Monday, February 01, 2010

June 5, 2009 - Centras, France

Overnight, we had stopped at a neat site northwest of Ales, near the commune of Centras. Centras has a population of less than 2000 and is another declining backwater village with high unemployment and few accessible prospects for its inhabitants.
From as far back as 1230 Centras was a coal mining town and the Benedictine Monastery, founded there in 950 CE, was running an infirmary for the miners by the early 13th century. Mining has long since ceased and nothing has taken its place while in the meantime, mechanization has reduced the labor required for farming. The population peaked at almost 2,800 in 1968 and has steadily declined since that time. Short slide-show here.

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