The historic truth

"A treasure of stone in unspoilt surroundings"
The construction of the first tower , dates back to the XI century. It was built by the Carbonieres family, an important and respected family in  the Xiantrie that had become very wealthy because of matrimonial relations. The presence of the towers indicates the necessity to guard the border between the provinces and the dioceses of Limoges and Clermont. From the 13th century on the Montal family also took up its residence in the village and built a second tower. From that moment on there were two families in the same territory.Two towers, two families, iconic symbols of feudal power, shared this power. In the end the Carbonnieres left the area and moved to Merle, where the buildings were more spacious and comfortable.

The sleeping village of Carbonnieres
In the Carbonnieres territory there was a village that was twice as large as Goulles.The inhabitants were mainly peasants in the service of and under the protection of the lords of Carbonnieres. The village was situated on the southern and western slopes.The last house that was built there dates back to to 1624 and has a barrel vault which means that it might have been a church, judging by the lintel with the listing "1624 in Bourbouze". The village also had a public notary, a chapel dedicated to St.Catherine and a leper home.
It consisted of about ten houses and was completely deserted in 1948.The towers are connected to the nearby Tours de Merle by a recently completed renovated road named "Chemin de Merle".

The legend of Carbonnières

                                                                          "Between fiction and reality"
Our story begins in a period in which the country was infested by leprosy.This plague came quite unexpectedly and also the villagers of C. fell victim to it.One day a beautiful young woman turns up in the village. Who is she? Where does she come from? Nobody knows.At the time the towers are inhabited by the young squire Bertrand. Handsome, cheerful, loved by everybody, he is enchanted by the beauty of Catarina and falls head over heels in love. Catarina is mysterious, she knows the healing force of herbs, knows where to find them and when to pick them. She treats the lepers, helps women in labour and cures sick animals.... Soon it is maliciously suggested that this weird healer is a witch. Has she perhaps concluded a pact with the devil in order to obtain all her kowledge?
Rumour spreads in the village and Bertrand does not find a way to appease the crowd which is getting more and more agressive. Gradually a witch-hunt is prepared....until one night the young woman is taken prisoner by the stirred up crowd. The wretched woman is buried alive up to her neck and then beheaded. Pangs of love drive Bertrand mad and he shuts himself in his tower not to come out again. Moaning,lamentations and cries of despair fill the evenings in C.And then one day, after a few months of destructive madness...nothing. The hearts of the villagers are filled with grief.What has happened to the squire? Anger and shame spread through the village. Families leave, people leave their houses, gardens, land...they leave in order to forget. And that is why, according to the legend, the village was deserted by its inhabitants. Mother Nature has covered it gradually with a green coat. The deserted houses, the gardens and the centuries-old alleys, their secrets are hidden under plants, as if they knew that the cruelty of man had to be hidden. "Since then the mystery has dwelt around the towers".
 Traduction des textes Peter Schmidt

Merle et Carbonnières

deux sites qui partagent la même histoire


Plus d'infos sur les Tours de Merle :