Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Friday, June 28, 2019

Montbard and Around, June 10-14

We departed Ancy at the usual 9 am Monday headed for our next stop, La Grande Forge de Buffon. We pulled into the small mooring about 2 pm just as it was beginning to rain. Luckily after just an hour or so it let up and we were able to walk up to see the old industrial site itself. Unfortunately, it closed at 5 so we would have to wait until it opened the next morning (we were told) at 10 to take a tour around the museum.

The wheat fields around Raviers were full of poppies in bloom.

The Comte de Buffon founded a metal working factory in 1768 which used nearby watercourses to power hydraulic bellows and hammers, turning cast iron into pure iron. The original industrial site was completely restored in the 1980’s. Metal work is still a major employer in the area, with several specialty manufacturers in the nearby town of Montbard. 
But to the Grand Forge. We dutifully turned up at the front gate at 10 am. It wasn’t open. 15 minutes later the gentleman we had seen the day before turned up, let himself in the gate muttering something we couldn’t understand and then disappeared inside. After another 15 or 20 minutes it became apparent that we weren’t going to get in (We still don’t understand why. It never did open while we were there.) so we went back to the boat, unloaded the bicycles and rode the 3 k up the canal to St. Remy, just another picturesque small village.

We cycled up and around the church then headed back to the boat, getting underway just after the lunch closure so we could be tied up in Montbard by around 2. Since it was still early in the day we had a chance to wander around town and see some of the sites.

Some very small rooms in there.

Looking down on town from the Parc de Buffon.

The Tour de l’Aubespin and Tour Saint-Louis, also in the Parc
from the banks of the River Brenne that runs around the edge of town.

But the real reason to stop in Montbard, besides some shopping, was to travel the 8 k away from the canal to visit the Abbey de Fontenay, which we would do on Thursday.

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