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In Angoulême, the Charente river is much more than a simple watercourse. Long sung as "one of the most beautiful streams in the kingdom", this river,
360 km long, takes its source at Chéronnac in Haute-Vienne.

Charente is first and foremost childhood memories for many Angoumois residents: games around the wash house, picnics on Île Marquet, swimming at the Bain des Dames... It is the beating heart of the city, providing a relaxing natural setting for locals and visitors.

Thus, the banks of the Charente become the ideal place for a picnic with family or friends. So bask in the sun and listen to the gentle lapping of the water.

Water, the source of life, nourishes our lands and allows people to achieve their goals.

Angoulême – The Charente river and nautical activities
A little bit of history

Following the course of the Charente also means learning about the important role it played in the history and economic development of the region. For example, a canoe, discovered in Bourg-Charente, indicates that prehistoric men navigated the Charente nearly 4500 years ago.

Formerly used to transport goods to Rochefort sur Mer, gabarres (flat-bottomed boats) transported paper, cut stones and cannons as well as brandy downstream. These barges then went up the river, loaded with spices, salt or fish.

Towards the end of the 18th century, 29 locks were built to improve conditions for merchant navigation. With the arrival of rail transport at the end of the 19th Century, the river route gradually became neglected.

Nautical activities

Nowadays, the Charente river has become an emblematic element of heritage. Indeed, it remains the heart of a green paradise ideal for all kinds ofnautical activities : cruising, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, fishing... Not forgetting the numerous walking trails and cycle paths which also run along its banks, inviting peaceful walks along the water.