THE GREAT TESTIMONIES...
Burgundy and Christianity
Already land of the Gauls... A place of great importance to the
history of the people of Gaule, Bibracte was the capital of Celtic
Europe. Caesar's victory over Vercingetorix in Alesia (visit the
site of Alise-Sainte-Reine) , brought Roman civilization to Burgundy.
Autun offers the relics of this past. However, the high spot of
your time in Burgundy will be the visit to the monasteries: the
abbeys of Citeaux and Fontenay created by the Cistercians of Saint
Bernard, Vezelay and Cluny where the romanesque art brought by
the benedictine monks reached its peak of perfection. The 10th
century monastic movement spread its influence throughout Europe
and its sites evoke a powerful picture of the medieval West and
its art. Abbey of Fontenay is a masterpiece of Romanesque art.
In its stone you will find the rule of the order of Citeaux. The
abbey is one of the oldest cistercian churches preserved in France.
Vezelay in the Middle Ages was a favorite stopping place on the
routs of Compostelle. The 12th and 13th century basilica of Sainte
Madeleine is unanimously consecrated for the beauty of its architecture
and the outstanding quality of its ornamentation in sculptures.
The Chateaux of Alsae, Masters of Time...
Already Mont Sainte-Odile, the largest megalithic monument in
Europe with its 10 meter pagan wall, dictates the tone and power
of emotion of your exploration of Alsace. Delightful hills, dense
forests between the Rhine and the Vosges, chateaux overlooking
vineyards reveal villages situatedin exceptional locations; the
three chateaux of Haut-Eguisheim, that of Hohlandsbourg with its
walls of gray granite, that of Pflisbourg, the remains of a 12th
century fortress, circular dungeon, remarkable entrance. The chateau
of Hagueneck which, on its rocky spur, looks out over the vineyard
Other places, other stones, almost make-believe.. Emerging from
the pink cliffs, the walls and keeps reach into the clouds along
the route of the fortified castles from Lembach to Niederbronn..
sixteen 12th to 14th century chateaux including Fleckenstein,
its watchtower carved into the stone. Kaysersberg, a powerful
keep, guards the town. Other medieval fortresses, the 3 chateaux
of Ribeauville which dominate the town. And something quite different,
Saverne with its fine residence of the bishop princes of the Rohan
And of course, standing above Selestat, on its rocky cape as if
straight from a crazy story: le Haut Koenigsbourg, a Picture of
extravangance and romanticism: William II had this, the largest
of the chateaux of Alsace, rebuilt on the lines of a chateau of
the Middle Ages...
Fortifications And The World Centre For Peace
Military- architecture, from the Romans to Vauban, has produced
some masterpieces: Neuf-Brisach, Fort-Louis, Bitche, Montmedy
Epinal . The work of Maginot is to be found throughout Alsace,
the Four a Chaux and the work of Schoenbourg, the museum of Marckholsheim
and that of Lorraine with the Hackenberg, Fermont and its underground
visit, Metz where the roman wall meets the Maginot line. Verdun,
a gaul fortress then a roman one which became the first fortified
town in France with its 38 forts (including Douaumont) was the
stage for bitter fights in 1916. But also, situated in an 18th
century episcopal palace, the World Centre for Peace. Virtual
images, a historical and philosophical perspective, peace today
here and now, an inspiration...
Franche-Comte All the Way To Its Farms
This land has no shortage of chateaux... in Montbeliard, Arlay,
Malans; abbeys hidden away in the countryside, that of Audincourt,
Fernand Leger's leaded glass windows, old comtois farms.
Then there are the towns and their museums; Belfort with it lion
sculpted against the rampart of the citadel by Bartholdi, Corbusier's
chapel of Ronchamp, the museum of the painter Courbet in Ornans.
Classified as an object of world heritage, the Royal Salt Works
at Arc-et-Senans is a masterpiece of industrial architecture
in the Age of Enlightenment.
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