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Pays de Lévis
Surface: 23808 ha
Pop.: 4198 h
Ensemble de 8 communes
This area captures the heart of this region of central France, with the ancient “Forêt de Tronçais” and the closeness of the banks of the “Allier” on either side. The very essence of times past on the “Chemin des Muletiers” of the Corne de Rollay, and on passing the ancient ports of Château sur Allier and Le Veurdre. The Pays de Lévis is actually crossed by the road of St Jacques de Compostelle at Vézelay.
The Pays-de-Lévis is made up of a combination of landscapes, richly inhabited by wildlife because of its diversity. The valley of Allier, with its many streams, lakes and marshland, also offers moorland covered by broom and coppice; pastureland is populated by the white cattle in the south, and to the east of Lurcy-Lévis – via Pouzy-Mésangy, Limoise, Couzon, St-Léopardin d’Augy, Neure, Le Veurdre and Château-sur-Allier.
Remarkably preserved, and still possessing the country lanes with an abundance of natural hedgerows, it offers enchanting walks cross-country… a chance to breathe pure air, to relax and enjoy nature and the romance of the “bocage”.
A million and one curiosities await the visitor in the country roads, behind the groves, in the pretty villages, and by the river banks.
The Pays-de-Lévis has also two rather more unusual features : the most ancient cycling circuit in France –constructed in 1897, originally with an earth track, later cemented. It has welcomed a number of Tour de France champions such as Bobet, Anquetil, Quintin, Géminiani, Magne, Durand, Tournant… two meetings are still held each year.
A second feature is a racing car circuit (unique in Europe), with a lane of 1500 metres without change in gradient. The largest stadiums (Ligier, Mc Laren, Benetton, Renault…) and motor manufacturers have used this circuit for trials and testing. The circuits are open to the passionate sports driver and piloting schools.
Here and there … Pays-de-Lévis awaits you, invites you to explore the rich heritage of its rural life, a witness to yesterday and today. The reeds of the “Etang de Billot”, witness to the plot of the “Gadagnes”, the old barns and farms “Bourbonnaises, châteaux, maisons bourgeoises”, the ancient “Tuilerie de Bomplein”, the crosses, fountains, the old ports and mills, the numerous Roman churches and surrounding villages.