Life in the past

Life in the past

Heritage site and architecture
Lakes and rivers
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Following in the footsteps of the Abbot of Obazine, observe the natural world, a witness to human life, past and present.
This circuit sets off through the countryside around Ussel to discover the old abbey of Bonnaygue. A succession of different atmospheres and landscapes with a special place for the Bonnaygue and Fonts Grandes ponds.

4 points of interest

  • Heritage site

    Correzian forest

    The first part of the route goes through coniferous forests. Historically, the department of Corrèze was not forested. In 1900, forests in Corrèze occupied only ¼ of the territory. Today, almost half of the department's surface is wooded. The significant abandonment of agriculture has encouraged planting, particularly of softwoods, with a clear predilection for planting Douglas fir.
  • Pond


    While Haute-Corrèze is often identified as the water tower of France because of the many rivers that have their sources there, it is also rich in a multitude of ponds and lakes. All artificial, they were created by humans, who most often dammed a stream at the end of a wetland, mainly for fishing. We can assume that the Bonnaygue pond was linked to the priory. The Fonts Grandes is another lake that is ideal for a spot of daydreaming and can be found a little further on.
  • Heritage site

    Former Abbey of Bonnaygue

    The abbot of Obazine founded the Abbey of Bonnaygue in 1142. For years, the Ussel family gave the monastery many endowments. During the Revolution, the mayor and the prosecutor of the commune ordered the 52nd abbot of the monastery to leave the premises.The library and official documents were burned, a bell and the organs went to Ussel, and the rest was looted, ransacked or turned into money. Today, the church has been transformed into a barn; part of the monastery and the cloister fountain remain. These are located on private property; please respect the privacy of the premises.
  • Heritage site

    St-Dizier Church

    Of neo-Gothic architecture, the church of Saint-Dizier was completely burnt down during the Revolution. Only in the last century did the Christians of the parish have the means to rebuild their place of worship.


  1. Go past the church and the town hall, turn right onto the road and take the first path on the left. At the road, turn right and fork onto the path on the left (a small passage to the left of the fence).
  2. At the fork in the road, continue straight ahead until you reach the road. Turn right towards Extramareix. At the crossroads, turn right. At the intersection with a track, turn right.
  3. Continue on this trail, ignoring several paths on your left and right. The trail arcs around a junction with a road. Go straight ahead and a few metres further on, follow the path on the right.
  4. At the junction before the D 1089, there are two possibilities: Shorter route: turn right and at the D 1089, cross it and return to the car park or for the complete circuit: turn left, cross the D 1089 and continue straight along the road. In the hamlet of La Vergne, turn left on the road that goes uphill. Left again at the next intersection.
  5. A few metres further on, at the D 49E3, go straight on, then take the first path on the right to the old Bonnaygue priory (15 min). Turn back to point 5.
  6. Turn left onto the D 49E3 to La Chabanne. At the hamlet, fork right on the path. Go straight on, past the pond, until you reach the road. Follow it to the right until you reach the main road.
  7. Go back to the D 1089 (St Dézery), and turn left twice to return to the start."
  • Departure : Church at St-Dezèry
  • Arrival : Church at St-Dezèry
  • Towns crossed : Ussel, Aix, and Saint-Fréjoux


Altimetric profile


This circuit has a shortcut at point 4, offering a 6 km walk (One and three-quarter hours)

Information desks

Place Voltaire, 19200 Ussel

05 19 60 00 30

Access and parking

From Ussel, follow the D 1089 towards Clermont-Fd. After the village entrance sign, turn right towards the church.

Parking :

Church at St-Dezèry

More information

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