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 Abbaye de Fontenay 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 of Eguisheim.

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 family.

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

Abbaye de Fontenay 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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