We had passed the picturesque Auvergnat village of Montpeyroux so many times before on our way to the city of Clermont-Ferrand, intending to stop and visit. But time after time, we just glanced from the car window as we drove by. This year, we finally managed to set a day aside to explore this charming place.
Montpeyroux is classifies as one of 156 of the 'prettiest villages in France' and it definitely merits its place on that list. Situated an top of a hill, Montperoux's ancient stone houses, some dating from the early 1100's, along winding cobblestoned streets. Right in the center of this medieval village, there stands a dungeon from the XIII. century, from which, if you dare climb its winding stone steps, one has the most amazing views of the famous Chaîne Des Puys, or chain of volcanos, which dominate the landscape of the Auvergne.
Once populated by stone masons and wine makers, Montpeyroux has now become home to many artists and artisans. It has about 350 inhabitants. The houses have been lovingly restored and the most beautiful flowers grow everywhere in the village.
What I admire more than anything here in France is the love of history, the respect for what came before and the tireless effort to preserve this rich past.
Though Montpeyroux is obviously quite a bit older than Carroll Gardens, our own Brooklyn neighborhood, deserves the same respect and the same preservation for future generations.
Wouldn't you say?