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Title: Castles and Chateaux of Old Burgundy

Author: Francis Miltoun

Illustrator: Blanche McManus

Release Date: August 25, 2014 [EBook #46678]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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List of Illustrations
Index: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y, Z

(etext transcriber's note)

Castles and Chateaux of Old Burgundy
and the Border Provinces

inside cover


decoration of text

Rambles on the Riviera


Rambles in Normandy


Rambles in Brittany


The Cathedrals and Churches of the Rhine


The Cathedrals of Northern France


The Cathedrals of Southern France


In the Land of Mosques and Minarets


Castles and Chateaux of Old Touraine and the Loire Country


Castles and Chateaux of Old Navarre and the Basque Provinces


Italian Highways and Byways from a Motor Car


The Automobilist Abroad

net 3.00


Postage Extra

decoration of text


New England Building, Boston, Mass.


Chateau de Montbéliard
(See page 194)

Chateau de Montbéliard
(See page 194)




Castles  and  Chateaux

B Y  F R A N C I S  M I L T O U N

Author of “Castles and Chateaux of Old Touraine,” “Castles and
Chateaux of Old Navarre,” “Rambles in Normandy,” “Italian
Highways and Byways from a Motor-Car,” etc.

With Many Illustrations
Reproduced from paintings made on the spot

B Y  B L A N C H E  M C M A N U S 


L.   C.  P A G E  &  C O M P A N Y
1 9 0 9



Copyright, 1909,
By L. C. Page & Company
All rights reserved

First Impression, November, 1909

Electrotyped and Printed by
C. H. Simonds & Co., Boston, U.S.A.



I. The Realm of the Burgundians1
II. In the Valley of the Yonne19
III. Avallon, Vezelay, and Chastellux36
IV. Semur-en-Auxois, Époisses and Bourbilly50
V. Montbard and Bussy-Rabutin62
VI. “Chastillon au Noble Duc”75
VII. Tonnerre, Tanlay and Ancy-le-Franc84
VIII. In Old Burgundy101
IX. Dijon the City of the Dukes131
X. In the Cote d’Or: Beaune, La Rochepot and Épinac113
XI. Maçon, Cluny and the Charollais153
XII. In the Beaujolais and Lyonnais170
XIII. The Franche Comté; Auxonne and Besançon185
XIV. On the Swiss Border: Bugey and Bresse199
XV. Grenoble and Vizille: the Capital of the Dauphins218
XVI. Chambéry and the Lac du Bourget229
XVII. In the Shadow of La Grande Chartreuse245
XVIII.Annecy and Lac Leman259
XIX. The Mountain Background of Savoy278
XX. By the Banks of the Rhône290
XXI. In the Alps of Dauphiny300
XXII. In Lower Dauphiny313

List of Illustrations
Chateau de Montbéliard (see page 194)Frontispiece
Geographical Limits covered by Contents (Map) x
The Heart of Old Burgundy (Map)facing  2
Chateau de Saint Fargeaufacing 28
Tour Gaillarde, Auxerrefacing 32
Chateau de Chastelluxfacing 38
Semur-en-Auxoisfacing 50
Chateau d’Époissesfacing 54
Arnay-le-Ducfacing 60
Chateau de Bussy-Rabutinfacing 68
Chateau des Ducs, Châtillonfacing 76
Chateau de Tanlayfacing 90
Chateau and Gardens of Ancy-le-Franc94
Chateau of Ancy-le-Francfacing 96
Monograms from the Chambre des Fleurs98
Burgundy through the Ages (Map)101
The Dijonnais and the Beaujolais (Map) facing 112
Key of Vaulting, Dijon113
Cuisines at Dijon119
Chateau des Ducs, Dijonfacing 122
Clos Vougeot.—Chambertin137
Hospice de Beaunefacing 144
Chateau de La Rochepotfacing 148
Chateau de Sullyfacing 150
Chateau de Chaumont-la-Guichefacing 154
Hôtel de Ville, Paray-le-Monailfacing 156
Chateau de Lamartinefacing 166
Chateau de Noble169
Palais Granvelle, Besançonfacing 192
The Lion of Belfort195
Women of Bressefacing 200
Chateau de Voltaire, Ferneyfacing 204
Tower of the Palais de Justice, Grenoble219
Chateau d’Uriagefacing 224
Chateau de Vizillefacing 226
Portal of the Chateau de Chambéryfacing 230
Portal St. Dominique, Chambéry231
Chateau de Chambéryfacing 232
Les Charmettes235
Chateau de Chigninfacing 238
Abbey of Hautecombefacing 240
Maison des Dauphins, Tour-de-Pinfacing 246
Chateau Bayardfacing 248
La Tour Sans Venin255
Chateau d’Annecyfacing 260
Chateau de Ripaillefacing 272
Évianfacing 276
Aix-les-Bains to Albertville (Map)279
Chateau de Miolansfacing 284
Conflansfacing 286
Seal of the Native Dauphins290
Tower of Philippe de Valois, Viennefacing 292
Chateau de Crussolfacing 298
Chateau de Briançonfacing 304
Briançon; Its Chateau and Old Fortified Bridge305
Chateau Queyrasfacing 308
Chateau de Beauvoirfacing 316
Chateau de la Sonefacing 320


Geographical Limits covered by Contents


Castles   and   Chateaux
  of   Old   Burgundy

and the Border Provinces



La plus belle Comté, c’est Flandre;
La plus belle duché, c’est Bourgogne,
Le plus beau royaume, c’est France.

THIS statement is of undeniable merit, as some of us, who so love la belle France—even though we be strangers—well know.

The Burgundy of Charlemagne’s time was a much vaster extent of territory than that of the period when the province came to play its own kingly part. From the borders of Neustria to Lombardia and Provence it extended from the northwest to the southeast, and from Austrasia and Alamannia in the northeast to Aquitania and Septimania in the southwest. In other words, it embraced practically the entire watershed of the Rhône and even included the upper reaches of the Yonne and Seine and a very large{2} portion of the Loire; in short, all of the great central plain lying between the Alps and the Cevennes.

The old Burgundian province was closely allied topographically, climatically and by ties of family, with many of its neighbouring political divisions. Almost to the Ile de France this extended on the north; to the east, the Franche Comté was but a dismemberment; whilst the Nivernais and the Bourbonnais to the west, through the lands and influence of their seigneurs, encroached more or less on Burgundy or vice versa if one chooses to think of it in that way. To the southeast Dombes, Bresse and Bugey, all closely allied with one another, bridged the leagues which separated Burgundy from Savoy, and, still farther on, Dauphiny.

The influence of the Burgundian spirit was, however, over all. The neighbouring states, the nobility and the people alike, envied and emulated, as far as they were able, the luxurious life of the Burgundian seigneurs later. If at one time or another they were actually enemies, they sooner, in many instances at least, allied themselves as friends or partisans, and the manner of life of the Burgundians of the middle ages became their own.{3}


Not in the royal domain of France itself, not in luxurious Touraine, was there more love of splendour and the gorgeous trappings of the ceremonial of the middle ages than in Burgundy. It has ever been a land of prosperity and plenty, to which, in these late days, must be added peace, for there is no region in all France of to-day where there is more contentment and comfort than in the wealthy and opulent Departments of the Côte d’Or and the Saône and Loire which, since the Revolution, have been carved out of the very heart of old Burgundy.

The French themselves are not commonly thought to be great travellers, but they love “le voyage” nevertheless, and they are as justifiably proud of their antiquities and their historical monuments as any other race on earth. That they love their patrie, and all that pertains to it, with a devotion seemingly inexplicable to a people who go in only for “spreadeaglism,” goes without saying.

Qu’il est doux de courir le monde!
Ah! qu’il est doux de voyager!

sang the author of the libretto of “Diamants de la Couronne,” and he certainly expressed the sentiment well.{4}

The Parisians themselves know and love Burgundy perhaps more than any other of the old mediæval provinces; that is, they seemingly love it for itself; such minor contempt as they have for a Provençal, a Norman or a Breton does not exist with regard to a Bourguignon.

Said Michelet: “Burgundy is a country where all are possessed of a pompous and solemn eloquence.” This is a tribute to its men. And he continued: “It is a country of good livers and joyous seasons”—and this is an encomium of its bounty.

The men of the modern world who own to Burgundy as their patrie are almost too numerous to catalogue, but all will recall the names of Buffon, Guyton de Morveau, Monge and Carnot, Rude, Rameau, Sambin, Greuze and Prud’hon.

In the arts, too, Burgundy has played its own special part, and if the chateau-builder did not here run riot as luxuriously as in Touraine, he at least builded well and left innumerable examples behind which will please the lover of historic shrines no less than the more florid Renaissance of the Loire.

In the eighteenth century, the heart of Burgundy was traversed by the celebrated “coches d’eau” which, as a means of transportation for{5} travellers, was considerably more of an approach to the ideal than the railway of to-day. These “coches d’eau” covered the distance from Chalon to Lyon via the Saône. One reads in the “Almanach de Lyon et des Provinces de Lyonnois, Forêz et Beaujolais, pour l’année bissextile 1760,” that two of these “coches” each week left Lyon, on Mondays and Thursdays, making the journey to Chalon without interruption via Trévoux, Mâcon and Tournus. From Lyon to Chalon took the better part of two and a half days’ time, but the descent was accomplished in less than two days. From Chalon, by “guimbarde,” it was an affair of eight days to Paris via Arnay-le-Duc, Saulieu, Vermanton, Auxerre, Joigny and Sens. By diligence all the way, the journey from the capital to Lyon was made in five days in summer and six in winter. Says Mercier in his “Tableau de Paris”: “When Sunday came on, the journey mass was said at three o’clock in the morning at some tavern en route.”

The ways and means of travel in Burgundy have considerably changed in the last two hundred years, but the old-time flavour of the road still hangs over all, and the traveller down through Burgundy to-day, especially if he goes by road, may experience not a little of the{6} charm which has all but disappeared from modern France and its interminably straight, level, tree-lined highways. Often enough one may stop at some old posting inn famous in history and, as he wheels his way along, will see the same historic monuments, magnificent churches and chateaux as did that prolific letter writer, Madame de Sévigné.

Apropos of these mediæval and Renaissance chateaux scattered up and down France, the Sieur Colin, in 1654, produced a work entitled “Le Fidèle Conducteur pour les Voyages en France” in which he said that every hillside throughout the kingdom was dotted with a “belle maison” or a “palais.” He, too, like some of us of a later day, believed France the land of chateaux par excellence.

Evelyn, the diarist (1641-1647), thought much the same thing and so recorded his opinion.

The Duchesse de Longueville, (1646-1647), on her journey from Paris called the first chateau passed on the way a “palais des fées,” which it doubtless was in aspect, and Mlle. de Montpensier, in a lodging with which she was forced to put up at Saint Fargeau, named it “plus beau d’un chateau,”—a true enough estimate of many a maison bourgeois of the time. At{7} Pouges-les-Eaux, in the Nivernais, just on the borders of Burgundy, whilst she was still travelling south, Mlle. de Montpensier put up at the chateau of a family friend and partook of an excellent dinner. This really speaks much for the appointments of the house in which she stopped, though one is forced to imagine the other attributes. She seemingly had arrived late, for she wrote: “I was indeed greatly surprised and pleased with my welcome; one could hardly have expected such attentions at so unseemly an hour.”

La Fontaine was a most conscientious traveller and said some grand things of the Renaissance chateaux-builders of which literary history has neglected to make mention.

Lippomano, the Venetian Ambassador of the sixteenth century, professed to have met with a population uncivil and wanting in probity, but he exalted, nevertheless, to the highest the admirable chateaux of princes and seigneurs which he saw on the way through Burgundy. Zinzerling, a young German traveller, in the year 1616, remarked much the same thing, but regretted that a certain class of sight-seers was even then wont to scribble names in public places. We of to-day who love old monuments have, then, no more reason to complain than{8} had this observant traveller of three hundred years ago.

Madame Laroche was an indefatigable traveller of a later day (1787), and her comments on the “belles maisons de campagne” in these parts (she was not a guest in royal chateaux, it seems) throw many interesting side lights on the people, the manners and the customs of her time.

Bertin in his “Voyage de Bourgogne” recounts a noble welcome which he received at the chateau of a Burgundian seigneur—“Salvos of musketry, with the seigneur and the ladies of his household awaiting on the perron.” This would have made an ideal stage grouping.

Arthur Young, the English agriculturist, travelling in France just previous to the Revolution, had all manner of comment for the French dwelling of whatever rank, but his observations in general were more with reference to the chaumières of peasants than with the chateaux of seigneurs.

Time was when France was more thickly bestrewn with great monasteries and abbeys than now. They were in many ways the rivals of the palatial country houses of the seigneurs, and their princely abbés and priors and prelates frequently wielded a local power no{9} less militant than that of their secular neighbours.

Great churches, abbeys, monasteries, fortresses, chateaux, donjons and barbican gates are hardly less frequently seen in France to-day than they were of old, although in many instances a ruin only exists to tell the tale of former splendour.

This is as true of Burgundy as it is of other parts of France; indeed, it is, perhaps, a more apt reference here than it would be with regard to Normandy or Picardy, where many a mediæval civic or religious shrine has been made into a warehouse or a beet-sugar factory. The closest comparison of this nature that one can make with respect to these parts is that some Cistercian monastery has become a “wine-chateau” like the Clos Vougeot or Beaune’s Hospice or Hotel Dieu, which, in truth, at certain periods, is nothing more nor less than a great wholesale wine-shop.

Mediæval French towns, as well in Burgundy as elsewhere, were invariably built up on one of three plans. The first was an outgrowth of the remains and débris of a more ancient Gaulish or Roman civilization, and purely civic and secular. The second class of community came as a natural ally of some great abbey, sei{10}gneurial chateau, really a fortress or an episcopal foundation which demanded freedom from molestation as its undeniable right. It was in such latter places that the bishops and abbés held forth with a magnificence and splendour of surroundings scarcely less imposing than that of royalty itself, though their domains were naturally more restricted in area and the powers that the prelates wielded were often no less powerful than their militant neighbours. The third class of mediæval settlements were the villes-neuves, or the villes-franches, a class of communities usually exempt from the exactions of seigneurs and churchmen alike, a class of towns readily recognized by their nomenclature.

By the sixteenth century the soil of France was covered with a myriad of residential chateaux which were the admiration and envy of the lords of all nations. There had sprung up beside the old feudal fortresses a splendid galaxy of luxurious dwellings having more the air of domesticity than of warfare, which was the chief characteristics of their predecessors. It was then that the word chateau came to supplant that of chastel in the old-time chronicles.

Richelieu and the Fronde destroyed many a mediæval fane whose ruins were afterwards re{11}built by some later seigneur into a Renaissance palace of great splendour. The Italian builder lent his aid and his imported profusion of detail until there grew up all over France a distinct variety of dwelling which quite outdistanced anything that had gone before. This was true in respect to its general plan as well as with regard to the luxury of its decorative embellishments. Fortresses were razed or remodelled, and the chateau—the French chateau as we know it to-day, distinct from the chastel—then first came into being.

Any review of the castle, chateau and palace architecture of France, and of the historic incident and the personages connected therewith, is bound to divide itself into a geographical or climatic category. To begin with the manner of building of the southland was only transplanted in northern soil experimentally, and it did not always take root so vigorously that it was able to live.

The Renaissance glories of Touraine and the valley of the Loire, though the outcome of various Italian pilgrimages, were of a more florid and whimsical fashioning than anything in Italy itself, either at the period of their inception or even later, and so they are to be considered as something distinctly French,—indeed, it was{12} their very influence which was to radiate all over the chateau-building world of the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

By contrast, the square and round donjon towers of the fortress-chateaux—like Arques, Falais and Coucy—were more or less an indigenous growth taking their plan from nothing alien. Midi and the centre of France, Provence, the Pyrenees and the valleys of the Rhône and Saône, gave birth, or development, to still another variety of mediæval architecture both military and domestic, whilst the Rhine provinces developed the species along still other constructional lines.

There was, to be sure, a certain reminiscence, or repetition of common details among all extensive works of mediæval building, but they existed only by sufferance and were seldom incorporated as constructive elements beyond the fact that towers were square or round, and that the most elaborately planned chateaux were built around an inner courtyard, or were surrounded by a fosse, or moat.

In Burgundy and the Bourbonnais, and to some extent in the Nivernais, there grew up a distinct method of castle-building which was only allied with the many other varieties scattered over France in the sense that the fabrics{13} were intended to serve the same purposes as their contemporaries elsewhere. The solid square shafts flanking a barbican gate,—the same general effect observable of all fortified towns,—the profuse use of heavy Renaissance sculpture in town houses, the interpolated Flemish-Gothic (seen so admirably at Beaune and Dijon), and above all, the Burgundian school of sculptured figures and figurines were details which flowered hereabouts as they did nowhere else.

So far as the actual numbers of the edifices go it is evident that throughout Burgundy ecclesiastical architecture developed at the expense of the more luxuriously endowed civic and domestic varieties of Touraine, which, we can not deny, must ever be considered the real “chateaux country.” In Touraine the splendour of ecclesiastical building took a second place to that of the domestic dwelling, or country or town house.

For the most part, the Romanesque domestic edifice has disappeared throughout Burgundy. Only at Cluny are there any very considerable remains of the domestic architecture of the Romans, and even here there is nothing very substantial, no tangible reminder of the palace of emperor or consul, only some fragments of{14} more or less extensive edifices which were built by the art which the Romans brought with them from beyond the Alps when they overran Gaul. If one knows how to read the signs, there may still be seen at Cluny fragments of old Roman walls of stone, brick, and even of wood, and the fact that they have already stood for ten or a dozen centuries speaks much for the excellence of their building. It was undoubtedly something just a bit better than the modern way of doing things.

Of all the domestic edifices of Burgundy dating from the thirteenth century or earlier, that enclosing the “cuisines” (the only name by which this curious architectural detail is known) of the old palace of the dukes at Dijon is credited by all authorities as being quite the most remarkable, indeed, the most typical, of its environment. After this comes the Salle Synodale at Sens. These two, showing the civic and domestic details of the purely Burgundian manner of building, represent their epoch at its very best.

In Dauphiny and Savoy, and to a certain extent the indeterminate ground of Bresse, Dombes and Bugey which linked Burgundy therewith, military and civic architecture in the middle ages took on slightly different forms.{15} Nevertheless, the style was more nearly allied to that obtaining in mid-France than to that of the Midi, or to anything specifically Italian in motive, although Savoy was for ages connected by liens of blood with the holder of the Italian crown.

It was only in 1792 that Savoy became a French Département, with the rather unsatisfactory nomenclature of Mont Blanc. It is true, however, that by holding to the name of Mont Blanc the new department would at least have impressed itself upon the travelling public, as well as the fact that the peak is really French. As it is, it is commonly thought to be Swiss, though for a fact it is leagues from the Swiss frontier.

Before a score of years had passed Savoy again became subject to an Italian prince. Less than half a century later “La Savoie” became a pearl in the French diadem for all time, forming the Départements of Haute Savoie and Savoie of to-day.

The rectangular fortress-like chateau—indeed more a fortress than a chateau—was more often found in the plains than in the mountains. It is for this reason that the chateaux of the Alpine valleys and hillsides of Savoy and Dauphiny differ from those of the{16} Rhône or the Saône. The Rhine castle of our imaginations may well stand for one type; the other is best represented by the great parallelogram of Aigues-Mortes, or better yet by the walls and towers of the Cité at Carcassonne.

Feudal chateaux up to the thirteenth century were almost always constructed upon an eminence; it was only with the beginning of this epoch that the seigneurs dared to build a country house without the protection of natural bulwarks.

The two types are represented in this book, those of the plain and those of the mountain, though it is to be remembered that it is the specific castle-like edifice, and not the purely residential chateau that often exists in the mountainous regions to the exclusion of the other variety. After that comes the ornate country house, in many cases lacking utterly the defences which were the invariable attribute of the castle. Miolans and Montmelian in Savoy stand for examples of the first mentioned class; Chastellux, Ancy-le-Franc and Tanlay in Burgundy for the second.

Examples of the hôtels privées, the town houses of the seigneurs who for the most part spent their time in their maisons de campagne{17} of the large towns and provincial cities are not to be neglected, nor have they been by the author and artist who have made this book. As examples may be cited the Maison des Dauphins at Tour-de-Pin, that elaborate edifice at Paray-le-Monail, various examples at Dijon and the svelt, though unpretending, Palais des Granvelle at Besançon in the Franche Comté.

To sum up the chateau architecture, and, to be comprehensive, all mediæval and Renaissance architecture in France, we may say that it stands as something distinctly national, something that has absorbed much of the best of other lands but which has been fused with the ingenious daring of the Gaul into a style which later went abroad to all nations of the globe as something distinctly French. It matters little whether proof of this be sought in Touraine, Burgundy or Poitou, for while each may possess their eccentricities of style, and excellencies as varied as their climates, all are to-day distinctly French, and must be so considered from their inception.

Among these master works which go to give glory and renown to French architecture are not only the formidable castles and luxurious chateaux of kings and princes but also the{18} great civic palaces and military works of contemporary epochs, for these, in many instances, combined the functions of a royal dwelling with their other condition.{19}



THERE is no more charming river valley in all France than that of the Yonne, which wanders from mid-Burgundy down to join the Seine just above Fontainebleau and the artists’ haunts of Moret and Montigny.

The present day Département of the Yonne was carved out of a part of the old Senonais and Auxerrois; the latter, a Burgundian fief, and the former, a tiny countship under the suzerainty of the Counts of Champagne. Manners and customs, and art and architecture, however, throughout the department favour Burgundy in the south rather than the northern influences which radiated from the Ile de France. This is true not only with respect to ecclesiastical, civic and military architecture, but doubly so with the domestic varieties ranging from the humble cottage to the more ambitious manoirs and gentilshommeries, and finally, to the still more magnificent seigneurial chateaux. Within the confines of this area are some of the most splendid examples extant of{20} Burgundian domestic architecture of the Renaissance period.

The Yonne is singularly replete with feudal memories and monuments as well. One remarks this on all sides, whether one enters direct from Paris or from the east or west. From the Morvan and the Gatinais down through the Auxerrois, the Tonnerrois and the Époisses is a definite sequence of architectural monuments which in a very remarkable way suggest that they were the outgrowth of a distinctly Burgundian manner of building, something quite different from anything to be seen elsewhere.

In the ninth century, when the feudality first began to recognize its full administrative powers, the local counts of the valley of the Yonne were deputies merely who put into motion the machinery designed by the nobler powers, the royal vassals of the powerful fiefs of Auxerre, Sens, Tonnerre and Avallon. The actual lease of life of these greater powers varied considerably according to the individual fortunes of their seigneurs, but those of Joigny and Tonnerre endured until 1789, and the latter is incorporated into a present day title which even red republicanism has not succeeded in wiping out.

The real gateway to the Yonne valley is prop{21}erly enough Sens, but Sens itself is little or nothing Burgundian with respect to its architectural glories in general. Its Salle Synodale is the one example which is distinct from the northern born note which shows so plainly in the tower and façade of its great cathedral; mostly Sens is reminiscent of the sway and tastes of the royal Bourbons.

A few leagues south of Sens the aspect of all things changes precipitately. At Villeneuve-sur-Yonne one takes a gigantic step backward into the shadowy past. Whether or no he arrives by the screeching railway or the scorching automobile of the twentieth century, from the moment he passes the feudal-built gateway which spans the main street—actually the great national highway which links Paris with the Swiss and Italian frontiers—and gazes up at its battlemented crest, he is transported into the realms of romance. Travellers there are, perhaps, who might prefer to arrive on foot, but there are not many such passionate pilgrims who would care to do this thing to-day. They had much better, however, adopt even this mode of travel should no other be available, for at Villeneuve there are many aids in conjuring up the genuine old-time spirit of things.{22}

At the opposite end of this long main street is yet another great barbican gate, the twin of that at the northerly end. Together they form the sole remaining vestiges of the rampart which enclosed the old Villeneuve-le-Roi, the title borne by the town of old. Yet despite such notable landmarks, there are literally thousands of stranger tourists who rush by Villeneuve by road and rail in a season and give never so much as a thought or a glance of the eye to its wonderful scenic and romantic splendours!

Before 1163 Villeneuve was known as Villa-Longa, after its original Roman nomenclature, but a newer and grander city grew up on the old emplacement with fortification walls and towers and gates, built at the orders of Louis VII. It was then that it came to be known as the king’s own city and was called Villeneuve-le-Roi. By a special charter granted at this time Villeneuve, like Lorris on the banks of the Loire, was given unusual privileges which made it exempt from Crown taxes, and allowed the inhabitants to hunt and fish freely—feudal favours which were none too readily granted in those days. Louis himself gave the new city the name of Villa-Francia-Regia, but the name was soon corrupted to Villeneuve-le-Roi.{23} For many years the city served as the chief Burgundian outpost in the north.

The great tower, or citadel, a part of the royal chateau where the king lodged on his brief visits to his pet city, was intended at once to serve as a fortress and a symbol of dignity, and it played the double part admirably. Attached to this tower on the north was the Royal Chateau de Salles, a favourite abode of the royalties of the thirteenth century. Little or nothing of this dwelling remains to-day save the walls of the chapel, and here and there an expanse of wall built up into some more humble edifice, but still recognizable as once having possessed a greater dignity. There are various fragmentary foundation walls of old towers and other dependencies of the chateau, and the old ramparts cropping out here and there, but there is no definitely formed building of a sufficiently commanding presence to warrant rank as a historical monument of the quality required by the governmental authorities in order to have its patronage and protection.

Philippe-Auguste, in 1204, assembled here a parliament where the celebrated ordonnance “Stabilementum Feudorum” was framed. This alone is enough to make Villeneuve stand out large in the annals of feudalism, if indeed{24} no monuments whatever existed to bring it to mind. It was the code by which the entire machinery of French feudalism was put into motion and kept in running order, and for this reason the Chateau de Salles, where the king was in residence when he gave his hand and seal to the document, should occupy a higher place than it usually does. The Chateau de Salles was called “royal” in distinction to the usual seigneurial chateau which was merely “noble.” It was not so much a permanent residence of the French monarchs as a sort of a rest-house on the way down to their Burgundian possession after they had become masters of the duchy. The donjon tower that one sees to-day is the chief, indeed the only definitely defined, fragment of this once royal chateau which still exists, but it is sufficiently impressive and grand in its proportions to suggest the magnitude of the entire fabric as it must once have been, and for that reason is all-sufficient in its appeal to the romantic and historic sense.

Situated as it was on the main highway between Paris and Dijon, Villeneuve occupied a most important strategic position. It spanned this old Route Royale with its two city gates, and its ramparts stretched out on either side in a determinate fashion which allowed no one to{25} enter or pass through it that might not be welcome. These graceful towered gateways which exist even to-day were the models from which many more of their kind were built in other parts of the royal domain, as at Magny-en-Vexin, at Moret-sur-Loing, and at Mâcon.

A dozen kilometres from Villeneuve-sur-Yonne is Joigny, almost entirely surrounded by a beautiful wildwood, the Forêt National de Joigny. Joigny was one of the last of the local fiefs to give up its ancient rights and privileges. The fief took rank as a Vicomté. Jeanne de Valois founded a hospice here—the predecessor of the present Hotel Dieu—and the Cardinal de Gondi of unworthy fame built the local chateau in the early seventeenth century.

The Chateau de Joigny, as became its dignified state, was nobly endowed, having been built to the Cardinal’s orders by the Italian Serlio in 1550-1613. To-day the structure serves the functions of a schoolhouse and is little to be remarked save that one hunts it out knowing its history.

There is this much to say for the schoolhouse-chateau at Joigny; it partakes of the constructive and decorative elements of the genuine local manner of building regardless of its Italian origin, and here, as at Villeneuve, there is a dis{26}tinct element of novelty in all domestic architecture which is quite different from the varieties to be remarked a little further north. There, the town houses are manifestly town houses, but at Joigny, as often as not, when they advance beyond the rank of the most humble, they partake somewhat of the attributes of a castle and somewhat of those of a palace. This is probably because the conditions of life have become easier, or because, in general, wealth, even in mediæval times, was more evenly distributed. Certainly the noblesse here, as we know, was more numerous than in many other sections.

Any one of a score of Joigny’s old Renaissance houses, which line its main street and the immediate neighbourhood of its market-place, is suggestive of the opulent life of the seigneurs of old to almost as great a degree as the Gondi chateau which has now become the École-Communal.

Of all Joigny’s architectural beauties of the past none takes so high a rank as its magnificent Gothic church of Saint Jean, whose vaultings are of the most remarkable known. Since the ruling seigneur at the time the church was rebuilt was a churchman, this is perhaps readily enough accounted for. It demonstrates, too,{27} the intimacy with which the affairs of church and state were bound together in those days. A luxurious local chateau of the purely residential order, not a fortress, demanded a worthy neighbouring church, and the seigneur, whether or not he himself was a churchman, often worked hand in hand with the local prelate to see that the same was supplied and embellished in a worthy manner. This is evident to the close observer wherever he may rest on his travels throughout the old French provinces, and here at Joigny it is notably to be remarked.

Saint Fargeau, in the Commune of Joigny, is unknown by name and situation to the majority, but for a chateau-town it may well be classed with many better, or at least more popularly, known. On the principal place, or square, rises a warm-coloured winsome fabric which is the very quintessence of mediævalism. It is a more or less battered relic of the tenth century, and is built in a rosy brick, a most unusual method of construction for its time.

The history of the Chateau de Saint Fargeau has been most momentous, its former dwellers therein taking rank with the most noble and influential of the old régime. Jacques Coeur, the celebrated silversmith of Bourges and the{28} intimate of Charles VII, Mademoiselle de Montpensier, and the leader of the Convention—Lepelletier de Saint Fargeau—all lived for a time within its walls, to mention only three who have made romantic history, though widely dissimilar were their stations.

An ornate park with various decorative dependencies surrounds the old chateau on three sides and the ensemble is as undeniably theatrical as one could hope to find in the real. In general the aspect is grandiose and it can readily enough be counted as one of the “show-chateaux” of France, and would be were it better known.

Mlle. de Montpensier—“la Grande Mademoiselle”—was chatelaine of Saint Fargeau in the mid-seventeenth century. Her comings and goings, to and from Paris, were ever written down at length in court chronicles and many were the “incidents”—to give them a mild definition—which happened here in the valley of the Yonne which made good reading. On one occasion when Mademoiselle quitted Paris for Saint Fargeau she came in a modest “carosse sans armes.” It was for a fact a sort of sub-rosa sortie, but the historian was discreet on this occasion. Travel in the old days had not a little of romanticism about it, but for a{29}

Chateau de Saint Fargeau

Chateau de Saint Fargeau

lady of quality to travel thus was, at the time, a thing unheard of. This princess of blood royal thus, for once in her life, travelled like a plebeian.

Closely bound up with the Sennonais were the fiefs of Auxerre and Tonnerre, whose capitals are to-day of that class of important provincial cities of the third rank which play so great a part in the economic affairs of modern France. But their present commercial status should by no means discount their historic pasts, nor their charm for the lover of old monuments, since evidences remain at every street corner to remind one that their origin was in the days when knights were bold. The railway has since come, followed by electric lights and automobiles, all of which are once and again found in curious juxtaposition with a bit of mediæval or Renaissance architecture, in a manner that is surprising if not shocking. Regardless of the apparent modernity roundabout, however, there is still enough of the glamour of mediævalism left to subdue the garishness of twentieth century innovations. All this makes the charm of French travel,—this unlocked for combination of the new and the old that one so often meets. One can not find just this same sort of thing at Paris, nor on the Riviera, nor anywhere, in{30} fact, except in these minor capitals of the old French provinces.

The Comté d’Auxerre was created in 1094 by the Roi Robert, who, after the reunion of the Burgundian kingdom with the French monarchy, gave it to Renaud, Comte de Nevers, as the dot of one, Adelais, who may have been his sister, or his cousin—history is not precise. The house of Nevers possessed the countship until 1182, when it came to Archambaud, the ninth of the name, Sire de Bourbon. One of his heirs married a son of the Duc de Bourgogne and to him brought the county of Auxerre, which thus became Burgundian in fact. Later it took on a separate entity again, or rather, it allied itself with the Comtes de Tonnerre at a price paid in and out of hand, it must not be neglected to state, of 144,400 livres Tournois. The crown of France, through the Comtes d’Auxerre, came next into possession, but Charles VII, under the treaty of Arras, ceded the countship in turn to Philippe-le-Bon, Duc de Bourgogne. Definite alliance with the royal domain came under Louis XI, thus the province remained until the Revolution.

With such a history small wonder it is that Auxerre has preserved more than fleeting memories of its past. Of great civic and domestic{31} establishments of mediævalism, Auxerre is poverty-stricken nevertheless. The Episcopal Palace, now the Préfecture, is the most imposing edifice of its class, and is indeed a worthy thing from every view-point. It has a covered loggia, or gallery running along its façade, making one think that it was built by, or for, an Italian, which is not improbable, since it was conceived under the ministership of Cardinal Mazarin who would, could he have had his way, have made all things French take on an Italian hue. From this loggia there is a wide-spread, distant view of the broad valley of the Yonne which here has widened out to considerable proportions. The history of this Préfectural palace of to-day, save as it now serves its purpose as a governmental administrative building, is wholly allied with that of Auxerre’s magnificent cathedral and its battery of sister churches.

Within the edifice, filled with clerks and officials in every cranny, all busy writing out documents by hand and clogging the wheels of progress as much as inefficiency can, are still found certain of its ancient furnishings and fittings. The great Salle des Audiences is still intact and is a fine example of thirteenth century woodwork. The wainscotting of its walls and ceiling{32} is remarkably worked with a finesse of detail that would be hard to duplicate to-day except at the expense of a lord of finance or a king of petrol. Not even government contractors, no matter what price they are paid, could presume to supply anything half so fine.

It was at Auxerre that the art and craft of building noble edifices developed so highly among churchmen. The builders of the twelfth century were not only often monks but churchmen of rank as well. They occupied themselves not only with ecclesiastical architecture, but with painting and sculpture. One of the first of these clerical master-builders was Geoffroy, Bishop of Auxerre, and three of his prebendarys were classed respectively as painters, glass-setters and metal-workers.

The towering structure on the Place du Marché is to-day Auxerre’s nearest approach to a chateau of the romantic age, and this is only a mere tower to-day, a fragment left behind of a more extensive residential and fortified chateau which served its double purpose well in its time. It is something more than a mere belfry, or clock tower, however. It is called the Tour Gaillarde, and flanked at one time the principal breach in the rampart wall which surrounded the city. It is one of the finest specimens of its{33}

Tour Gaillarde, Auxerre

Tour Gaillarde, Auxerre

class extant, and is more than the rival of the great Tour de l’Horloge at Rouen or the pair of towers over which conventional tourists rave, as they do over the bears in the bear-pit, at Berne in Switzerland.

The entire edifice, the tower and that portion which has disappeared, formed originally the residence of the governor of the place, the personal representative of the counts who themselves, in default of a special residence in their capital, were forced to lodge therein on their seemingly brief visits. The names of the counts of Tonnerre and Auxerre appear frequently in the historical chronicles of their time, but references to their doings lead one to think that they chiefly idled their time away at Paris. That this great tower made a part of some sort of a fortified dwelling there is no doubt, but that it was ever a part of a seigneurial chateau is not so certain.

With respect to the part Auxerre played in the military science of the middle ages it is interesting to recall that the drum, or tambour, is claimed as of local origin, or at least that it was here first known in France, in the fourteenth century. No precise date is given and one is inclined to think that its use with the army of Edward III at Calais on the 3rd{34} August, 1347, was really its first appearance across the Channel after all.

Above Auxerre the Yonne divides, or rather takes to itself the Armançon and the Seruin to swell its bulk as it flows down through the Auxerrois. Above lies the Avallonnais, where another race of seigneurs contribute an altogether different series of episodes from that of their neighbours. It remains a patent fact, however, that the cities and towns of the valley of the Yonne give one ample proof of the close alliance in manners and customs of all mid-France of mediæval times.

The inhabitants of this region are not a race apart, but are traditionally a blend of the “natural” Champenois and the “frank and loyal” Burgundian,—“strictly keeping to their promises, and with a notable probity in business affairs,” says a proud local historian. Here in this delightful river valley were bred and nourished the celebrated painter, Jean-Cousin; the illustrious Vauban, the builder of fortresses; the enigmatical Chevaliere d’Eon; the artist Soufflot, architect of the Pantheon; Regnault de Saint-Jean d’Angely, Minister of Napoleon; Bourrienne, his secretary and afterwards Minister of State under the Bourbons.{35}

Following the Yonne still upwards towards its source one comes ultimately to Clamecy. Between Auxerre and Clamecy the riverside is strewn thickly with the remains of many an ancient feudal fortress or later chateaux. At Mailly-le-Chateau are the very scanty fragments of a former edifice built by the Comtes d’Auxerre in the fifteenth century, and at Chatel-Censoir is another of the same class. At Coulanges-sur-Yonne is the débris, a tower merely, of what must one day have been a really splendid edifice, though even locally one can get no specific information concerning its history.

From Clamecy the highroad crosses the Bazois to Chateau Chinon in the Nivernais. The name leads one to imagine much, but of chateaux it has none, though its nomenclature was derived from the emplacement of an ancient oppidum gaulois, a castrum gallo-romain and later a feudal chateau.

The road on to Burgundy lies to the southwest via the Avallonnais, or, leaving the watershed of the Yonne for that of the upper Seine, via Tonnerre and Châtillon-sur-Seine lying to the eastward of Auxerre.{36}



AVALLON owes its origin to the construction of a chateau-fort. It was built by Robert-le-Pieux, the son of Hugues Capet, in the tenth century. Little by little the fortress has crumbled and very nearly disappeared. All that remains are the foundation walls on what is locally called the Rocher d’Avallon, virtually the pedestal upon which sits the present city.

Avallon, like neighbouring Semur and Vezelay, sits snugly and proudly behind its rampart of nature’s ravines and gorges, a series of military defences ready-made which on more than one occasion in mediæval times served their purpose well.

It was in the old Chateau d’Avallon that Jacques d’Epailly, called “Forte Épice,” was giving a great ball when Philippe-le-Bon beseiged the city. Jacques treated the inhabitants with the utmost disrespect, even the ladies, and secretly quitted the ball just before the city{37} troops surrendered. History says that the weak-hearted gallant sold out to the enemy and saved himself by the back door, and in spite of no documentary evidence to this effect the long arm of coincidence points to the dastardly act in an almost unmistakable manner.

Near Avallon are still to be seen extensive Roman remains. A Roman camp, the Camp des Alleux, celebrated in Gaulish and Roman history, was here, and the old Roman road between Lyons and Boulogne in Belgica Secundus passed near by.

It is not so much with reference to Avallon itself, quaint and picturesque as the city is, that one’s interest lies hereabouts. More particularly it is in the neighbouring chateaux of Chastellux and Montréal.

The Seigneur de Chastellux was one of the most powerful vassals of the Duc de Bourgogne. By hereditary custom the eldest of each new generation presented himself before the Bishop of Auxerre clad in a surplice covering his military accoutrements, and wearing a falcon at his wrist. In this garb he swore to support Church and State, and for this devotion was vested in the title of Chanoin d’Auxerre, a title which supposedly served him in good stead in case of military disaster. It was thus that the{38} Maréchal de Chastellux, a famous warrior, was, as late as 1792, also a canon of the cathedral at Auxerre. It was, too, in this grotesque costume that the Chanoin-Comte d’Chastellux welcomed Louis XIV on a certain visit to Auxerre. At Auxerre, in the cathedral, one sees a monument commemorative of the Sires de Chastellux. It was erected by César de Chastellux under the Restoration, to replace the tomb torn down by the Chapter in the fifteenth century. This desecration, by churchmen themselves, one must remember, took place in spite of the fact that a Chastellux was even then a dignitary of the church.

Chastellux, beyond its magnificent chateau, is an indefinable, unconvincing little bourg, but from the very moment one sets foot within its quaintly named Hotel de Maréchal de Chastellux he, or she, is permeated with the very spirit of romance and mediævalism. The bridge which crosses the Cure in the middle of the village owns to the ripe old age of three hundred and fifty years, and is still rendering efficient service. This is something mature for a bridge, even in France, where many are doing their daily work as they have for centuries. Will the modern “suspension” affairs do as well? That’s what nobody knows! The hotel, or{39}

Chateau de Chastellux

Chateau de Chastellux

auberge rather, can not be less aged than the bridge, though the manner in which it is conducted is not at all antiquated.

