Tonnerre is the French word for "thunder" but the name of the town called Tonnerre in Burgundy has an entirely different derivation. Two thousand years ago the town was known as Tornodurum — the little fortified town might have been named after a prominent resident called Tournus. I don't think anybody really knows.
Tonnerre is located on the side of a big hill on the Armançon river and the Canal de Bourgogne. It's just a few minutes' drive from Chablis, and with a population of more that five thousand it's a much bigger place. A church called the Église Saint-Pierre dominates the area. Nearby to the north is the town of Chaource, where a delicious cheese with that name is made.
The original church was built in the 14th century but after a big fire it had to be rebuilt in the mid-16th. You can't go into the church unless you've made an appointment with the local Office de Tourisme for a guided tour.
Despite some nice architectural details, the site's most notable feature is the spectacular views of the town that you have from its grounds (see an example above).
Sue and I visited Tonnerre maybe four years ago as we travelled to Dijon. It was a TdF town and I bought a TdF T-shirt that I still have.ReplyDelete
Another great feature of Tonnerre is the Fosse Dionne, a spring bursting from the depths below. Around the spring is an 18th century wash house and the myth is that a serpent lives in the depths of the spring. Did you see it?
You are jumping the gun, Leon, lol.Delete
We stayed in Chaource once en route to the Languedoc and first tasted its cheese during that stay. It's has become one of our favorites.ReplyDelete
I'm really happy to be able to find good Chaource at local Intermarché and SuperU markets. It and the similar Neufchâtel from Normandy are two of my favorite cheeses (but then there are many more). Hope you enjoyed Chenonceau.Delete
Glad to see you got some dry weather and sun during your short road trip. Did you take Callie with you on your daily outings or did she stayat the gîte?ReplyDelete
We can't leave her alone in unfamiliar surroundings. Who knows how she would react and what damage she might do if she felt abandoned. So we took the dog with us everywhere we went. Having her with us limited what we could do in towns like Tonnerre or Montbard... Is your snow all gone? We haven't had any here at all, but the temperature is down to 0 this afternoon.Delete
No, the snow is still there. Some 5 cm, but rock-hard because of the -1°C temperature. I went out at noon to get some Chinese take-away for lunch. I took the (new) car, although it's only 300 m. I wanted to test it on a frozen underground. See how it reacted before taking it into work on Monday Jan. 5th. It behaved beautifully on the almost cleared main road. I also took it for a short spin along some frozen back-roads ... and there too, it lived up to my expectations. The parking lot at our local supermarket was really slippery though and it took some acrobatic skills to make it to the entrance and back. But I survived. Btw, the Chinese take-away was really nice. My mother and I both enjoyed it with a bottle of chilled Mateus (Portuguese rosé). Have a nice Sunday, or what is left of it. :)Delete
Wow, how different the design and sculptures are in these later churches, compared to Romanesque and Gothic. There's no mistaking the era!ReplyDelete
Isn't there a town by the name or Tournus somewhere in the south? With a cathedral?
Yes, Tournus is farther south, about halfway between Dijon and Lyon. The final S of Tournus is silent, so the name sounds like « tour nue » in French.Delete
I have been watching the program: Les Monuments préférés des Français, since Dec 15th and on Christmas Eve they had Burgundy and Tonnerre was mentioned at one point since la fosse Dionne was one of the six monuments chosen for the show
Beaver, I didn't see that series. I'll have to look for the episode(s) about La Fosse Dionne on pluzz.fr.Delete