This picturesque village, high on a small mount, is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
It was a fortified town in the Middle Ages, a fact that can still clearly be seen if you walk beyond one of the portals and onto the old ramparts. Built of mellow stone, the local inhabitants now take great pride in the preservation and restoration of their village and there are interesting architectural details at every turn.
All around Flavigny there are little tags to let you know what century many of the buildings date back to; something I found of interest. It means you don't have to wonder how old they are, something that fascinates people like me from a country where there is no architecture remotely close to the age of the buildings shown here.
There's also street maps, ones you can carry and posted at a couple of points, so that you can find you way around and the buildings with tags or history are numbered (see last picture).
The crypt is adjacent to where you buy the aniseed and is worth a quick look though, for me, sadly the captions are only in French. Still, some of the capitals are unmistakeably old and their are some Corinthian style columns surrounding a small altar that evoke times past.
This portal is probably the one you'll see first and it's the most impressive. It dates back to the 14th century.
The best idea is to leave your car in the carpark nearby outside the walls and walk in from there. This way you'll appreciate more what the town has to offer.
The intro page has a shot from the outside.
flavigny was once a fortified town. It was fortified by the Abbey in 1149. Fragments of these fortifications remain at each end of the small town. We visited those on the Semur side called the Porte du Bourg. Here is a machicolated 15C wall that is slotted for two drawbridges(no moat is visible any longer). This is part of a gate house. In the wall is a niche with a cupid's bow arch that contains a Virgin statue. Another protected entry is on the opposite end of town but we no longer have pictures of it.
Finally this modest church has a set of well carved choir stalls whose back paneling is carried around the apse. This opulence must be a reflection of the monastery which was very powerful and probably used the church. The caarving of the cheek pieces at the ends of the rows of seats and their tops are well done. A display is made of their misericords (See Our Tip about this under Customs, below). In current times the apse has received attractive stained glass windows.
The object of greatest interest in the church is an exquisite Angel of the Annunciation which was found in a church dig in 1933. Its dating suggests the followers of Sluter (early 15C). (The rest of the group has claimants in far off museums.)other versions of this Angel exist but the quality of this one is undeniable. Otherr fine objects adorn the church: a fine 12C carved and polychromed nursing Madonna stands near the book stall at the head of the choir and the choir itself is worth study. The work of its fine woof d carved stalls extends around the apse a paneling filling the space up to the windows.
Over the arcades of the nave, past the first two bays, the aisles are covered by tall galleries which run for three bays. At this point, the next bay starts with a transvers arch. Below it is a nave crossing gallery with a fine balustrade that joins the lateral galleries. On its West side it bears a pulpit over the nave. A crossing gallery and stairs cover the nave in the first two bays, the total allowing for a larger congregation in a small church. The grand crossing gallery is the location of the transept. Here lateral chapels extend from the aisle. On the north is a fine worship chapel and the the open part on the south is a church bookstore selling tourist items.
The church wsbbuilt in the 13 C and contains many 15C modifications that are unique in Gothic building. The facade isan 18C makeover (but I think the statues are old). It is the interior and its contents that you should see.