On the way from Paris to Dijon, Beaune and the surrounding wine districts, a few other places are of interest, actually quite a few, but here are two:
Abbey de Fontenay
The Cistercian Abbey de Fontenay was founded by Saint Bernard de Clairvaux in 1118. It was very prosperous during some centuries, but suffered from the Hundred Years’ War and other religious wars and was finally closed during the Revolution. It became a paper mill until 1902, owned by the Mongolfier family, more known for the montgolfière hot air balloon (see previous post about the first human flight). In 1905 the abbey was bought and restored by a rich banker (Edouard Aynard). Almost all original buildings remain and can now be visited. Being one of the oldest and most complete Cistercian abbeys it was classified a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981.
A Benedictine Abbey existed at Flavigny-sur-Ozerain already during the 8th century. The town, situated on a hill top was prosperous during the Middle Ages and was a stop on for the pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostella (see previous post). The town was then surrounded by fortifications, some of them still there. During the 17th century an Ursuline convent was founded. Today there are only some 400 residents, some more during the summer months. The place is still known for the production of anise-flavored candies, called “Anise of Flavigny”, first done by the Benedictine monks.
If you have seen the film “Chocolat” by Lasse Hellström, starring Johnny Depp, Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Leslie Caron… you may be interested to know that it was to a large extent shot here.
My previous blog, PHO, was in operation for a year as from March 2007. It contains similar posts as this one, basically talking about different well known or more secrete sites in Paris. You can reach it by clicking HERE.
Si vous chercher quelqu'un à Paris qui ouvre des portes, normalement fermées, et qui sait tout sur l’histoire de Paris, vous pouvez contacter Marc Soléranski, conférencier national, historien, tel. 01 42 78 14 96. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you look for someone in Paris who can open doors which normally may be closed, who knows everything about the history of Paris, you can contact Marc Soléranski, lecturer and historian, phone +33 1 42 78 14 96. email@example.com