Saint Cenari le Gerei, Alpes Mancelle

A village of 150 inhabitants hugging the River Sarthe, it is part of the “Parc naturel régional Normandie-Maine” and is found at the centre of the natural region of the Alpes Mancelles. For over two centuries the Alpes Mancelles have attracted nature lovers. Since the  early 19th century artists have been drawn to the beauty of the area and Saint Cenari became the centre for exhibitions of art and photography. Several famous painters Oudinet, Camille Corot,Gustave Courbet,Paul Sain have stayed here. The Auberge Moisy would host artists from ‘la Grande Epoque’ during the summer months.

Nowadays, it has become one of the most beautiful villages of France and is a tourist attraction, with over 35 artists and studios to visit including the beautiful lonely chapel of St Cenari and church which houses some beautiful modern metalwork sculpture of the twelve stations of the cross. We spent a glorious day here picnicking by the river and wandering but, photographing the village under the strong sunlight was seriously a challenge.

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