Sologne Wetland

CENTRE La Sologne

La Sologne was used as a royal, rugged hunting ground for many centuries, as it comprised of several swamps and woodlands. It was frequented by François I, during his reign between 1515 and 1542; which is why the area is encircled by spots of castles and palaces that acted as his hunting lodges- Chambord and Chenonceau to name a few.     

After his reign, the marshlands suffered a bout of bad reputation, as the subsequent wars infected the area with diseases. Floods in the region also caused the area to become a malaria-infested swampland. Its surroundings cleared up only in the19th century by the orders of Napoleon III, who commissioned the draining of the forest, restoring it back to its glorious hunting days.    

Today, La Sologne covers almost 500,000 hectares of space. The area is primarily known for its numerous ponds (that multiplied with the draining efforts), which collectively occupy about 2% of the region’s territory. This also put La Sologne on the map as a good spot for fishing enthusiasts. The entire territory is part of the Natura 2000 network, as the forested areas house a rich ecosystem of ancient trees such as the oak, birch and maple; as well as 200 bird, 40 mammal, 30 fish and thousands of insect species.      

Although La Sologne might look particularly depressing in winter, it comes alive in spring and summer bearing bountiful wild fruits and sprouting lush patches of wildflowers. Hence, the area makes for a good biking/hiking destination. Details of the numerous trails and tours of La Sologne are available in the tourist office that is located in the nearby town of Romorantin-Lantherey. Lists of the fishing ponds and permitted hunting grounds are also available here, as La Sologne comprises of a chunk of protected land.  

While you’re at the office, you can check out the nearby Sologne Museum [Moulin du Chapitre+33 254953366 ad/ch €5/3.50], which showcases its permanent collection, spanning over three buildings- a 19th century flour mill, a tower and a villa. The museum also displays many new, temporary exhibitions throughout the year.     

During the last week of October the annual Journées Gastronomiques de Sologne is held. This celebration applauds the local delicacies of the region, by inviting chefs (usually referred to as artisans) who arrive to concoct old and new dishes. The festival features a culinary competition that presents the winner with the prestigious Vase of Serves of the Presidency of the Republic. So loosen your belts as you head on here to tuck in the many pies, pastries, bread and cheese! You can also wash it all down with barrels of local wine.





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LE SOLOGNE:   1.  Romorantin-Lantherey Tourist office  2. Musée de Sologne