06-Oct-2020 -- A few days vacation during the Covid 19 pandemic ! As the travel limitations got more and more restrictive we ended up with our only option left : a road trip in our home country. So we decided to head north with the goal of visiting the Loire valley and the famous castles stringed all along the river. Traveling with our car also gave us the opportunity to visit a number of CPs lying along our itinerary.
N47 E0 is located in a crop field ; the site is named « La Corbinière » where there is an abandoned farm already described by previous visitors. It is easy to park there and walk the short distance to the actual point (bring your boots !). The CP area offers not much interest but the whole region is of great historical importance.
This CP is the closest to the Royal Abbey of Our Lady of Fontevraud (UNESCO World Heritage Site), a monastery founded in 1101. It was located in the Anjou Duchy, once part of the Plantagenet Empire. The abbey is famous for harbouring the tombs of two kings of this dinasty : Henry II and his wife Aliénor d’Aquitaine and one of his son Richard I also known as Richard Lionheart. Henry II died in 1189 in the Royal Fortress of Chinon while Richard Lionheart died in 1199 after being wounded during the siege of Châlus in Aquitaine. Visiting the abbey is a unique trip in history ; go for it if you visit N47 E0 !
One may also appreciate a visit of the nice medieval town of Montreuil-Bellay with the fortifications (XVIth century) and the castle (XIIIth century).
But the area also allows a visitor to go back in much earlier times in human history as the Anjou is renowned for the extraordinary density of prehistoric dolmen that can be found there. One of these dolmen is located at Saint Laon, 4,9 km beeline from the CP (N46° 57’35.26’’ – W0°01’33.98’’). Some construction has been made there to secure the monument ; the top stone is estimated to weight 60 tons.
The Saint Laon dolmen is nevertheless a children play when compared to the Dolmen de Bagneux which can be found in Bagneux (south suburb of Saumur ; N47°14’35.18’’ – W0°05’40.56’’). This huge construction, 23 meters long is believed to be a chambered tomb from the Neolithic times, built in 4000 BC. The largest top stone is estimated to weight 120 tons. This dolmen is the second largest dolmen in Europe after the dolmen of Antequera, near Málaga in Spain. It is located in a private property but the land owner welcomes the visitors for a modest fee. There are many unsolved misteries around the dolmen. The method used to built them and the transportation method of the stones are still a matter of debate.
At las, leaving Saumur to the east may lead the visitors to the sign along the Loire riverside marking the crossing of the 0° Meridian.