Tillières-sur-Avre, 10 km from Verneuil-sur-Avre, was in the XIeme century, the most important stronghold located on the Franco-Norman border. This village, located on the banks of the Avre river, has kept traces of its glorious past. The town has set up a historic route which is not devoid of interest. So I put on my best sneakers and I set off to explore it in the company of this strange mascot "the tile". 

I got, from the tourist office in Verneuil-sur-Avre, a leaflet with the route of the route which is not essential since it is recalled on the first panel in front of the church and the route is particularly well signposted.

It is quarter to noon. It's very hot. The village is very calm. Some inhabitants go out to collect the mail in their letterboxes and greet the neighbor, the cafeteria or the kid who passes by by bike. The atmosphere of a small, friendly French village reigns here.. In the eyes of the people, I guess that I am not the first to travel this tourist circuit and with their benevolent smile, I understand that the inhabitants are proud of the interest aroused by their municipality.

At each stage, I find “the tile” on a historical information panel. The mascot, like a guide, asks me riddles, completes the comments, points his finger to an architectural detail ...  The content of these panels is fun, richly illustrated and not at all off-putting for a person like me who has little knowledge of history and architecture. 

To reach what is called the "Grand Parterre", that is to say the site of the castle, you have to the ascent of the rue des écoles which ends with a few dozen steps. In this heat, these few meters are laborious! 

But the game is worth the candle. This old place of arms offers me a nice panorama over the village. To go back down to the famous medieval gate, I take a small dirt road in the shade of the vegetation of the park.  

A few barbecue smells tickle my smell. Rue du Fort, right in the middle of the houses, I hear the chickens singing. Undoubtedly an urban breeding in a small garden out of sight. Without details, but nevertheless remarkable, some very old half-timbered houses catch my eye.

During my walk I also notice some wrought iron signs. It would appear that the sign located at n ° 1 of the Place de Verdun would be that of the hostellerie Vernoliennne du Pot d'Etain, held by the parents of Paul Bertrand dit Saint Arnaud, who emigrated to Canada in the XNUMXth century and who founded there a family from which many descendants still pay homage to him today. But this is another story !

My walk ends at the washhouse in the village. I am about 400 m from the Espace Baron Lacour where it begins another educational circuit named " The water's edge ». This discovery trail is built on a protected natural wetland.

So I leave my little "tile" to meet the Agrion de Mercure, this dragonfly which will brush against me several times on the site. It is also the mascot who guides us on the integrated perspective panels which mark out the circuit.

I start on the northern part which is a real expedition in the wilderness! Here, the natural site is protected. To promote the habitat of animal and plant species, human intervention must be as discreet as possible. This is why a narrow grassy path and a few wooden footbridges allow visitors to move around.

Although the heat has been very present for a few weeks, the ground is soaked with water. Closed shoes or boots are strongly recommended! 

Ponds, insects, wild flora, undergrowth… This immersion in the heart of nature is very pleasant! With the heat, rise the scents of wild plants, the smell of wetlands or stagnant water. Back to my starting point, I cross the Avre by a lock and I pass under a pretty stone arch. Through there, I access the fishing ponds.

On the left, a small pond is surrounded by sheds on stilts. Perch, carp, roach, bream, tench ... Each year, the pond is stocked to the delight of fishermen.

On the right, two large alleys are conducive to a nice walk around the large pond. Here and there, a few benches allow the walker to stop off during this peaceful walk. We then let our mind wander into the distance, our gaze fixed on the weak movement of the waves and our ears cradled by the lapping of the water.

On the way, I cross two fishermen installed at the edge of the pond. They are motionless, barefoot in the grass, the cooler full of refreshments and the canes carefully fixed to the ground. There is no doubt that they will spend a full day there and return home with their heads empty of all worries, their lungs full of fresh air and their bags full of fish!

Now is the time for me to take the road back.

After a few centuries tormented by Franco-Norman clashes, Tillières-sur-Avre seems to have made up its mind to remain forever a true haven of peace. Traders and villagers bring this quiet little town to life by taking care of its formidable historical and natural heritage. Do you need to recharge your batteries? This visit is therefore strongly recommended.