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Balzac

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This editable Main Article is under development and subject to a disclaimer.
This article is about the French town. For other uses of the term Balzac, please see Balzac (disambiguation).

Balzac is a French commune located in the department of Charente and region Poitou-Charentes. Its inhabitants are called Balzatois and Balzatoises.

Geography

The town of Balzac is located about 7 km north-west of Angouleme, in a bend of the river Charente, near its confluence with the Argences, forming an irregular peninsula.

The hinterland that separates the valley of the Charente to that of the Argence, forms a long cliff, very high and very steep in its northern part with the concave bank of the river bend, around villages and the course of Font-Saint-Martin, and falls gradually to the foot of the Château de Balzac. The road to Angouleme Vars (D.737) is the main route to the town, running from south to north.

Its inhabitants, the Balzatois live in several localities such as: Genins de rocks, the Terrier Bourguignol, the Sculpin, the Essarts de Texier, the Bourdeix, etc.. mainly located on the heights.

History

A castle has existed since the twelfth century. The present castle was rebuilt on the same site in the seventeenth century and was the residence of the family Guez de Balzac and Jean-Louis Guez de Balzac, who lived there.

It has belonged to five different districts through recorded history. The town of Balzac, founded as a canton in 1793, passed into the administration of Hiersac in 1801, then to Angouleme in 1815, Ruelle 1973, and finally Gond-Pontouvre in 1982. Balzac is also the seat of the community district of Braconne and Charente.

Through the industrial revolution, Balzac lost 30% of its population in the second half of the nineteenth century, and since then stabilized its population with a steady increase during the last quarter of the twentieth century.

Places and monuments

The Château de Balzac, built by the father of Jean-Louis Guez de Balzac dates to the seventeenth century. This castle has a home which overlooks the Charente surrounded by a park and is surrounded by a common wall pierced with closing portals. The house features wall paintings, with a canal, a pool, laundry room and a church castrale complementing the surrounding grounds.