Last night, a programme called “Le Village Préféré des Français” was shown on French TV channel France 2. As in last year, 22 villages across France were competing for the prestigious prize, knowing that reaching the top 5 would greatly help the local tourist industry.
The 22 regions of mainland France had entered a village to the competition, all of them having in common a rich historic and cultural heritage.
In 2012, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, in the département of Lot (Midi-Pyrénées), was elected as favourite village of the French following a vote in which more than 130,000 people joined on the Internet.
Last night, the French have chosen their favourite villages… here is the top 22:
- #22: Marville (Lorraine)
- #21: Pigna (Corsica)
- #20: Grez-sur-Loing (Île-de-France)
- #19: Arcais (Poitou-Charente)
- #18: Sainte-Énimie (Languedoc-Roussillon)
- #17: Châteauvillain (Champagne-Ardenne)
- #16: Labastide-d’Armagnac (Aquitaine)
- #15: Saint-Benoît-du-Sault (Centre)
- #14: Septmonts (Picardy)
- #13: Sebourg (Nord-Pas-de-Calais)
- #12: Charroux (Auvergne)
- #11: Château-Chalon (Franche-Comté)
- #10: Beuvron-en-Auge (Lower Normandy)
- #09: Gourdon (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur)
- #08: Vouvant (Pays-de-la-Loire)
- #07: Noyers-sur-Serein (Burgundy)
- #06: Étretat (Higher-Normandy)
- #05: Antraigues-sur-Volane (Rhône-Alpes)
- #04: Sauzon (Brittany)
- #03: Chambon-sur-Voueize (Limousin)
- #02: Andlau (Alsace)
The site of Andlau is remarkable: between the slopes of the Vosges and the Alsace Plain, the flower-decked village is well known for its vineyards. This is the heart of the Riesling producing area with three famous vintages found nearby.
Andlau has a rich history linked to the presence of an abbey founded by Sainte Richarde in 880. The old part of the village features houses from the 15th to the 18th centuries that belonged to the wine-growers and the tradesmen (blacksmiths, carpenters, butchers…)
Andlau is also a gateway to the massif of Champ du Feu (1,100 metres) in the Vosges and to the holiday-resort village of Le Hohwald.
#01: Cordes-sur-Ciel (Midi-Pyrénées)
The great winner of the 2014 edition of the competition is Cordes-sur-Ciel in the Tarn département.
The charming village sits on its rocky outcrop like a stone nest near Albi. Its name ‘Cordes-on-the-sky’ reflects the town’s exceptional site on a hill above the clouds which cover the valley below.
Cordes-sur-Ciel is one of the oldest walled towns in south-west France whose prosperity highlighted the region during the Middle Ages. It was founded in 1222 to be a stronghold against the army fighting the Cathars.
Cordes-sur-Ciel quickly became prosperous from the cloth, silk and leather trades. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the merchants and noblemen built there luxurious residences.
There is more to Cordes-sur-Ciel than merely old stones. Round the corner, you will come across a little piece of heaven. A garden clinging to the village, with plenty of surprising botanical varieties like a green and delicate oasis.
(f) for féminin, (m) for masculin, (adj) for adjective and (v) for verbs
- channel = chaîne (f)
- to elect = élire (v)
- favourite = préféré(e) (adj)
- region = région (f)
- village = village (m)
- vote = vote (m)
- winner = gagnant (m)