A rocky, jagged pedestal, of a height of perhaps a hundred and fifty feet, holds aloft the fine mass of the Chateau de Chastellux. For eight centuries this fine old pile was in the making and, though manifestly non-contemporary as to its details, it holds itself together in a remarkably consistent manner and presents an ensemble and silhouette far more satisfactory to view than many a more popular historic monument of its class. Its great round towers, their coiffes and the pignons and gables of the roof, give it all a cachet which is so striking that one forgives, or ignores the fact that it is after all a work of various epochs.

Visitors here are welcome. One may stroll the corridors and apartments, the vast halls and the courtyard as fancy wills, except that one is always discreetly ciceroned by a guardian who may be a man, a woman, or even a small child. There is none of the espionage system about the surveillance, however, and one can but feel welcome. Blazons in stone and wood and tapestries are everywhere. They are the best, or the worst, of their kind; one really doesn’t stop to think which; the effect is undeniably{40} what one would wish, and surely no carping critic has any right to exercise his functions here. There is not the least cause to complain if the furnishings are of non-contemporary periods like the exterior adornments, because the certain stamp of sincerity and genuineness over all defies undue criticism.

The Chateau de Chastellux dates, primarily, from the thirteenth century, with many fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth century restorations or additions which are readily enough to be recognized. From its inception, the chateau has belonged to the family of Beauvoir-de-Chastellux, the cadet branch of Anseric-de-Montréal.

Practically triangular in form, as best served its original functions of a defensive habitation, this most theatrical of all Burgundian chateaux is flanked by four great attached towers. The Tour de l’Horloge is a massive rectangular pile of the fifteenth century; the Tour d’Amboise is a round tower dating from 1592; the Tour de l’Hermitage and the Tour des Archives, each of them, also round, are of the sixteenth century. In the disposition and massiveness of these towers alone the Chateau de Chastellux is unique. Another isolated tower, even more stupendous in its proportions, is known as the{41} Tour Saint Jean, and is a donjon of the ideally acceptable variety, dating from some period anterior to the chateau proper.

Moat-surrounded, the chateau is only to be entered by crossing an ornamental waterway. One arrives at the actual entrance by the usual all-eyed roadway ending at the perron of the chateau where a simple bell-pull silently announces the ways and means of gaining entrance. The domestic appears at once and without questioning your right proceeds to do the honours as if it were for yourself alone that the place were kept open.

The chief and most splendid apartment is the Salle des Gardes, to a great extent restored, but typical of the best of fifteenth century workmanship and appointments. Its chimney-piece, as splendid in general effect as any to be seen in the Loire chateaux, is but a re-made affair, but follows the best traditions and encloses moreover fragments of fifteenth century sculptures which are authentically of that period. The cornice of this majestic apartment bears the Chastellux arms and those of their allied families, interwoven with the oft repeated inscription, Monréal à Sire de Chastellux. In this same Salle des Gardes are hung a pair of ancient Gobelins, and set into the floor is a{42} dainty morsel of an antique mosaic found nearby.

The modern billiard-room, also shown to the inquisitive, contains portraits of the Chancelier d’Aguesseau and his wife, and its fittings—aside from the green baize tables and their accessories—are well carried out after the style of Louis XIII. Good taste, or bad, one makes no comment, save to suggest that the billiard tables look out of place.

In what the present dweller calls the Salon Rouge are portraits and souvenirs of a military ancestor Comte César de Chastellux, who, judging from his dress and cast of countenance, must have been a warrior bold of the conventional type.

After the Salle des Gardes the Grand Salon is the most effective apartment. Its wall and ceiling decorations are the same that were completed in 1696, and incorporated therein are fourteen portraits of the Sires and Comtes who one day lived and loved within these castle walls. These portraits are reproductions of others which were destroyed by the unchained devils of the French Revolution who made way with so much valuable documentary evidence from which one might build up French mediæval history anew. The village church contains{43} several tombal monuments of the Chastellux.

The Chateau de Montréal, or Mont-Royal, so closely allied with the fortunes of the Chastellux, between Avallon and Chastellux, is built high on a mamelon overlooking the Seruin, and is one of the most ancient and curious places in Burgundy. The little town, of but five hundred inhabitants, is built up mostly of the material which came from one of the most ancient of the feudal chateaux of mid-France. This chateau was originally a primitive fortress, once the residence of Queen Brunhaut, the wife of the Roi d’Austrasie in 566. It was from this hill-top residence that the name Montréal has been evolved.

The sparse population of the place were benefited by special privileges from the earliest times and the cité movenageuse itself was endowed with many admirable examples of administrative and domestic architecture.

Of the Renaissance chateaux of the later seigneurs, here and there many portions remain built into other edifices, but there is no single example left which, as a whole, takes definite shape as a noble historical monument. There are a dozen old Renaissance house-fronts, with here and there a supporting tower or wall{44} which is unquestionably of mediæval times and might tell thrilling stories could stones but speak.

In Renaissance annals Montréal was celebrated by the exploit of the Dame de Ragny (1590), who recaptured the place after it had been taken possession of by the Ligeurs during the absence of her husband, the governor.

At the entrance of the old bourg is a great gateway which originally led to the seigneurial enclosure. It is called the Port d’en Bas and has arches dating from the thirteenth century. Montréal and its Mediæval chateau was the cradle of the Anseric-de-Montréal family, who were dispossessed in 1255 to the profit of the Ducs de Bourgogne. It was to the cadet branch of this same family Chastellux once belonged.

To the west lies Vezelay, one of the most remarkable conglomerate piles of ancient masonry to be seen in France to-day. It was a most luxurious abode in mediæval times, and its great church, with its ornate portal and façade, ranks as one of the most celebrated in Europe.

Vezelay is on no well-worn tourist track; it is indeed chiefly unknown except to those who{45} know well their ecclesiastical history. It was within this famous church that Saint Bernard awakened the fervour of the Crusade in the breast of Louis-le-Jeune. The abbey church saw, too, Philippe-Auguste and Richard Cœur-de-Lion start for their Crusades, and even Saint Louis came here before setting out from Aigues Mortes for the land of the Turk. This illustrious church quite crushes anything else in Vezelay by its splendour, but nevertheless the history of its other monuments has been great, and the part played by the miniscule city itself has been no less important in more mundane matters. Its mediæval trading-fairs were famous throughout the provinces of all France, and even afar.

In the middle ages Vezelay had a population of ten thousand souls; to-day a bare eight hundred call it their home town.

The seigneurial chateau at Vezelay is hardly in keeping to-day with its former proud estate. One mounts from the lower town by a winding street lined on either side by admirably conserved Renaissance houses of an unpretentious class. The chateau, where lodged Louis-le-Jeune, has embedded in its façade two great shot launched from Huguenot cannon during{46} the siege of 1559. Another seigneurial “hôtel privée” has over its portal this inscription:

Comme Colombe humble et simple seray
Et à mon nom mes mœurs conformeray.

Here in opulent Basse-Bourgogne, where the vassals of a seigneur were often as powerful as he, their dwellings were frequently quite as splendid as the official residence of the overlord. It is this genuinely unspoiled mediæval aspect of seemingly nearly all the houses of this curious old town of Vezelay which give the place its charm.

The Porte Neuve is a great dependent tower which formerly was attached to the residence of the governor—the chateau-fort in fact—and it still stands militant as of old, supported on either side by two enormous round towers and surmounted by a machicoulis and a serrated cornice which tells much of its efficiency as a mediæval defence. To the right are still very extensive remains of the fourteenth and fifteenth century ramparts.

Near Vezelay is the Chateau de Bazoche, which possesses a profound interest for the student of military architecture in France by reason of its having been the birthplace of Maréchal Vauban, who became so celebrated as{47} a fortress-builder that he, as much as anybody, may be considered the real welder of modern France. Vauban’s body is buried in the local churchyard, but his heart had the distinction of being torn from his body and given a glorious (?) burial along with countless other fragments of military heroes in the Hotel des Invalides at Paris.

Bazoches is not a name that is on the tip of the tongue of every mentor and guide to French history, though the appearance of its chateau is such that one wonders that it is not more often cited by the guide-books which are supposed to point out the quaint and curious to vagabond travellers. There are many such who had rather worship at a shrine such as this than to spend their time loitering about the big hotels of the flash resorts with which the Europe of the average tourist is becoming overcrowded. Makers of guide-books and the managers of tourist agencies do not seem to know this.

Bazoches is a townlet of five hundred inhabitants, and not one of them cares whether you come or go. They do not even marvel that the chateau is the only thing in the place that ever brings a stranger there,—they ignore the fact that you are there, so by this reckoning one puts{48} Bazoches, the town and the chateau, down as something quite unspoiled. Half the population lives in fine old Gothic and Renaissance houses which, to many of us, used to living under another species of rooftree, would seem a palace.

What the Chateau de Bazoches lacks in great renown it makes up for in imposing effect. Each angle meets in a svelt round tower of the typical picture-book and stage-carpenter fashion. Each tower is coiffed with a peaked candle-snuffer cap and a row of machicoulis which gives the whole edifice a warlike look which is unmistakable. The finest detail of all is “La Grande Tour” supporting one end of the principle mass of the chateau, and half built into the hillside which backs it up on the rear. Vauban bought an old feudal castle in 1663 and added to it after his own effective manner, thus making the chateau, as one sees it to-day, the powerful bulwark that it is.

The chateau belongs to-day to the Vibrave family, who keep open house for the visitor who would see within and without. The principle apartment is entirely furnished with the same belongings which served Vauban for his personal use.

Another neighbouring chateau, bearing also the name Chateau de Vauban, was also the{49} property of the Maréchal. It dates from the sixteenth century, and though in no way historic, has many architectural details worthy of observation and remark.{50}



DUE east from Avallon some thirty odd kilometres is Semur-en-Auxois. It is well described as a feudal city without and a banal one within. Its mediæval walls and gates lead one to expect the same old-world atmosphere over all, but, aside from its churches and an occasional architectural display of a Renaissance house-front, its cast of countenance, when seen from its decidedly bourgeois point of view, is, if not modern, at least matter-of-fact and unsympathetic.

In spite of this its historical recollections are many and varied, and there are fragments galore of its once proud architectural glories which bespeak their prime importance, and also that the vandal hand of so-called progress and improvement has fallen heavily on all sides.

The site of Semur to a great extent gives it that far-away mediæval look; that, at least, could not be taken away from it. It possesses, moreover, one of the most astonishing{51}



silhouettes of any hill-top town in France. Like Constantine in North Africa it is walled and battlemented by a series of natural defences in the form of ravines or gorges so profound that certainly no ordinary invading force could have entered the city.

Semur was formerly the capital of the Auxois, and for some time held the same rank in the Burgundian Duchy.

The city from within suggests little of mediævalism. Prosperity and contentment do not make for a picturesque and romantic environment of the life of the twentieth century. It was different in the olden time. Semur, by and large, is of the age of mediævalism, however, though one has to delve below the surface to discover this after having passed the great walls and portals of its natural and artificial ramparts.

Semur’s bourg, donjon and chateau, as the respective quarters of the town are known, tell the story of its past, but they tell it only by suggestion. The ancient fortifications, as entire works, have disappeared, and the chateau has become a barracks or a hospital. Only the chateau donjon and immediate dependencies, a group of towering walls, rise grim and silent as of old above the great arch of the bridge flung{52} so daringly across the Armançon at the bottom of the gorge.

The last proprietor of Semur’s chateau was the Marquis du Chatelet, the husband of the even more celebrated Madame du Chatelet, who held so great a place in the life of Voltaire. The philosopher, it seems, resided here for a time, and his room is still kept sacred and shown to visitors upon application.

Semur as much as anything is a reminder of the past rather than a living representation of what has gone before. Within the city walls were enacted many momentous events of state while still it was the Burgundian capital. Again during the troublous times of the “Ligue,” Henri IV transferred to its old chateau the Parliament which had previously held its sittings at Dijon.

Semur’s monuments deserved a better fate than has befallen them, for they were magnificent and epoch-making, if not always from an artistic point of view, at least from an historic one.

We made Semur our headquarters for a little journey to Époisses, Bourbilly and Montbard, where formerly lived and died the naturalist Buffon, in the celebrated Chateau de Montbard.

Époisses lies but a few kilometres west of{53} Semur. Its chateau is a magnificently artistic and historic shrine if there ever was such. In 1677 Madame de Sévigné wrote that she “here descended from her carriage: chez son Seigneur d’Époisses.” Here she found herself so comfortably off that she forgot to go on to Bourbilly, where she was expected and daily awaited. It was ten days later that she finally moved on; so one has but the best of opinions regarding the good cheer which was offered her. At the time it must have been an ideal country house, this mansion of the Seigneur d’Époisses, as indeed it is to-day. The lady wrote further: “Here there is the greatest liberty; one reads or walks or talks or works as he, or she, pleases.” This is what everyone desires and so seldom gets when on a visit. As for the other natural and artificial charms which surrounded the place, one may well judge by a contemplation of it to-day.

Here in the chateau, or manor, or whatever manner of rank it actually takes in one’s mind, you may see the room occupied by Madame de Sévigné on the occasion of her “pleasant visit.” It is a “Chambre aux Fleurs” in truth, and that, too, is the name by which the apartment is officially known.

Above the mantel, garlanded with flowers{54} carved in wood, one reads the following attributed to the fascinating Marquise herself. The circumstance is authenticated in spite of the fantastic orthography. As a letter writer, at any rate, she made no such faults.

Nos plaisirs ne sont capparence
Et souvent se cache nos pleurs
Sous l’éclat de ces belles fleurs
Qui ne sont que vaine éperance.

The Chateau de Bourbilly, where Madame de Sévigné was really bound at the time she lingered on “chez son cher seigneur,” is a near neighbour of Époisses. It was the retreat of Madame de Chantal, the ancestress of Madame de Sévigné, the founder of the Order of the Visitation who has since become a saint of the church calendar—Sainte Jeanne-de-Chantal.

This fine seventeenth century chateau, with its pointed towers and its mansard, belonged successively to the families Marigny, de Mello, de Thil, de Savace, de la Tremouille and Rabutin-Chantel, of which the sanctified Jeanne and Madame de Sévigné were the most illustrious members.

Madame de Sévigné, the amiable letter writer, sojourned here often on her voyages up and down France. She herself lived in the{55}

Chateau d’Époisses

Chateau d’Époisses

Chateau des Rochers in Brittany and her daughter, the Comtesse de Grignan, in Provence, and they did not a little visiting between the two. Bourbilly was a convenient and delightful halfway house.

Madame de Sévigné can not be said to have made Bourbilly her residence for long at any time. For a fact she was as frequently a guest at the neighbouring Chateau de Guitant, a feudal dwelling still inhabited by the de Guitants, or at Époisses, as she was at Bourbilly.

In the chapel, which is of the sixteenth century, is the tomb of the Baron de Bussy-Rabutin and some reliques of Sainte-Jeanne-de-Chantal. The latter has served to make of Bourbilly a pilgrim shrine which, on the 21st August, draws a throng from all parts for the annual fête.

There was a popular impression long current among French writers that Madame de Sévigné was born in the Chateau de Bourbilly. A line or two of that indefatigable penman, Bussy, tended to make this ready of belief when he wrote of his cousin as “Une demoiselle de Bourgogne egarée en Bretagne.” She herself claimed to have been “transplanted,” but it was a transplantation by marriage; she was most certainly not born at Bourbilly, at any rate, for history, better informed than an un{56}convincing scribbler, states that she was born in Paris, like Molière and Voltaire, who also have finally been claimed by the capital as her own.

At all events, at Bourbilly Madame de Sévigné was true enough on the land of the “vieux chateau de ses pères, ses belles prairies, sa petite rivière, ses magnifiques bois.” It was her property in fact, or came to be, and she might have lived there had she chosen. She would not dispose of it when importuned to do so, and replied simply, but coldly (one reads this in the “Letters”), “I will not sell the property for the reason that I wish to hand it down to my daughter.” From this one would think that she had a great affection for it, but at times it was a “vieux chateau” and at others it was a “horrible maison.” Capricious woman! The letters of Madame de Sévigné written from here were not numerous, as she only “stopped over” on her various journeyings. When one recognizes the tastes and habits of the Marquise, it is not to be wondered at that her visits to Bourbilly were neither prolonged nor multiplied.

Turning one’s itinerary south from Semur one comes shortly to Cussy-la-Colonne, where “la Colonne” is recognized by the archæolo{57}gists as one of the most celebrated and most ancient monuments of Burgundy.

One learns from the inscription in Franco-Latin that the ancient monument (antiquissimum hoc monumentum) much damaged by the flapping wings of time, was rebuilt, as nearly as possible in its original form, by a prefect of the Department of the Côte d’Or (Collis Aurei Praefectus), M. Charles Arbaud, in the reign (sous l’empire) of Charles X (imperante Carolo X.... Anno Salutis MDCCCXXV.) An astonishing mélange this of the tongue of Cicero and modern administrative patois.

The Colonne de Cussy, is rather a pagan memorial of a victory of the Romans in the reign of Diocletian, or, from another surmise, a funeral monument to a Roman general dead on the eve of victory. In either case, there it stands fragmentary and wind and weather worn like the pillars of Hercules or Pompey.

One simply notes Cussy and its “colonne” en passant on the road to Saulieu and Arnay-le-Duc, where the Ducs de Bourgogne had one of their most favoured country houses, or manors.

We only stopped at Saulieu by chance anyway; we stopped for the night in fact because it was getting too late to push on farther, and we were glad indeed that we did.{58}

Saulieu is a most ancient town and owes its name to a neighbouring wood. Here was first erected a pagan temple to the sun; fragments of it have recently been found; and here one may still see the tracings of the old Roman way crossing what was afterwards,—to the powerful colony at Autun,—the Duchy of Burgundy.

As a fortified place Saulieu was most potent, but in 1519 a pest destroyed almost its total population. Disaster after disaster fell upon it and the place never again achieved the prominence of its neighbouring contemporaries.

It was here at Saulieu in Revolutionary times that the good people, as if in remembrance of the disasters which had befallen them under monarchial days, hailed with joy the arrival of the men of the Marseilles Battalion as they were marching on Paris “to help capture Capet’s castle.” Before the church of Saint Saturnin the Patriots’ Club had lighted a big bonfire, and the “Men of the Midi” were received with open arms and a warm welcome.

“How good they were to us at Saulieu,” said one of the number, recounting his adventures upon his arrival at Paris; “they gave us all the wine we could swallow and all the good things we could eat,—we had enough bœuf-à-la-daub to rise over our ears....”{59}

To-day the good folk of Saulieu treat the stranger in not unsimilar fashion, and though the town lacks noble monuments it makes up for the deficiency in its good cheer. Saulieu in this respect quite lives up to its reputation of old. This little capital of the Morvan-Bourguignon has ever owned to one or more distinguished Vatel’s. Madame de Sévigné, in 1677, stopped here at a friend’s country house, and, as she wrote, “le fermier donne à tous un grand diner.” This was probably the Manoir de Guitant between Bourbilly and Saulieu. They were long at table, for it was a diner des adieux given by her friend Guitant to his visitors. She wrote further: “With the dinner one drank a great deal, and afterwards a great deal more; all went off with the greatest possible éclat. Voila l’affaire!”

Evidently such a manner of parting did not produce sadness!

A donjon tower with a duck-pond before it, opposite the Hotel de la Poste is all the mediævalism that one sees within the town at Saulieu to-day. It is all that one’s imagination can conjure up of the ideal donjon of mediævalism and interesting withal, though its history is most brief, indeed may be said to exist not at all in recorded form, for the chief references to{60} Saulieu’s historic past date back to the pagan temple and the founding of the Abbey of Saint Andoche in the eighth century.



Still heading south one comes in a dozen kilometres to a chateau of the fourteenth century, and the restorations of Henri IV at Thoisy-la-Berchere. Later restorations, by the Marquis de Montbossier, who occupies it to-day, have made of it one of the most attractive of the minor chateaux of France. One may visit it under certain conditions, whether the family is in residence or not, and will carry away memories of many splendid chimney pieces and wall tapestries. For the rest the furnishings are modern, which is saying that they are banal. This of course need not always be so, but when the Renaissance is mixed with the art nouveau and the latest fantasies of Dufayal it lacks appeal. This is as bad as “Empire” and “Mission,” which seem to have set the pace for “club furniture” during the past decade.

Arnay-le-Duc still to the south was the site of a ducal Burgundian manor which almost reached the distinction of a palace. Here the country loving dukes spent not a little of their leisure time when away from their capital.

Arnay-le-Duc, more than any other town of its class in France, retains its almost undefiled{61} feudal aspect to-day when viewed from beyond the walls. Formerly it was the seat of a bailliage and has conserved the débris of the feudal official residence. This is supported in addition by many fine examples of Renaissance-Burgundian architectural treasures which give the town at once the stamp of genuineness which it will take many years of progress to wholly eradicate.

None of these fine structures, least of all the ducal manor, is perfectly conserved, but the remains are sufficiently ample and well cared for to merit the classification of still being reckoned habitable and of importance. The old manor of the dukes has now descended to more humble uses, but has lost little of the aristocratic bearing which it once owned.

It was near this fortified bourgade of other days—fortified that the dukes might rest in peace when they repaired thither—that the infant Henri IV, at the age of sixteen, received his baptism of fire and first gained his stripes under the direction of Maréchal de Cossé-Brissac.{62}



MONTBARD lies midway between Semur and Châtillon-sur-Seine, on the great highroad leading from Burgundy into Champagne. The old Chateau de Montbard is represented only by the donjon tower which rises grimly above the modern edifice built around its base and the sprawling little town which clusters around its park gates at the edge of the tiny river Brenne.

The “grand seigneur” of Montbard was but a simple man of letters, the naturalist Buffon. Here he found comfort and tranquillity, and loved the place and its old associations accordingly. Here he lived, “having doffed his sword and cloak,” and occupied himself only with his literary labours, though with a gallantry and esprit which could but have produced the eloquent pages ascribed to him.

Buffon was a native of the town, and through him, more than anyone else, the town has since been heard of in history.

{63}Having acquired the property of the old chateau, the donjon of which stood firm and broad on its base, he made of the latter his study, or salon de travail. This is the only remaining portion of the mediæval castle of Montbard. The ancient walls which existed, though in a ruined state, were all either levelled or rebuilt by Buffon into the dependent dwelling which he attached to the donjon. The Revolution, too, did not a little towards wiping out a part of the structure, as indeed it did the tomb of the naturalist in the local churchyard.

Buffon, or, to give him his full title, Georges-Louis-Leclerc-de-Buffon lived here a life of retirement, amid a comfort, perhaps even of luxury, that caused his jealous critics to say that he worked in a velvet coat, and that he was a sort of eighteenth century “nature-fakir.” This is probably an injustice.

In 1774 Louis XV made the “terre de Buffon” a countship, but the naturalist chose not to reside in the village of the name, but to live at Montbard some leagues away.

Montbard’s actual celebrity came long before the time of Buffon, for its chateau was built in the fourteenth century and was for centuries the possessor of an illustrious sequence of annals intimately associated with the dukedom of Burgundy.{64}

Jean-Sans-Peur, it is to be noted, passed a portion of his youth within its walls. This gives it at once rank as a royal chateau, though that was not actually its classification. The Princesse Anne, sister of Philippe le Bon, here married the Duke of Bedford in 1423. All this would seem fame enough for Montbard, but the local old men and women know no more of their remote rulers than they do of Buffon; local pride is a very doubtful commodity.

It is disconcerting for a stranger to accost some bon homme or bonne femme to learn the way to the Chateau de Buffon, and to receive in reply a simple stare and the observation, “I don’t know the man.” Aside, to some crony, you may hear the observation, “Who are these strangers and what do they want with their man Buffon anyway?” This may seem an exaggeration, but it is not, and furthermore the thing may happen anywhere. Glory is but as smoke, and local fame is often an infinitesimal thing. Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas!

Buffon wrote his extensive “Histoire Naturelle” at Montbard. It created much admiration at the time. To-day Buffon, his work and his chateau are all but forgotten or ignored, and but few visitors come to continue the idol{65}atry of Jean Jacques Rousseau, who kissed the “seuil de la noble demure.”

Not long since, within some few years at any rate, a former friend of Alfred de Musset quoted some little known lines of the poet on this “berceau de la histoire naturelle,” with the result that quite recently the local authorities, in establishing the Musée Buffon, have caused them, to be carved on a panel in the naturalist’s former study at the chateau.

“Buffon, que ton ombre pardonne
A une témérité
D’ajouter une fleur à la double couronne
Que sur ton front mit l’Immortalité.”

Buffon’s additions to the old chateau were made for comfort, whatever they may have lacked of romanticism. The French Pliny was evidently not in the least romantically inclined, or he would not have levelled these historic walls and the alleyed walks and gardens laid out in the profuse and formal manner of those of Italy. The result is a poor substitute for a picturesque grass-grown ruin, or a faithfully restored mediæval castle.

Between the Brenne and a canal which flows through the town rises an admirable feudal tower indicating the one time military and{66} strategic importance of the site. It is called Mont Bard, and marks where once stood the fortress that surrendered in its time to the “Ligueurs.”

Near Montbard is a hamlet which bears the illustrious name of Buffon, but it is doubtful if even a few among its three hundred inhabitants know for whom it is named.

Still further away, on the Châtillon road, is the little town of Villaines-en-Dumois, a bourg of no importance in the life of modernity. It is somnolent to an extreme, comfortable-looking and apparently prosperous. The grand route from Paris to Dijon passes it by a dozen kilometres to the left, and the railway likewise. Coaching days left it out in the cold also, and modern travel hardly knows that it exists.

In spite of this the town owns to something more than the trivial morsels of stone which many a township locally claims as a chateau. Here was once a favourite summer residence of the Burgundian dukes, and here to-day the shell, or framework, of the same edifice looks as though it might easily be made habitable. The property came later to the Madame de Longueville, the sister of the Grand Condé. There is nothing absolutely magnificent about it now, but the suggestion of its former estate is still{67} there to a notable degree. The walls and towers, lacking roofs though they do, well suggest the princely part the edifice once played in the life of its time.

In spite of the fact that the name of the town appears in none of the red or blue backed guide-books, enough is known of it to establish it as the former temporary seat of one of the most formal of the minor courts of Europe, where—the records tell—etiquette was as strict as in the ducal palace at Dijon. Four great round towers are each surrounded by a half-filled moat, and the suggestion of the old chapel, in the shape of an expanse of wall which shows a remarkably beautiful ogival window, definitely remains to give the idea of the former luxury and magnificence with which the whole structure was endowed.

A detached dwelling, said to be the house of the prior of a neighbouring monastery who attached himself to the little court, is in rather a better state of preservation than the chateau itself, and might indeed be made habitable by one with a modest purse and a desire to play the “grand seigneur” to-day in some petty gone-to-seed community. These opportunities exist all up and down France to-day, and this seems as likely a spot as any for one who{68} wishes to transplant his, or her, household gods.

Beyond Montbard is Les Laumes, a minor railway junction on the line to Dijon, which is scarcely ever remembered by the traveller who passes it by. But, although there is nothing inspiring to be had from even a glance of the eye in any direction as one stops a brief moment at the station, nevertheless it is a prolific centre for a series of historical pilgrimages which, for pleasurable edification, would make the traveller remember it all his life did he give it more than a passing thought. One must know its history though, or many of the historic souvenirs will be passed by without an impression worth while.

On Mont Auxois, rising up back of the town, stands a colossal statue of Vercingetorix, in memory of a resistance which he here made against the usually redoubtable Cæsar.

Six kilometres away there is one of the most romantically historic of all the minor chateaux of France and one not to be omitted from anybody’s chateaux tour of France. It is the Chateau de Bussy-Rabutin, to-day restored and reinhabited, though for long periods since its construction it was empty save for bats and mice. This restoration, which looks to-day like{69}

Chateau de Bussy-Rabutin

Chateau de Bussy-Rabutin

a part of the original fabric, was the conceit of the Comte de Bussy-Rabutin, a cousin of Madame de Sévigné in the seventeenth century. It gives one the impression of being an exact replica of a seigneurial domain of its time.

The main fabric is a vast square edifice with four towers, each marking one of the cardinal points. The Tour du Donjon to the east, and the Tour de la Chapelle to the west are bound to a heavy ungainly façade which the Comte Roger de Bussy-Rabutin built in 1649. This ligature is a sort of a galleried arcade which itself dates from the reign of Henri II.

As to its foundation the chateau probably dates from an ancestor who came into being in the twelfth century. In later centuries it frequently changed hands, until it came to Leonard du Rabutin, Baron d’Epiry, and father of the Comte Roger who did the real work of remodelling. It was this Comte Roger who has gone down to fame as the too-celebrated cousin of Madame de Sévigné. To-day, the chateau belongs to Madame la Comtesse de Sarcus and although it is perhaps the most historic, at least in a romantic sense, of all the great Renaissance establishments of these parts, it is known to modern map-makers as the Chateau de Savoigny. Much of its early history is{70} closely bound with that picturesque owner, Comte de Bussy-Rabutin.

In Holy Week in 1657, at the age of forty-one, Bussy became involved in some sort of a military scandal and was exiled from France. The following year he made peace with the powers that be and returned to court, when he composed the famous, or infamous, “Histoire Amoureuse des Gaules,” a work of supposed great wit and satirical purport, but scandalous to a degree unspeakable. It was written to curry favour with a certain fair lady, the Marquise de Monglat, who had an axe to grind among a certain coterie of court favourites. Bussy stood her in great stead and the scheme worked to a charm up to a certain point, when Louis XIV, not at all pleased with the unseemly satire, hurried its unthinking, or too willing, author off to the Bastile and kept him there for five years, that no more of his lucubrations of a similar, or any other, nature should see the light.

In 1666 Bussy got back to his native land and was again heard of by boiling over once more with similar indiscretions at Chazeu, near Autun. Finally he got home to the chateau and there remained for sixteen consecutive years, not a recluse exactly, and yet not daring{71} to show his head at Paris. It was a long time before he again regained favour in royal circles.

The Cour d’Honneur of the chateau is reached by a monumental portal which traverses the middle of the corps du logis. Above this are two marble busts, one of Sainte-Jeanne-de-Chantal, which came originally from the Couvent de Visitation at Dijon, and the other of Colbert, the minister of Louis XIV.

The ancient Salle des Devises (now the modern billiard room) has a very beautiful pavement of hexagonal tiles, and a series of allegorical devises which Bussy had painted in 1667 by way of reproach to one of his feminine admirers. On other panels are painted various reproductions of royal chateaux and a portrait of Bussy with his emblazoned arms.

The Salon des Grands Hommes de Guerre, on the second floor, is well explained by its name. Its decorations are chiefly interlaced monograms of Bussy and the Marquise Monglat, setting off sixty odd portraits of famous French warriors, from Duguesclin and Dunois to Bussy himself, who, though more wielder of the pen than the sword, chose to include himself in the collection. Some of these are originals, contemporary with the period of their{72} subjects; others are manifestly modern copies and mediocre at that, though the array of effigies is undeniably imposing.

The Chambre Sévigné, as one infers, is consecrated to the memory of the most famous letter writer of her time. For ornamentation it has twenty-six portraits, one or more being by Mignard, while that of “La Grande Mademoiselle,” who became the Duchesse de Berry, is by Coypel.

Below a portrait of Madame de Sévigné, Bussy caused to be inscribed the following: “Marie de Rabutin: vive agreable et sage, fille de Celse Béninge de Rabutin et Marie de Coulanges et femme de Henri de Sévigné.” This, one may be justified in thinking, is quite a biography in brief, the sort of a description one might expect to find in a seventeenth century “Who’s Who.”

Beneath the portrait of her daughter—Comtesse de Grignan—the inscription reads thus: “Françoise de Sévigné; jolie, amiable, enfin marchant sur les pas de sa mere sur le chapitre des agreements, fille de Henri de Sévigné et de Marie de Rabutin et femme du Comte de Grignan.” A rather more extended biography than the former, but condensed withal.{73}

Another neighbouring room is known as the Petite Chambre Sévigné, and contains some admirable sculptures and paintings.

Leading to the famous Tour Dorée is a long gallery furnished after the style of the time of Henri II, whilst a great circular room in the tower itself is richly decorated and furnished, including two faisceaux of six standards, each bearing the Bussy colours.

Legend and fable have furnished the motive of the frescoes of this curious apartment, and under one of them, “Céphale et Procris,” in which one recognizes the features of Bussy and the Marquise, his particular friend, are the following lines:

“Eprouver si sa femme a le cœur précieux,
C’est être impertinent autant que curieux:
Un peu d’obscurité vaut, en cette matière,
Mille fois mieux que la lumière.”

Not logical, you say, and unprincipled. Just that! But as a documentary expression of the life of the times it is probably genuine.

Here and elsewhere on the walls of the chateau are many really worthy works of art, portraits by Mignard, Lebrun, Just, and others, including still another elaborate series of fourteen, representing Richelieu, Louis XIII, Anne{74} d’Autriche, Mazarin, Louis XIV. Again in the plafond of the great tower are other frescoes representing the “Petits Amours” of the time, always with the interlaced cyphers of Bussy and Madame la Comtesse.

From the Chambre Sévigné a gallery leads to the tribune of the chapel. Here is a portrait gallery of the kings of the third race, of the parents of Bussy, and of the four Burgundian dukes and duchesses of the race of Valois. The chapel itself is formed of a part of the Tour Ronde where are two canvasses of Poussin, a Murillo and one of Andrea del Sarto.

The gardens and Park of the chateau are attributed to Le Notre, the garden-maker of Versailles. This may or may not be so, the assertion is advanced cautiously, because the claim has so often falsely been made of other chateau properties. The gardens here, however, were certainly conceived after Le Notre’s magnificent manner. There is a great ornamental water environing the chateau some sixty metres in length and twelve metres in width, and this of itself is enough to give great distinction to any garden-plot.{75}


(The War Cry of the Bourguignons)

THE importance of the ancient Chastillon on the banks of the Seine was entirely due to the prominence given to it by the Burgundian dukes of the first race who made it their preferred habitation.

The place was the ancient capital of the Bailliage de la Montague, the rampart and keep to the Burgundian frontier from the tenth to the fifteenth century.

The origin of the Chateau des Ducs is blanketed in the night of time. Savants, even, can not agree as to the date of its commencement. One says that it and its name were derived from Castico, a rich Sequanais; and another that it comes from Castell, an enclosed place; or from Castellio—a small fortress. Each seems plausible in the absence of anything more definite, though according to the castle’s latest historian it owes its actual inception to{76} the occupation of the Romans who did build a castrum here in their time.

During the pourparlers between Henri IV and the League, the inhabitants of the city demanded of Nicolas de Gellan, governor of the place, the giving up of the castle which had for years been the cause of so much misery and misfortune. The place had been the culminative point of the attacks of centuries of warriors, and the inhabitants believed that they had so suffered that it was time to cry quits.

When the surrender, or the turning over, of the castle took place, all the population, including women and children, marched en masse upon the structure, and wall by wall and stone by stone dismantled it, leaving it in the condition one sees it to-day. A castle of sorts still exists, but it is a mere wraith of its former self. There is this much to say for it, however, and that is that its stern, grim walls which still stand remain as silent witnesses to the fact that it was not despoiled from without but demolished from within. Peace came soon after, and the people in submitting to the new régime would not hear of the rebuilding of the chateau, and so for three hundred years its battered walls and blank windows have stood the stresses of rigorous winters and broiling summers, a{77}

Chateau des Ducs, Châtillon

Chateau des Ducs, Châtillon

silent and conspicuous monument to the rights of the people.

The majestic tower of the chateau, for something more than the mere outline of the ground-plan still exists, is bound to two others by a very considerable expanse of wall of the donjon, and by the courtines which formerly joined the bastions with the main structure.

The suggestion of the ample inner court is still there, and the foundations of still two other towers, as well as various ruined walls. A neighbouring edifice, the buildings formerly occupied by the Canons of Saint Vorles, is inexplicably intermingled with the ruins of the chateau in a way that makes it difficult to tell where one leaves off and the other begins. The chevet of the Eglise de Saint Vorles and its churchyard also intermingle with the confines of the chateau in an extraordinary manner. To say the least, the juxtaposition of things secular and ecclesiastic is the least bit incongruous.

Châtillon’s Tour de Gissey, practically an accessory to the chateau, is a noble work whose well-preserved existence is due entirely to the solidity of its construction. Its lower ranges are of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, but its upper gallery and its row of meurtrières were due to the military engineers of Henri IV.{78} who sought to make it the better serve the purpose of their royal master.

Within this tower are two fine apartments, of which the upper, known as the Salle des Gardes, was, before the Revolution, the sepulchre of certain wealthy neighbouring families.

Within the limits of the plot which surrounds the chateau, the church and the tower, is the tomb of Maréchal Marmont, Duc de Raguse.

The present edifice at Châtillon occupied by the Sous-Préfecture was built, as a plaque on the wall indicates, by Madame la Comtesse de Langeac in 1765. It is a fine example of the architecture of the period which, in spite of glaring inconsistencies to be noted once and again, is unquestionably most effective, and suggests that after all the chateau filled its purpose well as a great town house of a wealthy noble. The building plays a public part to-day, and if it serves its present purpose half as well as its former, no one should complain. Within this really superb and palatial structure is still to be seen the magnificent stairway of forged iron of the period of Louis XVI. Besides this are various apartments with finely sculptured wooden panels and rafters of the same epoch, all of which accessories were brought thither{79} from the nearby Chateau de Courcelles-les-Ranges, demolished during the Revolution.

The Chateau de Marmont at Châtillon was formerly the princely residence of the Maréchal de Marmont, rebuilt from the fifteenth century chatelet occupied by the Sires de Rochefort, who were simply the appointed chatelains of the Duc de Bourgogne, to whom the property really belonged.

In various successive eras the edifice was transformed, or added to, until it took its present form, the gradual transformation leaving little or no trace of its original plan.

The Maréchal de Marmont, one of Châtillon’s most illustrious sons, would have transformed his native city into a Burgundian Versailles, or at least a “Garden City.” He did found a great agricultural enterprise, of which the chateau, its gardens and its park, formed the pivot. Too enterprising for his times, the Duc de Raguse saw himself ruined, and then came the German invasion of ’71, when, in a combat with the Garibaldians, the chateau was burned.

Châtillon has perpetuated the name of its great man in the public place, and also by naming one of the principal streets for him, but has not yet erected a statue to him. This indeed may be a blessing in disguise. Statues in trou{80}sers are seldom dignified, and this noble duke lived too late for cloak and sword or suit armour.

The Chateau de Marmont, so called even to-day, was rebuilt after the fire and now serves a former Maire of the city as his private residence.

Châtillon-sur-Seine was—though all the world seems to have forgotten or ignored it—the seat of a convention in 1814 which proposed leaving France its original territorial limits of 1792, a proposition of the ambassadors which was utterly rejected by Napoleon.

Albeit that Châtillon lies on the banks of the Seine it is well within the confines of Burgundy. Roundabout is a most fascinating and little exploited region.

Thirty kilometres to the north is Bar-sur-Seine and to the northwest Brienne-le-Chateau, where the Corsican first learned the rudiments of the art of war.

La grand’ville de Bar-sur-Seine a fait trembler Troyes en Champaigne!” Poor grand’ville! To-day it is withered and all but dried up and blown away. Poor grand’ville! It is the same of which Froissart recounts that it lost in one day the houses of nine hundred “nobles et de riches bourgeois” by fire. With{81}out doubt these houses were of wooden frames and offered but little resistance to fire, as the period was 1359. Afterwards the town was rebuilt and became again populous and rich. Then began the decadence, until to-day it is the least populous “chef-lieu” of the department. Its population is, and ever has been, part Bourguignon and part Champagnois, the latter province being but a league to the northward, where, on the actual boundary, is found the curiously named little village of Bourguignons.

South from Châtillon, across the great forest of the same name, one of the great national forests of France so paternally cared for by the Minister for Agriculture, is the actual source of the Seine. Here is what the engineers call a “Chateau d’Faux,” though there is little enough of the real chateau of romance about it. It is simply a head-house with an iron grille and various culverts and canals and what not which lead the bubbling waters of the Seine to a wider bed lower down, there to continue their way, via Paris, to the sea.

A classic sculpture, typifying the Source of the Seine, has been erected commemorating the achievement of the engineers, but appropriate as the sentiment is it has not prevented the dishonouring hand of that abominable certain{82} class of tourist of graving its names and dates thereon.

