Saint-Sorlin The Beautiful French Village Where I Grew Up

Saint-Sorlin -

I know that this post will be published the day after Valentine’s Day, but while I’m writing this on Valentines’ Day I thought I would write about a very dear place of mine that is very much fitting the theme of this blog.  This place is the beautiful small village where I grew up in, named Saint-Sorlin in the beautiful surrounding of the city of Lyon.

Because of its altitude at above 2,000 ft the air is pure and the sun is shining a lot.  Because of the same altitude, however, we often get snow in the winter, but it rarely stays there for very long.  The climate of Saint-Sorlin is a lot like Virginia and North Carolina in the US, but more dry.

St-Sorlin Hiver

Saint-Sorlin is located in the Rhone-Alpes region 25 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of Lyon. It is a beautiful and quite refuge for those who want to escape the big city while being only 25 minutes away.

St-Sorling Place

My parents were two of such people who were tired of the city and wanted to raise a family in a quite and safe place.  Somehow, my father found this quite little village in 1964 and fell in love with it.  When he took my mom there she fell in love with it too.

They found an old stone house (see below) in need of much repair for sale, and they bought it and started working on it because they started raising a family.  By the time me and my brother came to the picture, the house was then ready to live in.

Because of the surroundings that we grew up in, my brother and I have developed a deep love for nature and animals, because that’s what surrounded us as we grew up.

For most people, the place where we grew up has had an impact on us.  In my case, this village is like a box of memories.  Since I was a happy child (at home) those memories are mostly good.  As I’m writing those lines I have like a movie passing before my eyes of all such outdoor memories with my brother, cousins and little neighbor friends.

Jean-Marc Sylviane
Me and My Brother

We were fortunate enough to grow up in very safe place, where our parents could let us roam the roads in and around the village without fearing the worst.  We were living in a place where any foreign person would have been quickly spotted and they would have had to look for it to find this small village on top of a hill anyway.

My and my brother 20 years later
Me and my brother 20 years later

The times and the location made this place very safe at all level, since none of the dangers that threaten children and teenagers in big cities were ever present there. No bad associations, no drug, or any darn negative temptations  I feel very fortunate to have grown up in such a place.

History of Saint-Sorlin

Saint-Sorlin is a very old village as most villages of France, and according to records it was founded in the year 250.  However, because of being such a small village there are no vestige that old left there, you have to drive 3 kilometers (1 1/2 mile) down the road to find some Roman vestiges left as seen below.

Acqueducs Mornant

Our House

All the stone houses in the village, however, are at least 150-200 years old. Some of them are way older.  The house that I grew up in was about 100 years old when my parents purchased it. Because of the “fashion” of the 1970’s the stone were covered with what is called “crépi” in French.  Some type of plaster design that is specifically made to cover house’s walls.

My childhood house
My childhood house

This house was huge. It had a total of 17 rooms which included 3 kitchens, 2 bathrooms, 6 bedrooms, 3 living rooms, and 3 play rooms (as we called them).

There were also an attic and a seller, as well as 3 terraces. One in the front, and two in the back, a garage and a garden.

Yes, I grew up in a big house.  At the one point there were up to be 7 people living in that house, but for most of the of those years we were four people living there.  When me and my brother moved out only my mother and aunt lived in that huge house until they were ready to move in a much smaller place.

Terrace Maison
Same Front Terrace as above in more Recent Time

It wasn’t easy to let that house go, because it was a huge part of our life and memories.

Terrace devant

I hope you enjoyed that little trip in my past. It was certainly a pleasure for me to finally write a post about the Saint-Sorlin, the village where I grew up and that meant so much to me and the way that I am down to this day.


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20 thoughts on “Saint-Sorlin The Beautiful French Village Where I Grew Up”

  1. Sylviane, how cute!!! I love your picture of you and your brother as kids. And that’s also your brother with you on the bike? I love to see photos like that and I’m so glad you shared them.

    Your house…. holy cow! Amazing! That’s a lot of rooms in one house. When I first saw it I thought it must be like an apartment with multiple families. You must have had a lot of room to explore and play. And what a beautiful village. It looks so cozy and the fact that people would recognize a stranger is nice because then you have a feeling of safety.

    So you had three kitchens? I bet that’s why a lot of cooking got done in your family 🙂 No wonder you always have so many recipes.

