Chapelle Saint-Georges d’Ornans
Chapelle Saint-Georges is originally the old chapel of the Castle Ornans which was situated on top of a rocky outcrop above the town of Ornans.
As seems to be the case with many of these old buildings, this is not the original incarnation on this spot. In 1289 a chapel was built by Count Othon IV of Burgundy near the castle. It was destroyed in 1300 following the revolt of Baron Comtois against the King of France and rebuilt around 1369.
It was again destroyed in 1477 by the troops of Louis XI and then again rebuilt around 1500. The chapel is the only building that was spared during the destruction of the castle by the troops of Louis XIV in 1674.
It has been registered as a historical monument since 1968.
Cascade de Valbois
Cascade de Valbois is a waterfall with a single drop of 40m near the village of Chassagne-Saint-Denis. Its source is the Valbois river. It is one of the sights in the Réserve Naturelle Nationale du Ravin de Valbois.
La Grande Saline
The Great Saltwork of Salins-Les-Bains has been in the salt production business for over 1200 years. Beginning in the 8th century the town has used the natural saltwater as the raw material in making salt. The salt in the water of the area is explained by there once having been a sea that covered the region millions of years ago. This sea evaporated and the rock salt left behind is some 250 meters beneath. Rainwater infiltrates the salt layer and produces natural salty springs.
The ‘white gold’ as the salt was called was produced through evaporation using an artificial source of heat, namely wood and later coal. This trade made the town very rich and powerful from the Middle Ages on, lasting almost 1200 years. As an example, the city represented half the income of the entire region and eventually becoming the second-largest city in Franch-Comté.
In 1962 the Saltworks was closed due to a lack of profitability, modernization, advances in the preservation of food, and competition. Since 1966 the Great Saltwork has been the property of the municipality. Due to its still functioning technology and its incredible subterranean architecture, it is a unique site and great tourist attraction.
In 1971 the subterranean gallery was recognized as Historic Monument, becoming the first industrial site recognized. In 1984 it was given ‘Grand Prix’ status. In 2009 it was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, in extension to the below Royal Saltworks. Finally in 2009, to ensure consistency, all buildings belonging to the saltwork have been list as Historic Monuments.
Saline Royale d’Arc-et-Senans
Saline Royale was built in 1775, commissioned by Louis XV, and designed by architect Claude Nicolas Ledoux at the edge of the Chaux Forest. It was built in order to increase salt production in the region, beyond what the Grand Saltwork was producing. It worked in compliment to the Grand Saltwork as it was supplied by wooden pipes 21 km in length which brought the salty water here.
The Royal Saltworks site is a rare and exceptional example of industrial architecture history. It was built in the form of a circular arc and included both the dwellings and the production sites.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of profitability, it was closed in 1895. The site was abandoned, plundered, and damaged by fire in 1918; but in 1927, the Doubs Department bought the premises and saved them from ruin. After three consecutive restoration cycles that were completed in 1996, the site was restored to its former glory.
In 1982, the Arc-et-Senans Royal Saltworks was included on the UNESCO world heritage list.
Château de Montigny-lès-Arsures
The chateau was built in the 15th century. Less an actual castle than a strong house with 4 isolated towers and a drawbridge over a moat. The ownership of the chateau changed a number of times and many of the new owners made significant changes such as connecting the towers creating an interior courtyard. The final owner was bequeathed the castle in 1916 and it remains in that family.
Along the way, modifications included the filling in of the moat, with the exception of a basin that was left to justify the existence of a drawbridge. The drawbridge was later removed and replaced with a stone bridge you can see in a photo below. A chapel was added in the 19th century as well as some new stables and sheds.
There is evidence that the castle of Montigny hosted Henry IV during the siege of Arbois in August 1595, in the south-east tower. A letter from Henry IV dealing with the siege of Arbois is dated Camp Montigny, where the king’s troops were confined in front of the castle).
Arbois is the capital of the Jura wine region. The river Cuisance passes through the center of town. The town has many ancient houses lining some of its oldest streets.
When the town was founded is unknown, though it is certain the wines of the region were known to the Romans.
Up until 1260, it was a town without defenses, but during the following 10 years, it was surrounded by ramparts. Arbois endured seven sieges when it was part of the Duchy of Burgundy including sackings by Charles I of Amboise, Henry IV, and Louis XIV.
A castle was built in 1270, some vestiges of which survived after Louis XIV ordered it dismantled in 1678 following the conquest of Franche-Comté. There remain stretches of wall, pierced for archers, three round towers, and the square Gloriette tower which is gotten to by crossing the beautiful Pont du Capacins (built in the 18th century) which you can see in the photo above. The Gloriette Tower is one of the most important remains of the fortifications that surrounded the city in the 13th century.
Arbois is also a city of history and culture as illustrated by its outdoor stage, concert halls, and three museums: the Maison de Louis Pasteur, the Musée d’Art – Hôtel Sarret de Grozon and the Musée de la vigne et du vin du Jura.
The scientist Louis Pasteur is probably the towns most famous former resident. In town, you will find his house, laboratory, a college, vineyard, and the family graves. The home and laboratory have been preserved as the Louis Pasteur Museum mentioned above.
