There are some amazing places to visit along the Burgundy, many of which I visited in 2010 with Frankie and Greg or with Nadine and Margaret, so I am keen to share these with Adrian.
Abbaye de Fontenay…….
I find this place absolutely stunning. It is the oldest surviving Cistercian foundation in France – founded in 1118 by St Bernard
The feeling in the Church itself is spiritually moving – more so than anywhere I have been. It is described as having ‘sublime gravity’. I agree.
The whole site has been beautifully restored and is well presented. This area is known for its forges and iron work. The monks at Fontenay developed a forge and it is noted as the earliest factory!
La Grande Forge du Buffon……
Right beside the canal this forge was built (between 1768-1772) by George-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon in the 18c. He was a renowned naturalist and undertook studies on the smelting and treatment of ore at the request of the king. The buildings look more like an aristocratic estate than a large foundry but here up to 25 families lived and worked – the men in the forge and the women growing vegetables so that it was a self sufficient community. The Forge later became a cement works and the continuing restoration has been going on for over 30 years.
Not all of the buildings were open today because the Arencon river is in flood – in fact several of the ‘rooms’ are inaccessible but also we are too early in the season for it all to be open to the public. There were quite a few visitors here today despite the rain.