The Seine at this point is nothing very majestic. It is simply a “humble filet que le nain vert, Oberon, franchirait d’un bond sans mouiller ses grelots.” All Frenchmen, and Parisians in particular, have a reverence for every kilometre of the swift-flowing waters of the Seine. This is perhaps difficult for the stranger, who may be familiar with greater if less historic streams at home, to appreciate until he has actually discussed the thing with some Frenchman. Then he learns that it is the Frenchman’s Niagara, Mississippi and Yosemite and Pike’s Peak all rolled into one so far as his worship goes.

Midway between Châtillon and the source is Duesme, a smug, unheard of little hamlet, the successor of a feudal bourg of great renown in its day. The sparse ruined walls still suggest the pride of place which it once held when capital of the powerful Burgundian Countship of Duesme. Its walls are still something more than mere outlines, but the manorial residence has become one of those “walled farms,” so called, so frequently seen, and so unexpectedly, in the countryside of France. Here and there a gate-post, a wall or a gable, is as of old, and two{83} great ornamental vases support the entrance to the alleyed row of trees which leads from the highroad to the dwelling, suggesting, if in a vague way, the old adage, “Other days, other ways.”

The fall of this fine old feudal residence has been great, but the present occupant—if he has a thought or care for such things—must be content indeed with such a princely farm-house. It must be a fine thing to raise chickens and other barn-yard livestock amid such surroundings!{84}



THE origin of Tonnerre was due to a chateau-fort built here on the right bank of the Armançon, surrounded by a groupment of huddling dwellings which, in turn, were enclosed by a corselet wall of ramparts.

Tonnerre grew to its majority through the ambitions of a powerful line of counts who made the original fortress which they constructed the centre of a tiny capital of a feudal kingdom in miniature. From the suzerainty of the Sennonais, of which it was a county, Tonnerre came to bear the same title under control of the Burgundians, in whose hands it remained until it passed to the house of Luvois.

Only skimpy odds and ends remain of Tonnerre’s one-time flanking gates, walls and towers. Its old chateau—which the counts invariably referred to, and with reason doubtless, as a palace—has been rebuilt and incorporated into the structure of the present hospital,{85} itself a foundation by Marguerite de Bourgogne and dating back to 1293. No doubt many of the wards which to-day shelter the ill and crippled were once the scene of princely revels.

In the nineteenth century the structure was further remodelled and put in order, but it remains still, from an architectural point of view at least, an admirable example of Renaissance building, though none of its attributes to be seen at a first glance are such as are usually associated with a great chateau of the noblesse of other days. At all events its functions of to-day are worthy, and it is far better to admire a mediæval chateau which has become a hospital than one which has been transformed into a military barracks or a prison for thieves and cutthroats, an indignity which has been thrust on many a grand old edifice in France deserving of a better fate. To-day such a hard sentence is seldom passed. The “Commission des Monuments Historiques” sees to it that no such desecrations are further committed.

Within the hospice is the remarkably sculptured tomb of Marguerite de Bourgogne; as remarkably done in fact as the better known ducal tombs at Dijon, and those of the Église de Brou at Bourg-en-Bresse. The workman{86}ship of these elaborate sculptures is typical of that known as the École de Dijon.

Tonnerre’s most remarkable sight is neither its chateau, nor its hospice, at least not according to the inhabitant. There is nothing to the native more curious or interesting to see than the celebrated Fosse Dionne (the Fons Dionysius of the ancients), a fountain which supplies the city with an abundance of fresh water coming from no one knows where, but spouting from the earth like a geyser, and with a sufficient force to turn a couple of water-mills. An ordinary enough bubbling spring is interesting to most of us, so that one enjoying an ancient and mysterious reputation is put down as a local curiosity well worth coming miles to see.

Half a dozen kilometres out from Tonnerre, on the road to Châtillon-sur-Seine, is the Chateau de Tanlay, not known at all to the travellers by express trains who are whisked by to Switzerland with never as much as a slow-up or a whistle as they pass the little station but a short distance from the park gates.

The Chateau de Tanlay is a superb relic of a sixteenth century work. This was a period when architectural art had become debased not a little, but here there is scarcely a trace of its{87} having fallen off from the best traditions of a couple of centuries before. It is this fact, and some others, that makes Tanlay a sight not to be neglected by the lover of old chateaux.

In the midst of a great flowered and shady park sits this admirable edifice belonging to the descendants of the family of Coligny. It was here, to be precise, that the Coligny and the Prince de Condé leagued themselves together against the wily Catherine de Medicis and her crew, and much bad blood was shed on both sides before they got en rapport again.

The Chateau de Tanlay is perhaps the finest, certainly one of the most monumental, chateaux of Burgundy. Frankly Renaissance, the best of it dating from 1559, it was begun by Coligny d’Andelot, the brother of the “Admiral.”

One of the most notable of its constructive features is the imposing Tour de la Ligue where, previous to that dread Saint Bartholomew’s night, the Colignys and the Prince de Condé and their followers plotted and planned their future actions, and those of their associated Ligueurs.

The Marquis de Tanlay, the present owner of the ancient lands of the Courtneys of royal race, graciously opens the portal of the chateau that the world of curiosity-loving folk who pass{88} by may enter if they will, and marvel at the delights within.

The “Terre de Tanlay” in the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries belonged to the de Courtneys, by whom, it was sold to Louise de Montmorency, the mother of the Huguenot Admiral of Henri IV. This latter, in 1559, ceded it to another of her sons, François d’Andelot, the Coligny who began the work of construction of the chateau forthwith. In 1574 d’Andelot bequeathed the unachieved work to Anne de Coligny, the wife of the Marquis de Mirabeau, who, still working on the original plans, left it uncompleted at his death in 1630. His daughter Catherine fell heir to the property, but sold it five years later to Porticelli d’Hémery—Mazarin’s Surintendant des Finances, who called in the architect Lemuet to carry the work to a finish. This he did, or at least brought it practically to the condition in which it stands to-day.

The name of Hémery did not long survive as chatelain of the property, and the lands passed by letters patent to the Thévenin family, its present owners, who were able to have the fief made into a marquisat. The chateau fortunately escaped Revolutionary destruction and to-day ranks as one of the most beautiful ex{89}amples of the Renaissance-Bourguignonne style of domestic architecture to be seen.

The edifice in its construction and exterior decoration shows plainly its transition between the moyen-age manner of building and that which is considerably more modern. It is towered and turreted after the defensive manner of the earliest times, and moat surrounded in a way which suggests that the ornamental water is something more than a mere accessory intended to please the eye. Entrance is had by a bridge over this moat and finally into the Cour d’Honneur through a fortified gateway, as pleasingly artistic in its disposition as it is effective as a defence.

Chiefly, the chateau shows to-day d’Hémery’s construction of the seventeenth century, paid for, says one authority, by silver extorted from the poor subjects of his king in the form of general taxes. This may or may not be so, but as d’Hémery’s wealth was quickly acquired only when he had need of it to build this great chateau, it is quite likely that some of it came from sources which might never otherwise have produced a personal revenue.

Another distinct portion of the chateau is that arrived at through the Cour d’Honneur, and known as Le Petit Chateau, a sort of dis{90}tinct pavillion, a beautiful example of late Renaissance work at least a century older than the main fabric.



Though non-contemporary in its parts, the chateau taken entire is intensely interesting and satisfying in every particular. Furthermore, its sylvan site is still preserved much as it was in other days, and its alleyed walks are the same through which strolled the Colignys and the de Courtneys of old. No sacrilege has been committed here as in many other seigneurial parks, where more than one virgin forest has been cut down to make firewood, or perhaps sold to bring in gold which an impoverished scion of a noble house may have thought he needed. One avenue alone of this great park runs straight as the proverbial flight of an arrow, only ending at the chateau portal after a course of two kilometres straightaway.

The park in turn is enclosed by a wall nearly six kilometres long, and the chief ornamental water is considerably over five hundred metres in length, and merits well its appellation of Grand Canal. This water which fills the moat and surrounds the chateau is not stagnant, but flows gently from the Quincy to the Armançon after first enveloping the property in its folds.

The greater portion of the structure, that of{91} Lemuet, is imposingly grand with its central corps de logis and its two wings which advance to join up with the extended members of the Petit Chateau, forming with them the grand Cour d’Honneur, more familiarly known as the Cour Verte.

The actual entrance is known as the Portail Neuf (1547) and serves as the habitation of the concierge. At the right is the imposing Tour de la Ligue (1648) and to the left the Tour des Archives, each enclosing a large spiral stairway and surmounted by a dome terminated with a lanternon. At each end of the outer façade are two other towers, in form more svelt than those in the courtyard.

In the vestibule within, as one enters the main building, are the marble busts of eight Roman Emperors, of little interest one thinks in a place where one would expect to find effigies of the former illustrious occupants of the chateau. Various trophies of the chase are hung about the walls of this corridor and are certainly more in keeping with the general tone of things than the cold-cut visages of the noble Romans before mentioned.

A gallery of mythological paintings opens out of the vestibule and leads to the seventeenth century chapel, which contains a “Descent{92} from the Cross,” by Peregrin, and other religious paintings of the Flemish school. Distributed throughout the various apartments are numerous paintings and portraits by Mignard, Nattier, Philippe-de-Champaigne, and others, and some pastels by Quentin de la Tour.

The chimney-pieces throughout are notable for their gorgeousness; that in the Chambre des Archevèques, at least a dozen feet high, is decorated with two pairs of massive caryatides and other statuettes in relief. On another is a carven bust of Coligny, the Admiral, with a cast of countenance suggesting a sinister leer towards the statue of a sphinx which is supposed to represent the features of Catherine de Medicis.

The paintings of the Tour de la Ligue, supposedly by Primataccio, representing mythological divinities in the personages of the members of the court of the Medicis, bespeak a questionable taste on the part of the Colignys who caused them to be put there. It would seem as though spite had been carried too far, or that the artist was given carte blanche to run a riot of questionable fantasy for which no one stood responsible. All these gods and goddesses of the court are, if not repulsive, at least unseemly effigies. Catherine herself is there as{93} Juno, her son Charles IX as Pluto, the Admiral as Hercules, Guise as Mars, and Venus, of course, bears the features of the huntress, Diane de Poitiers.

About as far south from Tonnerre as Tanlay is to the eastward is Ancy-le-Franc. It is in exactly the same position as Tanlay; its charms are pretty generally unknown and unsung, but its sixteenth century chateau of the Clermont-Tonnerre family is one of the wonder works of its era. Rather more admirably designed to begin with than many of its confrères, and considerably less overloaded with meaningless ornament, it has preserved very nearly its original aspect without and within. The finest apartments have been conserved and decorated to-day with many fine examples of the best of Renaissance furnishings. This one may observe for himself if he, or she, is fortunate enough to gain entrance, a procedure not impossible of accomplishment though the edifice is not usually reckoned a sight by the guide-books.

At present the Marquis de Clermont-Tonnerre holds possession of the property, and keeps it up with no little suggestion of its former magnificent state.

If not notable for its fine suggestive feudal nomenclature, Ancy-le-Franc certainly claims{94} that distinction by reason of the memories of its chateau, which dates from the reign of Henri II. Nearly three-quarters of a century were given to its inception. Of a unique species of architecture, presenting from without the effect of a series of squat façades, ornamented at each corner with a two storied square pavillon, it is sober and dignified to excess. The interior arrangements are likewise unique and equally precise, though not severe. The whole is a blend of the best of dignified Italian motives, for in truth there is little distinctively French about it, and nothing at all Burgundian.

The structure was begun by the then ruling Comtes de Tonnerre in 1555, and became in 1668 the property of the Marquis de Louvois, the minister of Louis XIV, and already pro{95}prietor of the countship of Tonnerre which came to him as a dot upon his marriage with the rich heiress Anne de Souvre.

The gardens and park, now dismembered, were once much more extensive and followed throughout the conventional Italian motives of the period of their designing. Enough is left of them to make the site truly enough sylvan, but with their curtailment a certain aspect of isolation has been lost, and the whole property presents rather the aspect of a country place of modest proportions than a great estate of vast extent.

The Chateau de Ancy-le-Franc is commonly accredited as one of the few edifices of its important rank which has preserved its general aspect uncontaminated and uncurtailed. No parasitical outgrowths, or additions, have been interpolated, and nothing really desirable has been lopped off. With Chambord and Dampierre, Ancy-le-Franc stands in this respect in a small and select company. Ancy-le-Franc is even now much the same as it was when Androuet du Cerceau included a drawing of it in his great work (1576), “Les Plus Excellents Bastiments de France.”

He was an architect as well as a writer, this Androuet du Cerceau, and he said further:{96} “For my part I know no other minor edifice so much to my liking, not only for its general arrangements and surroundings, but for the dignified formalities which it possesses.”

Comte Antoine de Clermont, Grand Maitre des Eaux et Forêts, built the chateau of Ancy-le-Franc on the plans of Primataccio, probably in 1545, certainly not later, though the exact date appears to be doubtful. That Primataccio may have designed the building there is little doubt, as he is definitely known to have contributed to the royal chateaux of Fontainebleau and Chambord. For a matter of three-quarters of a century the edifice was in the construction period however, and since Primataccio died in 1570 it is improbable that he carried out the decorations, a class of work upon which he made his great reputation, for the simple reason that they were additions or interpolations which came near the end of the construction period. This observation probably holds true with the decorations attributed to the Italian at neighbouring Tanlay. It may be that Primataccio only furnished sketches for these decorations and that another hand actually executed them. Historical records are often vague and indefinite with regard to such matters. Again, since Primataccio was chiefly known as a{97}

Chateau of Ancy-le-Franc

Chateau of Ancy-le-Franc

decorator the doubt is justly cast upon his actually having been the designer of Ancy-le-Franc. It is all very vague, one must admit that, in spite of claims and counterclaims.

All things considered, this chateau ranks as one of the most notable in these parts. The surrounding walls bathe their forefoot in the waters of the Armançon and thus give it a defence of value and importance, though the property was never used for anything more than a luxurious country dwelling.

Built, or at any rate designed, by an artist who was above all a painter, its walls and plafonds naturally took on an abundance of decorative detail. For this reason the chateau of Ancy-le-Franc, if for no other, is indeed remarkable. Two of its great rooms have been celebrated for centuries among art-lovers and experts, the Chambre des Fleurs, with its elaborately panelled ceiling, and that of Pastor Fido, whose walls show eight great paintings depicting the scenes of a pastoral romance. The Chambre du Cardinal contains a portrait of Richelieu, and the Chambre des Arts is garnished most ornately throughout. The monograms and devises of the ceiling of the Chambre des Fleurs suggest the various alliances of the Clermonts, but the painted arms are those of{98} the Louvois, who substituted their own marque for that of the Clermonts wherever it could readily be done.

Monograms from the Chambre des Fleurs

Monograms from the Chambre des Fleurs

The present Marquis de Clermont-Tonnerre has ably restored the chateau of his ancestors and put the family arms for the great part back where they belong. His arms are as follows: “De gueules aux deux clefs d’argent en sautoir avec la tiare pour cimier.” The motto is “Etsi omnes ego non.” These arms were originally conceded to Sibaut II de Clermont by Pope Calixtus II in recognition of his having chased the Anti-Pope Gregoire VIII from Rome in 1120.

In the Salle des Empereurs Romains are a series of paintings of Roman Emperors which makes one think that Tanlay’s sculptured Roman busts must have set the fashion hereabouts or vice versa.{99}

The Bibliothèque contains a remarkable folio showing plans and views of the chateaux of Ancy-le-Franc and Tonnerre, the latter since destroyed as we have found.

In the Chapel, dedicated to Sainte Cécile, are a series of admirable painted panels of the apostles and prophets, a favourite religious decorative motif in these parts, as one readily recalls by noting the Puits de Moise and the tomb of the Burgundian dukes at Dijon, the inspiration doubtless of all other similar works since.

The Grand Salon of to-day was once the sleeping apartment of Louis XIV when one day he honoured the chateau with his presence.

A dozen kilometres south from Ancy-le-Franc is Nuits-sous-Ravières. Nuits, curiously enough, a name more frequently seen on the wine-lists of first class restaurants than elsewhere, here in the heart of Burgundy, is supposedly of German origin. Its original inhabitants were Germans coming from Neuss in Prussia, whose inhabitants are called Nuychtons, whilst those of Nuits are known as Nuitons. Again, near Berne, in Switzerland, is a region known as Nuitland, which would at least add strength to the assertion of a Teuton origin for this smiling little wine-growing community of the celebrated Cote d’Or.{100}

Nuits possesses a minor chateau which to all intents and purposes fulfils, at a cursory glance, its object admirably. It is a comfortably disposed and not unelegant country house of the sixteenth century, sitting in a fine, shady park and looks as habitable as it really is, though it possesses no historical souvenirs of note.

A fortified gateway leads from the north end of the town towards Champagne, Nuits being on the borderland between the possessions of the Ducs de Bourgogne and those of the Comtes de Champagne.{101}




BURGUNDY has ever been known as a land of opulence. Since the middle ages its richesse has been sung by poets and people alike. There is an old Burgundian proverb which runs as follows:

“Riche de Chalon
Noble de Vienne
Preux de Vergy
Fin de Neufchâtel
Et la maison de Beaufremont
D’où sont sortis les hauts barons”

The Burgundians were first of all vandals, but with their alliance with the Romans in the{102} fifth century they became a people distinct and apart, and of a notable degree of civilization. They established themselves first in Savoy, a gift to them of the Emperor Valentinian, and made Geneva the capital of their kingdom.

A new Burgundian kingdom of vast extent came into being under the Frankish kings; this second dynasty of Burgundian rulers finally came to the French throne itself. In the meantime they held, through their powerful line of dukes, the governorship of the entire province with a power that was absolute,—a power that was only equalled by that of independent sovereigns. The Burgundians were no vassal race.

The hereditary Ducs de Bourgogne reigned from 721 to 1361, during which period the duchy rose to unwonted heights of richness and luxury as well as esteem by its neighbours. Under the Frankish line the career of the province was no less brilliant, and when the King of France gave the duchy to his third son Philippe, that prince showed himself so superior in ability that he would treat with his suzerain father only as an equal in power.

In the reign of Louis XIV the eldest son of the house of France bore again the title Duc de Bourgogne, his grandson, born in 1751, being the last prince to be so acknowledged.{103}

Burgundy in 1789 still formed one of the great “gouvernements” of the France of that day, and in addition was recognized in its own right as a Pays d’État. With the new portioning out of old France under Revolutionary rule the old Burgundian province became the modern Départements of the Cote d’Or, the Saône et Loire and the Yonne.

The Burgundian nobles who made Dijon their residence in Renaissance times lived well, one may be sure, with such a rich larder as the heart of Burgundy was, and is, at their door. There is no granary, no wine-cellar in France to rival those of the Cote d’Or. The shop-keepers of Dijon, the fournisseurs of the court, supplied only the best. The same is true of the shop-keepers of these parts to-day, whatever may be their line of trade. Even the religious institutions of old were, if not universal providers, at least purveyors of many of the good things of the table. When the monks of Saint Béninge sent out their lay brothers, sandalled and cowled, to call in the streets of Dijon the wines of the convent vineyards not a wine dealer was allowed to compete with them. This made for fair dealing, a fine quality of merchandise and a full measure at other times, no doubt. The monks who sold this product were{104} accompanied by a surpliced cleric who fanfared a crowd around him and announced his wine by extolling its virtues as if he was chanting a litany.

In Burgundy there has come down from feudal times a series of sobriquets which, more than in any other part of France, have endured unto this time. There were the “buveurs” of Auxerre, the “escuyers” of Burgundy and the “moqueurs” of Dijon. All of these are terms which are locally in use to-day.

The Bourguignons in the fifth century, by a preordained custom, wore, suspended by cords or chains from their belts, the keys of their houses, the knives which served them at table as well as for the hunt (forks were not then invented, or at any rate not in common use), their purse, more or less fat with silver and gold, their sword and their ink-well and pens; all this according to their respective stations in life. When one was condemned for a civil contravention before a judge he was made to deposit his belt and its dangling accessories as an act of acknowledgment of his incapacity to properly conduct his affairs. It was no sign of infamy or lack of probity, but simply an indication of a lack of business sagacity. It was the same, even, with royalty and the noblesse{105} as with the common people, and the act was applied as well to women as men. The Duchesse de Bourgogne, widow of Philippe-le-Hardi, who died covered with debts brought about by his generosity, admitted also that she was willing to share the responsibilities of his faults by renouncing certain of her rights and deposition on his tomb of his ceinture, his keys and his purse.

Isabelle de Bavière, who owed so much to a Duc de Bourgogne of the seventeenth century, was criticised exceedingly when she came among his people because of the luxury of possessing two “chemises de toile,” the women of the court at the time—in Burgundy at all events—dressing with the utmost simplicity. With what degree of simplicity one can only imagine!

Another luxury in these parts in mediæval times was the use of candles. What artificial light was made use of in a domestic manner came from resinous torches, and cires and candles were used only in the churches, or perhaps in the oratories, or private chapels, of the chateaux.

The homes of the Burgundian bourgeoisie were hardly as luxuriant or magnificent as those of the nobles, nor were they as comfort{106}ably disposed in many instances as one would expect to learn of this land of ease and plenty. Frequently there was no board flooring, no tiles, no paving of flag stones, even. A simple hard-pounded clay floor served the humble householder for his rez-de-chaussee. In the more splendid Renaissance town houses, or even in many neighbouring chateaux, it was not infrequent that the same state of affairs existed, but sheaves or bunches of straw were scattered about, giving the same sort of warmth that straw gives when spread in the bottom of an omnibus. If a visitor of importance was expected fresh straw was laid down, but this was about all that was done to make him comfortable. Otherwise the straw was generally of the Augean stable variety, since it was usually renewed but three times during the cold season, which here lasts from three to five months out of the twelve. In time a sort of woven or plaited straw carpet came into use, then square flags and tiles, and finally rugs, or tapis, which, in part, covered the chilly flooring. Elsewhere, as the rugs came into the more wealthy houses, plain boards, sometimes polished, served their purpose much as they do now.

Only the rich had glazed windows. The first {107}window glass used in France was imported from England in the twelfth century, at which time it was reckoned as one of the greatest of domestic luxuries.

Chimneys, too, were wanting from the houses of the poor. Houses with windows without glass, and entirely without chimneys, must have lacked comfort to a very great degree. Such indeed exist to-day, though, in many parts of France. This is fact! A sort of open grate in a lean-to outside the house, and iron barred open windows without even shutters are to be found in many places throughout the Midi of France. One such the writer knows in a town of three thousand inhabitants, and it is occupied by a prosperous “decorated” Frenchman. What comfort, or discomfort!

The Burgundian householder of mediæval times sat with his family huddled around a great brazier upon which burned wood or charcoal. The rising smoke disappeared through a hole in the centre of the roof in primitive redman’s fashion.

As late as the fifteenth century there were no individual chairs in any but the most prosperous and pretentious homes. Their place was taken by benches, and these mostly without backs.

Chiefly the meaner houses were built of wood{108} and thatched after the manner of such thatched roofs as exist to-day, but with less symmetry, one judges from the old prints.

All the world and his wife retired early. This one learns from the Burgundian proverb already old in the time of Louis XII.

Lever à cinq, diner à neuf
Souper à cinq, coucher à neuf
Fait vivre d’ans nonante et neuf.

This is probably as true to-day as it was then if one had the courage to live up to it and find out.

The ancient reputation of the wine of Burgundy dates back centuries and centuries before the juice of the grape became the common drink of the French. During the famous schism which divided the Church in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Duc de Bourgogne, Philippe-le-Hardi, was deputed, in 1395, to present to Pope Benoit XIII, then living at Avignon in the Comtat, “rich presents and twenty queues of the wine of Beaune.”

History and romance have been loud in their praises of the rich red wines of Burgundy ever since the dawn of gormandizing. Petrarch has said that his best inspirations and sentiments came from the wine of Beaune, and the{109} Avignon Popes lengthened their sojourn in their Papal City on the banks of the Rhone because of the easy transport and the low price of the fine wines of Beaune. “There is not in Italy,” they said, “the wine of Beaune nor the means of getting it.”

The heart of old Burgundy, that is, the Côte d’Or of to-day, is the region of France the most densely wooded after the Vosges. Great forests exploited for their wood are everywhere, oak and beech predominating. Only the coteaux, the low-lying hillsides, where the vines are chiefly grown, are bare of forest growth.

Two great rivers cross the province from north to south, and two from east to west, the Aube, the Dheune, the Saône and the Vingeanne, and the Seine itself takes birth between Saint Seine and Chanceaux, this last, like most of the great rivers of Europe, being but a humble rivulet at the commencement. Two canals furnish an economical means of communication, and are really remarkable waterways. The Canal de Bourgogne joins up the Saône and the Seine, and more important still is that which joins the Rhône and Rhine.

Eight “Routes Royales” crossed the province in old monarchical days, and where once{110} rolled princely corteges now whiz automobiles without count.

In the seventeenth century from Paris to Dijon was a journey of eight days in winter and seven in summer, by the malle-poste. One departure a week served what traffic there was, and the price was twenty-four livres (francs) a head, with baggage charged at three sols a pound. The departure from Paris was from the old auberge “Aux Quatre Fils Aymon,” and more frequently than not the announcements read that the coach would leave “as soon as possible” after the appointed hour.

Whatever feudal reminiscence may linger in the minds of the readers of old chronicles let no one forget that France in general, and Burgundy in particular, is no longer a land of poverty where everybody but the capitalist has to pick up fagots for fires. Far from it; the peasant hereabouts, the worker in the fields, may lack many of the commonly accepted luxuries of life, but he eats and drinks as abundantly as the seemingly more prosperous dweller in the towns, and if not of meat three times a day (the worn-out, threadbare argument of the English and American traveller who looks not below the surface in continental Europe) it is because he doesn’t crave it. That he is the{111} better in mind and body for the lack of it goes without saying.

The valley of the Saône above Dijon is a paradise of old fiefs of counts and dukes. Almost every kilometre of its ample course bears a local name allied with some seigneur of feudal days. The whole watershed is historic, romantic ground. Mantoche was the site of a Cité Romain; Apremont gave birth to one of the most prolific of romancers, Xavier de Montepin, a litterateur who wrote mostly for concierges and shop girls of a couple of generations ago, but a name famous in the annals of French literature nevertheless.

Leaving the country of the minor counts the Saône enters into Basse Bourgogne, taking on at various stages of its career the name of Petite Saône, Saône Supérieur or Grande Saône. All told it has a navigable length of nearly four hundred kilometres, making it one of France’s mightiest chemins qui marche, to borrow Napoleon’s phrase.

The entire heart of old Burgundy above Dijon, the plain that is, is most curiously sown with cultures of a variety that one would hardly expect to find.

Here and there a chateau de commerce, as the French distinguish the “wine-chateaux{112} from the purely domestic establishments and the “monuments historiques” of which the French government is so justly proud, crops up surrounded by its vineyards, with its next door neighbour, perhaps, an exploitation of hops, the principal ingredient of beer, as the grape is of wine. The paradox is as inexplicable, as is the fact that Dijon is famous for mustard when not a grain of it is grown nearer the Côte d’Or than India.


It is true that Dijon is noted quite as much for its mustard and its gingerbread as for its sculpture. The École Dijonnais is supreme in all three specialties. The historic figure, “mustardmaker to the Pope,” has caused many a “rire bourguignon”; nevertheless the preparing of Dijon mustard is a good deal of a secret still, as all who know the subtleness of this particular condiment recognize full well.

The mustard pots of Dijon, even those of commonest clay, are veritable works of art. It would pay some one to collect them. The “Fontaine de Jouvence,” which one may buy for thirty sous at the railway buffet, is indeed a gem; another, blazoned with the arms of Burgundy, and the legend “Moult me tarde,” followed by “d’y gouster” is no less.{113}




Of no city of France are there more splendid ducal memories than of Dijon. To the French historians it has ever been known as “the city of the glorious dukes.” It is one of the cities which has best conserved its picturesque panoramic silhouette in Europe. Certainly no other of the cities of modern France can approach it in this respect. Its strikingly mediæval skyline serrated with spires, donjon and gables innumerable gives it a cachet all its own. Its situation, too, is remarkable, lying as it does snugly wrapped between the mountain and the plain by the flanks of the gently rolling coteaux round{114} about. Dijon is still a veritable reminder of the moyen-age in spite of the fact that countless of its palaces, towers and clochers have disappeared with the march of time and the insistent movement of progress.

This was less true a generation or so ago. Then the city’s old ramparts were intact. To-day not more than a scant area of house front or garden wall suggests the one time part that the same stones played in the glory of war and siege. Nearby, too, the contemplation of Dijon evokes the same emotions in spite of a monotonous modernity to be seen in the new quarters of the town, where all is a dull drab in strong contrast to the liveliness of the colouring of the older parts. Dijon, take it all in all, is indeed a museum of architectural splendours.

Nous allions admirant clochers, portails et tours,
Et les vielles maisons dans les arrière cours.

Thus said Saint-Beauve, and any who come this way to-day, and linger long enough in the city of the dukes, may well take it for their text.

After many and diverse fortunes Dijon became the capital of the Duché de Bourgogne in 1015 under Duc Robert, the first of the line of Burgundian dukes, known as the dukes of the{115} première race royale. This particular Robert was the grandson of Hugues Capet. Twelve princes in succession (until 1349) ruled the destinies of the dukedom from the capital, and showered upon its inhabitants benefits galore. At this time Philippe de Rouvres came into the control of the duchy, under the tutelage of his mother, Jeanne de Bourgogne.

One reads in the “Rôle des Dépenses” of 1392 unmistakable facts which point to the luxury which surrounded the court of Burgundy in the fourteenth century. Particularly is this so with regard to the garde-robe of Philippe-le-Hardi, wherein all his costumes, including the trappings of his horses, were garnished with real gold. Many other attributes went to make up the gorgeous properties of this admirable stage setting. There was an elaborate “chaine à porter reliques” and “la bonne ceinture de Monseigneur Saint Louis” to be counted among the tresor of the court.

Amid all this sumptuousness there was a notable regard for the conservation and safeguarding of governmental funds and property. This is to be remarked the more because of the fact that the overlord generally took for his own, and that of his heirs, all that came within his immediate presence. The Burgundian dukes{116} at Dijon administered their rule with prudence and good judgment in all particulars until the Duché and the neighbouring Comté (afterwards the Franche Comté) stood almost alone among the European states of their time in not being obliged to own to a profligate hierarchy of administrators.

In all phases of their history the Dijonnais have ever been jealous of their personal liberties. François Premier, a prisoner at Madrid, had ceded Burgundy as a part of unwillingly given ransom to Charles Quint, who had already acquired the Franche Comté. The Dijon parliament would hear nothing of such a project, and energetically refused to ratify the treaty, sending their deputies to Cognac, to the convention which had been called, in protest.

Dijon’s chateau was first built by Louis XI to hold in leash his “bonne ville de Dijon.” The edifice was only completed in 1572, under Louis XII. It was in its prime, judging from historical descriptions, a most curious example of fifteenth century military architecture. The Dijonnais of late years demanded the suppression, and the clearing away, of the débris of this old royal chateau, believing (wrongly of course) that the ducal palace was sufficient{117} to sustain the glory of their city. Accordingly, there remains nothing to-day of the chateau of the Louis but a scant funeral pile built up from the stones of the former chateau merely as a historical guide post, or rather, memorial of what has once been. Historical enthusiasm and much palavering on the part of a certain body of local antiquarians against the popular wave of feeling, could accomplish no more of a restoration. For the past fifty years the ruin has been, it is true, something of an eye-sore, an ill-kept, badly guarded, encumbering ruin, and unless it may be better taken care of, it would be as well to have it removed.

In form this chateau was a perfectly rectangular tower, sustained at each corner by a round tower of lesser proportions. As a whole it was one of the most massive works of its era in these parts. Its defence towards the north was a great horse-shoe shaped redoubt, a most unusual and most efficient rampart. Towards the city it was defended by a moat over which one entered the chateau proper by the traditional drawbridge.

The vast monumental pile at Dijon which bears the name of Hôtel de Ville to-day has been variously known as the Palais des Ducs, the Logis du Roi and the Palais des États. It{118} has served all three purposes and served them well and with becoming dignity.

The exact origin of the structure has been left behind in the dim distance, but it is certain that it was the outgrowth of some sort of a foundation which existed as early as the tenth century, a period long before the coming of the so-called chateau.

In the twelfth century Hugues III built the Sainte Chapelle, all vestiges of which, save certain decorative elements built into the eastern wall of the Palais des Ducs, have now disappeared.

Philippe-le-Hardi, in 1366, almost entirely rebuilt the palace as it then existed, and Philippe-le-Bon actually did complete the work in 1420, when the great square Tour de la Terrasse, of a height of nearly fifty metres, was built. There is still existing another minor tower, the Tour de Bar, so named from the fact that for three years it was the prison of René d’Anjou, the Duc de Bar. In 1407 and 1502 this tower was nearly destroyed by fire, which carried away as well a great part of the main structure of that time.

The edifice is to-day occupied by many civic departments, including the Musée, the Archives and the École des Beaux Arts, but the Salle des{119} Gardes and the “Cuisines des Ducs” still remain, as to their general outlines of walls and ceilings, as they were when they served the dukes themselves.

The present edifice, in spite of being known as the Ducal Palace, was not inhabited by any of the nobles of the first race; there is no part which dates from so early a period as that of the end even of their régime. The most ancient of the elements which formerly made up the collective block of buildings was the Sainte Chapelle, which was demolished in 1802, and the rez-de-chaussee of the Tour de Bar, which still exists. The lower part of this tower dates from the thirteenth century, the upper portions from the fourteenth.



From the ducal account books it appears that the portions known as the “Cuisines”—actually housing the Musée Lapidaire to-day—were constructed in 1445, and it is this part of the old palace which is the most interesting{120} because it best illustrates the manner of building hereabouts at that period.

The Burgundian court attached great importance to the service at table, and during the fifteenth century there was not in all of Europe a line of princes who were better fed or got more satisfaction from the joys of the table. This is historic fact, not mere conjecture! The descriptions of the festins which were given by the Ducs de Bourgogne and described in the “Mémoires d’Olivier de la Marche” make interesting reading to one who knows anything of, and has any liking for, the chronicles of gastronomy.

For such a bountiful serving at table as was habitual with the dukes, kitchens of the most ample proportions were demanded. It is recounted that on many occasions certain of the mets were cooked in advance, but a prodigious supply of soups, ragouts and sauces, of fish, volaille, and rotis were of necessity to be prepared at the moment of consumption. To produce these in their proper order and condition was the work of an army of cooks supported by a numerous “batterie de cuisine;” necessarily they required an ample room in which to work. The modern French cook demands the{121} same thing to-day. Details in this line do not change so rapidly in this “land of good cooks” as elsewhere, for the French chef is still supreme and cares not for labour or time-saving appliances.

The “Cuisines,” as to their ground plan, form a perfect square, the roof being borne aloft by eight columns, which on three sides of the apartment serve as supporters also for the great twin-hooded chimneys. Two potagers, or braisers, where the pots might be kept simmering, were at B on the plan, and the oven, or foyer ardente was at C. D was a well, and E its means of access. The windows were at F and G, and H was a great central smoke-pipe, or opening in the roof, which served the same functions as the hole in the roof of the Indian’s wigwam. K was a serving table, made also of stone, to receive the dishes after being cooked; and, that they might not become literally stone cold before being finally served, this table had a sort of subterranean heating arrangement.

The conglomerate structure of to-day which serves its civic functions so well is an outgrowth of all these varied components which made up the ducal residence of old. It was midway in its career that it became the Parlia{122}ment House of the États de Bourgogne, so it took naturally to its new function when it came to uphold merely civic dignity.

The apartment where sat the Burgundian Parliament, the Salle des États, has been recently restored and decorated with a series of wall paintings depicting the glories of Burgundy. It is a seemingly appropriate decoration and in every way admirably executed, though the name attached thereto may not be as famous as that of an Abbey or a Sargent.

In general the character of the great pile of buildings to-day, on account of the heterogeneous aspect of the mass, forbids any strict estimate applicable to its artistic merits. The most that can be ventured is to comment on that which is definitely good.

At many times during its career it has been remodelled and added to by many able hands. As a result there are naturally many worthy bits which may be discovered by close observation that in general run a fair chance of being overlooked. Two pupils of Mansart worked upon the remodelling of the structure, and Mansart himself designed the colonnade and the vestibule of the Salle des États. Twelve principal buildings surrounding the main courtyard came into being from time to time, and in one{123}

Chateau des Ducs, Dijon

Chateau des Ducs, Dijon

form or another they are all there to-day, though in the scantiest of fragments in some instances. An old-time iron gateway, or grille, still exists midway between the two principal façades of the Doric order. The effect of this façade is heavy, but ornate: frankly it is bad architecture, but it is imposing. It is bad because it is a manifest Italian interpolation with little or nothing in common with other decorative details to be seen, details which are of the transplanted French variety of Renaissance, and that in truth is far and away ahead of anything in Italy or any rank copy of anything of Italian origin.

The old Place Royale opened out fan-like before the building and gave a certain spectacular effect which saved it from ultra bad taste at that period. The Place d’Armes, before the present Hotel de Ville (which now occupies the principal part of the old ducal palace), and the Place des Ducs, at the rear, lend the same artistic aid which was performed by the Place Royale in its time.

Of the interior arrangements but little remains as it was of old save a range of vaulted rooms on the lower floor, the Salle des Gardes, the apartments of the Tour de Bar and the “Cuisines.” The public functions which have{124} been performed by the structure in late years have nearly swept away the old glamour of romance and chivalry which might otherwise have hung about the place for ages, so that to-day it is, like many edifices of its class in France, simply a hive of office-holders and little-worked authorities of the state and civic administrations. It is difficult to see any romance in the visage of a modern town-clerk or a sergeant-at-arms.

This old palace of the dukes was chiefly the work of Dijon craftsmen, at least those portions which were built in the sixteenth century or immediately after. This is the more to be remarked because the gables and roof-tops are not unlike that Flemish-Gothic of the Hospice de Beaune which was built by alien hands.

At Dijon the northern portal was designed by Brouhée and the roofing of the Grande Salle was made from the plans of Sambin and Chambrette, as was the doorway from the street to the chapel. The Chambre Dorée has a most beautiful ceiling of the time of François Premier, and the boiseries and the grisaille of the same apartment date from the period of Louis XIII.

There are two other notable ceilings in the{125} edifice, those of the Bibliothèque and the Salle d’Assises.

Dijon has ever been noted down by those who know as a city of a distinctly local and a really great and celebrated art. The École de Dijon was a unique thing which had no counterpart elsewhere. Under the liberally encouraging patronage of the Ducs de Bourgogne numerous habile artists banded together and constituted the local “École de Dijon.” It was a body of artists and craftsmen whose careers burned brilliantly throughout the best period of the Renaissance, indeed up to its end, for the Hôtel de Vogué at Dijon, of a very late period, shows the distinct local manner of building at its best.

Hugues Sambin, who designed the Palace of the Burgundian Parliament, was the best known of these Dijon craftsmen—best known perhaps because of his architectural writings (1572), for his work was not indeed superior to that of his fellows. His dwelling exists to-day at Dijon, in the Rue de la Vannerie, somewhat disfigured and not at all reminiscent of the great capabilities of his art which he so freely bestowed on the more magnificent structures of his clients. A tower, presumably a part of the house itself, rises close beside, and on its vault{126}ing one sees the devise “Tout par Compas,” the same that may be seen in the Hôtel de Vogué, though it is declared that there is no other connection between the two save that Sambin had a hand in the construction of both. The motto is undeniably a good one for an architect.

The local Museum contains one of the most important provincial collections in France. It occupies the ancient Salle des Gardes of the Palais and encloses the tombs of Jean-Sans-Peur and Philippe-le-Hardi. As examples of the sculptures of the Burgundian school of the fifteenth century these ornate tombs are in the very first category. They were brought from the Chartreux de Dijon in 1795. How they escaped Revolutionary desecration is a marvel, but here they are to-day in all the glory of their admirable design and execution. If Sargent’s frieze of the prophets in the Boston Public Library was not inspired by these cowled figures surrounding the ducal tombs at Dijon, it must be a dull critic indeed who will not at least admit the suggestion of similarity.

The mausoleum of Philippe-le-Hardi has a single recumbent effigy on the slab above, whilst that of Jean-Sans-Peur is accompanied by another, that of his wife, Marguerite de Bavière.{127} The tiny statuettes in the niches of the arcade below, and surrounding each of the tombs, are similar; finely chiselled, weeping, mourning figures, most exquisitely sculptured and disposed.