- Official Site
- San Diego Tribune – Arbois, France, celebrated for wine, cheese, Pasteur
- TripAdvisor – Maison de Louis Pasteur
- TripAdvisor – Pont du Capacins
Specific to the Jura region of France this yellow wine is made from the Savagnin grape which is extremely ripened. The wine is then put in oak casks and aged for 6 years and 3 months.
What is unique to the process of producing yellow wine is that the casks are not kept in stable temperature cellars, but in well-ventilated spaces which are subject to temperature fluctuations. Also, the cask is never topped off as most wines are. When the level drops a yeast film is allowed to form on the surface. It is this film that is responsible for the walnut-like aromas called ‘le gout du jaune’. This film of bacteria was actually studied by Louis Pasteur in his work on the winemaking process.
It’s difficult to maintain the quality of the wine and to keep this film intact for the entire aging process. If the film is torn then the contents are destroyed. After the 6 years and 3 months, the casks will have lost more than 40% of the initial volume. That’s one expensive angel’s share.
The resulting wine is a golden yellow color. It can become almost amber with further aging time. There is a high level of acidity and the taste notes include walnut, dried fruit, spices, and toasted bread.
Château de Pierre-de-Bresse
Built in the 17th century by Claude Thiard de Bissy on the site of an old manor house.
The property has 2 distinct parts, the common and the seigniorial estate. They are located in succession to one another and both are surrounded by a moat. There are 2 stone bridges; one from the gardens on to the common and one from the common to the estate.
Crossing the first bridge, you are on the common, though still outside of a beautiful wrought-iron gate. There is a small building at the edges to the right and left. Once through the gate, there are two rows of buildings along the right and left edges of the ‘island’. These consist of the old stables, sheds, kitchens, and dwellings of the service people. They are entirely built of brick. The center holds 4 small square gardens. There is also a well in this section.
Crossing the next bridge on to the estate section, the chateau itself is U shaped with the main building being along the back edge and north and south wings following the left and right edges. There are also 4 round towers at the corners, each topped with bell-shaped domes with a campanile at the top.
The chateau and its gardens remained in the hands of his descendants of the family until 1956. The castle was then acquired by the General Council of Saône-et-Loire.
All buildings have since been the subject of a series of major renovations, after which the main chateau became the Ecomuseum Bresse Burgundy which through its permanent exhibitions illustrates and explains the natural environments, the history, the aspects of traditional life and the current and historic economic and social aspects of the Bresse Burgundy. Other spaces are reserved for audiovisual screenings, temporary exhibitions, a documentation and research center, a boutique, a tea room, conference and concert spaces. It is open to the public.
It has been the recipient of multiple protections as Historic Monuments over time.
- Wikipedia FR
- France Voyage
- Les Châteaux de Bourgogne et de Franche-Comté – Patrimoine et Monuments historiques
- La Route des Chateaux en Bourgogne du Sud
- Comité des Parcs et Jardins de France
l’Église de l’Immaculée-Conception de Bellevesvre
Bellevesvre is a formerly fortified city between Comté and Burgundy. It sits at an important crossroads which in the Middle Ages gave this small town a golden age.
Archaeological remains show that the Romans had occupied the area. The town is located along an ancient Roman road. It is also situated at the intersection of the roads from Verdun to Poligny and Dôle to Bourg-en-Bresse. This was an incredibly strategic location that brought traders and money. As prosperity increased, A church with a bell tower was built in 1379 (Notre Dame de Bellvesvre).
Unfortunately, the prosperous times would come to an end starting in the late 1500s during the Wars of Religion. Most of the inhabitants flee to Verdun for refuge. Then in the 1600s, the Comtois invasions of the area began. In 1637 the Comtois set fire to the city. They are said to have taken the bell tower and the clock from the church to nearby Bletterans. In a few years, the once-booming town is basically deserted with not much remaining as the previous fortifications and a church slowly disappear.
In 1739 the town and church are rebuilt. This is the church that remains today.
- Wikipedia – Bellevesvre
- Le Journal de Saone-et-Loire
- Old Postcards of the town and church
- Le Journal de Sâone-et-Loire
- Historic Notes from a family history
Château de Neublans
The first chateau on this site was built in the 11th century by Lord Raolin. It was meant to defend against Burgundy and reigned over an immense territory. The Lords of Neublans took part in the Crusades. The castle and village would be burned twice by the troops of Louis XI in the late 17th century.
The ruins are acquired in 1703 by Jean-Claude Joseph de Froissard, Marquis de Broissia and the current chateau was built upon the remains of the previous. The only thing remaining from the original was the base of a tower. It took 3 generations to build though it was never completed as hoped. The French Revolution prevented the construction of the left half which was to be symmetrical to what is there now.
Today, the castle and park complex covers nine hectares and is still owned by the Broissia family.
Its design is very Italian inspired though who designed it is unknown due to lack of access to the family records. Its construction is unique especially for the time as it is made of brick for the structural work which as rarely used in homes of this period and in this region. The brick was intended to be covered in plaster to highlight the facade.