Sunday, 16 September 2012

Journées du Patrimoine

Every year on the second weekend in September, France (or at least Burgundy) celebrates its architectural heritage by opening buildings to the pubic that are not normally open. We love this weekend, as the local Office de Tourisme organises a walk on the Sunday to one of the villages in our canton and a local historian explains the history and heritage of the village.

Well this year it was Cormatin’s turn. The walk started at Saint Roch, via the church in Cormatin (not exceptionally interesting but there is a mediaeval Pieta that is worth a look) then on to Chazelle via L’Hermitage.

Chazelle on the other hand, has a lot to offer: the lavoir; the water mill (the first electricity generator for miles around); the church (a Romanesque church and part of the Clunisien order) and of course La Tuilerie. Yes this year we were part of the local heritage walk!

Because Paris has its Jardin des Tuileries, many foreigners (and possibly some French people too) think that tuilerie means garden. Actually a tuilerie is a place that make “tuiles” - roof tiles. In our case, this is a slight misnomer. as our little factory mainly made bricks and in fact until a couple of weeks ago we didn’t have any proof that any roof tiles had been made here at all. But now we are the proud owners of two roof tiles stamped “Noël Marembeaud, à Chazelles”, so we can officially claim the title of tuilerie.

The real significance of our property is, that it was pat of the mini-industrial revolution that took place all along the Saône valley, taking in much of the Grosne valley as well in the 1800s. There were numerous tuileries, briquetteries, water mills (for flour and electricity) and spinning mills. Many still exist in some form or another, but many have been lost to decay, which is why we love showing people around our tuilerie, because even though it is not in working order, there still remains enough to fully explain how it all works and it is preserving a bit of history that could so easily be lost.

So that was my bit of fun this morning, showing 20 or so visitors around our little piece of local heritage.

La Tuilerie Website

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