    Really lovely, I enjoyed reading and seeing all your photos!
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    1. Hi Carol,

      You must be like me. I love to look at personal pictures. Yes, on the bike it’s my brother too. That’s why it says “same people 20 years later”. There are exactly 22 years between these two pictures.

      Yes, 3 kitchens. Some times my mother would use the other kitchens when she had guests especially. Give it to he French to have more kitchens than bathrooms. Yes, that house was huge, but it’s been the gathering of so many people for many years.

      Over the holidays, many members of my extended family would sleep over. I use to love that.

      Thanks for coming and leaving a nice comment 🙂

    1. Hi Barbara,

      I’m glad you enjoyed this. I’ve never written about the village I grew up in since I’ve been writing on this blog, so it was time.

      Thank you for coming. Always appreciate that!

  2. Sylviane,

    I am so glad you shared these pictures! I knew you grew up in a 17 room house ..but three kitchens? Wow! A dream come true.
    If there is a next life, I would pick yours lol! Your wonderful childhood is reflected so much in these beautiful pictures.
    So, we have been friends for a while, and now I’m proud to say I have a “ritzy friend” he he

    It is so good to have great childhood memories. And most of all living in such a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing it.
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    1. HI Donna,

      Yes, I had a peaceful environment when I grew up. I loved my house and my village, but I so hated school. That was the one think that ruined it for me 🙂

      We sure enjoyed our big house and when we had lots of guests, as it was often the case, we would use more than one kitchen 🙂

      I lived rich without been rich. Kinda strange. LOL!

  3. Wow Sylviane, thanks for sharing this with us. Oh, a stroll down memory lane.

    I love that village and only wish I could have been raised in a small town like that. I mean where I grew up was small at that time but nothing like where you’re talking about of course.

    I love the photos of you and your brother and the house where you grew up. So now we have an idea of where you lived. That’s so cool. All of our photos are mostly in black and white. Yeah I know, ancient.

    Thank you again, loved this post. I got to learn more about you.

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  4. Hi Adrienne,

    Since I know most of the people visiting this blog, I thought it would be cool to talk about something I love so much on Valentine’s.

    Yes, that village was small, indeed. I should have added that they were 165 inhabitants there when my parents bought the house. Then when I was a kid I remember it was 250. There are now about 700 inhabitants in that village. A crowd if you ask me.

    There are a few pictures of me in back and white too, but I think my parents were pretty modern for the days, because I have pictures of me as a baby in color as well, and a bunch of super 8 movies. Some are hilarious, such me and my brother on our potties 🙂

    Thanks for coming, Adrienne.

  5. Sylviane,
    This was wonderful. I loved reading about your childhood and seeing them in pictures.

    That guy on the motorcycle looks so ominous… 🙂

    I learned something about the old buildings in France too. We live in an old house too that is over 400 years old now and it has 4 stories. Many of the houses have that crépi covering the walls but some homes from the inside do not and you can see the stone. Personally, i love the stone when it is showing..

    thanks for sharing… 🙂
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    1. Hi Annie,

      Ah, that guy on the picture is my brother and yes, he looks weird on that picture, but he doesn’t look like that. That’s just the picture, taken at a weird moment.

      Me too, I like better the stones, but there was a stupid trend in the 1970’s where that crépi was “a la mode”. Then, in like mid to late 80’s people wanted to go back to the stones and some people took that crépi off. You know, people are weird sometimes.

      Thanks for coming annie.
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  6. Memories from childhood are surely to be treasured especially if you grew in a place as beautiful as that. It makes me want to go to France and see the sights for myself. Thank you for sharing with us your story.

  7. Sylviane !!! Its very nice to read. Childhood memories are unforgettable and the pictures you shared are very heart-touching and lovely. I was born and brought up in Jodhpur, Rajasthan in India and I seriously loved my place a lot as all my childhood memories are attached with this beautiful place and that was also the reason why I chose this place for my hotel business too.

  8. I really enjoyed seeing the pictures. Saint-Sorlin seems to be out from a movie. It has beautiful landscapes, a lot of flowers everywhere and a little bit of history here and there. I would definitely visit it if I had the chance.

    1. Hi Dan,

      Well, I’m glad you liked this beautiful village “Saint-Sorlin”. It’s funny how I hear that it looks like “out of a movie”, never thought of it this way. This is so common landscape in France. But I do understand how it would look like for someone in the US.

      Thank you for coming and leaving a comment.
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