Moutier-Malcard (375 m) is a small community of
500 inhabitants who all live in ‘le Bourg’ (the central village) and 42
hamlets. It is situated in the north of the Creuse. Our home is at the edge of
le Bourg. We always say – jokingly - “we live in the centre’, but the elderly
people of our village even speak about us being in the upper bourg, which
implies that there is also a lower bourg. It sounds far away, but in fact it’s
just around the corner.
Moutier comes from ‘monasterium', later ‘mostier',
which meant monastic community. In the middle ages the word denoted a college
or parish church. Malcard comes from the lord of the monastery of that time,
Wilhelmus Malachara, who lived at the end of the 12th, beginning 13th century.
In the 14th century the village was called Monasteria Malecare, in 1571
Moustier Mallecare. Nowadays you can still recognize the moat of the original
Ancient and modern times:
The little church of St. Martin de Tours dates back to the
12thcentury. It was probably built on the same spot as the ancient monastery.
Inside there are some beautiful wooden sculptures from the 15th and
17th century. The tower dates back to the 15th century. In front of the entrance you can find a sign
of the templars. In the
Lamy Forest, 3
kms from the village, there is another tower, from the 13th century,
the only thing that was left of a fortress of the feudal period. It was one of
the domiciles of the Turkish prince Zizim, son of Méhemet II, sultan of the Ottoman empire, who kept virgins
from the area imprisoned in the tower. Later he was kept there himself, by the
way! The tower was restored at the end of last century, but is constantly
battling deterioration as a result of wind, weather and stone martens.
Nowadays Moutier-Malcard has a town hall, a post office, a shop and
Odile’s ‘bar/tabac’. We advise you to take a look at the old cemetery. And as
you continue you can meet the “Blacks of the Berry”, a small herd of
beautiful donkeys browsing in the fields next to the pond. The owner, who lives
down there in the former spinning mill, is one of the best breeders of France of
this race. Did you know, by the way, that there exist 63 different species of
You will find a large variety of flowers at Les Jardins de Sauveterre in
the hamlet of Laboutant. The owner grows about hundred varieties of wild plants
from which the seeds are for sale. The garden is open to visitors.
On foot, on bike or by car? Do observe the many
granite, wooden or iron road crosses, some of which are very old.