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...more
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...more
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.more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
In the sturdy old 18C Abbey building near the church is the shop which sells the candy. The tins of anise flavored pastilles are shipped all over the world. They have been popular for their flavor and use as a breath freshener for centuries.Bsides getting them here, they can be found in select shops selling a variety of candies from specialty manufacturers. ( On the Abbey grounds are remnants of its original 8C buildings).
What to buy: Some type of anise flavored candy
What to pay: Very little.
13-17C choir stall seats are designed as flip-up seats with retaining pins. Under the seat is a triagular wedge shaped shelf designed to fit against the rear of the crotch of a person of average height standing in the stall. The purpose is to provide invisible support for choir members (especially older or obese onses) who are not able to stand for the long periods of time often called for in monastic services or others. This device is called a misericord (or mercy seat). This device is usually quite plain, but in intensively carved choir stalls during this period, the misericords are interestingly carved. Moreover they are hidden from view and it became the custom for them to display imaginative forms. (Like modillions under church roof-tops of the period, I believe these resultfrom a competition of the craftsmen and some of the "advanced" apprentices of the project competing for prizes awarded in several categories, then the required number of pieces were utilized with no regard for the propriety (?) of the works.
If you are an early riser and arrive during the week between 9.00 and 11.00 from February to November (with the exception of the month of August), you can visit the aniseed ball factory in the Abbaye de Flavigny. Packed in delightful little tins, sure to please the receiver, they are easy to tuck into a corner of a suitcase and make ideal gifts.
The tins are available in the shop in the village and many other local outlets if you miss the wake-up call. The Benedictine Abbey, built in the 8C, was an important religious centre and it is thought that the monks developed the recipe for Anis de Flavigny.
Fondest memory: At the time of writing you can expect to pay 2.35 to 2.70 euros for a little tin. If you buy in bulk they are cheaper but don't look as nice for gifts. Great lollies for sucking while you're driving along because they take ages to dissolve.
The abbey is the only place where famous Anis de Flavigny sweets are made and it enjoys Site Remarquable du Goût status. The sweets exist in a dozen different flavours, from blackcurrant to violet and carries on a culinary tradition begun in the time of King Louis IX. The recipe for this natural product has remained unchanged since the 16th century.