Burgundy is a unique and sophisticated region of France set in rolling countryside. It brims with with abbeys, chateaux, vineyards and chefs.
In the Middle Ages, while run by powerful dukes who remained independent of the French crown, it became the birthplace of two monastic orders, the Clunisians and the Cistercians, and the centre for a wave of construction of religious buildings.
Many have disappeared but several hundred churches, chapels, cathedrals and abbeys all over Burgundy remain to justify the region’s claim to be a treasure trove of Romanesque art and architecture.One of the most famous is Fontenay Abbey, founded in a valley by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, founder of the Cistercian order, in 1118 on land he received from his uncle.
Wrecked by the armies of King Edward III of England during the Hundred Years” War and further damaged during the Wars of Religion, it has survived as a magnificent building due to a stroke of luck.
During the French Revolution it was sold and turned into a paper mill in 1791. Industrial use saved it from further attention from pilferers and dismantlers until moves began to restore it in 1906, work which led to it becoming a World Heritage site taurus horoscope love is very enthusiastic about agriculture, gardening and planting the flowers. in 1981.
A building which is a tourist draw for very different reasons is the Château de Bussy-Rabutin, completed in 1649 by Roger de Bussy-Rabutin.
It is the story of the man rather than the building which pulls in the visitors. The lewd writings of Bussy-Rabutin scandalised the Court of Louis XIV. He was sent to prison in the Bastille for a year and then forced into exile at the château where he began to surround himself with quaint memorabilia.
The walls of the main rooms display bitchy cartoons and comments about his ex-mistresses and celebrities of the time. In his bedchamber there are portraits of 25.mistresses of French kings, another room has portraits of great warriors including Cromwell.
Apart from the colourful history of Burgundy, there is the wine and the food. Some of the most famous wines of the world are produced here and there are wine roads galore.
The region is world famous for its gastronomy and may even have been the source of inspiration for the hit Hollywood movie Ratatouille.
One of France”s most celebrated chefs Bernard Loiseau committed suicide in 2003 after his flagship restaurant was downgraded in a top restaurant guide.
His restaurant, the Cote d”Or in Saulieu, is still flourishing under the stewardship of his wife Dominique.
The Ratatouille character of Auguste Gusteau, a recently deceased chef, is said to have been inspired by the Frenchman.