The tomb of Philippe-le-Hardi is the older, and is the work of Claus Sluter and Claus de Werve; that of Jean-Sans-Peur was conceived (half a century later) by Jehan de la Heurta and Antoine Moiturier. A statue of Anne de Bourgogne, the Duchess of Bedford, the daughter of Jean-Sans-Peur, stands between these two royal tombs.

It is worthy to note that the robe of the statue of Marguerite de Bavière is sown with that particular species of field daisy which we have come to know as the marguerite, so named from the predilection of the princess in question for that humble flower.

Dijon’s Maison de Saint François-de-Sales may well be given passing consideration for reasons stated below. It dates from 1541 and thus belongs to an epoch when the art of the Renaissance was at its height. It is an elaborately conceived edifice and, judging from the escutcheons of its façade, was the habitation, at one time or another, of some of the royal family of France. In spite of this the author{128}ities have little definite to say with regard to its founders.

On the svelt tourelle at the side one notes that the lead épi, or weather-vane, is intact, a remarkable fact when one considers that it has endured for nearly five centuries. All things considered, this dainty habitation is one of the most pleasing and ornate structures of its class. If it were at Azay-le-Rideau in Touraine, or at Beaugency on the Loire, it would be heralded far and wide as one of the flowers of the Renaissance. To rank it in any place but as one of the most charming hôtels privés, or small town chateaux, of Burgundy would be a grave error.

Dijon possesses as well a most curious and little known structure, at least not known to the usual hurly burly world of tourists. It is near the Palais de Justice, enclosed behind a high protecting wall, through which easy access is to be had by a gateway opened on request. The edifice is mysteriously called the Hôtel de Venus, and is a diminutive edifice with its entire outer wall garlanded with flowers and emblems cut deep into its rather crumbly stones. Just what the significance of this strange building was, and who, or what, were its antecedents, is in great doubt.{129}

Dijon’s Bibliothèque occupies a part of the great town house built by Odinet Godran in 1681. The Departmental Archives occupy the restored city dwelling of Nicolas Rollin, the Chancellor of the first Burgundian Parliament. It is a reconstruction now of the eighteenth century, but originally came into being in the fifteenth. The principal apartment owns to a richly sculptured chimney-piece and an elaborate plafond à caissons, each the work of Rancurelle, a seventeenth century sculptor of Dijon.

In the Rue des Forges are numerous old Renaissance houses, many of them of a grandeur which entitles them to a higher rank than a mere maison bourgeoise. Many of them indeed bear the proud names of the old Burgundian noblesse. One is called the Maison des Ambassadeurs d’Espagne, though just why, history is dark. One can readily surmise however, for it certainly is a luxuriously appointed dwelling in spite of the fact that it lacks a definite history.

Near the Eglise Notre Dame are the Maison Milsand, the old Hôtel des Ambassadeurs d’Angleterre; the Hôtel du Vogué is in the Rue Chaudronnerie, and also the Maison des Cariatides. All are admirable examples of the Burgundian Renaissance, which tells its history in its stones. And what history!{130}

The old Hôtel des Ambassadeurs d’Angleterre was the residence of the Duke of Bedford when he married, in 1423, Anne de Bourgogne. The alleys and the “park,” supposedly designed by the famous “Le Notre, the man of gardens,” who was responsible for those of Versailles and Vaux, are little changed to-day from what they were in the century of Louis XIV.{131}



IN the heart of the Cote d’Or are found first of all the bonnes villes de bons vins of the French, Beaune, Pommard, Nuits, etc. Here is a region which was literally sown with great country houses of wealthy seigneurs; each ancient seigneurie of any importance whatever had its own little fortress or block-house which stood forth as an advance post at some distance from the residence of the overlord. By this means only could the seigneurs command respect for their vineyards. One notes much the same condition of affairs to-day. If there are no forts nor block-houses any more, nor arrows shot from bows, nor melted lead poured down on one from some castle wall, there are at least high stone barriers and big dogs and guardians of all ranks to serve their masters as faithfully as did the serfs and vilains of old. One is glad to say, however, that the Cote d’Or of to-day is not an inhospitable region.{132}

The transformations of later years which have taken place hereabouts have been very considerable, and the historic names one recognizes best to-day are those used by the chateaux de commerce, and found reproduced on the labels on the bottles in the chic restaurants and hotels throughout the world.

One can not, must not, pass these great enterprises by unnoted or with their praises unsung. Their histories are often as interesting as those of the maisons de plaisance of the seigneurs who despised trade and robbed and grafted for a livelihood. Undoubtedly many of them did take the wide road to riches, for the feathering of political nests by the willing or unwilling aid of one’s constituents is no new thing.

The gatherers of the grape under the Burgundians and the Bourbons were not always the happy contented crew that they have so frequently been pictured on canvas. The novelists, the playwrights and the painters have limned the lily a little too strong at times. One judges of this from a chanson which has come down through centuries.

Allons en vendagne pour gagner cinq sous
Coucher sur la paille, ramasser les poux
Manger du fromage qui pue comme la rage.


It was said in the good old days that the grape-pickers were wont to eat as much as eight kilos of the grapes a day, to say nothing of drinking three litres of wine,—manifestly they were not so badly off, even at a wage of only five sous for a whole day’s labour.

South from Dijon the itinerary through the core of the Côte d’Or passes in review a succession of names which one usually associates only with a wine list. If one has studied the map of France closely the surprise is not so great, but for many it will come as something unexpected to be able to breakfast at Chambertin, lunch at Nuits, dine at Beaune and sleep at Mersault or Nolay. First off, on leaving the capital of the dukes, almost within sight of its palace towers, one comes to the great wine district of Chénove, and more than all others of this region it is to be revered by the lover of the history and romance of feudal lords. Sheltered, and almost enwrapped by the mountain background, it sits on the edge of the sunny plain where once the Ducs de Bourgogne marshalled their armies and their courtiers.

Not one of the very first wines of the Côte d’Or Chénove comes from the bright particular vineyards or closes of the Burgundian dukes. Their ancient cellars and cuviers are still ex{134}istent but the wines matured in them are to-day the growth of American roots, planted in the last dozen or twenty years to take the place of those destroyed by the phylloxera, the grafted stocks serving to give that classic body and flavour which have made the Burgundian crus famous. Thus the favourite axiom is proved that it is the soil and not the grape which makes fine wine.

Here at Chénove there is still to be seen the wine vats and presses which served the minions of Philippe-le-Hardi and Charles-le-Téméraire as they pressed their masters’ wines, handling the great fifty foot levers and chanting much as do sailors as they march around the capstan. A block of stone weighing twenty-five tons was alternately raised and lowered with the grapes beneath in great hollowed-out troughs of stone or wood in no far different fashion from the methods of to-day.

Below Chénove is Fixin, glorious in memory because of a striking monument to Napoleon, placed there by one of his fanatical admirers, Commandant Noisat. The Clos de la Perrière, and the Clos du Chapitre, two of the grand wines of the Côte d’Or, also help to give Fixin its fame—how much, who shall say—although this Napoleonic shrine is really a won{135}der of statuesque sculpture. An alley of pines leads up to a fountain behind whose basin rise stone seats and a rustic shelter destined to protect the effigy of Napoleon, a bronze by the Dijon sculptor, Rude. The whole ensemble is most effective, far more so than the usual plaster, or cast-iron statues of the “Little Corporal” with which France is peopled. To carry the devotion still farther, Monsieur Noisat built the guardian’s house in the form of the Fortress of Saint Helena.

Gevrey is near by, with an old ducal chateau, still well preserved, and supported by an ivy-grown square tower. Gevrey produces one of the most celebrated wines to be found on the lists of the restaurants mondains throughout the world. It is the “Chambertin of Yellow Seal,” coming from the Champs de Bertin, a narrow strip of land sloping down the flank of the hillside to the plain below. Another famous vineyard at Gevrey which festoons itself between the height and the plain is that of Crais-Billon, which takes its name from the celebrated feudal fief of Crébillon.

The Clos Vougeot, the cradle of an equally well known Burgundian wine, is scarce a half dozen kilometres away and may be classed among the historic chateaux of France. Still{136} enclosed with its rampart of whitewashed wall, the great square of vineyard remains to-day as it has been since first developed by the monks of Citeaux.

The property has, it is true, been dismembered and divided among many proprietors, but the two great square pavilions joined together originally gave the Clos that distinctive aspect which, in no small measure, it retains unto this day. Taken as a whole, it still possesses a proud mediæval aspect, though the modern porte-cochère, an iron gate which looks as though it was manufactured yesterday in South Chicago—and perhaps was—somewhat discounts this. Years ago, when the Clos Vougeot was the nucleus of the many Vougeots of to-day, the grapes passed entirely through the wine-presses of the monks, who reserved the product entire to be used as presents to Popes and Princes. Thus Clos Vougeot was the model for all other ambitious, monastic vineyards, and those mediæval monks who excelled all others of their time as wine-growers were the logical inheritors of that Latin genius of antiquity which gave so much attention to the arts of agriculture.

Hard by Vougeot is Romanée-Conti, first celebrated under the ancient régime when the{137}



court-physician, Fagon, ordered its wine as a stimulant for the jaded forces of Louis XIV, a circumstance which practically developed a war between the wine growers of Champagne and Burgundy, with a victory for the Côte d’Or, as was proper. To-day we are backsliders, and “champagne” has again become fashionable with kings, emperors and the nouveau riche.

The property known as Romanée-Conti has been thus known since the Revolution, when this princely family of royal blood came into possession thereof. The old abbey is to-day, in part, turned into a beet-sugar factory, its thousand brothers and sisters now giving place to working men and women of the twentieth century, less picturesque and less faithful to their vocation, without doubt.

Moulin-a-Vent was another of the near-by properties of the Citeaux monks, and to-day preserves the great colombier, or pigeon-house, as all may note who travel these parts by road. It is the most conspicuous thing in the landscape for miles around, and looks as much like the tower of a military chateau as it does a dove-cote.

The Forêt Nationale de Citeaux was once the particular domain of the monastery, whose monks preserved and enveloped it with the{139} same degree of devotion which they bestowed upon their vineyards, planting villages here and there, of which the most notably picturesque and unspoiled still alive is that of Saint Nicholas-les-Citeaux, a red-roofed chimney-potted little village in close proximity to the uncouth fragments of the old conventual establishment.

Nuits, not to be confounded with Nuits-sous-Ravières, is more famous for its wine crus than its monuments or its history. Besides a picturesque belfry and hôtel-de-ville, both excellent examples of the local architecture, it has no monuments of remark, although a sort of reflected glamour hangs over it by reason of its proximity to the site of the ancient Chateau de Vergy, when it was the capital of the tiny province belonging to the celebrated Burgundian family of this name.

The metropolis of these parts is Beaune. It has been called a “vieille grande dame qui s’est faite ouvrière et marchande.” And Beaune is, for a fact, all this. But by contrast with its commercialism its mediæval aspect is also well preserved in spite of the fact that its manorial magnificence is much depleted.

The contrastingly modern and mediæval aspect, and to some extent its military character,{140} makes Beaune most interesting. The ramparts themselves have been turned into a series of encircling boulevards, but here and there a fragment of wall is left plunging sheer down to the moat below, which has not yet been filled up. This gives quite a suggestion of the part the old walls once played, an effect heightened the more by three or four massive towers and portals flanking the entrances and exits of the town. This at least gives a reminiscence of what the former city must have been when it was girded in its corselet of stone.

Here and there a sober and dignified maison bourgeoise rears its Renaissance head above a more humble and less appealing structure suggestive of an ancient prosperity as great, perhaps greater, than that which makes possible the comfortable lives of the city’s fourteen thousand souls to-day.

Another civic monument of more than ordinary remark is the watch-tower, or belfry, a remainder of the cities of Flanders, a most unusual architectural accessory to find in these parts, the only other neighbouring example recalled being at Moulins in the Allier.

In spite of all this, Beaune’s historic tale has little of blood and thunder in its make-up; mostly its experiences have been of a peaceful{141} nature, and only because the dukes so frequently took up their residence within its walls was it so admirably defended.

Beaune was originally the seat of the Burgundian Parliament. Henri IV, who was particularly wroth with all things Burgundian, treated the city with great severity after the revolt of Maréchal de Biron, razing its castle, one of the most imposing in the province, to the ground. As a part of the penalty Biron was put to death. On the scaffold he said to his assistants “Va t’en! Va t’en! Ne me touche pas qu’il soit temps.” Five minutes later his head fell into the basket and his king was avenged.

Since this time Beaune has been little heard of save in the arts of peace; there is no city in France more calm to-day, nor “plus bourgeoise” than Beaune, and by the use of the word bourgeoise one does not attempt irony.

The Hospice de Beaune is for all considerations a remarkable edifice; its functions have been many and various and its glories have been great. Formerly the Hospice stood for hospitality; to-day it is either a hospital, or a matter-of-fact business proposition; you may think of it as you like, according to your mood, and how it strikes you.{142}

The Benedictine Abbey de Fécamp, like Dauphiny’s Grande Chartreuse, is but a business enterprise whose stocks and bonds in their inflated values take rank with Calumet and Hecla, Monte Carlo’s Casino, or other speculative projects. The same is true of the wine exploitation of the monks of Citeaux at Clos Vougeot, and of the famous wine cellars of the Hospice de Beaune. We may like to think of the old romantic glamour that hangs over these shrines, but in truth it is but a pale reflected light. This is true from a certain point of view at any rate.

Beaune’s Hospice, with its queer mélange of churchly and heraldic symbols ranged along with its Hispano-Gothic details, is “more a chateau-de-luxe than a poor-house,” said a sixteenth century vagabond traveller who was entertained therein. And, taking our clue from this, we will so consider it. “It is worth being poor all one’s life to finally come to such a refuge as this in which to end one’s days,” said Louis XI.

The foundation of the Hospice dates from 1443, as the date on its carven portal shows. It was started on its philanthropic and useful career by Nicholas Rollin and his wife Guignonne de Salins. It was then accounted, as it{143} is to-day, “a superb foundation endowed with great wealth.”

The desire of the founders was that the occupants should be surrounded with as much of comfort and luxury as a thousand of livres of income for each (a considerable sum for that far-away epoch) should allow.

This fifteenth century Hospice de Beaune is one of the most celebrated examples of the wood-workers’ manner of building of its time. The role that it plays among similar contemporary structures wherever found is supreme. It is only in Flanders that any considerable number of similar architectural details of construction are found.

The general view of the edifice from without hardly does justice to the many architectural excellencies which it possesses. The heurtoir, or door-knocker, in forged iron, still hanging before the portal, is the same that was first hung there in the fifteenth century, and which has responded to countless appeals of wayfarers. The iron work of the interior court is of the same period.

With the inner courtyard the aspect changes. On one side is the Flemish-Gothic, or Hispano-Gothic, structure of old, one of the most ornate and satisfying combinations of wooden gables{144} and pignons and covered galleries one can find above ground to-day. Frankly it is an importation from alien soil, a transplantation from the Low Countries, where the style was first developed during the Spanish occupation in Flanders.

Save for certain modifications in 1646, 1734 and 1784 this portion of the edifice remains much as it was left by the passing of the good old times when knights, and monks as well, were bold. The Grande Salle, where the Chancelier Rollin first instituted the annual wine sale which still holds forth to-day, and the entrance portal were again restored in 1879, but otherwise the aspect is of the time of the birth of the structure.

The Hospice de Beaune is properly enough to be classed among the palaces and chateaux of Burgundy, for its civic functions were many, besides which it was the princely residence of the chancellor of the Burgundian Parliament.

The old Collége de Beaune, now disappeared, or transformed out of all semblance to its former self, was a one-time residence of the Ducs de Bourgogne, and in addition the first seat of the Burgundian Parliament when its sittings were known as the Jours Généraux.

A near neighbour of Beaune is Corton.{145}

Hospice de Beaune

Hospice de Beaune

C’est le Chambertin de la Côte de Beaune,” said Monillefert, writing of its wine. Another neighbouring vineyard is that which surrounds the little village of Pernand. Its cru, called Charlemagne, has considerably more than a local reputation. Savigny-sous-Beaune is another place-name which means little unless it be on a wine-card. The little town is set about with sumptuous bourgeoise houses, and a local chateau bears the following inscription over its portal, “Les vins de Savigny sont nourrisants, theologiques et morbifuges.” They have been drunk by countless bon vivants through the ages, and the Ducs de Bourgogne were ever their greatest partisans. Mention of them appears frequently in the accounts written of public and private fêtes; almost as frequently, one may note, as the more celebrated “vin du Hospice.”

South from Beaune is Mersault, a tiny city of the Côte de Beaune. All about its clean-swept streets rise well-kept, pretentious dwellings, many of them the gabled variety so like the mediæval chateaux, though indeed they may date only from the last three-quarters of a century, or since the Revolution.

An old feudal castle—the typical feudal castle of romance—has been restored and remodelled,{146} and now serves as Mersault’s Hôtel de Ville. All about is the smell of wine; barrels of it are on every curb, and running rivers of the lees course through every gutter.

Nolay, a trifle to the west, is scarcely known at all save as the name of a wine, and then it is not seen on every wine list of the popular restaurants. In the good old days it was the seat of a marquisat and was of course endowed with a seigneurial chateau. Nothing of sufficient magnitude, seemingly, exists to-day, and so one does not linger, but turns his attention immediately to the magnificent Chateau de La Rochepot, which virtually dominates the landscape for leagues around.

In contrast with the vast array of chateaux de commerce scattered all through the Côte d’Or—the “Golden Hillside” of the Romans—is the Chateau de La Rochepot, marvellous as to its site and most appealing from all points.

It was at Nolay that was born Lazare Carnot. It is the name of the grand homme who is almost alone Nolay’s sole claim to fame. His ancestor has his statue on the little Place, and his grandson—he who was President of the French Republic—is also glorified by a fine, but rather sentimentally conceived, monument.{147}

Lazare Carnot was born in a humble little cottage of Nolay, and this cottage, after all, is perhaps the town’s most celebrated monument to the glorious name.

The ancient home of the Sires de la Roche, the Chateau de La Rochepot, to-day belongs to Captaine Carnot, the son of the former President, who, thoroughly and consistently, has begun its restoration on model lines.

The Sire de la Roche-Nolay, who planned the work, hired one by the name of Pot, it is said, to dig a well within the courtyard. The price demanded was so high that he was obliged to turn over the property itself in payment. It was by this means, says historic fact or legend, that the line of Pots, big and little, came into possession. This Philippe Pot, by his marriage, brought the property to the Montmorencys and himself to the high office of Counsellor of Anne de Beaujeau. He became seigneur of the lands here in 1428, and was afterwards better known as ambassador of the Duc de Bourgogne at London. His tomb was formerly in the Abbey of Citeaux, but has been transported to the Louvre.

After the Rochepots’ tenure the property came to the Sullys, and in 1629 to the family De Fargis. During the Revolution it was acquired{148} as a part of the biens nationaux of the government, and in 1799 the donjon of the chateau was pulled down, the same which is to-day being rebuilt stone by stone on the same site.



The present noble edifice is after all nothing more than a completion of the admirably planned reconstruction of the fifteenth century; the restoration, or rebuilding, of to-day being but the following out of the plans of the original architect, a procedure which has seldom been attempted or accomplished elsewhere. It was done with the sixteenth century fountain of the Medicis in the Luxembourg Gardens (whose sculptures according to the original designs were only completed in 1839), but this is perhaps the only instance of a great mediæval chateau being thus carried to completion. The restorations of Carcassonne, Saint-Michel and Pierrefonds are in quite another category.

The Chateau La Rochepot was a development of the ancient Chastel-Rocca, which stood on the same site in the twelfth century, and which drew its name originally from its situation.

Épinac, just to the west of La Rochepot, is in the heart of a veritable “black country”; not the “black country” of the Midlands in England, but a more picturesque region, where the{149} soot and grime of coal and its products mingle by turns with the brilliancy of foliage green and gold. In addition to drawing its fame from the mines roundabout, Épinac owes not a little of its distinction to its chateau, and a neighbouring Chateau de Sully which dates from the sixteenth century.

The Chateau de Sully is a magnificent edifice built in 1567 for the Maréchal de Saulx-Tavannes, and is to-day classed by the French government as a “monument historique.” It was built from the plans of Ribbonnier, a celebrated architect of Langres in the sixteenth century, and terminated only in the reign of Henri IV. It is an excellent type of the French Renaissance of the latter half of the sixteenth century. In form it is a vast rectangle with square pavilions, or towers, at each angle set diagonally. Though varied, its architecture is sober to a degree, particularly with respect to the rez-de-chaussée.

The inner court of this admirable chateau is surrounded by an arcaded gallery whose rounded arches are separated by a double colonnette. The gardens are of the “jardin anglais” variety, so affected by the French at the time of the completion of the chateau, and are cut and crossed by many arms of the orna{150}mental water which entirely surrounds the property.

After the tenure of the family of Tavannes, the property passed to those of Rabutin and Montaigu, and, for the last century, has been owned by the MacMahons. There are some fragments lying about which belong to another edifice which dates from the thirteenth century, but not enough to give the stones the distinction of being called even a ruined chateau.

Épinac’s chateau dates from at least two centuries before the Chateau de Sully, and is a resurrection of an old chateau-fort. Two great heavy towers remain to-day as the chief architectural features, beside an extent of main building through whose walls are cut a series of splendid Gothic window frames. Tradition has it that these towers were originally much more lofty, but at the period when barons, whether rightly or wrongly, held their sway over their peers and anyone else who might be around, if the local seigneur was beaten at a tourney, the penalty he paid was to cut the towers of his castle down one-half. This seems a good enough tale to tack to a mediæval castle, as good as a ghost tale, and as satisfactory as if it were a recorded fact of history, instead of mere legend.{151}

Chateau de Sully

Chateau de Sully

Originally these towers of the Chateau d’Épinac were of such an overwhelming height that they could be seen a hundred leagues around—this is local tradition again, and this time it is probably exaggeration. Three hundred miles is a long bird’s-eye view indeed! Anyway a local couplet reads thus, and is seemingly justifiable:

Démène-toi, tourne toi, vire toi,
Tu ne trouveras pas plus beau que moi.

Épinac, too, is noted for its bottles, the fat-bellied, ample litres in which ripe old Burgundy is sold. “Dame Jeans” and “flacons” are here made by millions, which is only another way of referring to demijohns and bottles. Of their variety of shapes and sizes one may judge by the song the workers sing as they ply their trade:

Messieurs, messieurs, laissez nous faire
On vous en donnera de toutes les façons.

The glass industry of Épinac, if not as old as its chateau, at least dates from the very earliest days of the art.

Retracing one’s steps some forty kilometres to Chalon-sur-Saône one comes midway to Chagny. The railroad guides chiefly make men{152}tion of Chagny as a junction where one is awakened at uncomfortable hours in the night to change cars. Some of us who have passed frequently that way can call attention to the fact that Chagny possesses, among other wonders, certain architectural glories which are worthy of consideration by even the hurried twentieth century traveller.

Here is a fine twelfth century Roman tower, a former dependency of some civic establishment, but now serving as the clocher of the church, a svelt but all imposing square broad-based tower of the local manor from which the seigneur of other days, even though he was not a “grand seigneur,” stretched forth his velvet-clad iron hand in mighty benediction over his good men and true.

Besides this there is a monstrosity of a cupola of the modern chateau which is hideous and prominent enough to be remarked from miles around.

Clearly, then, Chagny is much more than a railway junction. No one who stops more than a passing hour here will regret it, although its historic shrines are not many nor beautiful to any high degree.{153}



MÂCON is a name well known to travellers across France, but its immediate environs are scarcely known at all save as they are recognized as a region devoted to the product of the vine. For a fact the romantic and historic lore which abounds within a short radius of the capital of the Mâconnais makes it one of the most interesting regions of mid-France.

Lying just to the westward is the Charollais, whose capital, Charolles, the ancient fortress of the Comtes de Charolles, is surrounded by a veritable girdle of castles and donjons, the nearest two kilometres beyond the town. They formed in their prime an outer line of defence behind which the counts lived in comparative safety. Montersine, the nearest of these works, a vast rectangular donjon with echauguettes, must certainly have been the most formidable. Within ten leagues are the chateaux of Lugny, Rambeauteau and Corcheval—one of the most{154} ancient of the Charollais. There are also Terreaux-à-Verostres, the Renaissance Chaumont at Saint-Bonnet-de-Joux and, finally, the fortress of Commune-sur-Martigny-le-Comte.



Of these, that of Chaumont-la-Guiche, two kilometres from Saint-Bonnet-de-Joux, is quite the most splendid when it comes to best fulfilling the mission of a luxurious Renaissance maison de campagne. It is to-day the magnificent twentieth century residence of the Marquis de la Guiche, but is a lineal descendant of the edifice built in the reign of François Premier and terminated by Philibert de Guiche, who died in 1607. At the time of the Saint Bartholomew massacre he was Bailli de Mâcon, and, throughout, the Mâconnais and the Charollais took a firm stand against the killing off of the Protestants as an unholy means to a Christian end.

Before the chateau is an equestrian statue of its sixteenth century chatelain, and the stables, a great vaulted hall whose ceiling is upheld by more than fifty svelt colonnettes, are in no small way reminiscent of the still more extensive Écuries at Chantilly. There is also, as a dependency of the chateau, a remarkably beautiful Gothic chapel with fine old glass in its windows—Gothic of a late construction, be it understood, but acceptable Gothic nevertheless.{155}

At Paray-le-Monail—a place of sainted pilgrimage, because of the miracle of the Sacré Cœur which took place here—is to be seen the luxurious dwelling of a local seigneur who was closely allied to the Comte de Charolles. It is a palace in all but name, and were it on the well-worn travel track in Touraine would be accounted one of the marvels of the brilliant array of Renaissance dwellings there. It holds this distinction to-day among the comparatively few who know it, and, as it serves the public functions of a Hôtel de Ville, its future as a “monument historique” worthy of preservation seems assured. Chateau or palace it may not be; it may be only a luxurious town house; who shall make the distinction after all? Let the reader, or better yet, the visitor, to this admirable Renaissance wonder-work be assured that it is more royally palatial than many which have sheltered the heads and persons of the most fastidious of monarchs.

South from Charolles, behind the hills of the Brionnais, almost on the edge of the ancient Forez, in part only Burgundian, is the coquette bourgade (a French expression absolutely untranslatable) of Marcigny, all ochre and brown after the local colouring. It is a town of a great tree-bordered Place, or{156} Square, with decrepit old houses overhanging its narrow streets, made famous in the past by a celebrated Benedictine priory which received only the daughters of the nobility. Of this monastery there remains only the prior’s palace, a princely sort of abode which to-day has been turned into a hotel. Here one may experience one of the greatest and most joyful surprises of French travel, and pick up his historical lore on the spot.

Leaving Marcigny for Semur-en-Brionnais, one passes a vestige of the feudal past in the shape of an elaborately decorated feudal tower. At a distance this decorative effect seems to be produced by shot still clinging to the walls, an effect that may be seen also at Arques in Normandy and at Tarascon in the Midi. Here this is an illusion. As one approaches nearer it is easy to see these round bosses transform themselves into mascarons, or sculptured decorative details, like the escutcheons and plaques so frequently seen stuck into the walls of so many civic edifices in Italy. This old tower is of a different species, but manifestly it is a memorial of some sort. Its peaked head rises above a sort of pavillon, or loft, like a gigantic pigeon-house. There is a diminutive barbican on one side, and on the other are narrow slits of Gothic{157}

Hôtel de Ville, Paray-le-Monail

Hôtel de Ville, Paray-le-Monail

windows, as if for defence rather than as a means of letting light and air within.

“This is some ancient historic monument, no doubt?” you query of some passing peasant. And to be precise he answers: “Yes, a tower.” That is all the information you can get beneath its shadow, but you are content and go your way. It fulfils exactly your idea of what a mediæval donjon should be, and what it lacks in apparent authenticated history can be readily enough imagined by anyone with a predilection for such musings.

Leaving the Charollais and the Brionnais, one turns toward Mâcon by the gateway of Cluny. Mediævalism here is rampant in memory, song and story, though the monuments are unfamiliar ones. It is an echo of the days when abbots and priors were often barons, and barons were magistrates who held the keys of life and death over other of mankind. These were the days, too, when the Pope was the real ruler of many a kingdom with another titular head. Large parcels of land, from the Black Sea to Brittany, fiefs, countships and even dukedoms, were church property, and others held their brief sway therein only by the tolerance of the Pontiff.

Seemingly exempt from this domination, the{158} powerful monks of Cluny knew no lord nor master. On one occasion a Pope and a King of France, with numberless prelates and nobles in their train, took refuge in the old abbey, but not a brother put himself out in the least to do them honour.

By the fifteenth century, the hour of decadence had rung out for Cluny; no more was it true

En tout pays où vent vente
L’Abbe de Cluni à rente.

It was at this time that the “arbitres des rois” lost their power.

The great Abbey of Cluny may readily enough be included in any contemplation of the great civic and domestic establishments of these parts. The only difference is that in some cases the chatelains or chatelaines were princes or princesses instead of abbés or abbesses.

Cluny’s destinies were presided over by an abbé, but kings and cardinals and popes all, at one time or another, came to dwell within its walls.

When Cluny was but a mere hamlet, in the year 910 A.D., Guillaume, Duc d’Aquitaine et Comte d’Auvergne, founded this abbey, which became one of the most celebrated in the universe.{159} From the first its abbés were cardinals and princes of Church and State.

In 1245 Pope Innocent IV. visited the abbey with a train of twelve cardinals and scores of minor churchmen. The Sainted Louis and the queen, his mother, enjoyed hospitality within its walls, and the Emperor of Constantinople, and a throng of followers, all found a welcome here; and this without incommoding the four hundred monks who were attached to the foundation. Pope Gelasse II died at the abbey, and the Archbishop Guy of Vienne was here elected Pope, under the name of Calixtus II, by a conclave assembled within its halls. To-day the pride of the former powerful abbey rests only on its laurels of other days. Its superb basilica has practically disappeared. Only its foundations, five hundred and fifty feet in length, are to be traced. The extensive library has disappeared, and only certain of the walls and roofs and a few minor apartments of the former palatial conventual buildings remain to suggest the one time glory.

The rich plain of Cluny was, in 910 A.D., but a forest called the “Vallé Noire” when the Abbé Bernon with a dozen brothers founded the celebrated Abbey of Cluny, called the “cradle of modern civilization.”{160}

Of the conventual buildings the most remarkable features still standing are the south arm of the great transept of the abbey church, the massive octagonal tower, of a height of sixty metres, another slighter octagonal clocher, and the Chapelle des Bourbons.

Cluny’s old houses, or such of them as remain, have been to a large extent rebuilt and remodelled, but still enough remains to suggest that the old monastic city was a place of luxury-loving and worldly citizens as well as monks. Here and there a flying stair, a balcony, a loggia, or a rez-de-Chaussée arcade suggests a detail almost Italian in its motive. Colonnettes divide a range of windows and pilasters support stone balconies and terraces here and there in a most pleasing manner, and with a most surprising frequency,—a frequency which is the more pleasing, since, as has been said, scarcely anything of the sort is to be seen here in more than fragmentary form, though indeed all the architectural orders and devices of the ingenious mediæval builder are to be noted. The Revolution respected Cluny, but the Empire and “La Bande Noire” condemned it to destruction.

The Abbatial Palace, a palatial dependence of the abbey, where lodged visiting potentates{161} and prelates, escaped entire destruction, and is to-day the chief ornament of the town. A national educational institution now occupies the halls and apartments of this great building where lords and seigneurs and churchmen once held their conclaves.

A fine Gothic portal leads to the inner court of this magnificent edifice, which was erected by two abbés, Jean de Bourbon and Jacques d’Amboise. Each had built a separate dwelling on either side of the great portal. That of the Cardinal de Bourbon is unlovely enough, as such edifices go, but has an air of a certain sumptuousness notwithstanding. That of Jacques d’Amboise is a highly ornate work of the Renaissance, and now serves as the Hôtel de Ville, whilst the other houses a local museum and library.

A garden of the formal order surrounds the two edifices and covers a goodly bit of the ground formerly occupied by the other buildings attached to the abbey. Entrance to this garden, and its Palais Abbatial, as the ensemble is officially known, is through a double Romanesque portal, as much a militant note as the rest is religious.

Cluny’s Hôtel Dieu is another remarkable souvenir of old. Within are various monu{162}ments and statues of churchmen and nobles which give it at once a lien on one’s regard. There is a luxurious monument to one of the Abbés of Cluny; another, that the Cardinal de Bouillon erected to his father, Maurice de la Tour d’Auvergne, Duc Souverain de Bouillon, Prince Souverain de Sedan.

Here and there about the town an old feudal tower or house-front juts out in close communion with some banal modern façade, but the whole aspect of the city of some four thousand inhabitants to-day is, when viewed from a distant approach, as of a feudal city with no modernities whatever. Near acquaintance disabuses one of this idea, but, regardless of this, the aspect of Cluny, the monastery and the city, is one of imposing and harmonious grandeur, hardly to be likened to any similar ensemble in France or beyond the frontiers.

Near Cluny, in the heart of the “Black Valley,” is the Chateau de Cormatin, belonging to a M. Gunsbourg, and containing an important collection of pictures and furniture, all of them antique, which are cordially submitted to the gaze of the curious upon a diplomatic request.

Rising from the plain, on the road to Tournus, is the Chateau de Brançion, a feudal relic{163} and not much more, but proclaiming its former military glory as if its history had been epoch-making, which it probably was not, as there is but scant reference to it in local annals.

As one approaches Mâcon by road from the north or west, great villas and “chateaux de commerce” line every kilometre of the way. Some are ancient and historic, though in no really great sense; others are modern and banally, painfully, well-kept and whitewashed—only the badigeon is pink or blue or green, painted one can readily believe by the artist (sic) descendants of the Italians who once inhabited the region in large numbers. There are overhanging balconies on all sides; balustrades, terraces and loggias relieve the monotony of most of the façades, and indeed, it is as if a corner of Italy had been transported to mid-France.

Mâcon is a picturesque ensemble of much that is ancient, but the smugness of the place, its undeniable air of modernity and prosperity, have done much to discount what few well conserved architectural charms it still possesses. This is true of great churches and palatial dwellings alike, though there are many undeniably fine bits here and there which, if one only knew, perhaps possess a history as thrill{164}ing as that enjoyed by many more noble edifices.

For one of the best impressions of Mâcon it is possible to have, there is nothing better than Turner’s painting “Mâcon,” or a photographic copy thereof. It is a drawing which until recently was never engraved. Turner and his engravers never dared attempt it, so complex was the light and shadow of the vintage sun shining on the hillsides and valleys of the Côte d’Or. Recently Frank Short made a mezzotint of it, and it stands to-day as one of the most expressive topographical drawings extant.

Mâcon was originally the capital of a petit pays, the Mâconnais, and is to-day, in local parlance. In former times it was the governmental seat of a line of petty sovereigns, from the day of Louis-le-Débonnaire until the country passed into the hands of the ducal Burgundians. From this time forth, though forming a component part of the great duchy, the region was settled frequently upon various members of the parent house as a vassal state where the younger branch might wield a little power of its own without complicating the affairs of the greater government.

In Revolutionary times Mâcon was considered by the Republicans as “a hateful aristo{165}cratic hole.” This being so, one wonders that more souvenirs of royalty have not remained.

In feudal times the city was enclosed by an enceinte cut with six great gates, supported by an inner citadel. These walls and bastions were demolished later, and the city was almost alone among those of Burgundy to freely open its doors to the Ligueurs and Henri IV. From this time on important historical events seem to have avoided Mâcon.

The site of Mâcon’s ancient citadel is now occupied by the Préfecture. It was formerly the Episcopal Palace, a regal dwelling which the bishops of other days must have found greatly to their liking. It is the nearest thing to a chateau which Mâcon possesses to-day.

The Hôtel de Ville is a banal structure of the eighteenth century, the gift of the Comte de Montreval, formerly his family residence. The Palais de Justice is also a made-over hôtel-privée and has some architectural distinctions, but there is nothing here to take rank among the castles and chateaux of the rest of the Burgundian countryside.

Southwest from Mâcon, scarce thirty kilometres away, is a romantic little corner of old France known to the French themselves—those who know it at all—as the Pays de Lamartine.{166} The little townlets of Milly and Saint-Pont were the cradle and the refuge of Lamartine, who so loved this part of France extending from the Loire to Lac Leman and the Alps.



The political world of the capital, into whose vortex the great litterateur was irresistibly drawn, had not a tithe of the effect upon his character as compared with that evoked by the solitudes of his Burgundian patrie and his Alpes de Chambéry.

Milly, here in the midst of the opulent plains and hillsides of Burgundy, is a spot so calm and so simply environed that one can not but feel somewhat of the inspiration of the man who called it his “chère maison.”

A half a dozen kilometres from Milly is Saint-Pont surrounded by a magnificent framing of rounded summits forming one of those grandiose landscapes of which Lamartine so often wrote:

Oui, l’homme est trop petit, ce spectacle l’écrase.

Here is the Chateau de Lamartine, not a tourist sight by any means, at least not an over-done one, but a shrine as worthy of contemplation and admiration as many another more grand and more popular.

Seated snugly at the foot of a wooded slope,{167} the chateau, flanked with two great towers, lifts its serrated sky-line proudly above the reddish, ochre-washed walls (a colour dear to the folk of the Mâconnais) high above the level of the roofs of the town below.

A more massive square tower sets further to the rear, and a tourelle, with a pointed candle-snuffer roof, accentuates the militant aspect of the edifice, though indeed its claims rest entirely on the arts of peace to the exclusion of those of war.

Here, in the family chateau, Alphonse-Marie-Louis-de-Lamartine passed the happiest years of his life. This was at a time when the pomp of power which he afterwards tasted as Minister of Foreign Affairs, after the abdication of Louis Philippe, had no attraction for him.

Il est sur la colline
Une blanche maison,
Une tour la domine,
Un buisson d’aubepine
Est tout son horizon.

As Lamartine himself wrote: “Nothing here will remind one of luxury; it is simply the aspect of a great farm where the owners live the simple life in a great block of a silent dwelling.” These words describe the Chateau de Lamartine very well to-day.{168}

Saint-Pont and the Chateau de Lamartine are well worth half a day of anyone who is found at Mâcon and not hard pressed to move on.

Near Saint-Pont is the ancient Chateau de Noble, belonging, in 1558, to Nicolas de Pisa, and, in 1789, to Claude de la Beaune. It is not a splendid structure in any architectural sense, but a most curious and appealing one. Its chief distinction comes from its two pointed coiffed towers, one at either end of a high sloping gable.

Repairs and restorations made since the Revolution have deprived it of the ancient ramparts which once entirely surrounded it, but the romantic and curious aspect of the main body of the structure, and those all-impressive, svelt, sky-piercing towers, make it seem too quaint to be real. Certainly no more remarkable use of such adjuncts to a seigneurial chateau has ever been made than these towers. Here they are not massive, nor particularly tall, but their proportions are seemingly just what they ought to be. They are, at any rate, entirely in accord with the rest of the structure, and that is what much modern architecture lacks.{169}




SOUTH from Chalon, by the banks of the Saône, lies the Beaujolais, a wine-growing region which partakes of many of the characteristics of the Côte d’Or itself. Further south, beyond Mâcon, the aspect of the Lyonnais is something quite different. All is of a bustle and hustle of the feverish life of to-day, whilst in the Beaujolais pursuits are agricultural. Each of these regions is profoundly wealthy and prosperous, an outgrowth, naturally enough, of the opulent times of old, for here, as in the heart of Burgundy, the conditions of life were ever ample and easy.

Throughout the countryside of the Beaujolais and the Mâconnais one notes a manner of building with respect to the meaner dwellings which, to say the least, is most curious. These small houses are built of a species of sun-dried bricks or lumps of clay. It seems satisfactory; as satisfactory as would be an adobe dwelling{171}—in a dry climate. But here in times of flood those built in the river bottoms have been known to melt away like the sand castles of children at the seashore.

The present Département of the Saône-et-Loire was evolved from the very midst of the Burgundian kingdom, and comprises chiefly the mediæval Comtés of the Autunnois, Chalonnais, Mâconnais and Charollais. The Romans were the real exploiters of all this region, and only with the pillage of the Normans, and the successive civil and religious wars, did the break-up of Burgundy really come to be an assured fact.

