||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (January 2009)|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Paul Luce|
|• Land1||23.63 km2 (9.12 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||14/km2 (37/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||19075 / 19150|
|Elevation||302–564 m (991–1,850 ft)
(avg. 500 m or 1,600 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
The landscape is typically wooded hills.
The main economic activity is cattle raising though it now benefits from the recent trend of rural tourism.
Though evidences of neolithic and Celtic occupation exist on the commune's territory, the village itself was probably only founded during or after the Gallo-Roman era, near the site of a villa not yet excavated. Some evidences suggest the presence of other villas and of a tile factory. The name of the village if of Latin origin, possibly derived from a family name.
During the Dark Ages, Espagnac seems to have become a dwelling of local importance, as attested by the existence of a Merovingian mint (three gold coins with the mention "Spaniaco Fit" have been found), of a large cemetery where sarcophagi have been exhumed and of an abbey. It seems to have been the head of a Carolingian vicaria. The first written mention of its name appears in the will of Adhemar des Echelles, around 930 AD.
Then dependent on the abbey of Tulle, Espagnac devolved during the late Middle Ages, and both the abbey and the church were burnt down by the troops of Gaspard de Coligny during the Wars of Religion. The current church dates back from the late 16th century. A small restored Carolingian Chapel and the privately owned medieval castle of Puy-de-Val are also present on the territory of the commune.
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