manor house where George Sand lived is the main attraction in the village of Nohant-Vic

Nohant-Vic guide
La Souterraine

La Souterraine

La Souterraine is one of those 'hard to find' traditional French towns that are always a pleasure to discover

La Souterraine guide


Take a stroll through the grounds of the castle here in the quiet town of Saint-Chartier

Saint-Chartier guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Indre

Address: Gargilesse-Dampierre, Éguzon-Chantôme, Châtre, Loire Valley, 36190, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 46.514444, longitude 1.597778

Plan your visit to Gargilesse-Dampierre, Indre

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Eguzon-Chantome: village d'etape (8 km)
  • Jardin-arboretum de La Sédelle: remarkable garden (14 km)
  • Saint-Benoit-du-Sault: most beautiful village (18 km)
  • Neuvy-Saint-Sépulchre collegiale St Etienne (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (18 km)
  • Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe Abbey: heritage site (28 km)
  • La Chatre: recommended detour (31 km)
  • Jardin du domaine de George Sand: remarkable garden (31 km)
  • George Sand House: national monument (31 km)
  • La Souterraine: village d'etape (32 km)
  • Chateauroux: ville fleurie 4* (33 km)
  • Etangs de la Brenne: site of natural beauty (34 km)
  • Brenne: regional natural parc (34 km)

The French version of this page is at Gargilesse-Dampierre (Francais)