Chalon-sur-Saône itself is most attractive—in parts. As a whole it is disappointing. François Premier built the fortifications of Chalon in 1521, and half a century later Charles IX constructed the citadel—“to hold the town in subjection, and the inhabitants in ignorance.”

Dijon was the city of the mediæval counts; Chalon was a city of churchmen. Nevertheless the bishops of the episcopal city bore the title of Counts, and of its churches which remain none is more typical of the best of Romanesque in France than the nave and side aisles of Chalon’s Cathedral de Saint Vincent.{172}

Chalon’s monuments of the feudality are few indeed to-day; they and their histories have been well nigh forgotten, but here and there some fine old gable or portico springs into view unannounced, and one readily enough pictures again the life of the lords and ladies who lived within their walls, whilst to-day they are given over to matter of fact, work-a-day uses with little or no sentimental or romantic atmosphere about them.

There is no distinct official edifice at Chalon which takes up its position as a chateau, or manoir, at least none of great renown, though a rebuilt old church now transformed into a hotel of the second or third rate order is one of the most curiously adapted edifices of its class anywhere to be seen.

What a great family the Chalonnais were is recalled by the fact that in the sixteenth century all the folk of the city were regarded as cousins. This is taking the situation by and large, but certain it was that a community of family liens as well as interests did tend to make this relationship notable. Furthermore each of the trades and métiers herded by themselves in real clansman fashion, the nail-makers in the Rue des Cloutiers, the boiler-makers in the Rue des Chaudronniers and the barrel-makers in the{173} Rue des Tonneliers. And there was a quarter, or faubourg, devoted to the priests and monks, as well as another where none but the nobility were allowed to be abroad.

To the west of Chalon are two famous vineyards, Touches and Mercurey, surrounded by mere hamlets, there being no populous centres nearer than Givry or Chalon. One remarks these two famous vineyards because of their repute, and because of the neighbouring superb ruin of the mediæval Chateau de Montaigu which crowns a hill lying between the two properties.

In the neighbourhood of Chalon are numerous little towns of no rank whatever as historic or artistic shrines, but bearing the suffix of Royal. It is most curious to note that many have changed their nomenclature—as it was before the Revolution. Saint Gengoux-le-Royal and ten other parishes all dropped the Royal, and became known as Saint Gengoux-le-National, etc. Donzy-le-Royal was not so fortunate in its position. Saint Gengoux has gained nothing by its spasm of republicanism. It is not more national to-day than Cavaillon or Carpentras, whereas the suffix Royal meant, if it meant anything, that it was an indication of its ancient rank when it belonged directly to{174} the crown of France. Republicanism did not change its allegiance, only its name.

The diligence from Paris stopped at Chalon-sur-Saône in the old days and passengers made their way to Lyons by the river. Colbert it was who sought to develop the service of coches d’eau on the Saône between Chalon and Lyons. He carried the thing so far, in 1669, that he suppressed the public diligence by land which had formerly made the journey between the two capitals. This was not accomplished without a live protestation from the residents of the terminal cities.

In the last days of the malle-poste, when Chalon was the end of the journey from Paris, four steamboats of a primitive order competed for the privilege of carrying passengers from Chalon to Lyons.

To-day the service has been suppressed; the “piroschapes,” as they were called, have gone the way of the mail coaches. Travel to-day is accomplished with more comfort and more expedition.

Below Chalon, following down the Saône, within a league, one comes to Toisé, with a celebrated chateau, almost wholly ignored to-day when checking off the historical monuments of France. And this is true in spite of the fact{175} that it was here within the walls of the Chateau de Toisé that was signed the famous treaty between Henri IV and the Duc de Mayenne. The chateau is simply an admirable Renaissance monument of its time with no very remarkable features or history save that noted above. This is enough to make it better known and more often visited, if only glanced at in passing. The author hopes the suggestion may be taken in earnest by those interested.

Midway between Mâcon and Chalon is Tournus, the site of a chateau-fort built by the Franks, and also of an abbey founded by Charles-le-Chauve in 875 A.D. This monarch gave the abbey a charter as proprietor of the city of Tournus in consideration of the monks putting it and its inhabitants under the protection of the Virgin and Saint Philibert. He also made the congregation of monks of the order of Saint Benoit “fermiers” of this “celestial domain.”

The Abbés of Tournus were a powerful race, rivalling the princes and dukes of other fiefs, and owning allegiance only to the king and Pope, more often to the latter than to the former. Among them were numbered no less than eight cardinals in the fifty-nine who ruled the city and the “domain.”{176}

The monastery itself has become a sort of institution, a secular lodging house, but its fine church still remains as one of the most famous Romanesque-Burgundian examples of its time.

Above Tournus, high on the hill back of the town, sits a disused ancient fabric, a former Benedictine abbey. Its abbés had the right to wear the pontifical vestments, and to administer justice to the city and its neighbouring dependencies. More like an antique fortress than a religious foundation, it is the most ambitious and striking edifice now to be seen in Tournus.

Tournus has an artistic shrine of great moment and interest, although its architectural details comport little with the really dignified examples of mediæval architecture. It is the birthplace of the painter Greuze, and before its arcades rises a monument to his memory. The great painter of the idealist school was born here. In the local museum are nearly five hundred designs from his hand.

Opposite Tournus, in mid-Saône, is a strip of flat island known as the Ile-de-la-Palme, a morsel of alluvial soil respected by centuries of spring floods which have passed it by on either side, and indeed, often over its surface. The Helvetians, quitting their country in ancient times, invaded Gaul and made use of the Ile-de-la-Palme{177} to cross the Saône, aided by either pontoons or rafts. Centuries later, after the bloody battle of Fontenay, the son of Louis-le-Débonnaire held a conference on this isle with regard to the division of the conquered territory. Thus it is that the Ile-de-la-Palme in the Saône has something in common with that other historic island in the Bidassoa where France and Spain played a game of give and take in the sixteenth century.

A short distance from the east bank of the Saône is Romenay in the heart of the Chalonnais. It is a relic of an ancient fortified city, a townlet to-day of less than six hundred inhabitants, though once, judging from the remains of its oldtime ramparts, much more extensive and influential.

Saint Trivier-de-Courtes, like Romenay, has little more than a bare half a thousand of population to-day, though it was once a noble outpost planted by the Ducs de Savoie, the masters of Bresse, against the possible invasion of the Burgundians and the French from the north.

At Bagé-le-Chatel, between Mâcon and Bourg, rises a grim reminder of the feudality. It is the silhouette of the fine old castle of the ancient Seigneurs de Bagé.{178}

Passing Mâcon by, and still following the Saône, one comes in a dozen or twenty kilometres to Thoissey, a town which has not been greatly in evidence these latter days. It is a somnolent little city of the ancient Principality of Dombes, that disputed ground of the Burgundians and the Savoyards in the middle ages. Only from the fact that it was the birthplace of Commandant Marchand of the ill-fated Faschoda expedition would it ever have been mentioned in the public prints of the last generation.

In good old monarchial days it was different. Then Thoissey set an aristocratic example to many a neighbour more prosperous and better known to-day. The Princes de Dombes had a chateau here, and they embellished the local Hospice in a way that made it almost a rival of that other establishment of its class at Beaune. Throughout Thoissey there were, and are still, many admirable examples of the town houses of the nobles and courtiers of the little State of Dombes. Thoissey was the miniature capital of a miniature kingdom. The local “college” still shows evidences of a luxuriant conception of architectural decoration with its finely sculptured window frames and doorways.

The most striking incident of Thoissey’s ca{179}reer was when the Seigneur de Bagé attacked the Seigneur de Thoissey, who was at the time the Sire de Beaujeau, in his stronghold. The latter called the Duc de Bourbon to his aid and thus brought about an inter-province imbroglio which necessitated the intervention of the King of France as mediator, though without immediate success. The litigation finally went before Pope Clement VII (a French Pope, by the way), and only in 1408, a quarter of a century after the feud began, did the Duc de Bourbon, who meantime had become also the Sire de Beaujeau, succeed in throwing off his adversaries.

Thoissey during the time of the Ligue, or more particularly its Seigneur, threw in its lot with Mayenne, who ultimately, when he finally went over to his royal master, caused the Chateau de Thoissey to be razed to earth. This is why to-day one sees only the heap of stones, locally called “the chateau,” which, to be appreciated, require a healthy imagination and some knowledge of the situation.

At Belleville-sur-Saône is a little strip of the earth’s surface called by the French the finest panorama in the world and “le plus bel lieu de France.” It is beautiful, even beyond words, a smiling radiant river valley with{180} nearly all the artistic attributes which go to make up the ideal landscape. Just how near it comes to being the finest view in the world is a matter of opinion. The New Zealander thinks that he has that little corner of God’s green earth, and so does many a down-east farmer, to say nothing of the man from the Missouri Valley and the occasional Scotch Highlander.

The tiny little city of Anse has few recollections for most travellers, but it possesses an admirable ruin of a chateau-fortress, with two towers bronzed by time and still proudly erect. This ruin, together with the memory that Augustus once had a palace here in the ancient Anita of the Romans, and the neighbouring ruin of the chateau of the Sires de Villars over towards Trévoux, are all that Anse has to-day for the curious save its delightful situation in a bend of the Saône.

Opposite Belleville-sur-Saône is Montmerle. In the middle ages it was one of the sentinel cities which guarded the Principality of Dombes. Sieges and assaults without number were its portion, from the Bourguignons, the troops of the Sire de Beaujeau, the Dauphinois and the Counts and Dukes of Savoy.

The imposing ruins of the former {181}chateau-fortress tell the story of its mighty struggle which endured for nearly a century. For the most part the bulk of the material of which it was built has disappeared, or at least has been built up into other works, but the massive signal tower which once bolstered up the main portal still rises high above the waters of the Saône. The tower supposedly dates from the twelfth century—the period to which belonged the chateau—and is distinguished by its hardiness and height rather than for its solidity and massiveness.

At Farcins, near-by, is a magnificent and still habitable chateau of the end of the reign of Henri IV, built by Jean de Sève, Conseiller du Roi, on the plans of Baptiste Androuet du Cerceau. From Montmerle one may see the towers and roofs of half a dozen other minor chateaux of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries scattered here and there through the Beaujolais, but nothing distinctive arrests one’s attention until Villefranche and Trévoux are reached.

The Sires de Beaujeau, from motives of policy if from no other, ever respected the privilege of Villefranche (founded by Humbert IV). The traditions of Villefranche’s old Auberge du{182} Mouton are classic, and have been used time and again by playwright and novelist without even acknowledgment to history. It was here in the “Free City” beside the Rhone that Edward II swore to observe the city’s claims of municipal liberty.

Villefranche has no other notable monuments save the Hôtel de Ville of to-day, which is an admirable Renaissance town house, and another equally striking in the Rue Nationale. The latter is almost palatial in its proportions.

Just below Villefranche is Trévoux, the ancient capital of the Principality of Dombes. It comes into the lime-light here only because of its ruined castle on a height above the town which travellers by road or rail cannot fail to remark even if they do not think it worth while to become intimately acquainted.

The old castle is situated on the summit of a hill to the west of the town, its two black-banded towers of the middle ages proclaiming loudly the era of its birth. The octagonal donjon is a master-work of its kind and dates from the twelfth century. Since the Revolution this remarkable donjon has been shorn of a good two-thirds of its former height, and the effect is now rather stubby. With another twenty metres to its credit it must indeed have been{183} imposing, as well by its construction as its situation. It is no wonder that this powerful defence was able to resist the attack of the Sire de Varambon, who, after capturing the city, sought vainly to take the chateau in 1431. It was a cruel victory indeed, for the wilful seigneur, not content with capturing the city, drove out all its wealthy and comfortably rich inhabitants and charged them a price of admission to get in again, mutilating their persons in a shocking manner if they did not disgorge all of their treasure as the price of this privilege.

The local seigneur, his family and immediate retainers, were meanwhile huddled within the walls of the chateau and only escaped starvation at the hands of the victor by his having tired of the game of siege and by his withdrawal, carrying with him all the loot which he could gather together and transport.

It was at Trévoux that the Jesuits compiled the celebrated Dictionary and Journal which made such a furor in the literary annals of the eighteenth century.

With the exception of François Premier all of the French monarchs from Philippe-Auguste down to Louis XIV acknowledged the independence of the Principality of Dombes, and owed them the allegiance of supplying men and{184} money in case they were attacked. The Parliament met at Trévoux and the Principality was one of the earliest and smallest political divisions of France to coin its own money.{185}



EAST of Dijon, from the centre of which radiated Burgundian influence and power, was a proud and independent political division which, until 1330, never allied itself intimately with the royal domain of the French kings nor with Burgundy. From this time, as a part of the Burgundian dukedom, it retained the right to be known as the Franche Comté, and was even then exempted from many impositions and duties demanded of other allied fiefs: “Burgundiæ Comitatus, Liber Comitatus,” was its official title.

It is characteristic of the independent spirit of the people of these parts that they should tell Henri IV, who praised the wine they offered him, when he was making a stay among them, and was being entertained in Besançon’s citadel, that they had a much better one in the cellar which they were saving for a more august occasion.{186}

The Franche Comté is in no sense a tourist region; its varied topography has not been given even a glance of the eye by most conventional tourists, and its historical souvenirs have been almost entirely ignored by the makers of romances and stage-plays. Switzerland-bound travellers have an excellent opportunity to become acquainted with this comparatively little known corner of old France as they rush across it by express train via Pontarlier, but few avail themselves thereof. For this reason, if no other, the architectural monuments of the Franche Comté come upon one as genuine surprises.

From Dijon our way lay through Genlis and Auxonne to Besançon, and there is no better way of approaching the heart of things, though it will require some courage on the part of travellers by train to accommodate themselves to the inconvenient hours of departure and arrival. The traveller by road will have a much easier and a much more enjoyable time of it; and right here is a suggestion of a new ground for touring automobilists who may be tired of well-worn roads. It is just as enjoyable to hunt out historic monuments with an automobile as with a Cook’s ticket and a railway train—more so, some of us think. It would certainly not{187} have been possible for the makers of this book to have otherwise got over the ground covered herein, so let not the ultra-sentimentalist decry the modern mode of locomotion.

Winding its way between the confines of Burgundy and the Comté the highroad from Paris to Pontarlier and Switzerland led us first to Auxonne. Genlis we passed en route and almost had a thrill over it by recalling the notorious Comtesse de Genlis. We racked our brains a moment and then remembered that the celebrated “bas bleu” hailed from somewhere in Picardy, so, then, this particular Genlis had no further interest for us, above all in that there was no chateau in sight.

Auxonne (the old Ad Sonam of the Romans, afterwards corrupted into Assona, then Assonium and finally as it is to-day) was but a dozen kilometres beyond Genlis, and, sitting astride the great highway from Paris to Geneva, was early a fortified place of great strategic importance. Vauban traced its last ramparts and it was thought likely to hold its rank for all time, but now the fortifications have disappeared and the city no longer takes its place as a frontier outpost, that honour having been usurped by Besançon in the Jura.

Of the military and feudal past there are still{188} vivid memories at Auxonne. The chateau-fort is still there, built in different epochs by Louis XI, Charles VIII and Louis XII, and these works combined to make an edifice seemingly all-resistant, or at least formidable to a high degree. The chateau is still there, in part at least—not much has actually been despoiled, but actually the railway station is more militant in aspect. The stranger coming to Auxonne for the first time—unless he be prepared beforehand—will have grave doubts at first as to which is the chateau and which is the gare. The latter has a crenelated cornice, meurtrières pierced in its walls, and the vague appearance of bastions, all of which are also found in the real in the old chateau grimly overlooking the swift-flowing Saône. The enormous flanking towers of the real chateau, in spite of the city having been shorn of its prime military rank, are still kept in condition for the service of long-range guns, for the French are ever in a state of preparedness for the invasion which may never come. The lesson of “71” was well learned.

On the great entrance portal of the chateau is blazoned a stone-sculptured hedgehog, the devise of Louis XII, and in opposing niches are two carven angels holding aloft an escutcheon.{189} Another doorway is hardly less impressive, though somewhat vague as to the purport of its ornament, which stands for nothing military or even civic.

This introduction to the militant glory of the Auxonne of other days is a ripe indication of the dignity with which the place was one day enhanced. Of a population to-day of something less than five thousand souls, the city shelters nearly three thousand soldiers of all arms. Its warlike aspect can hardly be said to have changed much from what it was of old in spite of the fact that its importance is lower down in the scale.

Another warlike reminder is the statue which rises proudly in the Place d’Armes. It is that of the Sous-Lieutenant Bonaparte as he was upon his arrival at Auxonne, a pallid youth just out of the military school of Brienne.

In the plain neighbouring upon Auxonne, a sort of mid-France Flanders, is a populous town with a momentous and romantic history, albeit its architectural monuments, save in fragments, are practically nil. The Revolutionary authorities took away its old name and called it “Belle Defense,” in memory of a heroic resistance opposed by the place to the invading Duc de Lorraine in 1616. Gallas had freed the{190} Saône with thirty thousand men, and with Cardinal La Valette at the head of his army (a cardinal whom Richelieu had made a general) found Dijon so well guarded that he turned on his steps and attacked what is to-day Saint Jean-de-Losne. Fifty thousand soldiers in all finally besieged the place, and less than fifteen hundred of the inhabitants, and a garrison of but a hundred and fifty, held them at bay. The Duc d’Enghien, the future Grand Condé, then Governor of Burgundy, was able to send a feeble body of reinforcements and thus turn the tide in favour of the besieged.

For this great defence Louis XIII exonerated the city from all future taxes, and the grand cross of the Legion d’Honneur was allowed to be incorporated into the city arms, as indeed it endures unto to-day. The tracings of the former fortifications are plainly marked, though the walls themselves have disappeared.

Dole is commonly thought of as but a great railway junction. Besançon and Montbéliard are the real objectives of this itinerary through the Franche Comté and the half-way houses are apt to be neglected. For fear of this we “stopped over” at Dole.

Dole’s historic souvenirs are many and have in more than one instance left behind their{191} stories writ large in stone. The present Hôtel de Ville was the old Palais du Parlement, built in the sixteenth century, from the designs of Boyvin, who was himself President of the Chambre at the time. Within the courtyard of this old Parliament House is an impressive donjon of a century earlier, the Tour de Vergy, which offers as choice a lot of underground cells, or oubliettes, as one may see outside the Chateau d’If or the Castle of Loches. The Palais de Justice at Dole, with a magnificently carved portal, was formerly the Couvent des Cordeliers and dates from 1572.

The memory of Besançon in the minds of most folk—provided they have any memory of it at all—will be recalled by the opening lines of Stendhal’s “Rouge et Noir.” “Besançon n’est pas seulement une des plus jolies villes de France, elle abonde en gens de cœur et d’esprit.

The flowing Doubs nearly surrounds the “Roc” of Besançon with a great horse-shoe loop which gives a natural isolation and makes its citadel more nearly redoubtable than was ever imagined by Vauban, its builder.

From an artistic point of view Besançon’s monuments are not many or varied if one excepts the Palais Granvelle and the military defences,{192} which are made up in part of a number of mediæval towers and Vauban’s citadel. There are four great sentinel towers surrounding the city, all dating from the period of Charles Quint, but the city gates, piercing the fortification walls, were built also by Vauban between 1668-1711, and are by no means as ancient as they look.

The Palais Granvelle, of the sixteenth century, has a fine dignified monumental aspect wholly impressive regardless of its lack of magnitude and the absence of a strict regard for the architectural orders. Liberties have been taken here and there with its outlines which place it beyond the pale of a thoroughly consistent structure, but for all that it undeniably pleases the eye, and more. And what else has one a right to demand unless he is a pedant? In general the civic and domestic architecture of the Franche Comté are of a sobriety which gives them a distinction all their own; the opposite is true of the churches, taking that at Pont-à-Mousson as a concrete example.

The street façade of the Palais Granvelle is undeniably fine, with a dignity born of simplicity. Its interior façade, that giving on the courtyard, is freer in treatment, but still not{193}

Palais Granvelle, Besançon

Palais Granvelle, Besançon

violent, and its colonnaded cloister forms a quiet retreat in strong contrast with the bustle and noise which push by the portal scarce twenty feet away.

The Palais Granvelle actually serves to-day the purpose of headquarters of Besançon’s Société Savante.

Nicolas Perrenot, Seigneur de Granvelle, its builder (1533-1540), was the chancellor of Charles Quint, and brother of the Cardinal de Granvelle, minister of Charles Quint and Philippe II. He was descended from a noble Burgundian family, not from a blacksmith as has faultily been given by more than one historian.

Charles Quint, in writing to his son, after the death of his chancellor—“in his palace at Besançon,” said: “My son, I am extremely touched by the death of Granvelle. In him you and I have lost a firm staff upon which to lean.”

The centre of the admirable town house of the sixteenth century is occupied by a vast courtyard surrounded by a series of Doric columns in marble, supporting a range of low arcades. The principal façade is built of “marbre du pays,” which is not marble or anything like it, but a very suitable stone for building nevertheless. It might be called “near-marble” by an enterprising modern contractor,{194} and a fortune made off it by skilful advertising. It is better, at any rate, than armoured cement.

The structure rises but two stories above the rez-de-chaussée, but is topped off with an “attique” (a word we all recognize even though it be French) and three great stone lucarnes, ornamented with light open-work consoles à jour.

Each story is decorated at equal intervals by a superimposed series of columns. The first is Doric, the second Ionic and the third Corinthian, and each divides its particular story into five travées.

The entrance portal is particularly to be remarked for its elegance. It is flanked on either side by a Corinthian column and is surmounted by a pair of angel heads in bronze.

Drawing closer and closer to the frontier, the face of everything growing more and more warlike the while, one comes to Montbéliard, practically a militant outpost of modern France, though actually its importance in this respect is overshadowed by neighbouring Belfort. At Belfort Bartholdi’s famous lion—a better stone lion by the way than Thorwaldsen’s at Luzerne—crouches in his carven cradle in the hillside ready to spring at the first rumours of war. If France is ever invaded again it will{195} not be by way of the gateway which is defended by Belfort and Montbéliard, that is certain!


Montbéliard is a little fragment of Germany that has become French. Rudely grouped around the walls of the old chateau of the Wurtemburgs, the town remains to-day an anomaly in France, more so than the greater Strassbourg and Metz are to Germany, because they have become thoroughly Germanized since “la guerre” and the “annexation,” which are the half whispered words in which the natives still discuss the late unpleasantness.

How did this little German stronghold become French? One may learn the story from “Le Maréchal de Luxembourg et Le Prince d’Orange,” by Pierre de Ségur, better even{196} than he may from the history books. The tale is too long to retell here but it is undeniably thrilling and good reading. The town, the chateau and the local duke were, it seems, all captured at one fell swoop. There was no defence, so it was not a very glorious victory, but it came to pass as a heroic episode and a Wurtemburg castle thus came to be a French chateau.

The Chateau de Montbéliard has all the marks of a heavy German castle. It has little indeed of the suggestion of the French manner of building in these parts or elsewhere. To-day it serves as a barracks for French soldiers, but its alien origin is manifest by its cut and trim.

The history of Montbéliard has been most curious. Its name was derived from the Latin Mons Peligardi (in German Munpelgard) and the principality, as it once was, had a council of nine maîtres-bourgeois, as the city councilmen were called. The principality comprised the seigneuries of Héricourt, Blamont, Chatelet and Clémont. For a time it was a part of the Duchy of Lorraine, then it passed to the house of Montfaucon, and then to the Wurtemburgs, who built the castle. The Treaties of Luneville and Paris made it possible for the tricolor to fly above the castle walls, otherwise it might have{197} remained a German town with a burgomaster instead of a French ville with a maire.

The Tour Neuve of the chateau dates from 1594 and the Tour Bossue from 1425. The main fabric was restored in such a manner that it would seem to have been practically remodelled, if not actually rebuilt, in 1751. It preserves nevertheless the cachet that one expects to see in a castle of its time, albeit that an alien flavour hovers around it still.

It is worth continuing in this direction a step farther to Belfort in the “territory,” although it is actually beyond the confines of Burgundy’s “Free County.” Belfort is worth seeing for the sake of its “Lion,” though if one is pressed for time he may take a ride in Paris over to the Rive Gauche and see the same thing in the Place de Belfort, or at least a miniature replica of it.

In the midst of the great entrenched camp of Belfort rises “La Chateau,” as Belfort’s citadel is known. It sets broad on its base nearly five hundred metres above sea-level. The chateau and the “Roc” were first fortified in the sixteenth century, since which time each year has added to the strength of the defences until to-day it is perhaps the most strongly fortified of all the frontier posts of France.{198}

It is at the base of the massive “Roc” which bears aloft the chateau that is sculptured Bartholdi’s celebrated lion. Its proportions are immense, at least seventy-five feet in length and perhaps forty in height.

The ancient Tour de la Miotte is all that remains of a fortress of the middle ages, so Belfort’s claims rest on something more than its artistic monumental remains, though the silhouette and sky-line of the grouping of its chateau and citadel are imposingly effective and undeniably artistic.{199}



“LA BRESSE, le Bugey, le Val-Romey et la Principauté de Dombes” was the high-sounding way in which that hinterland between Burgundy and Savoy was known in old monarchial days. Of a common destiny with the two dukedoms, it was allied first with one and then with the other until the principality was nothing more than a name; independence was a myth, and allegiance, and perhaps something more, was demanded by the rulers of the neighbouring states.

In Roman times these four provinces were allied with the I-Lyonnais, but by the Burgundian conquerors forcibly became allied with the stronger power.

Bresse of itself belonged to the Sires de Bagé and in 1272 became a countship allied with the house of Savoy, which in 1601 ceded it to the king of France.

Local diction perpetuates the following qua{200}train which well explains the relations of Bresse with the surrounding provinces.

Pont-de-Veyle et Pont-de-Vaux,
Saint Trivier at Romeno
Sont quat’ villes bien renommo;
Mias viv’ Mâcon pour beir
Et Bourg pour mangi.

Bresse, more than any other of the subdivisions of mediæval and modern France, is endowed with renown for the sobriety and purity of the life of its people; and family ties are “respectable and respected,” as the saying goes. Above all has this been notably true of the nobility, who were ever looked up to with love and pride by those of lower stations. Among the common people never has one been found to willingly ally himself, or herself, with another family who might have a blot on its escutcheon. The marriage vow and its usages are simple but devout, and in addition to the usual observations the peasant husband grants, as a part of the marriage contract, a black dress to be worn at Toussaint and the Jour des Mortes, and to all family mourning celebrations. If a widow or widower seeks another partner the event is celebrated by a ball—for which the doubly wedded party pays.{201}

Women of Bresse

Women of Bresse

The village fêtes of Bresse, still continued in many an out-of-the-way little town, are the usual drinking and dancing festins of the comic opera merry-making variety. They are simple and proper enough exhibitions, and never descend to the freedom of speech and manners that such exhibitions often do in the Midi.

None more than Brillat-Savarin has carried the fame of Bresse abroad. A one-time member of the Cour de Cassation, he perhaps was better known to the world at large as the father of gastronomy in France. His “Psychologie de Gout,” if nothing else, would warrant giving him this title.

Val-Romey—the Vallis Romana of the Emperors—and Bugey had for overlords the Sires de Thoire et Villars. It, too, came in time to the Ducs de Savoie, by gift and by heritage, and also was ceded in 1601 to Henri IV, by virtue of the Treaty of Lyons.

Dombes, principality in little, although at first a part of the kingdom of Burgundy, later fell by favour of circumstances to the Sires of Beaugé and afterwards to the Sire de Beaujeau. Finally it turned its fortunes into the hands of the Bourbons, when Mademoiselle de Montpensier came to rule its destinies. She turned it over to Louis XIV as payment for his{202} authorization for her marriage with Monsieur de Lauzun.

The princess made this sacrifice of love in vain, and Dombes fell to the Duc de Maine, while Lauzun languished in the prison Pignerolo, for the king did not abide by his back-handed favouritism.

On the border between the mediæval dukedom and the principality of Dombes, to-day the Départements of the Saône et Loire and the Ain, is a race apart from other mankind hereabouts. In numerous little villages, notably at Boz and Huchisi, one may still observe the dark Saracen features of the ancients mingled with those of to-day. A monograph has recently appeared which defines these peoples as something quite unlike the other varied races now welded into the citizens of twentieth century France.

Modern vogue, style, fashion, or whatever you may choose to call it, is everywhere fast changing the old picturesque costume into something of the ready-made, big-store order, but to stroll about the highways and byways in these parts and see men in baggy Turkish trousers with their coats and waistcoats tied together by strings or ribbons in place of conventional buttons, is as a whiff of the Orient, or at least a reminder of the long ago.{203}

The women dress in a distinct, but perhaps not otherwise very remarkable, manner, save that an occasional “Turk’s-Head” turban is seen, quite as Oriental as the culotte of the men. A blend of Spain, of Arabia, of Persia and of Turkey could not present a costume more droll than that of the “Chizerots,” as these people are known.

Another petit pays, and one of the most remarkably disposed, politically, of all the old provinces which go to make up modern France, is what is known even to-day as the Pays de Gex. It belonged successively to the house of Joinville, to the Comté de Savoie and to the States of Berne and Geneva. The Duc de Savoie, by the treaty of 1601, ceded it to France, but a strip is still neutral ground for both Switzerland and France, which by common accord allows Geneva full access to the territory in order to establish its communications with Swiss territory on the west and south shores of Lac Leman, particularly to that region beyond Saint-Gingolphe.

The name Gex is evolved from the Latin Gesium, the capital of a kingdom owning but a length of six leagues and a width of about half as much. The Bernese and the Genevois conquered it in turn, and to-day its personality{204} is nil except that one recalls it as the head centre for the trade in Gruyère cheese, the kind which we commonly call Swiss cheese. It is in the Pays de Gex, on the railway line from Gex to Geneva, that one notes the name of Fernay and endeavours to recall for just what it stands. At last it comes to one. Fernay possesses a literary shrine of note that all who pass this way may well remember. The wonder is that one did not recall it with less effort.

The whole town is virtually a monument to Voltaire. It was he who built the town, practically; that is, he furnished the land and the means to erect many of the meaner houses which surround the chateau which he came himself to inhabit, and from which, for a time, the rays of his brilliant wit were shed over the whole literary world of the eighteenth century.

After his flight from Berlin, Voltaire, the Seigneur de Fernay, founded Fernay, within six kilometres of the frontier and Geneva, and sought to attract Swiss watch-makers thither that a similar industry might there be established on French soil. Surely Voltaire was more of a benefactor of his race than he is usually considered.

The Voltaire manor, or chateau, albeit that it is nothing grandly monumental, still exists with{205}

Chateau de Voltaire, Ferney

Chateau de Voltaire, Ferney

furniture and portraits of the time of the satirist. At the entrance to the chateau is a tiny chapel, built also by Voltaire when he was in that particular mood. Over its portal it bears the following words, “Deo Erexit Voltaire MDCCLXI.” Arsène Houssaye called the words an impertinence, and, admitting Voltaire’s genius, one is inclined to assent to the dictum. “My church,” said Voltaire, “is erected to God, the only one throughout Christendom; there are thousands to Saint Jean, to Saint Paul and to all the rest of the calendar, but not another in all the world to God.”

Such a romantically storied region as this might naturally be expected to abound in historic souvenirs and monuments almost without end. To an extent this is true, but such souvenirs and recollections of the past more frequently present themselves than do actual castle walls, be they ruined or well-preserved.

The antique lore of ancient Bresse goes back to Druidical days. Stone axes, Celtic tombs and medals, skeletons wearing bracelets and anklets of iron and copper have been found in great numbers, and from these have been built up a vague history of the earliest times.

Of Roman remains there are still evident many outlines of the camps of the legionaries,{206} innumerable evidences and tracings of old Roman highroads, with here and there fragments of aqueducts, baths and temples. Near Bourg have been discovered various medals of the ancient colony of Massilia, on the shores of the Mediterranean, and one wonders what were the relations of the Ostragoth peoples of Bresse with the Phoceans of Marseilles. History is non-committal.

There are no magnificent monumental remains of Roman times left in these parts save occasional fragments and towers which presumably served for signalling purposes as a part of the fortifications of the Saracens. For any architectural monuments of note one can not with certainty go back to a period earlier than that in which the Burgundian power was at its height, or to the time of Charles-le-Chauve in the ninth century.

The feudal memories of Bresse are chiefly the ruins of the seigneurial chateau at Chateauneuf, the chief-town of the Val-Romey. Built high on the summit of a peak of rock and surrounded by deep-cut fosses, and walls which drop down sheer like the sides of a precipice, this chief feudal residence of the Val-Romey was more a fortress than a delectable domestic establishment, though it served the functions of both, as{207} was frequently the case with the feudal edifice of its class. What it lacked in actual luxury or comfort it made up for in the added protection offered by its sturdy walls. This was notably true of all seigneurial residences which occupied isolated positions in the feudal epoch. Its walls to-day, shorn of any æsthetic beauty which they may once have possessed, and crumbling and moss-grown on every side, still rise a hundred or more feet in air above their rocky foundations, and in many places have a thickness of a dozen or fifteen feet. They built well in those old days, before the era of armoured cement covered with stucco. Modern builders make great claims for their product, but will it last? No man knows, and, from the fact that masonry cannot be built even to-day so as to stand up against shot and shell, one doubts if modern work is really as durable as that of a thousand years ago. The military architecture of feudal France, so often closely allied with that of the civic and domestic varieties, was preëminent in its time.

The religious architecture, the monasteries and churches, of these parts have certainly more ornate reminders of the undeniable opulence of the region than the secular examples still existing.{208}

Connecting Bresse and the Franche Comté is a curious little battery of townlets that have never been mentioned in the guide-books, nor ever will be. A motor flight from Bourg-en-Bresse to Besançon evolved the following: First came a smug little town named briefly Pierre. It possesses a chateau, too, reckoned as one of the really remarkable examples of the style of Burgundian building. It certainly looks all that is claimed for it, though we saw it only in the dim twilight of a May evening. The impression was all-satisfying, and, that being what one really travels for, one should be content.

For a neighbour there was Champdivers, which recalled a memory of Odette de Champdivers, the one time companion of the poor Charles VI. during his latter unhappy days. Truly this was proving for us a most romantic region, a region utterly neglected by the great world of tourists who pick out the big-type names on the map and make up their itineraries accordingly.

On the banks of the Doubs, near the border of Bresse and the Comté, lies Molay, whose seigneur, Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the Templars, died at the stake in Paris during the playing of the great drama of 1314.

After Molay a succession of dwellings con{209}tinues to the important frontier town and fortress of Dole, a decayed county-town whose official importance, even, has been absorbed by the fortified city and watch-making metropolis of Besançon. Dole will never be reckoned a city of celebrated art, but regardless of this its fine old Renaissance houses and Parliamentary Palace of other days all follow the architectural scheme which makes the civic and secular edifices of mid-France the most luxurious of their epoch.

Bourg, the capital of Bresse, has ever been one of the most important towns of France lying near the eastern frontier, though indeed as a fortified place the modern French military authorities give it scant value from a strategic point of view. Six great national highways cross and recross the city, and many of the narrow streets of the days of the dukes have lately given way to avenues and boulevards. From this one puts Bourg down as something very modern—which it is, in parts.

Built on the site of the ancient Forum Sebusianorum, the city came in time under the sway of Burgundy, of the Empire of the States of Savoy, and finally definitely allied itself with France in 1601.

{210}Bourg is in the heart of Bresse. Its inhabitants are known as Bressans de Bresse, in contradistinction to those who live on the borders of the old province. “Viv Mâcon pour beir et Bourg pour mangi”—Mâcon for drinking and Bourg for eating—say the Bressans of Bresse, and with good reason.

The Bressan costume is most peculiar, at least so far as that of the women is concerned; the men might be of Normandy or Poitou. Only on a fête day will one see the real costume of the women of Bresse, but on such occasions the mere sight of the triple-decked, steeple-like coiffe—a good replica of an ornamental fountain in miniature—will suggest nothing so much as the costume of a masquerade.

The only palatial domestic or civic edifice notable in Bourg to-day is the Parliament Building of the ancient États de la Bresse. Of the many princely dwellings of the time of the Seigneurs de Bagé, and of the Savoyan princes of the sixteenth century, not a fragment remains, though the records tell of a splendid chateau-fort and an episcopal residence of like luxurious proportions which existed at the time of the union of Bresse with France. This may be the edifice of the États which now shelters the Musée Lorin. The longbeards disagree as to this, but the casual observer will be quite{211} willing to accept the suggestion. The monument is certainly a splendid one, even if its history is vague.

The famous Église de Brou at Bourg is intimately bound with the life of the nobles of mediæval times, as closely indeed as if it had been a secular establishment where lived lords and ladies and their courts. A description of this classic wonder of architectural art can have no extended place here. It must suffice to recall that it was erected by Philibert le Beau in completion of a vow made by his mother Marguerite de Bourbon. Within are the magnificently sculptured tombs of the two royalties and another of Marguerite d’Autriche. The sculpture of these famous tombs has been the subject of more than one monograph, and indeed the whole ornate structure—church, tombs and sculpture—is a never-ceasing source of supply to critics and archæologists.

The Italian style, in the most gracious of its flowering forms, is here united with the flamboyant Flemish school in a profligate profusion. The Église de Brou is one of the greatest marvels of Renaissance architecture in all the world.

North of Bourg, on the road to Louhans, through the heart of the Bresse so dear to gastronomes,{212} are the well conserved remains of the Chateau de Montcony, and those of more ruinous aspect which represent the departed glories of Duretal.

Cuiseaux’ monumental remains are even more scant, and the town itself hardly resembles a town of Burgundy. It is more like a place in Switzerland or the Jura; indeed, to the latter region it once belonged, and only came to be Burgundian when the princes of the house, through some petty quarrel, took it for their own by force, as was the way in those gallant, profligate days.

Cuiseaux does possess, however, a ruined aspect of wall and rampart which suggests that it must have been one of the most admirably defended places of the neighbourhood, judging from an old fifteenth century plan preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale. Then it was proud of its ramparts which possessed thirty-six protecting towers. To-day but two of these sentinels remain, and it were vainglorious to claim too much for them, particularly since the modern plan of the town makes it look as conventionally dull and uninteresting as an Arab ghourbi in the Atlas, or an adobe village in Arizona.

At Pont-de-Vaux, between Bourg and Louhans,{213} one comes to a trim little town, an outgrowth of the ancient village of Vaux, belonging at one time to the Sires de Baugé, and later to the Duc de Savoie, Charles III, who made it a Comté in 1623. It afterwards grew to the dignity of a Duché, so made by Louis XIII. Much is preserved to-day of the ancient manner of building, and, all in all, it is quite as satisfactory an example of a mediæval town as has been left untouched by the mature hand of progress of these late days.

Nantua is known to the traveller in modern France only as another of those lakeside resorts which are such delightful places of sojourn for those who would avoid for a time the strife of great cities. It is a gem of a town, set in a diadem of beauty which surrounds the tiny lake of the same name, but it has no historic monuments, if we except the tomb of Charles le Chauve in the church. This at least entitles it to a passing comment here, this and the memory of a happy afternoon we passed by the crystal waters of this brilliant lake.

Midway between Bourg and Mâcon is Pont-de-Veyle. This old feudal town was once the particular possession of a brilliant line of seigneurs of France and Savoy, the last, under François I, being the Comte de Furstemburg,{214} who acquired it as a payment for certain levies of Germans that he had furnished the French monarch.

The ancient manor of the Furstemburgs still exists, but it is hardly of a proportion or architectural merit to have distinction. Here, too, are the reconstructed remains of the eighteenth century of a family chateau of the Maréchal de Lesdiguières, whose fortunes were more intimately bound up with Gap and Vizille than with this less accessible property. Like Vizille it has been “put into condition” in recent years, and, while lacking the mossy, romantic air of mediævalism, fulfils most of the demands of the worshipper at historic shrines.

There is still standing here an old city gate dating from the thirteenth century, and this in turn is surmounted by a belfry of the sixteenth. The ensemble suggests that it was once a part of a more noble fortress-chateau. The Maison des Savoyards was probably a princely rest-house when the nobles of its era passed this way. Beyond its name, and the elaborate decorations of its façade, there is nothing else to support the conjecture. Its history, whatever it may have been, is lost in the confusion with which many ancient records are covered to-day.

