A Little History of Trôo
Download an article from Le Parisien (in French) about Trôo. Our instructor Tom Hughes just so happened to be in Trôo for a month, painting en plein air, and so the journalist interviewed and photographed him for the story.
Excerpted from the "Small Guide to Visitors of the Exhibition Cave" by The association "Les Amis de Trôo".
The origins of the ancient township of Trôo are lost in antiquity, but traces of its importance as a medieval "city" can be seen today by visiting the heights of the village, where remains are visible -- remains of a double surrounding fortified wall, dominated by a feudal mound and a splendid roman collegiate church.
The hillside, now covered with greenery, reaches a height of 129 meters and was carved from rock in various layers, in which caves were dug to form many picturesque habitations in bygone days.
Now there is a laze of little lanes and paths, plus ancient dwellings, arranged in tiers, rather like a wedding cake, all of which blend harmoniously into the landscape overlooking the valley below.
In this valley, in the midst of meadows, the river Loir, fringed by poplars, drifts gently on its way. On the opposite bank, there is the tiny church of Saint-Jacques-des-Guérets, once a haven for ancient pilgrims on "la route de la Compostelle" and which today is famous for its 10th century frescoes.
What is generally realized is that Trôo was once almost an English town, when it passed through the merciless wars between Philippe-Auguste and Richard the Lionhearted, towards the end of the XIIth century. It was before that, in fact, in the XIth century, when the "troglodyte" subterranean network and surrounding fortified walls formed the formidable defense systems, when Geoffrey Martel faced Gervais, bishop of Le Mans, also Foulques Le Jeune, count of Anjou and English king Henri I.
It was during the XIth and XIIth centuries that Trôo, the high fortified town, achieved its period of relative prosperity. hard to believe, but in those days, Trôo had around 4500 inhabitants, mostly cave-dwellers.
Today, Trôo's modern population only numbers a few hundred, but the historic, cultural and archeological links are still evident to the thousands of visitors who pass through its lanes every year.
Staying in Trôo
The wonderful thing about staying in Trôo is that it is a village to be explored on foot. Winding paths and stairways criss-cross the hillside and provide stunning views over the river and valley. There are three or four restaurants in the village to choose from for dinner (depending on who's open) and on Wednesdays the pizza truck shows up at the Mayor's office and sells freshly baked thin-crust pizza right out of the truck oven.
There are no shops in Trôo, however six kilometers up the river is the market town of Montoire whose farmer's market on Wednesday and Saturday are not to be missed. Holiday participants will have the opportunity to visit Montoire and other destinations in our van excursions.
Welcome to La Cave Yuccas in Trôo, France
A video assisted walk up to the terrasse at the Cave Yuccas
How to get there
The fast train (TGV) leaves Paris from the Montparnasse station and arrives at the Vendôme Villiers-sur-Loir TGV station 48 minutes later -- the first stop. The station is a 25 minute car ride from Trôo. Tickets cost around 25 - 45 euros each way, depending on the time of day. You can buy your tickets at the station, but it is cheaper to buy them in advance online, pay with your credit card, and then retrieve them at the station at an automated ticket machine using the same credit card. Visit the SNCF site, and fill in "Gare Montparnasse (Paris)" as the starting point, and "Vendôme Villiers-sur-Loir" as the end station.
Van pick-up and drop-off at the TGV station is included.
If you wish, you can rent a car from Avis and have it waiting for you at the TGV station in Vendôme Villiers-sur-Loir. Go to http://www.avis.fr to reserve. If you want to rent a car from Paris, try Auto Europe and pick it up at the airport or in the center of Paris.