Aquitaine: Saint-Macaire & Château de la Brède

Our friends had morning and evening commitments today. They dropped us off this morning at Saint-Macaire, a lovely medieval town. We spent over an hour pottering around the streets and lanes, visiting the church ‘Saint Sauveur’ and the adjacent remains of a former Benedictine abbey.
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We found a cafe to top up our caffeine levels and a gallery with a small photographic exhibition.
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We then walked to the Porte du Thuron and then back round to the market to meet up again.
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After lunch we visited the Château de la Brède. The current building was constructed on the site of an earlier wooden structure and there have been various renovations over the centuries. Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, a writer and philosopher was born there in 1689. He lived there regularly all his life, although he also travelled, and wrote many of his books, including The Spirit of the Laws there. His descendants owned the chateau until 2004 when the last member died. It is now owned by a trust. Our guide told us that the family had had some financial problems and sold the library; other sources say it was donated to a library in Bordeaux. No photographs were allowed inside so the only ones I have are outdoors.
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In the surrounding fields there was a herd of grey cattle and which breed they are remains a mystery.
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On the way back, we stopped for a brief look in a secondhand bookshop in Beautiran. I could have spent all afternoon ferreting about in there. He also has postcards, prints and some music including vinyl.
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The next essential purchase on the return journey to the house was some wine at Chateau Mellin.

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