Turning southwest on the highroad, from{215} Burgundy into Savoy through the heart of Dombes, one soon reaches Châtillon-les-Dombes. As its name indicates, it is a descendant of the town which grew up around an ancient seigneurial residence here of the fourteenth century. Chiefly this is memory only, for the fragmentary débris takes on no distinction to-day beyond that of any other indiscriminate pile of stones and mortar.

Montluel, near-by, is in much the same category. It is famous only for the fact that it was here that Amé VII was presented the Duché de Savoie by Sigismond in 1496, and that in troublous, mediæval days it was the safe haven for many political refugees from Geneva and Florence. Montluel, in Latin Mons Lupelli, was the capital of the fief of Valbonne. The remains existing to-day, and locally called “le chateau,” are those of an edifice which had an existence and a career of sorts in the eleventh century, but which since that date has no recorded history.

To Pont d’Ain and Belley is still on the direct road to Savoy. On the great “route internationale” from Paris to Turin sits the ancient chateau of Pont d’Ain, which owes its name to the old bridge which once spanned the Ain at this point.{216}

On an eminence high above the river is the old chateau built by the Sires de Coligny in 1590, the ancestors of the great admiral. Previously it had been the residence of the rulers of Savoy, and to this luxurious dwelling the princesses of the house invariably came to give birth to the inheritors to the throne. Louise de Savoie, the mother of François Premier, was born here in 1476, and here died Philibert II, Duc de Savoie, in 1504, he whose death gave impetus to the erection of that magnificent mausoleum, the Église de Brou.

Belley, a matter of fifty kilometres further on, is a veritable gateway through which passed the ancient Route de Savoie along which trotted the palfreys and rolled the coaches of Renaissance days.

Lacking entirely mediæval monuments of note, Belley ranks, judging from positive documentary evidence, as one of the most ancient towns of the border province lying between Burgundy and Savoy. Its episcopate dates from the year 412 A.D., and, if its feudal monuments have disappeared, its great episcopal palace of later centuries is certainly entitled to be considered an example of domestic architecture quite as appealing as many a feudal chateau of more warlike aspect.{217}

So strong a centre of the church as Belley was bound to be prominent politically, and its bishops bore as well the title of Princes of the Empire.

Herein has been given an epitome of a round of travel in this forgotten and neglected border country lying between old Burgundy, Switzerland and Savoy. What it lacks in elaborate examples of feudal and Renaissance architecture it makes up for in storied facts of history, which though too extensive to be more than hinted at here are as thrilling and appealing as any chapter of the history of old France. For that reason, and the fact that some acquaintance with these tiny border provinces is necessary for a proper appreciation of the exterior relations of both Burgundy and Savoy, the détour has been made.{218}



DAUPHINY owes its name as a province to the rightful name of the eldest sons of the French kings down to the middle of the nineteenth century. The actual origin of the application of the name seems to have been lost, though the Comtes de Vienne bore a dolphin on their blazon from the eleventh century to the fourteenth, when Comte Humbert, the last Dauphin, made over his rights to the eldest son of Philippe de Valois, who acquired the country in 1343, bestowing it upon his offspring as his patrimony. Thus is logically explained the absorption of the title and its relations with the province, for it was then that it came first to be applied to that glorious mountain region of France lying between the high Alpine valleys and the shores of the Mediterranean.

The Dauphin, Humbert II, first established the Parlement du Dauphiné at Saint Marcellin in 1337, but within three years it was trans{219}ferred to Grenoble, where it held rank as third among the provincial parliaments of France.

Tourelle du Palais de Justice GRENOBLE B. McM. ’08.

Tourelle du Palais de Justice GRENOBLE
B. McM. ’08.

Saint Laurent, the Grenoble suburb, not the mountain town hidden away in the fastness of the mountain massif of Chartreuse, occupies the site of an ancient Gaulish foundation called Cularo. Its name was later changed to Gratianopolis, out of compliment to the Emperor Gratian, which in time evolved itself into Grenoble, the capital of “the good province of our most loyal Dauphin.”

Grenoble’s chief architectural treasure is its present Palais de Justice, the ancient buildings of the old Parliament of Dauphiny and its Cour des Comptes. Virtually it is a chateau of{220} state and is, moreover, the most important monument of the French Renaissance existing in the Rhône valley. Begun under Louis XI, it was terminated under François Premier, when, following upon the Italian wars, it was a place of sojourn for the kings of France.

On entering the portal at the right one comes directly to the Chambre du Tribunal of to-day, its walls panelled with a wonderful series of wood-carvings coming from the ancient Cour des Comptes, the work of a German sculptor, Paul Jude, in 1520.

The portal to the left leads to the Cour d’Appel—the Chambres des Audiences Solennelles—whose ceiling was designed in 1660 by Jean Lepautre, a great decorative artist of the court of Louis XIV, and carved by one Guillebaud, a native of Grenoble. The ancient chapel, or such of it as remains, where the parliament heard mass, is reached through this room. The ancient Chambre des Comptes dates from the reign of Charles VIII.

The Grande Salle on the upper floor is one of the notable works of its epoch with respect to its decorations, though the noble glass of its numerous windows was destroyed long years ago, leaving behind only a record of its magnificently designed armoiries and inscriptions.{221} The chief, out-of-the-ordinary, decorations still to be observed are the sculptured fronts of thirty-eight cupboard doors which enclose the provincial archives. From an artistic, no less than a utilitarian, point of view, they are certainly to be admired, even preferred, before the “elastic” book cases of to-day.

Much of the old Palais des Dauphins’ former magnificent attributes in the shape of decorative details remain to charm the eye and senses to-day, but of the extensive range of apartments of former times only a bare three or four suggest by their groinings, carvings and chimney-pieces the splendour with which the elder sons of the kings of France were wont to surround themselves.

A remarkably successful work of restoration of the façade was accomplished within a dozen years on the model of the best of Renaissance details in other parts of the edifice, until to-day the whole presents a most effective ensemble.

In Grenoble’s museum is a room devoted to portraits of the good and great of Dauphiny. There are a dozen busts in marble of as many Dauphins, a portrait of Marie Vignon, the wife of Lesdiguières, and a crayon sketch of Bayard, which is the earliest portrait of the “Chevalier” extant. In the Église Saint Andre is the{222} tomb of Bayard. The funeral monument surmounting it was erected only in the seventeenth century. The official chapel of the Dauphins has a great rectangular clocher remaining to suggest its former proportions. This fine tower is surmounted by an octagonal upper story and is flanked at each corner with a clocheton rising hardily into the rarefied atmosphere. The grim tower braves the tempests of winter to-day as it has since 1230.

Grenoble’s Hôtel des Trois Dauphins is an historic monument as replete with interest as many of more splendour. It was here that Napoleon lodged, with General Bertrand, on the night when he passed through the city on that eventful return from Elba when he sought to kindle the European war-flame anew.

Grenoble’s sole vestige of ancient castle or chateau architecture, aside from the temporary royal abode of the French kings and the Dauphins, is a round tower—La Grosse Tour Ronde—now built into the Hôtel de Ville, the only existing relic of a still earlier Palais des Dauphins which in its time stood upon the site of the ancient Roman remains of a structure built in the days of Diocletian.

Grenoble’s citadel possesses to-day only a square tower with machicoulis to give it the dis{223}tinction of a militant spirit. It was built in 1409, but to-day has been reduced to a mere barrack’s accessory of not the slightest military strength, a “colombier militaire,” the authorities themselves cynically call it.

Vauban’s ancient ramparts have now been turned into a series of those tree-planted promenades so common in France, but the militant aspect of Grenoble is not allowed to be lost sight of, as a mere glance of the eye upward to the hillsides and mountain crests roundabout plainly indicates.

Grenoble, with its fort-crowned hill of “La Bastille,” has been called the Ehrenbreitstein of the Isère, a river which has played a momentous part in the history of Savoy and Dauphiny, but which is little known or recognized by those who follow the main lines of French travel.

Mont Rachet forms the underpinning of “La Bastille” and gives a foothold to an old feudal fortress now built around by a more modern work. Below is the juncture of the Isère and the Drac, and the great plain in the midst of which rests the proud old capital of the Dauphins. The site is truly remarkable and the strategic importance of the fortress was well enough made use of in mediæval times as a{224} feudal stronghold. What its value for military purposes may actually be to-day is another story. The walls of the fortress certainly look grim enough, but it is probable that even the puniest of Alpine mountain batteries could reduce it in short order.



Grenoble, as might be expected of a wealthy provincial capital, is surrounded by a near-by battery of palatial country houses which may well take rank as chateaux de marque. Some are modern and some are remodelled from more ancient foundations, but all are of the imposing order which one associates with a mountain retreat. These of course are of a class quite distinct from the countless forts, fortresses, towers and donjons with which the whole countryside is strewn.

Uriage, a near neighbour, is a popular resort in little, in fact, a ville d’eau, as the French aptly name such places. The Chateau d’Uriage will for most folk have vastly more sympathetic interest than the semi-invalid attractions of the spa itself. It is at present the property of the Saint Ferreol family, and though not strictly to be reckoned as a sight, since it is not open to the public, it still remains one of the most striking residential chateaux of these parts. It was built by the Seigneurs d’Allemon under{225} the old régime. Its architecture is frankly of the nondescript order, a mélange of much that is good and some that is bad, but all of it effective when judged from a more or less distant view-point. With respect to its details it is a livid mass of non-contemporary elements to which the purist would give scant consideration, but the effect, always the most desirable quality after all, is undeniably satisfying. The situation heightens this effect, no doubt, but what would you? The high sloped roof, in place of the mansards one usually sees, may be considered an innovation in a structure of its epoch. It was so built, without question, that it might better shed the snows of winter, which here come early and stay late.

The Chateau de Vizille, in a wooded park bordering upon the little industrial suburb of Grenoble bearing the same name, is a most imposing pile, and is fairly reminiscent of its eighteenth century contemporaries in Touraine and elsewhere in mid-France. It was the place of meeting of the États Généraux of Dauphiny in 1788, one of the momentous preambles to the French Revolution, a chapter of the great drama which was vigorously spoken and acted.

It was on July 21, 1788, under the presidency of the Comte de Marges, that were voted the{226} preliminary paragraphs of the famous “Declaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen.” The occasion is perpetuated in memory by a monument erected in the town to “La Gloire de l’Assemblée de Vizille ... et prepare la Revolution Française.”



This was the first parliamentary vote against the sustaining of aristocratic hereditary government in favour of popular representation—really the general signal for revolution, a year before the convention at Versailles.

The massive pile, ornate but not burdensome, with its mansards, its towers and terraces, composes with its environment in a most agreeable manner.

Known originally as the Chateau des Lesdiguières, for it was built originally by that celebrated Constable, Vice-Roi du Dauphiné, the Chateau de Vizille was formerly the property of the family of Casimir Perier, that which gave a president to the later Republic.

In the early part of the seventeenth century a German traveller, Abraham Goelnitz, “greatly admired” the chateau, and compared it to that of the Duc d’Epernon at Cadillac, which contained seventy rooms. That of the Maréchal Lesdiguières had a hundred and twenty-five, among them (at that time) a pic{227}ture gallery, an arsenal with six hundred suits of armour, two thousand pikes and ten thousand muskets, as the inventory read. No wonder Richelieu would have reduced the power of the local seigneurs when they could get, and keep together, such a store as that.

Vizille abounds in historical memories the most exciting; the very fact that it was the home of Lesdiguières, the terrible companion of the Baron des Adrets—a Dauphinese tyrant, a warrior-pillager and much more that history vouches for—explains this.

Viendrez ou je brulerai,” Lesdiguières wrote to the recalcitrant vassals of his king who originally had a castle on the same site. And when they stepped out, leaving the edifice unharmed, he stepped in and threw it to the ground and built the less militant chateau which one sees to-day. This edifice as it now stands was practically the work of Lesdiguières. The Protestant governor of Dauphiny was reckoned a “sly fox” by the Duc de Savoie, and doubtless with reason. It is a recorded fact of history that the governor built his chateau with the unpaid labour of the neighbouring peasants. This was in conformity with an old custom by which a governor of the Crown could release his subject from taxes by the payment{228} of a corvée, that is, labour for the State. He took it to mean that as the representative of the state the peasants were bound to work for him. And so they did. The charge goes home nevertheless that it was a case of official sinning.

This “Berceau de la Liberté” is in form an elegant pavilion of the style current with Louis XIII. Originally it possessed certain decorative features, statues and bas reliefs, all more or less mutilated to-day. What is left gives an aspect of magnificence, but after all these features are of no very high artistic order. Within, the decoration of the apartments and their furnishings rise to a considerably higher plane. Everywhere may be seen the arms of the Constable, three roses and a lion, the latter rampant, naturally, as becomes the device of a warrior.

The later career of the Chateau de Vizille has been most ignoble. Twice in the last century it suffered by fire, in 1825 and 1865, and finally it was rented as a store-house for a manufacturing concern, later to become a boarding house controlled by a Société Anglaise. Nothing good came of the last project and the enterprise failed, as might have been anticipated at the commencement. To-day the property is on the market, or was until very recently.{229}



ONE comes to Chambéry to see the chateau of the Ducs de Savoie, the modest villa “Les Charmettes,” celebrated by the sojourn of Jean Jacques Rousseau and Madame de Warens, and the Fontaine des Elephants. That is all Chambéry has for those who would worship at picturesque or romantic shrines, save its accessibility to all Savoy.

To begin with the last mentioned attraction first, one may dispose of the Fontaine des Elephants in a word. It has absolutely no artistic or sentimental appeal, though the town residents worship before it as a Buddhist does before Buddha. The ducal splendour of the chateau and of “La Sainte Chapelle,” which together form the mass commonly referred to as “the chateau,” is indeed the first of Chambéry’s attractions. Restorations of various epochs have made of the fabric something that will stand the changes of the seasons for gener{230}ations yet to come and still preserve its mediæval characteristics. This is saying that the restoration of the Chateau de Chambéry has been intelligently conceived and well executed.

The great portal, preceded by an ornate terrace, with a statue of the Frères de Maistre, is the chief and most splendid architectural detail. A good second is the old portal of the Église Saint Dominique, which has been incorporated into the chateau as has been the Sainte Chapelle. Its chevet and its deep-set windows form the most striking externals of this conglomerate structure.

One of the old towers forms another dominant note when viewed from without, but let no one who climbs to its upper platform for a view of the classic panorama of the city and its surroundings think that he, or she, treads the stones where trod lords and ladies of romantic times, for the stairway is a poor modern thing bolstered up by iron rods, as unlovely as a fire-escape ladder on an apartment house, and no more romantic.

It was in the Chateau de Chambéry that was consummated the final ceremony by which Savoy was made an independent duchy in 1416. Historians of all ranks have described the magnificence of the event in no sparing{231}

Portal of the Chateau de Chambéry

Portal of the Chateau de Chambéry

Portal St. Dominique, Chambéry

Portal St. Dominique, Chambéry


terms. It was the most gorgeous spectacle ever played upon the stage of which this fine old mediæval castle was the theatre.

The final act of the ceremony took place before a throng of princes, prelates and various seigneurs and minor vassals of all the neighbouring kingdoms and principalities. The Emperor Sigismond, Amadée VIII, who was to be the new duke, dined alone upon a raised dais in the Grande Salle, and the service was made by “a richly dressed throng of seigneurs mounted on brilliantly caparisoned chargers.” This is quoted from a historical chronicle, which however neglects to state the quality of the service. It is quite possible that it may not have been above reproach.

Here, a couple of centuries later, another Victor-Amadée married the Princesse Henriette, Duchesse d’Orléans. The bride to be had never met her future husband until they came together at a little village near-by, as she was journeying to the Savoyan castle for the ceremony. Says the chronicle: “When the princess saw the pageant, at the head of which marched Victor-Amadée, the fair young man of distinguished and martial bearing, without a moment’s hesitation, casting to the winds all her previous instruction in matters of etiquette,{233}

Chateau de Chambéry

Chateau de Chambéry

she flew down the stairs and into the street and finally into the arms of the duke.”

The marriage was not, however, a happy one. The duke became disloyal to his vows and left his wife to pine and moan away her days in the ducal chateau whilst he went off campaigning for other hearts and lands. He acquired Sicily, and became the first King of Sicily and Sardinia, and paved the way for the future greatness of his house, but this was not accomplished by adherence to the code of marital constancy.

The Chateau de Chambéry was finally abandoned definitely by the Savoyan dukes, who, when they became also monarchs of Sardinia, took up their residence at Turin. The “beaux jours” had passed never to return. Henceforth its career was to be less brilliant, for it but rarely received even passing visits from its masters. In 1745 it was considerably damaged by fire; in 1775 it was, in a way, furbished up and put in order for the marriage of Charles Emmanuel and Madame Clotilde of France, but again, in 1798, it was ravaged by fire.

From 1793 to 1810 the chateau was the headquarters of the officialdom of the newly formed Département du Mont Blanc, and in 1860 it was used as the Préfecture of the Département de la Savoie. Napoleon III, journeying this way in{234} 1860, decided to make it an imperial residence and certain transformations to that end were undertaken, but it never came to real distinction again, save that it exists as an admirable example of a “monument historique” of the old régime.

It was on the esplanade, beneath the windows of the chateau, that Amadée VI won the title of the Comte Vert, because of the preponderant colours of his arms and costume in a tournament which was held here in 1348.

The third of Chambéry’s classic sights, “Les Charmettes,” is the “delicious habitation” rendered so celebrated by Rousseau. One arrives at “Les Charmettes” by a discreet and shady by-path. It has been preserved quite in its primitive state and is devoid of any pretence whatever. Its charm is idealistic, romantic and intimate. Nothing grandiose has place here. It is a simple two-story, sloping tiled-roof habitation of the countryside. As the “Confessions” puts it, “Les Charmettes” was discovered thus: “Apres avoir un peu cherché nous nous fixâmes au Charmettes ... à la porte de Chambéry, mais retirée et solitaire, comme si l’on en était à cent lieus.

This dwelling where Jean Jacques passed so many of his “rares bons jours” of his{235}

Les Charmettes

75 · McManus


Les Charmettes
75 · McManus

adventurous life has been bought by the city, and will henceforth be guarded as a public monument, a tourist shrine like the Chateau des Ducs and La Grande Chartreuse. Here Madame de{236} Warens will reign again in the effigy of a reproduction of Quentin de la Tour’s famous portrait, possessed of that “air caressant et tendre” and “sourire angelique” which so captured the author of the “Confessions.” Arthur Young, that observant English agriculturalist, who travelled so extensively in France, paid a warm tribute to Rousseau’s good fairy when he wrote: “There was something so amiable in her character that in spite of her frailties her name rests among those few memories connected with us by ties more easily felt than described.”

In one of his stories Alphonse Daudet tells us of a bourgeois who had purchased an old chateau, and was driven away from it by the ghosts of the family which had preceded him as proprietors. Surely something of the same kind might have happened to that citizen of the United States who proposed to transport “Les Charmettes” to Chicago. The offer was declined and that is how the city of Chambéry came to possess it for all time. It is well that this took place, for there is hardly a house in Europe in which one would imagine that the ghosts of history would so persistently survive.

Not only was “Les Charmettes” and Madame de Warens connected so intimately,{237} but they were also associated with another name less known in the world of letters. Hear what the “Confessions” has to say:

“He was a young man from Viaud; his father, named Vintzinried, was a self-styled captain of the Chateau de Chillon on Lac Leman. The son was a hair-dresser’s assistant and was running about the world in that quality when he came to present himself to Madame de Warens, who received him well, as she did all travellers, and especially those from her own country. He was a big, dull blond, well-made enough, his face insipid, his intelligence the same, speaking like a beautiful Leander ... vain, stupid, ignorant, insolent.” For the rest one is referred to the “Confessions.”

Within a radius of fifty kilometres of Chambéry there are more than thirty historic chateaux or fortresses of the middle ages and the Renaissance. Many are in an admirable, if not perfect, state of preservation, and all offer something of historic and artistic interest, though manifestly not all can be included in a rush across France. This fact is patent; that a picturesquely disposed and imposing castle or chateau adds much to the pleasing aspect of a landscape, and here in this land of mountain peaks and smiling valleys the prospect is as{238} varied as one could hope to find. Built often on a mountain slope—and as often on a mountain peak—frequently within sight of one another, the dwellers therein would have been glad of some means of “wireless” communication between their houses, for not always were the seigneurs at war with their neighbours.

Off to the southward, towards Saint Michel de Maurienne, is one of the most conspicuous of these hill-top chateaux. Chignin is still the proud relic of an ancient chateau which is a land-mark for miles around. It has no history worth recounting, but is as much like the conventional Rhine castle of reality and imagination as any to be seen away from the banks of that turgid stream. On a lofty eminence are four great towers to remind one of the more extensive structure to which they were once connected. These ruins, and another rebuilt tower of the old chateau of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, are now practically all devoted to the religious usages of the Chartreux, but in spite of this they present a militant aspect such as one usually associates with things secular.

The round of Lac Bourget, which environs Chambéry on the north, suggests many historic souvenirs of the dukes and the days when they held their court at the Chateau de Chambéry.{239}

Chateau de Chignin

Chateau de Chignin

Between Chambéry and Aix-les-Bains, just beside that wide dusty road along which scorch the twentieth century nouveau riche, who with their villas and gigantic hotels have all but spoiled this idyllic corner of old Europe, rise the walls of the Chateau de Montagny, captured in 1814 by the allied armies marching against France, and which still conserves, embedded in its portal, a great shot, one of a broadside which finally battered in its door. If one would see war-like souvenirs still more barbarous, a cast of the eye off towards Montmélian and Miolans will awaken even more bloody ones. Their story is told elsewhere in these pages.

At Bourget du Lac, a dozen kilometres out, are the ruins of the Chateau de Bourget, within sight of the ancient Lacus Castilion, and a near neighbour of the celebrated Abbey of Hautecombe.

Comte Amé V was born in the Chateau de Bourget in 1249. It had previously belonged to the Seigneur de la Rochette, and during the thirteenth century was occupied continually by the princes of the house of Savoy. As may be judged by all who view, its site was most ravishing, and though one may not even imagine what its architectural display may actually have been it is known that Amé V bestowed{240} much care and wealth upon it when he came to man’s estate. A pupil of Giotto’s was brought from Italy to superintend the decorations, and evidences have been found in the ruined tower at the right of the present heap of ruins which suggest some of the decorative splendour which the building one day possessed. In spite of its fragmentary condition the ruin of the Chateau de Bourget is one of the most romantically disposed souvenirs of its era in Savoy, and one may well echo the words of a local poet who has praised it with all sincerity.

O lac, te souvient-il ... des beaux jours du vieux castel.

The chronicles, too, have much to say of the brilliant succession of seigneurs who came to visit the Comtes de Savoie here in their wildwood retreat, “a line of counts as noble, rich and powerful as sovereigns of kingdoms.”

The sepulchre of the Savoyan counts in the old Abbey of Hautecombe must naturally form a part of any pilgrimage to the neighbouring chateau. For no reason whatever can it be neglected by the visitor to these parts, the less so by the chateau-worshipper just because it is a religious foundation. It is in fact the mausoleum of the princes of the house of Savoy. Within its walls are buried various members{241}

Abbey of Hautecombe

Abbey of Hautecombe

of the dynasty who would have made of it the Valhalla of their time.

Il est un coin de terre, au pied d’une montagne
Que baigne le lac du Bourget
. . . . . . . . . .
Hautecombe! port calme! O royal monastere!
Abri des fils de Saint Bernard.

At the extreme northerly end of the Lac du Bourget is the ancient Manoir de Châtillon, sitting high on an isolated and wooded hillside above the gently lapping waters, and in full view of the snow-capped mountains of the Alpine chain to the eastward.

Here was born, towards the end of the twelfth century, Geoffroi de Châtillon, son of Jean de Châtillon and Cassandra Cribelli, sister of Pope Urban III. In every way the edifice is an ideally picturesque one, as much so because of its site and its historical foundation. As an architectural glory it is a mélange of many sorts, with scarce a definite æsthetic attribute. It is as an historical guide-post that it appears in its best light. Its chief deity, Geoffroi, became a canon and chancellor of the chapter at Milan; later he entered the religious retreat of Hautecombe, from which Gregory IX finally drew him forth to make him a cardinal-bishop.{242} He ultimately succeeded to the pontifical robes and tiara himself as Celestin IV (1241). He died eighteen days later, poisoned, it is said, so his reign at the head of Christendom was perhaps the briefest on record.

Bordeau, another ruined memory of mediævalism, also overlooks the Lac du Bourget from near-by.

Aix-les-Bains is of course the lode-stone which draws the majority of travellers to this corner of the world. It is but a city of pleasure, a modern “Spa,” the outgrowth of another of Roman times when they took “cures” more seriously. It has the reputation to-day, among those who are really in the whirl of things, as being the gayest, if not the most profligate—and there is some suspicion of that—watering place in Europe. Judging from prices alone, and admitting the disposition or willingness of those who would be gay to pay high prices without a murmur, this is probably so.

The site of Aix-les-Bains is lovely, and its waters really beneficial—so the doctors say, and probably with truth. Its Casino is only second to that of Monte Carlo.

The chief charm of Aix-les-Bains after all is, or ought to be, its accessibility to the historic masterpieces roundabout, and its delightful sit{243}uation by the shores of the “lac bleu” whose praises were so loudly sung by Lamartine in “Raphael.”

North from Chambéry and east from Aix-les-Bains, is a mountain region known as Les Bauges, a little known and less exploited region. It is a charming isolated corner of Savoy, where once roamed the gorgeous equipages of the Ducs de Savoie, who here hunted the wild boar, the deer and the bears and foxes to their hearts’ content. To-day pretty much all game of this nature has disappeared, save an occasional sanglier, or wild boar, which, when met with, usually turns tail and runs.

Midway in this mountain land between Aix-les-Bains and Albertville is Le Chatelard, a tiny townlet on the banks of a mountain torrent, the Chéran. On a hill above the town, at a height of nearly three thousand feet above the sea level, are the insignificant remains of the chateau of Thomas de Savoie. Scant remains they are to be sure, endowed with a history as scant, since little written word is to be met with concerning them.

Otherwise the chateau is a very satisfactory historical monument.

After climbing a tortuous winding path one comes suddenly upon a great walled barrier{244} through which opens a door on which is to be read:


The last line is delicious. Of course one would close the doors after the mere intimation that it was desired that they should be closed. The proprietor says that he demands it, but he takes no measures to see that his demands are carried out. What pretence! All the same the pilgrimage is worth the making, but it’s not an easy jaunt.{245}



ONE may leave Rousseau’s smiling valley above Chambéry and journey to Grenoble via La Grande Chartreuse, or by the valley of the Isère, as fancy dictates. In either case one should double back and cover the other route or much will otherwise be missed that will be regretted.

Grenoble is militant from heel to toe. Its garrison is of vast numbers, soldiers of all ranks and all arms are everywhere, and every hill round-about bristles with a fortification or a battery of masked guns.

Every foot of the region is historic ground, and whether one crosses from Savoy to Dauphiny or from Dauphiny to Savoy the borderland is at all times reminiscent of the historic past.

The cradle of the Dauphin princes of France is not only a region of mountains and valleys, but it is a land where a numerous and warlike{246} nobility was able to withstand invaders and oppressors to the last. Like Scotland, Dauphiny was never conquered; at least it lost no measure of its original independence by its alliances until it was cut up into the present-day departments of modern France.

Dauphiny is possessed of multiple aspects. It has the sun-burnt character of Provence in the south, with Montelimar and Grignan as its chief centres; it has its coteaux and falaises, like those of Normandy, around Crest and Die; and its “Petite Hollande” neighbouring upon Tour-de-Pin where the Dauphins once had a gem of a little rest-house which still exists to-day. The mountains of Dauphiny rival the Alps of Switzerland—the famous Barre des Écrins is only a shade less dominant than Mont Blanc itself.

The chief singer of the praises of Dauphiny has ever been Lamartine. No one has pictured its varied aspects better.

“L’œil embrasse au matin l’horizon qu’il domine
Et regarde, à travers les branches de noyer,
Les eaux bleuir au loin et la plaine ondoyer.
. . . . . . . . . .
On voit à mille pieds au dessous de leurs branches
La grande plaine bleue avec ses routes blanches
Les moissons jaunes d’or, les bois comme un point noir,
L’Isère renvoyant le ciel comme un miroir.”


Maison des Dauphins, Tour-de-Pin

Maison des Dauphins, Tour-de-Pin

The very topographical aspect of Dauphiny has bespoken romance and chivalry at all times. The mass of La Grande Chartreuse was dedicated to religious devotion, but those of other mountain chains, and the plains and valleys lying between, were strewn with castle towers and donjons almost to the total exclusion of church spires.

Coming south from Chambéry by the valley of the Graisivaudan, by the side of the rushing waters of the Isère hurrying on its way to join the greater Rhône at Valence, the point of view is manifestly one which suggests feudalism in all its militant glory, rather than the recognition of the fact that it is overshadowed by the height of La Grande Chartreuse, whose influences were wholly dissimilar.

It was the valley of Graisivaudan that Louis XII rather impulsively called the most beautiful garden of France: “charmé par la divinité de ses plantements et les tours en serpentant qu’y fait la rivière Isère.”

Stendhal, too, compared it to the finest valleys of Piedmont. One may differ, but it is a very beautiful prospect indeed which opens out from Barraux or Pontcharra, midway between Grenoble and Chambéry.

Near Pontcharra is the Chateau Bayard,{248} where was born and lived the famous “Chevalier, sans peur et sans reproche.” As an historic monument of rank its position is pre-eminent, though not much can be said of its architectural pretence. Still here it is, on the route from Grenoble to Gap by the famous Col. Bayard, also celebrated in history, almost as much so as the famous Breche de Roland in the Pyrenees.



It was through this cleft in the mountain that Napoleon marched on that eventful journey from Golfe Jouan to Paris in the attempt to rise again to power. It was not far from the crest, the pass between the two principal valleys of the French Alps, that Napoleon made the first important additions to the few followers who had gathered around him on his doubtful journey. The troops sent out from Grenoble opposed his progress, whereupon he advanced towards them, bareheaded and alone, and demanded to know if they, his former fellows in arms, would kill their leader. Not one of them would fire, though the order was actually given. With one common inspiration they went over to him en masse, with the classic cry of “Vive l’Empereur!” and continued their way towards the capital, where, just before Grenoble, they were also joined by the forces{249} of Labedoyère, with their colonel at their head, sent out to stop them.

On the shores of the Grand Lac de Laffrey, as the marvellous mountain road swings by on its corniche, one notes a marble tablet on which is carven the following words, which are quite worth copying down. No further explanatory inscription is to be seen, simply the words:

Soldats! Je suis votre Empereur. Ne me reconnaissez vous pas! S’il en est un parmi vous qui veuille tuer son general, me voila!” (7 Mars 1815.)

In spite of the significance of the words the driver of a cart going the same way as ourselves professed an utter ignorance of their meaning. Passing strange, this, but true! Is it for this that history is written?

The ruins of the Chateau de Bayard sit imposingly on a height commanding a wide-spread panorama of the valley below, and the distant barrier of mountain peaks on every side. The walls and turrets are mouldering to-day, as they have been for generations, but local historians and antiquarians have on more than one occasion written of the rooms and gardens where strolled and played the youthful warrior, and acquired the principles which afterwards led to so great a fame.{250}

Of the ancient chateau of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, where (1476-1524) was born the Chevalier Bayard, but a crumbling portal and tower remain sufficiently well preserved to suggest the dignity it once had. They attach themselves to two minor structures, one of which was probably the chapel, and the other, perhaps, the Salle des Gardes. Within the walls which enclose the latter are also the apartments which were occupied by the warrior-knight in his youth, doubtless the same as that in which his mother, Helene Alleman, gave him birth. The guardian claims all this, and, since this is what you come to see, you accept the assertion gratefully, though history itself vouches for nothing so precise.

A bridge which crosses the river Breda at this point has on its parapet an equestrian statue representing the infant Bayard. The “bon chevalier” was descended from a local lord who bore the name of Bayart, but some careless chronicler changed the final consonant of Aymon Terrail’s title (Seigneur de Bayart), and the name of his better known progeny has thus gone to history.

The family was of antique extraction; “of a noble and antique chivalry,” as one learns from the old historians of Dauphiny. “The{251} prowess of a Terrail” has passed into a local proverb. So the infant Terrail who was to become the future Bayard came to his glorious calling by good right. At the age of six or seven the young Terrail went to live with his uncle, Bishop of Grenoble, but at twelve returned to the paternal chateau, where his inclinations became the “plus belliqueuses,” whereas, before, his infant predilections were of a studious kind. Henceforth he was for war, and he came rightly enough by his liking, for one of his ancestors, Philippe Terrail, died gloriously at Poitiers, another at Crécy, another at Verneuil and another, already known as “Épée Terrail” to the English, died at the side of Louis XI.

Young Pierre was asked by his father (1487) what profession he would adopt, and it was then that he replied that the war spirit was bred in him and that he would never renounce it. His uncle, the bishop, presented him to the Duc Charles de Savoie, who was holding court at the moment at Chambéry, and by his mere riding up on his horse before the duke, he was immediately accepted as a page of his suite.

Opposite Pontcharra, on the opposite bank of the Isère, is the comparatively modern Fort Barraux, which looks far more ideally pictur{252}esque than the historic castle of the Bayards. History has not been silent with regard to the fortifying of these mountain peaks of Dauphiny and Savoy. The fortress was first built on this site by Charles Emmanuel, Duc de Savoie, though an opposing army was drawn up before him under the command of the celebrated Connetable Lesdiguières. Being reproved by his king, Henri IV, for his dilatoriness in allowing the enemy to so entrench itself whilst he and his men stood idly by, the Connetable sagaciously and brilliantly replied, “Your Majesty has need of a fortress on the Savoyan side to hold in check that of Montmélian, and since Charles Emmanuel has been good enough to commence the building of one, let us wait until it is finished.” The wait was not long, and the completed fortress, after a very slight struggle, came to the French king.

The remarkable feudal Chateau de Rochefort-en-Montagne, above Pontcharra, is a ruin scarcely equalled, as a ruin, by any other above ground to-day. It has a majestic sadness and appeal, crumbled and dishonoured though it is.

To paint the picture one must hold the brush himself. Little satisfaction can be got from the contemplation of another’s sketch of this noble{253} ruin. Grand and imposing it is, however, though but a mere echo of the splendid edifices of the Renaissance in the Loire valley, and yet its firm, flat ground plan, its massive portal and its massive round tower are all reminiscent of the best of the Renaissance castle builder’s art. The point should be recognized nevertheless that it is of the mountain and not of the plain. This will account for many of its vagaries of detail as compared with the more familiar chateaux of the Loire.

The surroundings are varied and beautiful, and the grim gaunt drabness of the proud old walls give at once a note of melancholy memory which sounds perhaps the stronger because this fine old feudal monument is but a shell as compared contrastingly with the better preserved examples of its era to be seen in mid-France.

The property belongs to-day to the Rochefort-Lucay family, of which Henri Rochefort, the publicist, is best known. It is not, however, habitable in any sense, but it could be made so with a more reasonable expenditure than one usually puts into a great country house, so let us hope that its fortunes will some day come into their own again.

Just below Grenoble are Sassenage and Saint{254} Donat, quite unknown and unworshipped. They deserve a better fame. Sassenage, but six kilometres from Grenoble, is what the French call “propre, riant” and “aise.” It is all this, as a round of a fortnight’s excursions in different directions, in and out of Grenoble, proved to us. There is nothing else quite in its class, and its chateau is a wonderfully chiselled sermon in stone, as its portal and façade demonstrate readily enough to the most casual observer. A most curious emblem is here to be noted. It is worthy of being added to those carved porcupines and salamanders of Louis XII and François Premier. In this case it is a mythological, or traditional, figure, half woman and half snake, and possessed of two tails. It is a most unpleasant architectural decoration and perpetuates the mythical character of a local legend. One is glad to know that it is not an emblem personal to the family of the present owner.

Some kilometres to the south is the Tour Sans Venin, one of the ancient wonders of Dauphiny, though it is little more than a single flank of wall to-day. The natives, skeptical when they first heard the tale of Roland the Paladin, built the edifice of which this wall formed a part, and built it of wonderful stone,{255}

La Tour Sans Venin

La Tour Sans Venin


or earth, warranted to chase away reptiles and vermin. Imagination, no doubt, played its part, but one can readily enough accept the properties as desirable ones for a building material to possess.

Saint Donat, still further down the valley, has hardly a memory for one save that he remembers having heard of it in connection with the rather merry life of Diane de Poitiers. To-day it is nothing but a no-account little Dauphinese village. It is not even a railway junction. It has however an old mill built up out of an old rendez-vous de chasse where the fickle Diane had more than one escapade. Like many another old ruin of Dauphiny the Chateau de Saint Donat is reminiscent of the local manner of building. It is nothing luxurious, but massive, and, withal, a seemingly efficient stronghold for the time in which it was built, or would have been had it ever been called upon to serve its purpose to the full. It seems a fatal destiny that a chateau should be no longer a chateau, for here in Dauphiny no inconsiderable number of mediæval dwellings of this class have been turned into factories of one sort or another. Here in the salles and chambres, as the apartments are still named on the spot, are machines and workmen spinning silk and weaving ribbons{257} for the great Paris department stores. The Chambre de Diane, however, is still preserved as a show-place in much the same manner in which it was originally conceived. It is a circular apartment, rather daringly attached to the main building. A sort of alcove, or addition, is built out into the open still further, and one only reaches it by three steps up from the floor. Three secret doors separate the sleeping apartment itself from the connecting corridor. If there is anything of the sentiment of the enchanting huntress Diane hanging about the apartment to-day one quite forgets it by reason of its being drowned out by the noise of the whirring mill-wheels below.

The twentieth century is far from the time when romance dwelt in purling brooks or stalked through marble halls. “Other days, other ways” is a trite saying which applies as well to chateaux as other things. To-day, in Dauphiny in particular, a purling brook or a mountain torrent is more valued for its “force motrice” than for any other virtues, and a chateau that can be readily transformed into a silk-mill is a better business proposition than would be its value as a ruin. This is the practical, if sad, point of view.

There are no coal mines in Dauphiny, but the{258} houille blanche, as the French call water-power, is a product highly valued. Sentiment and romance are apt to be little valued in comparison.{259}



THE immediate environs of the Lac du Bourget, the Lac d’Annecy and the French shores of Lac Leman,—more popularly known to the world of tourism as the Lake of Geneva—offer a succession of picturesque sights and scenes, presented always with a historic accompaniment that few who have come within the spell of their charms will ever forget.

It is not that these Savoyan lakes are more beautiful than any others; it is not that they are grander; nor is it that they are particularly “unspoiled,” considering them from a certain point of view, for in the season they are very much visited by the French themselves and loved accordingly. The charm which makes them so attractive lies in the blend of the historic past with the modernity of the twentieth century. The mélange is less offensive here than in most other places, and their contrasting of the old and the new, the historic and the romantic,{260} with the modern ways and means of travel and accessibility, gives this mountain lakeland an unusual appeal.



On almost every side are the modern appointments of great hotels; there are “good roads” everywhere for the automobilist, and the main lines of railway crossing France to Italy give an accessibility and comfortable manner of approach which is not excelled by the region of the Swiss and Italian lakes themselves.

Annecy, the metropolis of these parts, has an old chateau that is much better conserved than that of Chambéry so far as the presentation of it as a whole is concerned. It is more nearly a perfect unit, and less of a conglomerate restoration than the former.

The Chateau d’Annecy was the ancient residence of the Comtes de Genevois, but in 1401 the seigniory passed to the house of Savoy. Robert de Geneve, known to ecclesiastical history as Pope Clement VII, the first of the Avignon Popes, was born here in 1342.

The military history of the Chateau d’Annecy is intimately bound up with that of the town because of the fact that as a matter of protection the first settlement grouped itself confidingly around the walls which sheltered the seigneurial presence. Populace and the guar{261}dians of the chateau together were thus enabled to throw off the troops which turned back on Annecy after the defeat at Conflans in 1537, but no resistance whatever was made to Henri IV and his followers, who entered without a blow being dealt, and “found the inhabitants agreeable and warm of welcome.” This was perhaps a matter of mood; it might not have so happened the day before or the day after, but their cordiality was certainly to the credit of all concerned from a humane point of view, whatever devotees of the war-game may think.

In 1630 Comte Louis de Sales commanded the chateau when the Maréchal de Chatillon marched against it. The besieged made a stiff fight and only capitulated after being able to make such terms as practically turned defeat into victory. On the morrow the Comte de Sales escorted his troops to the Chateau de Conflans, “with all the honours of war.”

