La Tor de Trinhac
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Jean-José Colomes|
|Area1||13.94 km2 (5.38 sq mi)|
|• Density||75/km2 (190/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||66096 / 66720|
|Elevation||77–422 m (253–1,385 ft)
(avg. 85 m or 279 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.
Originally called “Trinhac” or “three views”, Latour de France is situated by the original frontier between France and Catalonia and is rich in history. Its military significance ended with the Treaty of the Pyrenees peace between Louis XIV of France and Philip IV of Spain that ended the Franco-Spanish War of 1648–59 but is still evinced in street names such as place de l’hôpital and place d’Armes.
The village is dominated by a castle which has its origins in the 11th century, but most of the present structure is from the 16th and 17th centuries. It stands at the highest point of the village, perched on a hill overlooking three valleys.
This little village of approximately 1,000 inhabitants boasts its own Appellation Contrôlée associated with the forward-looking cave co-operative, a garage, grocery, bakers, tobacconist and blacksmith. There are two tennis courts, a charming children's’ playground and of course several locations used by petanque enthusiasts.
At its perimeter there is a mix of ancient and modern while the old central village is a labyrinth of charming, flowerpot-lined narrow streets. While the Mairie has assiduously maintained and developed its many hidden small squares the village has managed to remain unspoilt and authentic.
Approached through 4 km of gently sloping vineyards from Estagel on the Perignan-Foix road the villages climbs to a sheer cliff on which the castle was strategically constructed.
Thirty years ago, in common with many villages, there were a fair number of derelict properties. These have virtually disappeared having been renovated for the most part by local families. There are few foreigners in Latour de France. The few who are there have always found a real welcome and look on it as a little piece of heaven.
Latour de France is ideally situated between the Mediterranean and the mountains. Gorgeous sandy beaches are only 30 minutes drive while the ski slopes of Font Romeu and Pyrenées 2000 are just over one hour. The mountains provide a refuge from the heat as does the nearby reservoir lake at Caramany. The river Agly flows below the castle and, along its banks families tend their highly productive allotments and summer gardens while there is a communal barbecue site and family meeting place on the far side of the main bridge. If you get a licence there is also good coarse fishing.
There are many well-mapped walking and biking trails through the vineyards with points of interest such as derelict chapels, mines etc. – all surrounded by the most breathtaking views of the mountains.
The first known name is Turris Triniago in 1020 (tower of Triniach). The name Tor de Fenolledés appears in 1423 (tower of the Fenouillèdes). This name will remain until the 18th century. La Tour de France appears in 1750 and is the name used today.
- Jean Sagnes (dir.), Le pays catalan, t. 2, Pau, Société nouvelle d'éditions régionales, 1985
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