A small town lying twenty minutes from Arras on the way to the Côte d’Opale, Avesnes-le-Comte is an unspoiled picture postcard village. Its history, heritage and gentle way of life make it an essential stopover for walkers, nature enthusiasts and lovers of historical architecture.
1,000 years of history at a glance
To stroll around Avesnes-le-Comte is to explore one thousand years of history.
Once part of the fiefdom of the Count of Ponthieu, this former feudal village has preserved the typical architecture of the Pays d’Artois: frontages formed by layers of flint, sandstone, white stones and brick, swallowtail gables, carriage entrances and even original guardstones. Although the Grand’Rue and its adjacent alleyways constitute a splendid winding setting, the real gem is the twelfth century Church of Saint-Nicolas.
Listed since 1910, the part-Roman/part- Flamboyant Gothic building is misleading. Indeed, there is nothing about the squat exterior with its square bell tower and solid buttresses to suggest its exquisite interior. In this regard, the 36 ceiling roses and keystones create a unique lacework of arabesques.
In the heart of nature
When the warm weather arrives, Avesnes-le-Comte sees the return of droves of cyclists and horse riders.
Nature lovers attracted by a green and slightly undulating landscape, in which the sources of the rivers Scarpe, Canche and Kilienne are a distinctive feature. Avesnes-le-Comte is also very popular with avid walkers. Numerous trails also lead to some fascinating places.
Among them is the Allée des Tilleuls, listed as a Historical Monument since 1942. This magical avenue is almost two kilometres long and is lined with around 800 century-old lime trees. In the summer, it forms a pleasant route between the Château de Givenchy-le-Noble and the Château de Lignereuil, its canopy cover providing shelter from the sun.
Châteaux and country manors
Villers-Châtel, Saulty, Fosseux, Berlencourt-le-Cauroy, Warlus… Although Avesnes-le-Comte no longer has a château, the same cannot be said of the surrounding area.
In fact, the countryside of Les Campagnes de l’Artois contains a staggering number of châteaux. Also known as country manors, these monuments are an expression of the wealth of a territory once coveted by the nobility and middle classes of Arras. All can be admired from the outside, some are open to visitors and some even offer guest rooms. For those keen to experience château life for themselves.
Avesnes-le-Comte in pratice
- Community of Municipalities of Les Campagnes de l’Artois , 1050, avenue François Mitterrand – 62 810 Avesnes-le-Comte. http://campagnesartois.fr