After a brilliant career of centuries the ancient residence of the Comtes de Genevois, and the Princes de Savoie-Nemours who came after, has become a barracks for a battalion of Chasseurs Alpins. Fortunately for the æsthetic proprieties, it has lost nothing of its seigneurial aspect of old as have so many of its contemporaries when put to a similar use.{262}

Really, Annecy’s chateau, its well lined walls, its ramparts and towers, and above all, its situation, close to the water’s edge, where the ensemble of its fabric mingles so well with artistically disposed foreground, has an appeal possessed by but few structures of its class.

If one would see the town and lake of Annecy at their best they should be viewed of a September afternoon, when the oblique rays of the autumn sun first begin to gild the heavy square towers of the ancient chateau of the Ducs de Nemours. Behind rise the roofs and spires of the town set off with the reddish golden leaves of the chestnuts of La Puya. All is a blend of the warm colouring of the southland with the sterner, more angular outlines of the north. The contrasting effect is to be remarked. To the left, regarding the town from the water’s edge, or better yet from a boat upon the lake, rises the Villa de la Tour, where died Eugene Sue; and farther away the Grange du Hameau de Chavoires, where lingered for a time Jean Jacques Rousseau. All around, through the chestnut woods, are scattered glistening villas and manoirs and granges, with, away off in the distance, the towering walls of the feudal Chateau de Saint Bernard.

Another marvellous silhouette to be had from{263} the bosom of the lake is midway along the western shore, where the ramparts of Tournette and the crenelated walls of the Dents du Lanfont and Charbonne are, after midday, lighted up as with yellow fire. The brown and yellow roof and façade of an old Benedictine convent, now become a hotel, rise above the verdure of the foreshore, and the whole is as tranquil as if the twentieth century were yet to be born.

On the opposite shore of the lake is the Chateau de Duingt, with its white towers piercing the sky in quite the idyllic manner.

The Chateau de Duingt is a pretentious country residence belonging to the Genevois family which in the seventeenth century gave a bishop to the neighbourhood, a bishop, it is true, who was excommunicated and shorn of all his rights by the Comte de Savoie, Amadée V, but a bishop nevertheless.

The environs of the Lac d’Annecy have ever been a retreat for litterateurs and artist folk. Ernest Renan lodged here in the hôtellerie of the famous Abbey, where he occupied a chambre de prieur. José-Maria Héredia came here in company with Taine; Ferdinand Fabre passed many months here in an isolated little house on the very shores of the lake; Albert Besnard, the painter, has recently built a studio here,{264} and a quaint and altogether charming villa; Paul Chabas, too, has resorted hither recently for the same purpose, and indeed scores have found out this accessible but tranquil little corner of Savoy. Another Parisian, a Monsieur Noblemaire, has acquired the picturesque Savoyard Manoir de Thoron, built sometime during the seventeenth century, and lives indeed the life of a noble under the old régime amid the very same luxuriant and agreeable surroundings.

Faverges, at the lower end of the Lac d’Annecy, backed up by the sombre Forêt de Doussard, and in plain view of the snowy top of Mont Blanc off to the eastward, is at once a ville industrielle and a reminiscent old feudal town. Its interest is the more entrancing because of the contrasting elements which go to make up its architectural aspect and the life of its present day inhabitants. A mediæval chateau elbows a modern silk factory, and the idle gossip of the workers as they take their little walks abroad on the little Place blends strangely enough with the amorous escapades of Henri IV which still live in local legend.

On the road from Faverges to Thone, by the switch-back mountain road, following the valley of the Fier, is the Manoir de la Tour, where{265} on a fine mid-summer morning in 1730 Jean Jacques Rousseau climbed a cherry tree and bombarded the coquettish Mademoiselle Graffeny and Mademoiselle Galley with the rich, ripe—not overripe—fruit. We know this because Jean Jacques himself said so, and for that reason this little human note makes a pilgrimage hither the pleasurable occupation that it is. The fine old manor is still intact. But the cherry tree? No one knows. May be it was a mythical cherry tree like that of the George Washington legend. In spite of this the guardian will show visitors many cherry trees, and one may take his choice.

Lac Leman is commonly thought a Swiss lake, as is Mont Blanc usually referred to as a Swiss mountain—which it isn’t. A good third of the shore line of Lac Leman is French—“Leman Français,” it is called.

Practically the whole southern, or French, shore of the Lake of Geneva—or Lake Leman, as we had best think of it since it is thus known to European geographers—is replete with a fascinating appeal which the Swiss shore entirely lacks. It is difficult to explain this, but it is a fact.

The region literally bristles with old castle walls and donjons, though their histories have{266} not in every instance been preserved, nor have they always been so momentous as to have impressed themselves vividly in the minds of the general reader or the conventional traveller. Perhaps they are all the more charming for that. The writer thinks they are.

Mont Blanc dominates the entire region on the east, and may be considered the good genius of Savoy and Upper Dauphiny, as it is of French-speaking Switzerland and the high Alpine valleys of Italy.

The French shore of Lac Leman, the Département of Haute-Savoie, is cut off from Geneva by the neutral Pays de Gex, and from Switzerland on the east by the torrent of the Morge, just beyond Saint Gingolph. For fifty-two kilometres stretches this French shore, or the “Côte de la Savoie” as the Swiss call it, and its whole extent is as romantic and fair a land as it is possible to conceive.

One may come from Geneva by boat; that indeed is the ideal way to make one’s entrance to Haute Savoie, unless one rolls in over the superb roads comfortably ensconced on the soft cushions of a luxurious automobile, a procedure which is commonly thought to be unromantic, but which, it is the belief of the writer, is the only way of knowing well the highways and{267} byways of a beloved land, always excepting, of course, the ideal method of walking. Not many will undertake the latter, least of all the stranger tourist, who, perforce, is hurried on his way by insistent conditions over which he really has but little control. Walking tours have been made with pleasure and profit in Switzerland before now; the suggestion is made that the thing be attempted on the “Côte de la Savoie” sometime and see what happens.

One should leave the Geneva boat at Hermance, the last Swiss station on the west. After that, one is on French soil. Touges is a simple landing place, but rising high above the greenswarded banks are the donjon and imposing gables of the Chateau de Beauregard belonging to the Marquis Leon Costa. It is in a perfect state of conservation. It was here that was born, in 1752, Marquis Joseph Costa, a celebrated historian, whose fame rests principally on a work entitled “Comment l’Education des Femmes Peut-elle Rendre les Hommes Meilleurs?” This is considered an all-absorbing question even to-day.

At Nernier is a charming souvenir of Lamartine. It was here he lodged in 1815, in a humble thatched cottage—one of the few in France, one fancies, as they are seldom seen—{268}at a franc a day, “la table et le couvert compris.” There are some artists and literary folk living cheaply in France to-day, but the pension is not nearly as bon marché as that.

A little farther on, beyond the green hillside of Boisy, is the tiny Savoyan city of Yvoire, with a great square mass of an old chateau, now moss-grown and more or less crumbled with age.

Near-by are Excevenex, Sciez and the magnificently environed Chateau de Coudrée, surrounded by a leafy park, a veritable royal domain in aspect.

Back a few kilometres from the shore of the lake is Douvaine, about midway between Geneva and Thonon. Here is the ancient Chateau de Troches, on the very limits of the Comté de Genevois, to the seigneurs of which house it formerly belonged. It served many times as the meeting place of the Princes of Savoy, and has been frequently cited in the historical chronicles.

In 1682 Victor Amadée II made Troches and Douvaine a barony in favour of François Marie Antoine Passerat, whose family were originally of Lucca in Italy. The descendants of the same family have held the property until very recent times, perhaps hold it to-day.{269}

Throughout this region of the Chablais, as it is known, on towards Thonon, and beyond, are numerous well preserved chateaux (chateaux debout the French appropriately call them in distinction to the ruined chateaux which abound in even greater numbers), and others, here and there arising a crumbled wall or tower above the dense foliage of the hillsides round about. Certain of these old manors and chateaux of the Genevois, the Chablais and Faucigny have, in recent years, after centuries of comparative ruin, taken on new life as country houses and “villas” of commoners—as sad a fall for a proud chateau as to become a barracks or a poorhouse if the transformations have not been undertaken in good taste. Still others remain at least as undefiled memories of the chateaux orgueilleux of other days. A remodelled, restored chateau of the middle ages may be sympathetic and appealing, but the work must be well done and all art nouveau instincts suppressed.

There are other examples which have been allowed to tumble to actual ruin, mere heaps of stones without form or outline, and others, like Allinges, La Rochette, De la Roche and Faucigny, possessing only a crumbling tower perched upon a height which dominates the{270} valley and the plain below and tell only the story of their former greatness by suggestion. Chiefly however these can be classed as nothing more pretentious than ruins.

Thonon-les-Bains, midway along the extent of the French shore, is renowned as a “ville d’eau.” In all ways it quite rivals many of the Swiss stations on the opposite shore. It sits high on a sheaf of rock, the first buttresses of the Alps, and enjoys a wide-spread view extending to the other shore, and beyond to the Swiss Jura and the Bernese Oberland.

A dainty esplanade shaded with lindens is the chief thoroughfare and centre of life of this attractive little lakeside resort. Here once stood an old chateau of the Ducs de Savoie. The court frequently repaired thither because of the purity of the air and the altogether delightful surroundings. It was one of the later line of dukes who exploited the mineral springs which have given Thonon its latter-day renown.

Back of Thonon rises a curiously disposed table-land known as the Colline des Allinges. It alternates bare rock with a heather-like vegetation in a colouring as wonderful as any artist’s palette could conceive. The ruins of two fortress-chateaux crown the height of the plateau, one coming down from a period of great{271} antiquity, whilst the other is of more recent date, with a well preserved portal and a drawbridge. Within the precincts of this latter are still to be seen the ruins of a chapel rich in memories of Saint François-de-Sales, who spent a considerable part of his apostleship here in the Chablais. To-day, the old chateau and its chapel are a place of pious pilgrimage, but with the piety left out it is the chief and most popular excursion for mere sight-seers coming out from Thonon. This mere fact does not, however, detract from its historic, religious and romantic significance, so let no one omit it for that reason.

The Chateau de Ripaille, beyond Thonon towards Évian, is a grander shrine by far. It was the retreat of a Duc de Savoie who was finally withdrawn from his hiding place that he might be crowned with the papal tiara. The incident is historically authenticated, and the very substantial remains of the old chateau to-day—monumental even—make it one of the most interesting shrines of its class in all France.

The Chateau de Ripaille was originally built by Amadée VIII as a rendez-vous de chasse. “Near the Couvent des Augustins he built himself a chateau of seven rooms and seven towers,{272} after the death of his wife, Marie de Bourgogne, in 1434,” say the chronicles.



Here Amadée shut himself up with six fellowmen, either widowers or celibates, who formed his sole counsellors and society. The Council of Bale of 1439 sent the Cardinal d’Arles and twenty-five prelates to offer the self-deposed monarch the papal crown. The attractions of the position, or the inducements offered, were seemingly too great to be resisted, and, as Felix V, he was made Pontiff in the Église de Ripaille in the same year.

Soon the cramped quarters of the chateau and all the town were filled with a splendid pageant of ambassadors, prelates and dignitaries. All were anxious to salute in person the new head of the Church. France, England, Castile, the Swiss Cantons, Austria, Bohemia, Savoy and Piedmont recognized the new Pope, but the rest of Christendom remained faithful to Eugene IV. Ripaille and Thonon received such an influx of celebrities as it had never known before, nor since.

The towered and buttressed walls remain in evidence to-day, but within all is hollow as a sepulchre. The great portal by which one passed from the chapel to the dwelling is monumental from every point of view. What it{273} lacks in architectural excellence it makes up in its imposing proportions, and moreover possesses an individual note which is rare in modern works of a similar nature.

The chief centre after Thonon, going east, is Évian, with which most travellers in France are familiar only as a name on the label on the bottle of the most excellent mineral water on sale in the hotels and restaurants. The “Eau d’Évian” is about the only table water universally sold in Europe that isn’t “fizzy,” and is accordingly popular—and expensive.

Évian, sitting snug under the flank of Mont Bénant, a four thousand foot peak, its shore front dotted with little latteen-rigged, swallow-sailed boats is the “Biarritz de Lac Leman,” but a Biarritz framed with a luxuriant vegetation, whereas its Basque prototype is, in this respect, its antithesis.

Twenty thousand visitors come to Évian “for the waters” each year now, but in 1840, when the delightful Tapffer wrote his “Voyages en Zig Zag,” it was difficult for his joyous band of students to find the change for a hundred franc note. Aside from its fame as a watering-place Évian has no little architectural charm.

{274}The waters of Évian and their medicinal properties were discovered by a local hermit of the fifteenth century who loved the daughter of the neighbouring Baron de la Rochette. This daughter, Beatrix, also loved the hermit, all in quite conventional fashion, as real love affairs go, but the obscure origin of the young man was no passport to the good graces of the young lady’s noble father, who had fallen ill with the gout or some other malady of high living and was more irascible than stern parents usually are.

So acute was the old man’s malady that he caused it to be heralded afar that he would give his daughter in marriage to him who would effect a cure. This was a new phase of the marriage market up to that time, but the hermit, Arnold, at a venture, suggested to the baron that he had but to bathe in the alkaline waters of Évian to be cured of all his real or imaginary ills. The miraculous, or curative, properties of the waters, or whatever it was, did their work, and the lovers were united, and the smiling little city of Évian on the shores of Lac Leman has progressed and prospered ever since.

The origin of Évian is lost in the darkness of time, though its nomenclature is supposed to have descended from the ancient patois Evoua{275} (water), which the Romans, who came long before the present crop of flighty tourists, translated as Aquianum. From this one gathers that Évian is historic. And it is, as much so as most cities who claim, an antique ancestry. From the thirteenth century Évian possessed its chateau-fort, surrounded by its sturdy bulwarks and a moat. Some vestiges still remain of this first fortification, but the wars between the Dauphin of the Viennois and the Comtes de Genevois necessitated still stronger ones, which were built under Amadée V and Amadée VI.

Within the confines of the town are three distinctly defined structures which may be classed as mediæval chateaux: the Chateau de Blonay, the Tour de Fonbonne, and the Manoir Gribaldi, belonging to the Archbishops of Vienne. This last has been stuccoed and whitewashed in outrageous fashion, so that unless the rigours of a hard winter have softened its violent colouring, it is to-day as crude and unlovely as a stage setting seen in broad daylight. It has moreover been incorporated into the great palatial hotel which, next to the more splendid Hotel Splendid on the height, is the chief land-mark seen from afar. Sic transit!

Évian’s parish church, capped with an enormous tower, is most curious. A great Place,{276} or Square, has been formed out of the ancient lands of the Seigneurie of Blonay, which belonged to Baron Louis de Blonay, Vice-Roi de Sardaigne. The seigneurial residence itself has been transformed, basely enough, one thinks, into a casino and theatre, with an art nouveau façade. Not often does such a debasement of a historic shrine take place in France to-day. Sometimes a fine old Gothic or Renaissance house will disappear altogether, and sometimes a chateau, a donjon or even a church may be turned to unlikely public uses, such as a hospital, a prison or a barracks. This is bad enough, but for an historic monument to be turned into a music hall and a gambling room seems the basest of desecration. That’s a great deal against Évian, but it must stand.



Another property once belonging to the same proprietor, and known as the Manoir de Blonay, a name continually recurring in the annals of the Chablais, is to be noted beyond the town, near the little village of Maxilly.

Beyond Évian is “La Tour Ronde,” a name given to a structure on the edge of the lake. The nomenclature explains itself. A dismantled donjon of the conventional build rises grim and militant among a serried row of coquettish villas, chalets and hotels, but uncouth as it is,{277} using the word in a liberal sense, it forms a contrasting note which redounds to its benefit as compared with the latest craze for fantastic building which has been incorporated into many of the houses which line the shores of the lake. Your modern tourist often cares as much for an armoured cement, green tiled villa with a plaster cat on its ridge pole as he does for a great square manoir of classic outline, or a donjon with a chemin de rond at its sky line and a half-lowered portcullis at its entrance.

Meillerie, just beyond the Tour Ronde, is ever under the glamour cast over it by Jean Jacques Rousseau. A souvenir of the hero of “La Nouvelle Heloise” is here, the vestiges of the grotto where Saint Preux sought a refuge. As a sight it may compare favourably with other grottos of its class, but that is not saying that it is anything remarkable.{278}



“LA SAVOIE,” say the French, is “La Suisse Française,” and indeed it is, as anyone can see and appreciate. With respect to topography, climate and nearly all else this is true. And its historic souvenirs, if sometimes less romantic, are more definite and far more interesting, in spite of the fact that the sentimentally inclined have not as yet overrun the region; it may with confidence be said that they have not even discovered it.

The amalgamation of Savoy with France was fortunate for all concerned. As President Carnot said, when on a speech-making tour through the region in 1892: “Can any of us without emotion recall those memorable days when the Convention received the people of this province with the welcome: ‘Generous Savoyards! In you we cherish friends and brothers; never more shall you be separated from us.’” Savoy was ever more French in spirit than Italian in spite of its variable alliances.{279}

Leaving the resorts like Aix-les-Bains, Annecy and Évian behind, and following the turbulent Isère to its icy cradle beneath the haunches of Mont Saint Bernard, one may literally leave the well-worn travel track behind, the railway itself striking off Italy-wards via a gap in the mountain chain to the southeast, where it ultimately burrows through the massif of the chain of which Mont Cenis forms the most notable peak.

Just at the confines of Dauphiny and Savoy the Isère sweeps majestically around the forefoot of the fortress of Montmélian, which guards the mountain gateway to the snowbound upper valleys. Montmélian can be seen from a great distance; from a great distance even one may imagine that he hears the echoes of the{280} cries of the victims of the cruel Seigneurs de Montmélian who once lived within its walls. Their barbarous acts were many, and historic facts, not merely legendary tales, perpetuate them. It is the knowledge that such things once existed that makes the suggestion of course, but these are the emotions one usually likes to have nourished when viewing a mediæval castle.


Montmélian’s chateau-fort played a very important role in the history of Savoy. It was one of the finest fortresses of the States of Savoy, and was the chief point of attack of François Premier, who, in 1535, succeeded finally in taking it, but by treason from within. The French from the moment of their occupation gave it a heavy garrison, and Henri II still further strengthened its massive walls, as did{281} also Henri IV later on. He called it “a marvellously strong place; a stronger one has never yet been seen.”

In Montmélian’s proud fortress-chateau, also, were born Amadée III and Amadée IV, Princes of Savoy. Once it was considered, and with reason apparently, the strongest fortress of Savoy, and was for ages the wall against which the Viennois Dauphins battled vainly. Treason opened its doors to François Premier and treason delivered it to Henri IV. This last giving over of the chateau was brought about by the wife of Sully, who by “sweet insinuations” got into the good graces of the wife of Brandes, the governor, and between them planned to win him over.

In 1690 it was again attacked and taken by the French, costing them the bagatelle of eight thousand men, for lives were cheap in those days compared to castles. It was a hollow victory, too, for the French, for they marched out again after the Peace of Ryswick.

In the early years of the eighteenth century the French again came into possession and immediately began the work of demolishing the defensive walls, leaving only the residential chateau, that which in its emasculated form exists to-day. Thus disappeared from the{282} scene, said the celebrated historian, Leon Menabrea, a fortress to whose annals are attached the names most grand and the events most important in Savoyan history.

The Montmayeurs, the feudal family which first made Montmélian its stronghold, have left a vivid and imperishable memory in the annals of Savoy. They were a warlike race to begin with, and bore the eagle and the motto Unguibus et Rostro in their family arms.

Legend recounts that the last of the seigneurs, having lost a case at law, invited the president of the court, one Fésigny, to dinner. Either before, or after, he cut off the judge’s head, enclosed it in a sack bearing a label which read: “Here is a new piece of evidence for the court to digest,” and deposited it on the public highway circling below the rocky foundations of Montmélian. This episode took place in 1465, and the ignoble seigneur naturally fled the country immediately. His reputation has ever lived after him in the region where the historic fact, or legend, of the “Dernier des Montmayeurs” is still current.

Near the rock-cradled chateau of Montmélian is La Rochette; there one sees the vast remains of a chateau which was overthrown by Louis XIII. This chateau, called also the Cha{283}teau des Hulls, occupies one of the most strikingly imposing sites imaginable, and only in a lesser degree than Montmélian presents all the qualities which one would naturally suppose to be necessary in order to make such a work impregnable. It was heroically defended by Pierre de la Chambre, but the defence availed nothing, and now what is left has been built up into—of all things—a silk-mill. Its outlines might well be that of a mediæval chateau even now; site and silhouette each have this stamp, and it will take little exercise of the imagination to picture the smoke from its chimneys as coming from the fires which may have been lighted at some epoch before the invention of the steam engine. There is nothing, from a distant point of view, to suggest that the old Chateau des Hulls is the murky, work-a-day hive of industry that it is.

Above Montmélian is Saint Pierre d’Albigny, where rises the ancient and formidable chateau of the Sires de Miolans. In the eighteenth century it was a prison of state incarcerating many famous personages, among them the celebrated Marquis de Sade, the story of whose escape would make as thrilling a chapter as was ever read in a romance of the cloak and sword variety. Another famous, or infamous, pris{284}oner was the unfortunate Lavin, the minister of finance of Charles-Emmanuel III, who was imprisoned because of his fine, but unappreciated, talent for copying bank-notes. For twenty-four years Lavin languished in the dungeons of Miolans; indeed it was within these walls that he passed the greater part of his life after becoming of age. For this reason Miolans may be called the Bastille of Savoy.



Miolans is typical of the middle ages. It can be seen, it is said, fifty kilometres away, either up or down the Isère. This one can well believe. It can only be compared to a castled burg of the Rhine or Meuse: it is like nothing else in modern France. The great moats surround it as of old, its drawbridge, its chemin-de-ronde, its cachets, dungeons and oubliettes are quite undespoiled, and its chapel as bright and inspiring as if its functions served to-day as in the time of the seigneurs of the joint house of Miolans and Montmayeur, a family one of the most ancient in Savoy, but which became extinct in 1523.

The Sardinian government in 1856—when Savoy belonged still to the Crown of Sardinia—sold the edifice for the paltry sum of five thousand francs, scarcely more than the price of a first rate piano. The buyer preserved and{285} made habitable, in a way, the mediæval fabric, but not without considerably lessening its genuine old-time flavour. This is not apparent from afar, and only to the expert near at hand, so the castle lives to-day as one of the most thrillingly romantic piles of its class in all the mountain background of Savoy. To-day the castle, for it is more a feudal castle than a modern chateau after all, is still in private hands, but no incongruous details have been further incorporated and the chatelain as lovingly cares for it as does that of Langeais in Touraine, perhaps the best restored, and the best kept, of all the habitable mediæval castles in the pleasant land of France.

In the time of the Savoyan dukes each of these upper valleys was deprived of communication with its neighbours, because of either the utter lack of roads, or of their abominable up-keep. A sort of petty state or kingdom grew up in many of these shut-in localities, each possessing its individual life, and, above all, ecclesiastical independence.

The sovereigns of each had their own particular lands and ruled with velvet glove or iron hand as the mood might strike them or the case might demand.

Still higher up above Montmélian, which may{286} properly be considered the barrier between the lower and the upper valleys of the Tarentaise and the Maurienne, are scores of these chateaux, as appealing, and with reason, as many more noble in outline and record elsewhere. At Grésy is one of these; at Bathie is a fine feudal ruin with a round and square tower of most imposing presence; Blay has another, with a wall surmounted by a range of tripled tourelles; Feisons has yet another, and a castle wall or an isolated tower is ever in view whichever way one turns the head.



The roadway through Albertville and Moutiers leads into Italy over the Petit Saint Bernard; that by the valley of the Maurienne over the Mont Cenis. Here, just as Lans-le-Bourg is reached, you may still see the signboards along the road reading: “Route Impériale No. 16: Frontière Sarde à 10 kilom.” It would seem as though Lans-le-Bourg had not yet heard that the Empire had fallen, nor of the creation of the unified Italian Kingdom.

Still penetrating toward the heart of the Savoyan Alps one soon reaches Albertville, primarily a place of war, secondly a centre for excursions in upper Savoy. This gives the modern note. For that of mediævalism one has to go outside the town to Conflans, where sits{287} the old town high on a rocky promontory, with a picturesque citadel-fortress filled with souvenirs of warlike times.

The Chateau du Manuel flanks the old fortress on one side, and the garrison barracks of to-day was at one time an old convent of Bernardins. This structure of itself is enough, and more, to attract one thither. It is built of red brick, with a range of curiously patterned twin windows. Besides these attributes the faubourg has also the Chateau Rouge, another of the resting places of the Savoyan dukes.

The historic souvenirs of Conflans and its chateau are many and momentous. It defended the entrance to the Tarentaise, and was able to resist the terrible battering sieges of the troops of François Premier and Henri IV, which was more than Miolans could do, in spite of the fact that it was supposedly a more efficient stronghold.

The town itself was erected into a Principality in favour of the Archbishops of the Tarentaise, and in 1814, following upon the Treaty of Paris, which gave back to Sardinia a part of its estates, the administrative authorities of Savoy took up their seat here.

All around are modern forts and batteries only to be arrived at by military roads climbing{288} the mountain-side in perilous fashion, but they have nothing of sentiment or romance about them and so one can only marvel that such things be.

The neighbouring Fort Barraux is one of the marvels of modern fortresses, rebuilt out of an old chateau-fort. This fortress was originally constructed before the end of the sixteenth century by Charles-Emmanuel de Savoie, and taken over, almost without a struggle, by Lesdiguières, almost before the masons had finished their work for the ducal master.

“Wait,” said the Maréchal to his king, “we will not be in a hurry. It were better that we should have a finished fortress on our hands than one half built.” And with a supreme confidence Lesdiguières waited six months and then simply walked up and “took it” and presented it to his royal master.

At Montvallezen-sur-Séez, in the Tarentaise, there existed, in the seventeenth century, a sort of a monkish chateau, at least it was a purely secular dwelling, a sort of retreat for the Canon of the Hospice of Saint Bernard. It was built in 1673 by the Canon Ducloz, and though all but the tower has disappeared, history tells much of the luxury and comfort which once found a place here in this “Logement du{289} Vicar.” The tower rises five stories in height and contains a heavy staircase lighted on each landing by a single window. From this one judges that the tower must have been intended as a defence or last refuge for the dwellers in the chateau in case they were attacked by bandits or other evil doers. On arriving at the final floor, the walls are pierced with ten windows. A carven tablet reproduced herewith tells as much of the actual history of the tower as is known.

F. F. R. D . LOES
16 + 73




THE boundary between Dauphiny and Provence was by no means vague; it was a well defined territorial limit, but in the old days, as with those of the present, the climatic and topographic limits between the two regions were not so readily defined. The Rhône, the mightiest of French rivers when measured by the force and, at times, the bulk of its current, played a momentous historic part in the development of all the region lying within its watershed, and for that reason the cities lying midway upon its banks had much intercourse one with another.

Seal of the Native Dauphins

Vienne, on the left bank of this swift-flowing{291} river, was the capital of the Counts of the Viennois, and the birthplace of the earliest of the “native” Dauphins, who afterwards transferred their seat of power to Grenoble. For this reason it is obvious that the history of Vienne and that of the surrounding territory was intimately bound up with the later mountain province of Dauphiny, whose capital was Gratianopolis.

As the capital of this mountain empire evolved itself into Grenoble, and the power of the Dauphins gradually waned at Vienne, Comte Humbert, who was then ruler at Vienne, transferred his sceptre to the heir of Philippe de Valois who built his palace in the ancient mountain stronghold of the Romans in preference to continuing the seat of governmental dignity and rule by the banks of the mighty Rhône.

From this one gathers, and rightly, that Vienne is one of the most ancient cities of Dauphiny, and indeed of all the Rhône valley. Its history has been mentioned by Cæsar:

Accolit Alpinis opulenta Vienna calonis.

In the fifth century it was the capital of the first Burgundian kingdom, and at a later period the official residence of the native Dauphins, the race that came before those eldest sons of{292} the French kings who wielded their power from their palace at Grenoble.

Vienne’s architectural monuments are many and of all states of nobility, but of palaces, castles and chateaux it contains only the scantiest of memories.

Down by the river, at the terminus of the ugly wire-rope suspension bridge, the modern useful successor of the more æsthetic works of the mediæval “Brothers of the Bridge,” is a most remarkable tower known as the “Tour de Mau Conseil.” It has for a legend the tale that Pontius Pilate threw himself from its topmost story. History, more explicit than the over-enthusiastic native, says that it was only the shore-end or gatehouse of a chateau which guarded the river crossing, and was built by Philippe de Valois. There is a discrepancy here of some centuries, so with all due respect to local pride one had best stick to historic fact.

There is a Chateau de Pilate, so-called, on the banks of the Rhône just below Saint Vallier, a few leagues away, of which the traditional legend is also kept green. It may be only a story anyway, but if one is bound to have it repeated, it had best be applied at this latter point.

This tower of Philippe de Valois as it exists{293}

Tower of Philippe de Valois, Vienne

Tower of Philippe de Valois, Vienne

to-day, also known as the “Clef de l’Empire,” is thus much more explicitly named, for it was in a way a sort of guardian outpost which controlled the entrance and exit to and from the neighbouring Lyonnais.

Vienne, being the outgrowth of a city of great antiquity, its Roman remains are numerous and splendid, from the bare outlines of its Amphitheatre to its almost perfectly preserved Temple d’Auguste. Monuments of its feudal epoch are not wanting either, though no splendid domestic or civic chateau exists to-day in its entirety. Instead there are scattered here and there about the town many fragmentary reminders of the days of the first Burgundian kingdom, and of the later city of the counts and Dauphins.

In 879 A.D. the ruler of the province, Boson, Comte de Vienne, Arles et Provence, by his ambition and energy, was proclaimed king by the barons and bishops assembled in the Chateau de Mantaille, belonging to the Archbishop of Vienne and situated at Saint Rambert, between Vienne and Valence.

In the Rue de l’Hopital one sees two coiffed towers rising high above the surrounding gables. They are all that remain of the semi-barbarian Comte Boson’s palace. In the pas{294}sage entered by an antique portal, and running between two rows of rather squalid buildings, there is a slab which bears the following inscription:

DE 1551-1771.

It is not a very convincing souvenir, but the sight of the great round towers, rising above the canyon-like alleys roundabout, at least lends aid to the acceptance of the assertion by one who does not demand more clearly defined proofs.

In the Rue Boson is another edifice which may have something in common with the life of the first Burgundian court. It is a house which combines many non-contemporary features and possesses a marvellously built winding Renaissance stairway and two great towers, one a mere watch-tower, seemingly, the other strongly fortified. Frankly these towers might be accessories of some church edifice, or yet the chimneys of a factory, or of an iron furnace, since, even considering their situation, there is nothing distinctively feudal about them. They are, however, of manifest ancient origin and served{295} either military or chateau-like functions. Of that there is no doubt in spite of their ungainliness.

Valence is a bruyante, grandiose city, which, without the Rhône or the mountains, might be Tours or Lille so far as its local life goes, and this in spite of the fact that it is on the border line between the north and the south.

À Valence le Midi commence” is the classic phrase with which every earnest traveller in France is familiar, though indeed for three or four months of the year Valence is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. “The women of Valence are vive et piquante” is also another trite saying, but the city itself has nothing but its historic past to recommend it in the eyes of the sentimental traveller of the twentieth century.

The strategic position of Valence has made it in times past the scene of much historic action. With this importance in full view it is really astonishing that the city possesses so few historic monuments.

Almost at the juncture of the Isère and the Rhône, Valence to-day bustles its days away with a feverish local life that, in a way, reminds one of a great city like Lyons, to which indeed it plays second fiddle. There are few strangers{296} except those who have come to town from places lying within a strictly local radius, and there is a smug air of satisfaction on the face of every inhabitant.

Things have changed at Valence of late years, for it was once one of the first cities of Dauphiny where religious reform penetrated in the later years of the sixteenth century, and even in the preceding century it had already placed itself under the protection of Louis XI, fearing that some internal upheaval might seriously affect its local life. Valence has always played for safety and that is why it lacks any particularly imposing or edifying aspect to-day. When Napoleon was staying at the military school at Valence he wrote of it as a city “sombre, severe et sans grace.” There is no cause to modify the view to-day.

Almost the sole example of domestic architecture at Valence worthy to be included in any portrait gallery of great Renaissance houses, is that which is somewhat vulgarly known as the “Maison des Têtes.” It was built in 1531 by the art-loving François Premier, not for himself but as a recompense for some less wealthy noble who had served him during his momentous Italian journey.

The name applied to this historic house is{297} most curious, but is obvious from the decoration of its façade. Who its owner may actually have been has strangely enough been overlooked by those whose business it is to write such things down. Certain it is that he was fortunate to have a patron who would bestow upon him so luxurious a dwelling as it must once have been.

Perhaps, to go deeper into the question, the edifice was one of those “discrets chateaux” which François had a way of building up and down France, where he might repair unbeknownst to the world or even his court. Surely, here, in a tortuous back street of the dull little city of Valence, in the sixteenth century, one might well consider himself sheltered from the few inquisitive glances which might be cast on his trail. The œil de bœuf, that Paris spy or coterie of spies, did not exist for the monarch at Valence.

The Maison des Têtes is the more remarkable by reason of its modest proportions and the exceedingly ornate and bizarre decorations of its façade. Below and above the window-frames is an elaborate sculptured frieze, and between the arceaux of the windows, even, are equally finely chiselled motives.

There is a series of medallions of five philos{298}ophers and poets of antiquity, flanked on either side by a head of a Roman emperor and another of Louis XI. Two mutilated effigies, nearly life size, occupy niches on a level with the second story, and directly beneath the roof are posed four enormous heads, typifying the winds of the four quarters.

This interesting façade, no less than the vague history which attaches to the house itself, is in a comparative state of dilapidation. It seems a pity that in a city so poor in artistic shrines it were not better preserved and cared for. But there it is—Valence again! As a matter of fact the lower floor is occupied by a mean sort of a wine-shop, which assuredly casts an unseeming slur upon the proud position that the edifice once held.

Nearly opposite the Maison des Têtes is the house where the young Napoleon lodged in 1785-1786.

Just above Valence, at the confluence of the Isère and the Rhône, is the magnificent feudal ruin of Crussol, the guardian of the gateway leading from the south to the north. It sits at a great height above the swirling waters of the current on a peak of rock, and from the aspect of its projecting, fang-like gable is locally known as the “Corne de Crussol.”{299}

Chateau de Crussol

Chateau de Crussol

For years this typical feudal castle and military stronghold of great power belonged to the family of Crussol, the old Ducs d’Uzes. So vast was it originally in extent that it contained a whole village within its walls, and indeed there was no other protection for those who called the duke master, as the castle had appropriated to itself the entire mountain-top plateau.

Certainly Crussol must have been as nearly impregnable a fortress as any of its class ever built, for from its eastern flank one may drop down a sheer thousand feet and then fall into the whirlpool waters of the Rhône. This was sure and sudden death to any who might lose their footing from above, but it was also an unscalable bulwark against attack.

The panorama which opens out from the platform of the ruined chateau is remarkable and extends from the Alps on the east to the Cevennes on the west, and from the Vivarais on the north to the distant blue of the Vercors on the south, and perhaps, at times, even to Mont Ventoux in Vaucluse.{300}



IN the high Alpine valleys back of the Barre des Écrins is a frontier land little known even to the venturesome tourist by road, who with his modern means of travel, the automobile, goes everywhere. The conventional tour of Europe follows out certain preconceived lines, and if it embraces the passing of the Alps from France into Italy it is usually made by the shortest and most direct route. If the Saint Bernard or the Mont Cenis route seems the shortest and quickest, few there are who will spend a day longer and pass by the highway crossed by Hannibal, even though they would experience much that was delectable en route.

Southeast from Grenoble and Vizille is Bourg d’Oisans, the end of a branch railway line, and a diminutive, though exceedingly popular, French Alpine station. To the traveller by road it is the gateway to the high Alpine valleys of Dauphiny, whose heart is the{301} palpitating mountain fortress of Briançon, the most elevated of all French cities.

The highroad between Bourg d’Oisans and Briançon, really the only direct communication between the two places, was begun by Napoleon, that far-seeing road-builder whom future generations of travellers in France have good reason to rise up and call blessed. The roadway climbs up over the Lautret Pass, leaving the Galibier—the highest carriage road in Europe except the Stelvio—to the left, finally descending the southeastern slope and entering Briançon via Monetier-les-Bains, just opposite the famous Barre des Écrins, the highest of the French Alps, a peak of something over thirteen thousand feet, the first ascent of which is credited to Whymper as late as 1864.

Briançon’s chateau, or rather Fort du Chateau, is no chateau at all, being a mere perpetuation of a name. Its history is most vivid and interesting nevertheless. Briançon itself is one vast fortress, or a nest of them. The bugle call and the tramp of feet are the chief sounds to awaken mountain echoes roundabout. It has rightfully been called the Gibraltar of the Alps, and commands the passage from France into Italy.

The town sits most ravishingly placed just{302} above the pebbly bed of the incipient Durance, which rushes down to the Mediterranean in a mighty torrent. Save Briançon’s barrier of forts and fortresses and mountain peaks roundabout, the town is a sad, dull place indeed, where winter endures for quite half the year, and, until the last century, it was entirely cut off from the world, save the exit and entrance by the single carriage road which rises from Gap via Embrun and Argentière.

Charles le Chauve died here at Briançon in the edifice which stood upon the site of the present Fort du Chateau, and to that circumstance the place owes its chief historic distinction.

Above the city, a dozen kilometres away only, rises the famous international highroad into Italy. On one side of the mountain the waters flow through the valley of the Po into the Adriatic, and on the other, via the Durance and the Rhône, to the Mediterranean.

“Adieu, ma soeur la Durance,
Nous nous séparons sur ce mont:
Tu vas ravager la Provence,
Moi féconder le Piedmont.”

On the extreme height of the pass is the famous Napoleon obelisk, commemorating the{303} passage of the First Consul in 1806, though indeed the pass was one of the chief thoroughfares crossing the Alps for long centuries before. In 1494 Charles VIII crossed here with the army with which he invaded Italy.

There remains little of actual monumental aspect at Briançon which has come down from other days. There is still something left of the old chateau of the Seigneurs de Briançon, but not much. This was the same edifice in which Charles le Chauve died, and the mountain retreat of the lords of the Tarentaise. The general outlines of its walls are still to be traced, and there is always the magnificent site to help one build it up anew, but that is all.

The donjon is built on a peak of triangular rock rising sheer from the torrent at the bottom of the gorge which has cut its way through the town from the source higher up under the Montagne de la Madeleine.

The donjon is still there in all its solidity and sadness, but it takes a climb of two hundred and fifty steps up an exceedingly steep stair to reach the platform of rock on which it sits, and this after one has actually arrived at the base.

The retreat was practically untakable by the enemy, and the seigneurs conceived the idea{304} of making it still more difficult of access by ignoring any convenient and comfortable means of approach. This must have been a great annoyance to themselves, but those were the days before time was money, so what matter? The old Roman way through the Tarentaise ran close along by the base of the chateau.

There are four distinct ruined elements to-day from which one may build up anew the silhouette of this mediæval stronghold. Chiefly these elements have been crumbled by stress of time, but here and there a reminder more definite in form, a gaunt finger of stone, points skyward,—a battery of them in fact surround the actual donjon.

The bridge on which the Roman road crossed the Durance was fortified, but was built of wood brought from the neighbouring mountain sides. It is supposed that the present stone structure is the direct successor of this wooden bridge, though it possesses the antique look which may well claim a thousand years. Aymon, the Seigneur de Briançon, when occupying the donjon on the heights, committed many extortions for toll on travellers passing this way. It was a sort of scandalous graft of the eleventh century which finally induced Héraclius, Archbishop of the Tarentaise, to petition{305}

Chateau de Briançon

Chateau de Briançon

Humbert II, the overlord, Comte de Maurienne, to call his brother lord to a more reasonable method of procedure. This was to the Comte de Maurienne’s liking, for he fell upon him tooth and nail and drove Aymon from his castle, leaving it in the ruined and dismantled condition in which it stands to-day.

Briançon, Its Chateau and old Fortified Bridge

This toll of roads and bridges was, by inherited right, the privilege of many local seigneurs throughout the feudality, but here the demand was so excessive, so much greater than the traffic could stand, to put it in modern parlance, that the concession was suppressed in the same fashion as has been often brought to bear on latter day monopolies badly administered. This thing doesn’t happen often, but with the precedent of the toll bridge at Briançon it has{306} been steadily growing as a commendable practice. Incidentally the Seigneur of Briançon was killed in the struggle which deprived him of what he thought his right, but that was seemingly a small matter; the main thing was to do away with the oppression, and the Lord of the Maurienne, being one of those who did things thoroughly, went at the root of the evil. It is to his credit that he did not continue the toll-gathering for his own benefit.

The enormous flanks of wall of the Chateau de Briançon, which still stand, show a thickness in some instances of thirty feet, and the mortar of eight centuries still holds the blocks firmly together here and there. What a comparison between the ancient and modern manner of building!

The same strategic position which first gave a foothold to the seigneurial chateau was newly fortified in 1536, in order to resist the troops of François I. The French by chance, or skill, finally took the position, and occupied it for a quarter of a century, until the time when Savoy was returned to Emmanuel-Philibert by the victory of Saint Quentin. Again it was captured in 1690 by Lesdiguières, the date of the conquest of Savoy by Henri IV.

The walls of the chateau which are to be re{307}marked to-day are probably of the eleventh and twelfth centuries; all other works are of the later fortifications, or of the more modern military structure of the present war system of France.

Briançon from the plain below has the appearance and dignity of a monumental and prosperous city. Near-by this aspect is lost entirely. As the French say, it is like a shako stuck rakishly over the ear of a grenadier. One may take his choice of view points, but at all events Briançon is marvellously imposing and romantic looking from a distance. Roundabout on every peak and monticule are forts bristling with guns, all pointing Italy-wards; whilst on the height of Mont Genèvre the Italians in turn train their cannon on Briançon’s chateau and the plain beyond.

South from Briançon runs the great route nationale from Dauphiny and the Alps to Provence and the Mediterranean. It is replete with historic and romantic souvenirs, but like all the rest of these more or less poverty-stricken mountain regions, it lacks any great or splendid domestic or civic monuments on its route. Souvenirs of mediæval times there are, and many, but they were born of warlike deeds rather than peaceful ones.{308}



Midway between Briançon and Embrun is Mont Dauphin, another key to the Italian gateway. The fortress is a conspicuous point of rock sitting strategically at the mouth of the river Guil at its junction with the Durance. The fortress was the work of Vauban, and its bastions are built of a curious pink marble found in the valley of the Queyras. No doubt but that the fortress is impregnable, or was when built, but it would avail little to-day against modern explosives.

Up the valley of the Guil is the region known as the Val de Queyras, one of the “Protestant Valleys” of Dauphiny, where the religious wars under Lesdiguières, during the reign of Henri IV, raged fast and furious. Chateau Queyras, as its name indicates, is the seat of a mediæval pile which, if not stupendous with respect to its outlines, is at least more than satisfying when viewed from afar. It is an ancient feudal castle and befits its name, in looks at least, and was once the seat of the seigneurs of Chateau-Vieille Ville. Like the fort of Mont Dauphin it seemingly was built to guard the passage to the frontier by the Col Lacroix and the Col de Traversette.

Here as early as 1480 Louis II of Dauphiny cut a tunnel below the Col to make the road{309} between the French valleys and the rich plains of the Po the easier of passage.

South of Chateau Queyras is Saint Véran, the highest collection of human habitations in France, and one of the most elevated in Europe. It is commonly called the highest commune in Europe where the peasants eat white bread. Approximately its elevation is seven thousand feet, still some thousands below Leadville, one recalls. Because of its altitude also, it has been called the most pious village in France. This may or may not be so, but at any rate the place has ever been on the verge of changing its religion from Protestant to Catholic and from Catholic to Protestant. What is in the rarefied atmosphere, one wonders, to induce such fickleness in matters spiritual!

Embrun, of all the towns of this part of Dauphiny, is the most illustrious and famous. This is perhaps as much from its association with Louis XI as for any other reason, for it is reckoned one of the dullest towns in France.

The general aspect of Embrun is most singular as it snuggles intimately around the drab walls of an old donjon, the sole relic of its ancient feudal glory. The roof and gables of the houses of the town rise abruptly from the low levels to the height on which sits the donjon{310} and the shrine dedicated to the divinity of Louis XI, “Our Dear Lady of Embrun,” as he called her.

To know more of what passed in the mind of Louis XI with regard to Embrun and its divinity one should re-turn the pages of “Quentin Durward.” The monarch indeed resided so long in Dauphiny, at one place or another, that many of the most affecting scenes of his life were enacted here.

A Roman city was here in ancient times, and from this grew up a great strategic military base. Not a morsel of the débris of the Roman town remains, but the cathedral still preserves the best of Roman principles of building in the stones of its pillars and vaulting.

The donjon of the old chateau, the Tour Brune, as it is called, is not far from the cathedral, within the confines of the military barracks. It is, therefore, not accessible to the general public, unless by chance one makes the acquaintance of some genial Alpin-Chasseur who can be induced to do the honours—of course with permission of his superior, which on this particular occasion was, for us, not easy to get. The thing was finally “arranged.” Military property in France is not for the vul{311}gar eye, leastwise not in the vicinity of a frontier boundary.

The Tour Brune is accredited as the most ancient military edifice in Dauphiny. Gotran, Roi de Bourgogne, built it and ravished the valleys roundabout, using it as a base from which to make his pillaging sorties and then as a retreat in case he was hard pressed. This was according to the ethics of guerrilla warfare at that time, and probably is to-day.

As a mere habitation, the Tour Brune could hardly have been very comfortable. It certainly never partook of any luxurious appointments or accessories, judging from its build alone.

The metropolis of the upper valley of the Durance is Gap, whose chief romantic memory, since indeed it has no worthy architectural monuments to-day, is recalled by the magnificent marble statue of the Connetable de Lesdiguières on the mausoleum of this Dauphinese hero, now installed in the Préfecture, having been brought thither from the warrior’s natal chateau in the neighbourhood. It shows the protestant defender of the rights of Henri IV in Dauphiny clad in the full regalia of his fighting armour. It is worthy of record to note{312} that from being a protestant Governor of Dauphiny, Lesdiguières changed faith as did his royal master and became a Catholic, acquiring at the same time the title of Connetable de France as a mark of favour for his devotion to the tenets of his sovereign.

There is another Chateau de Lesdiguières, which lies out on the road running from Grenoble to Gap, via Corps and Vizille, and is nothing at all grand or monumental in aspect. For a fact, the chateau at Vizille was his preferred domicile, and the present shapeless, ruined mass, though built by the Connetable, was intended merely to be a mausoleum rather than a dwelling. He was actually buried here, his body having been brought hither from Italy, but the Revolution threw his ashes to the winds and his funeral monument was removed to Gap.{313}



THERE is not a village or a town in Dauphiny, be it ever so humble, but which guards some vestige or tradition of some feudal chateau or fortress of the neighbourhood. Nor are ocular evidences wanting which even he who runs may read. This is far from stating that the region is strewn with noble and luxurious monuments as are Touraine or Anjou, but nevertheless he, or she, who knows how to translate the story of the stones may make up history to any extent he likes, and yet never finish the volume. And much of the tale will be as vivid and thrilling as that of the western and southern provinces, which are usually given the palm for romance.

On almost any site around one’s horizon a seigneur might have built himself a chateau, an all but impregnable stronghold where he might sustain successfully the powers vested in him as a vassal of the Dauphin. This was{314} the usual procedure, and if many of these classic strongholds have disappeared, there are enough remaining to suggest the frequency and solidity of mediæval building in these parts, a species of castle building which here in the mountains differed not a little from that of the lowlands. It is just this view-point that makes the study of the chateaux of Dauphiny the more interesting. Even the imperfectly preserved ruins which crown many a peak and hill-top are suggestive of this unique and effective manner of castle building, and though many have fallen from sheer decay in later years, it is chiefly because they were undermined or overthrown in some great or petty quarrel, and not because their design was not well thought out nor their workmanship thorough. The picks of Louis XI caused more actual depredation than has the stress of time. Often but a local legend remains to tell the tale. Chambaraud, Mantailles, and Beaufort have disappeared, and Moras, Thodure and Vireville, all of them reminiscent of the prowess of the feudal barons, are in truth but dim reminiscences of their once proud estate.

Between Grenoble and Vienne is the Chateau de Bressieux, most picturesque, the first great requirement of a castle. It dates, in part, from{315} the twelfth century. That is its second qualification. Antiquity comes after picturesqueness in its appeal to even the traveller of conventional mould.

The Barons of Bressieux were by the right of their title members of the Parliament of Dauphiny. The situation of their chateau assured them the full and free exercise of their power, right or wrong, and, like all the Dauphinese seigneurs, they were practically rulers of a lilliputian empire.

It seems that the celebrated Mandrin, a brigand so dignified that he was ranked as a “gentilhomme,” married into the family of Bressieux. History has apparently been unjust to Mandrin, “the escroc who possessed the manners of a dandy,” but at any rate there be those in Dauphiny to-day who revere his memory before that of Bayard.

Saint Marcellin, in the lower valley of the Isère, is Italian in its general aspect and layout. Its house walls, its roof-tops and its arcaded streets are what most folk will at once call Italian. Be this as it may, it was originally the stronghold of the native Dauphins and the place in their royaume where they lived the most at ease and ate and drank the best. This is not conjecture or a far-away twentieth cen{316}tury estimate, but a quotation from recorded history. The only thing one recalls of Saint Marcellin in the eating line to-day is an exceedingly pungent variety of goat’s milk cheese. It is not for that that most of us make of the quaint little Dauphinese city a place of pilgrimage.

Saint Marcellin was the seat of the ancient Dauphinese Parliament, but since it was three times destroyed by fire, it actually possesses but few of its old-time monumental records in stone.

Beauvoir, scarce a kilometre away from Saint Marcellin, was the site of an incomparable chateau-fort which, it is sad to state, the enthusiasm of Louis XI for pulling things down did not leave unspoiled. To-day the chateau is a reminiscence only, but the situation, at the juncture of the Iseret, the Isère and the Cuman, tells the possibilities of its storied past in the eye’s rapid review. There is little doubt that mere attack could have had but small effect on its sturdy walls, and that its having been destroyed or injured in any way must have been the result of weakness or lack of courage on the part of those who held it from within. Only two definite architectural details of this great fortress remain as they were in those warlike{317}

Chateau de Beauvoir

Chateau de Beauvoir

times, the tower of the chapel and a flank of wall containing a series of ogival windows.

Still in the Vallée Saint Marcellinoise, as this junction of the three rivers is known, one sees the ignoble pile which marks the site of the former chateau of the Seigneur de Flandaines, one of the allies of the Dauphins, descended from one of the proudest families of the region.

The Seigneur de Flandaines would build himself a stronghold so sturdy that no one might take it from him, nor no one drive him out; primarily this was the formula upon which all castles were built. This was the very sentiment that the seigneur expressed to Louis XI at the time when the latter was but a Prince of Dauphiny:

Lou vassa de fe valan mais que lousignous in buro.

It was only another way of saying (in the local patois) that a vassal clothed in armour was worth considerably more than one who dressed only in velvet.

The Dauphin took this to mean much, but he had a mighty envy for the Seigneur de Flandaines, and sought forthwith the ways and means by which to turn him out of his fortress abode.{318}

The Dauphin invited the seigneur to a court ball and plied him and his retainers with food and drink, not only to excess, but to the point of insensibility. After this the troops of the Dauphin marched on Flandaines, took it without the least resistance, turned it over to the crowbars of the house-breakers, and went back and told their prince that their work was finished.

In the Chateau de Rochechinard, near Flandaines, the Dame de Beaujeau, emulator of the policy of Louis XI, martyred the poor Zizim, son of Mohamet II and brother of Bajazet. The history of the affair entire is not to be recounted here, but the Turk was exiled in France and chose this “pays de Franguistan,” of which he had read, as the preferred place of his future abode.

Louis XI arranged with one of his Dauphinese familiars to take the infidel into his chateau. The alien was at first enchanted with his new life and played the zither and sang songs to the fair ladies of Dauphiny all the long day with all the gallantry of a noble of France. He went further: he would have married with one of the most gracious he had met: “It was a thing a thousand times more to be sought for than the control of the Ottoman Empire,” he said.{319}

For the moment it was the one thing that the Turk desired in life. Proof goes further and states that for the purpose he became converted to Christianity.

And the rest? The fair lady of Dauphiny did not marry the Turk; so he was sent a hundred leagues away in further exile and the daughter of the Béranger-Sasseange married and forgot—in fact she married three times before she eradicated the complete memory of the affair.

To-day the walls of Rochechinard are half buried in an undergrowth of vine and shrubs and are nothing more than a sad reminder of the history which has gone before.

Three leagues from Saint Marcellin and Beauvoir is Saint Antoine, a sixteenth century townlet of fifteen hundred souls which has endured much, as it has always existed unto this day. It possesses one of the most remarkable and astonishing flamboyant-Gothic churches in all Christendom.

During the middle ages Saint Antoine was a place of pilgrimage for Popes and princes, and the Dauphins, by reason of their intimate associations with the distinguished visitors to their country, gained both riches and power from the circumstance.{320}



When Dauphiny came to be united to the Crown of France the tradition of Saint Antoine and its life-giving wine continued, and neither François Premier nor Louis XI neglected to make the journey thither. In the case of François Premier there may have been another good, or at least sufficient, reason, for Saint Vallier and Diane de Poitiers were but a few hours away. But that’s another point of view, a by-path which need not be followed here, since it would lead us too far astray.

Following still the valley of the Isère, one comes to the Chateau de la Sone, at one time one of the strongest fortifications of the lower valley. It was the key to the Royonnais, and a subterranean passage led from its platform underneath the bed of the Isère itself to a chateau of the Dauphins on the opposite bank.

With the establishment of a silk-mill here in the chateau in 1771 all romance fled, and there being no more need for a subterranean exit, the passage-way was allowed to fill up. To-day one takes the assertion on faith; there is nothing to prove it one way or another.

It was here within these walls that Vaucanson (1709-1782), the “sorcier-mécanicien,” invented the chain without end, which revolutionized the silk-spinning industry.{321}

The aspect of the chateau to-day, declassed though it is, is most picturesque. It is the very ideal of a riverside castle, for it bears the proud profile of a fortress of no mean pretensions even now, far more than it does that of a luxurious dwelling or a banal factory. It is one of those structures one loves to know intimately, and not ignore just because it has become a commoner among the noble chateaux of history.

Two very curious twin towns are Romans and Bourg-de-Péage, separated by the rapidly flowing waters of the Isère. If such a groupment of old houses and rooftops were in Switzerland or Germany, and were presided over by some burgrave or seneschal, all the world of tourists would rave over their atmosphere of mediævalism. Being in France, and off the main lines of travel, they are largely ignored, even by the French themselves. It is to be remarked that their history and romance have been such that the souvenirs and monuments which still exist in these curious old towns are most appealing. In that they are now seeking to attract visitors, a better fate is perhaps in store for Romans and Bourg-de-Péage than has been their portion during the last decade of popular touring.{322}

Chateaux of a minor sort there are galore at Romans. Noble and opulent hôtels privées in almost every street reflect the glories of the days of the Dauphins, still but little dimmed. Here and there an elaborately sculptured façade without, or a courtyard within, bespeaks a lineal dignity that of later years has somewhat paled before the exigencies of modern life.

Romans of late years has become a ville commercante and has broken the bounds of its old ramparts and flowed over into new quarters and suburbs which have little enough the character of the old town. This is a feature to be remarked of most French towns which are not actually somnolent, though true enough it is that in population they may have gained very little on the centuries gone by. The demand is for new living conditions, as well as those of trade, and so perforce a certain part of the population has to go outside to live in comfort.

It was from the castle of Mazard at Romans, now a poor undignified ruin, that the last of the native Dauphins signed his abdication in favour of Philippe de Valois, who acquired the province for the French Crown. The event was induced by the loss of his infant son, who, by some mysterious agent, fell into the swift-flowing Isère at the base of the castle walls. Over{323}whelmed with grief, the father would no longer hold the reins of state, and turned his patrimony over to the French king with content and satisfaction, stipulating only that the French heir to the throne should be known as the Dauphin henceforth, a state of affairs which obtained until the reign of Louis Philippe.

South from Romans lies Die, which in spite of its great antiquity has conserved little of its ancient feudal memories. There are some ancient walls with a supporting tower here and there, but this is all that remains to suggest the power that once radiated from the Dea Vocontiorum of the ancients.

From Die down towards the Rhône, through the valley of the Drome, is however a pathway still strewn with many reminders of the feudality. Where the valley of Quint enters that of the Drome, are Pontaix and Sainte Croix, each of them possessed of a fine old ruin of a chateau on a hill overlooking the town and the river-bed below.

Outside the stage setting of an opera no one ever saw quite so romantically disposed a landscape as here. The hills and vales bordering upon the Rhine actually grow pale before this little stretch of a dozen kilometres along the banks of the Drome.{324}

The village of Sainte Croix, and its chateau, is the more notable of the two mentioned, and played an important rôle in the military history of the Diois. First of all the Romans laid the foundations of the fortress one sees on the height above the crooked streets of the town. This was originally a work intended to protect their communications from their capital city at Vienne, on the banks of the Rhône, with Milan, beyond the Alpine frontier.

Formerly, it was a stronghold of the Emperor of the Occident, and in 1215 the Emperor Frederick II gave it to the Bishop of Saint Paul-Trois-Chateaux, who, by the end of the century, had transferred it to the house of Poitiers. Catholics and Protestants occupied it turn by turn during the religious wars, when, after the taking of La Rochelle, Richelieu razed it, as he did so many another feudal monument up and down the length and breadth of France.

A great modern—comparatively modern—pile situated at the entrance of the village, has nothing in common with the old fortress on the height, and, though to-day it well presents the suggestion of a fortified mediæval manor, it is in reality nothing but a walled farm, a transformation from an old Antonian convent suppressed at the Revolution.{325}


A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y, Z

Adrets, Baron des, 227
Aguesseau, Chancelier d’, 42
Aix-les-Bains, 239, 242-243, 279
Albertville, 243, 286
Allemon, Seigneurs d’, 224
Allinges, 269
Amboise, Jacques d’, 161
Ancy-le-Franc, 16, 93-99
Andelot Family, 87-88
Angely, Regnault de Saint-Jean d’, 34
Anjou, René d’, 118
Annecy, 260-262, 279
Anse, 180
Apremont, 111
Arbaud, Charles, 57
Argentière, 302
Arles, Cardinal d’, 272
Arnay-le-Duc, 5, 57, 60-61
Autun, 58, 70, 171
Auxerre, 5, 19, 20, 29-34, 35, 37, 38, 104
Auxerre, Comtes d’, 30, 33, 35
Auxerre, Geoffroy, Bishop of, 32
Auxois, The, 51
Auxonne, 186, 187-189
Avallon, 20, 36-37, 43, 50
Avignon, 108

Bagé-le-Chatel, 177
Bagé, Seigneurs de, 177, 179, 199, 210
Bar, Duc de, 118
Bar-sur-Seine, 80-81
Barraux, Fort, 247, 251-252, 288
Bartholdi, 194, 198
Bathie, 286
Bavière, Family, 105, 126, 127
Bayard, Chateau de, 247-252
Bayard, Chevalier, 221-222, 247-251, 315
Bazoche and its Chateau, 46-48
Beaufort, 314
Beaujeau, Anne de, 147, 318
Beaujeau, Sire de, 179, 180, 201
Beaujolais, The, 170, 181
Beaune, 9, 13, 108, 109, 124, 131, 133, 139-145, 178
Beaune, Claude de la, 168
Beauregard, Chateau de, 267
Beauvoir, 316, 319
Bedford, Duke of, 64, 127, 130
Belfort, 194, 195, 197-198
Belleville-sur-Saône, 179-180
Belley, 215, 216-217
Benoit XIII, 108
Berry, Duchesse de, 72
Bertin, 8
Bertrand, General, 222
Besançon, 17, 185, 186, 187, 190, 191-194, 208
Besnard, Albert, 263{326}
Biron, Maréchal de, 141
Blamont, 196
Blay, 286
Blonay, Baron de, 276
Blonay, Chateau de, 275
Blonay, Manoir de, 276
Bordeau, 242
Boulogne, 37
Bourbilly and its Chateau, 52, 53, 54-56, 59
Bourbon, House of, 30, 161, 179, 201, 211
Bourbonnais, The, 2, 12
Bourg-de-Péage, 321
Bourg d’Oisans, 300-301
Bourg-en-Bresse, 85, 177, 206, 209-211, 212, 213
Bourges, 27
Bourget du Lac and its Chateau, 239-240
Bourgogne, Canal de, 109
Bourguignons, 81
Bourrienne, 34
Boyvin, 191
Boz, 202
Brançion, Chateau de, 162-163
Brandes, 281
Bresse, 2, 14, 177, 199-201, 205-214
Bressieux, Chateau de, 314-315
Briançon, Seigneurs de, 303-306
Brienne-le-Chateau, 80, 189
Brillat-Savarin, 201
Brouhée, 124
Buffon, 4, 52, 62-66
Bugey, 2, 14, 199, 201
Burgundy, House of, 30, 37, 4, 57, 64, 75, 79, 85, 100, 102, 105, 108, 113-130, 133-134, 144, 145, 147, 164, 272, 311
Bussy-Rabutin, Chateau de, 68-74
Bussy-Rabutin Family, 55, 69-74

Calixtus II, 98, 159
Capet, Hughes, 36, 115
Carnot, Lazare, 4, 146-147, 278
Carpentras, 173
Cavaillon, 173
Celestin IV, 242
Cerceau, Androuet du, 95-96, 181
Chabas, Paul, 264
Chablais, The, 269, 271, 276
Chalon-sur-Saône, 5, 151, 170, 171-173, 174, 175, 177
Chambaraud, 314
Chambertin, 133, 135, 137
Chambéry, 229-239, 243, 247, 251, 260
Chambord, 95, 96
Chambre, Pierre de la, 283
Chambrette, 124
Champagne, Counts of, 19, 100
Champdivers, 208
Champdivers, Odette de, 208
Chagny, 151-152
Chanceaux, 109
Chantel, Mme. de (St. Jeanne de), 54, 55, 71
Chantilly, 154
Charbonne, 262
Charles I (Le Chauve), 175, 206, 213, 302, 303
Charles VI, 208
Charles VII, 28, 30
Charles VIII, 188, 220, 303
Charles IX, 93, 171
Charles X, 57
Charles V (Emperor), 116, 192, 193
Charolles, 153, 155, 171
Chastellux, Chateau de, 16, 37-43, 44
Chastillon (see Châtillon)
Chateau des Ducs (see Chastillon)
Chateauneuf, 206-207
Chateau-Vieille Ville, Seigneurs de, 308{327}
Chatel-Censoir, 35
Chatelet, 196
Chatelet Family, 52
Châtillon-sur-Seine, 35, 62, 66, 75-82, 86
Châtillon-les-Dombes, 215
Châtillon, House of, 241-242, 261
Chaumont-la-Guiche, 154
Chazeu, 70
Chénove, 133-134
Chéran, The, 243
Chignin, Chateau de, 238
Chinon, Chateau, 35
Clamecy, 35
Clement VII, 179, 260
Clémont, 196
Clermont Family, 93, 96, 97-98
Clos de la Perrière, 134
Clos du Chapitre, 134
Clos Vougeot, 9, 135-137, 142
Cluny and Its Abbey, 13-14, 157-162
Cœur, Jacques, 27
Cognac, 116
Colbert, 70, 174
Coligny Family, 87-88, 90, 92, 93, 216
Colin, Sieur, 6
Condé, Prince de, 66, 87, 190
Conflans, 261, 286-288
Corcheval, 153
Cormatin, Chateau de, 162
Corps, 312
Corton, 144-145
Cossé-Brissac, Maréchal, 61
Costa, Marquis Leon and Joseph, 267
Coucy, 12
Coudrée, Chateau de, 268
Coulanges-sur-Yonne, 35
Courcelles-les-Ranges, Chateau de, 79
Courtney Family, 87-88, 90
Cousin, Jean, 34
Coypel, 72
Crais-Billon, 135
Crest, 246
Crussol, 298-299
Cuiseaux, 212
Cure, The, 38
Cussy-la-Colonne, 56-57

Dampierre, 95
Daudet, Alphonse, 236
Dauphiny, 2, 14, 15, 218-228, 245-247, 252, 256, 257, 266, 279, 290-324
De La Roche, 269
Dents du Lanfont, 263
Dheune, The, 109
Die, 246, 323-324
Dijon, 13, 14, 17, 24, 52, 66, 67, 68, 70, 85, 99, 103, 104, 110, 111, 112, 113-130, 133, 135, 171, 185, 186, 190
Dole, 190-191, 209
Dombes, Principality of, 2, 14, 178, 180, 182, 183-184, 199, 201, 202, 215
Donzy, 173
Doussard, Forêt de, 264
Douvaine, 268
Ducloz, Canon, 288
Duesme, 82-83
Dufayal, 60
Duguesclin, 71
Duingt, Chateau de, 263
Dunois, 71
Duretal, 212

Edward III, 33
Embrun, 302, 308, 309-311
Eon, Chevalier d’, 34
Epailly, Jacques d’, 36
Épinac, 148-151
Epiry, Baron d’, 69
Époisses, 20, 52-55
Eugene IV, 272
Evelyn, 6
Évian, 271, 273-276, 279
Excevenex, 268{328}
Fabre, Ferdinand, 263
Fagon, 138
Falais, 12
Farcins, 181
Fargis Family, De, 147
Faucigny, 269
Faverges, 264
Fécamp, Abbey de, 142
Feisons, 286
Felix V, 272
Fernay, 204-205
Fésigny, 282
Fixin, 134-135
Flandaines, Seigneur de, 317-318
Franche, Comté, 2, 17, 116, 185-197, 208
François I, 116, 124, 154, 171, 183, 213, 216, 220, 254, 280, 281, 287, 296-297, 306, 320
Froissart, 80
Furstemburg, Comte de, 213-214

Gallas, 189
Galley, Mlle., 265
Gap, 214, 248, 302, 311-312
Gatinais, The, 20
Gellan, Nicolas de, 76
Gelasse II, 159
Geneva, 102, 203-204, 215, 259, 265-268
Genevois, Comtes de, 260-261, 263, 268, 275
Genlis, 186, 187
Gevrey, 135
Gex, 203-204, 266
Givry, 173
Godran, Odinet, 129
Goelnitz, Abraham, 226
Gondi, Cardinal de, 25
Graffeny, Mlle., 265
Grange du Hameau de Chavoires, 262
Granville Family, 193
Gregory VIII, 98
Gregory IX, 241
Grenoble, 219-224, 225, 244, 247, 248, 253, 254, 291, 292, 300, 314
Grésy, 286
Greuze, 4, 176
Gribaldi, Manoir, 275
Grignan, 246
Grignan, Comtesse de, 55, 72
Guiche Family, De, 154
Guillebaud, 220
Guitant, Chateau de, 55, 59
Gunsbourg, M., 162

Hautecombe, Abbey of, 239, 240
Hémery, Porticelli d’, 88-89
Henri II, 69, 73, 94, 280
Henri IV, 52, 60, 61, 76, 77, 88, 141, 149, 165, 175, 181, 185, 201, 252, 261, 264, 281, 287, 306
Héredia, José-Maria, 263
Héricourt, 196
Hermance, 267
Heurta, Jehan de la, 127
Houssaye, Arsène, 205
Huchisi, 202
Hugues III, 118
Hulls, Chateau des (see La Rochette)
Humbert IV, 181

Ile-de-la-Palme, 176-177
Innocent IV, 159

Jean-sans-Peur, 64, 126-127
Joigny, 5, 20, 25-27
Joinville, House of, 203
Jude, Paul, 220
Just, 73

Labedoyère, 249
La Fontaine, 7
Lamartine, 165-168, 243, 246, 267-268
Lamartine, Chateau de, 166-168{329}
Langeac, Comtesse de, 78
Langres, 149
Lans-le-Bourg, 286
Laroche, Madame, 8
La Rochepot, Chateau de, 146-148
La Rochette, 269, 282-283
La Tour Ronde, 276-277
Lauzun, 202
La Valette, Cardinal, 190
Lavin, 284
Lebrun, 73
Le Chatelard, 243
Lemuet, 88, 91
Le Notre, 30, 74
Lepautre, Jean, 220
Lepelletier de Saint Fargeau, 28
Les Bauges, 243
Lesdiguières, Chateaux de, 311-312
Lesdiguières, Maréchal de, 214, 221, 226-227, 252, 288, 306, 308, 311-312
Les Laumes, 68
Lippomano, 7
Longueville, Duchesse de, 6, 66
Lorraine, Duchy of, 196
Lorris, 22
Louhans, 211, 212
Louis I (Le Débonnaire), 164, 177
Louis VII (Le Jeune), 22, 45
Louis IX (Saint), 45, 159
Louis XI, 30, 116, 142, 188, 220, 251, 296, 298, 309-310, 314, 316, 317, 318, 320
Louis XII, 108, 116, 188, 247, 254
Louis XIII, 73, 124, 190, 213, 228, 282
Louis XIV, 38, 70, 71, 74, 94, 99, 102, 130, 138, 183, 201-202, 220
Louis XV, 63
Louis XVI, 78
Louis Philippe, 167, 323
Louvois, Marquis de, 94, 98
Lugny, 153
Luvois Family, 84

MacMahon Family, 150
Mâcon, 5, 25, 153, 157, 163-165, 168, 170, 171, 175, 177, 178, 210, 213
Magny-en-Vexin, 25
Mailly-le-Chateau, 35
Maine, Duc de, 202
Mandrin, 315
Mansart, 122
Mantaille, Chateau de, 293
Mantailles, 314
Mantoche, 111
Manuel, Chateau de, 287
Marchand, Commandant, 178
Marcigny, 155-156
Marges, Comte de, 225
Marigny Family, 54
Marmont, Chateau de (see Châtillon)
Marmont, Maréchal, 78, 79
Maurienne, Comte de, 305-306
Maxilly, 276
Mayenne, Duc de, 175, 179
Mazard, Castle of, 322
Mazarin, Cardinal, 31, 74, 88
Medicis, Catherine de, 87, 92
Meillerie, 277
Mello Family, De, 54
Menabrea, Leon, 282
Mercier, 5
Mercurey, 173
Mersault, 133, 145-146
Michelet, 4
Mignard, 72, 73, 92
Milly, 166
Miolans, Chateau de, 16, 239, 283-285, 287
Mirabeau, Marquis de, 88{330}
Molay, 208
Molière, 56
Moiturier, Antoine, 127
Monetier-les-Bains, 301
Monge, 4
Monglat, Marquise de, 70, 71, 73, 74
Monillefert, 145
Montagny, Chateau de, 239
Montaigu, Chateau de, 173
Montaigu Family, 150
Montbard and its Chateau, 52, 62-66, 68
Montbéliard, 190, 194-197
Montbossier, Marquis de, 60
Montcony, 212
Mont Dauphin, 308
Montelimar, 246
Montepin, Xavier de, 111
Montersine, 153
Montfaucon Family, 196
Montluel, 215
Montmayeur Family, 282, 284
Montmélian, 16, 239, 252, 279-282, 283, 285
Montmerle, 180-181
Montmorency Family, 88, 147
Montpensier, Mlle. de, 6, 7, 28, 201
Montréal, Chateau de, 37, 43-44
Montréal, Family of, 40, 44
Montreval, Comte de, 165
Montvallezen-sur-Séez, 288
Moras, 314
Moret-sur-Loing, 25
Morveau, Guyton de, 4
Moulin-à-Vent, 138
Moulins-en-Allier, 140
Moutiers, 286
Murillo, 74
Musset, Alfred de, 65

Nantua, 213
Napoleon I, 80, 111, 134-135, 189, 222, 248-249, 296, 298, 301, 302-303
Napoleon III, 233
Nattier, 92
Nemours, Ducs de, 261-262
Nernier, 267-268
Nevers, Renaud, Comte de, 30
Noble, Chateau de, 168-169
Noblemaire, M., 264
Noisat, Commandant, 134-135
Nolay, 146-147
Nuits, 131, 133, 139
Nuits-sous-Ravières, 99-100

Orléans, Henrietta, Duchesse d’, 232

Paray-le-Monail, 17, 155
Passerat, Baron, 268
Peregrin, 92
Perier, Casimir, 226
Pernand, 145
Perrenot, Nicolas, 193
Philibert le Beau, 211
Philibert II, 216
Philippe-Auguste, 23, 45, 183
Philippe-de-Champaigne, 92
Philippe-le-Bon, 36, 64, 118
Philippe-le-Hardi, 105, 108, 115, 118, 126-127, 134
Philippe II, 193
Pierre, 208
Pisa, Nicolas de, 168
Poitiers, Diane de, 93, 256-257, 320
Pommard, 131
Pontaix, 323
Pontarlier, 186, 187
Pontcharra, 247, 251, 252
Pont d’Ain, 215
Pont-de-Vaux, 212-213
Pont-de-Veyle, 213-214
Pot, Philippe, 147
Pouges-les-Eaux, 7{331}
Poussin, 74
Primataccio, 92, 96-97
Prud’hon, 4

Quentin de la Tour, 92
Queyras, Chateau, 308-309
Quincy, The, 90

Rabutin Family, 150
Rabutin-Chantel Family, 54, 69
Ragny, Dame de, 44
Raguse, Duc de, 78, 79
Rambeauteau, 153
Rameau, 4
Rancurelle, 129
Renan, Ernest, 263
Ribbonnier, 149
Richard Cœur-de-Lion, 45
Richelieu, 10, 73, 97, 190, 227, 324
Ripaille, Chateau de, 271-273
Roche, Sires de la, 147
Rochechinard, Chateau de, 318-319
Rochefort, Sires de, 79
Rochefort-en-Montague, Chateau de, 252-253
Rochefort-Lucay Family, 253
Rochette Family, De la, 239, 274
Rollin, Nicolas, 129, 142, 144
Romanée-Conti, 136-138
Romans, 321-323
Romenay, 177
Rouge, Chateau, 287
Rousseau, Jean Jacques, 65, 229, 234-237, 245, 262, 265, 277
Rude, 4, 135

Sade, Marquis de, 283
Saint Antoine, 319-320
Saint-Beauve, 114
Saint Béninge, 103
Saint Bernard, 45
Saint Bernard, Chateau de, 262
Saint-Bonnet-de-Joux, 154
Sainte Croix, 323-324
Saint Donat, 253, 256-257
Saint Fargeau, 6, 27-28
Saint Ferreol Family, 224
Saint François-de-Sales, 271
Saint Gengoux, 173
Saint Gingolph, 266
Saint Jean-de-Losne, 190
Saint Laurent, 219
Saint Marcellin, 218, 315-316, 319
Saint Michel de Maurienne, 238
Saint Nicholas-les-Citeaux, 139
Saint Pierre d’Albigny, 283
Saint-Pont, 166-168
Saint Rambert, 293
Saint Seine, 109
Saint Trivier-de-Courtes, 177
Saint Vallier, 292, 320
Saint Véran, 309
Saint Vorles, Canons of, 77
Sales, Comte Louis de, 261
Salins, Guignonne de, 142
Sambin, Hugues, 4, 124, 125-126
Sarcus, Comtesse de, 69
Sarto, Andrea del, 74
Sassenage, 253-254
Saulieu, 5, 57-60
Saulx-Tavannes, Maréchal de, 149
Savace Family, De, 54
Savegny-sous-Beaune, 145
Savoigny, Chateau de, 69
Savoy, 2, 14, 15, 16, 102, 199, 215, 216-217, 223, 229-244, 245, 252, 264, 266, 278-289, 306
Savoy, House of, 177, 180,{332}
201, 203, 210, 213, 215, 216, 227, 229-234, 239, 240, 243, 251, 252, 260, 263, 268, 270, 271, 281, 285, 288
Sciez, 268
Ségur, Pierre de, 195
Semur-en-Brionnais, 156-157
Semur-en-Auxois, 36, 50-53, 56, 62
Sennonais, The, 19, 29, 84
Sens, 5, 14, 20, 21
Serlio, 25
Seruin, The, 34, 43
Sève, Jean de, 181
Sévigné, Mme. de, 6, 53-56, 59, 69, 72
Short, Frank, 164
Sigismond, Emperor, 215, 232
Sluter, Claus, 127
Sone, Chateau de la, 320-321
Soufflot, 34
Souvre, Anne de, 95
Stendhal, 191, 247
Sue, Eugene, 262
Sully, Chateau de, 149-150
Sully Family, 147, 281

Taine, 263
Tanlay, Chateau de, 16, 86-93, 96, 98
Tapffer, 273
Tarentaise, The, 286-288, 303, 304
Tavannes Family, 149-150
Terrail Family, 250-251
Terreaux-à-Verostres, 154
Thil Family, De, 54
Thévenin Family, 88
Thodure, 314
Thoire et Villars, Sires de, 201
Thoissey, 178-179
Thoisy-la-Berchere, 60
Thone, 264
Thonon-les-Bains, 268-270, 271, 272, 273
Thoron, Manoir de, 264
Thorwaldsen, 194
Toisé, 174-175
Touches, 173
Touges, 267
Tour de Fonbonne, 275
Tour-de-Pin, 17, 246
Tour, Manoir de la, 264-265
Tour, Quentin de la, 236
Tour Sans Venin, 254-255
Tour, Villa de la, 262
Tournette, 263
Tournus, 5, 162, 175-176
Trévoux, 5, 180, 181-184
Tonnerre, 20, 29, 35, 84-86, 93, 99
Tonnerre Family, 30, 33, 84, 93, 94, 95, 98
Tremouille Family, De la, 54
Troches, Chateau de, 268
Turner, 164

Urban III, 241
Uriage, 224-225
Uzes, Ducs de, 299

Valbonne, 215
Valence, 247, 293, 295-298
Valentinian, Emperor, 102
Valois, Jeanne de, 25
Valois, Philippe de, 218, 291, 292, 322
Val-Romey, 199, 201, 206
Varambon, Sire de, 183
Vatel Family, 59
Vauban, Chateau de, 48-49
Vauban, Maréchal, 34, 46-49, 187, 191, 192, 223, 308
Vaucanson, 320
Vergy, Chateau de, 139
Vermanton, 5
Vezelay, 36, 44-46
Vibrave Family, 48
Vienne, 290-295, 314, 324
Vienne, Archbishops of, 275{333}
Vienne, Comtes de, 218, 291, 293
Vienne, Guy of (see Calixtus II)
Villaines-en-Dumois, 66-67
Villars, Sires de, 180
Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, 21-25
Villefranche, 181-182
Vireville, 314
Vizille, Chateau de, 214, 225-228, 300, 312
Voltaire, 52, 56, 204-205

Warens, Mme. de, 229, 236
Werve, Claus de, 127
Whymper, 301
Wurtemburgs, Chateau of the, 195-196

Young, Arthur, 8, 236
Yvoire, 268

Zinzerling, 7
Zizim, 318-319

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:
Forêz et Beaujolais, pour l’annee=> Forêz et Beaujolais, pour l’année`{pg 5}
Le Fidele Conducteur=> Le Fidèle Conducteur {pg 6}
mon nom mes mes=> mon nom mes {pg 46}
francherait d’un bond=> franchirait d’un bond {pg 82}
distict pavillon=> distict pavillion {pg 90}
D’ou sont sortis=> D’où sont sortis {pg 101}
hôtels privées=> hôtels privés {pg 128}
restaurants mondaines=> restaurants mondains {pg 135}
toutes les facons=> toutes les façons {pg 151}
En tout pays ou vent vente=> En tout pays où vent vente {pg 158}
rez-de-Chausée=> rez-de-Chaussée {pg 160}
ce spectacle l’ecrase=> ce spectacle l’écrase {pg 166}
rez-de-chaussêe=> rez-de-chaussée {pg 194}
la Principaute de Dombes=> la Principauté de Dombes {pg 199}
Mias viv’ Macon pour beir=> Mias viv’ Mâcon pour beir {pg 200}
chateaux débout=> chateaux debout {pg 269}
surounded by=> surrounded by {pg 224}
comem si l’on=> comme si l’on {pg 234}
rendezvous de chasse=> rendez-vous de chasse {pg 256}
Route Imperiale=> Route Impériale {pg 286}
said the Marechal to his king=> said the Maréchal to his king {pg 288}
guerilla warfare=> guerrilla warfare {pg 311}

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