6.3 East of Avallon

Sauvigny-le -Bois – population 730

This is a small village 4 km north east of Avallon.

It was here at 12 Rue de la Liberte that Allan first became involved in a French renovation.

The ruins of the Priory of Saint-Jean-des-Bonshommes are at Sauvigny-le-Bois.

This was a settlement of the Bonshommes from the Grammontensian Order, whose rules were close to those of the Cistercians. It was founded in 1189 and in 1295 there were 18 monks in the community. The settlement continued until about 1518. The site is now privately owned and largely in ruins, but it is open for viewing on special occasions and by arrangement.

Montreal – population 200

Perched on a hill overlooking the Serin Valley, Montréal has a charm all of its own. As you pass through the medieval gateway, up the steep main street, the beautifully preserved houses from the 14th to 16th century tower over you. Some have turrets, others, outside stone staircases and small courtyards.

Right at the top, overlooking a 180 degree view, is the Church of Notre Dame, restored by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century.

Epoisses – population 800

A typical French village that has become widely known for a pungent soft cheese that was favoured by Napoleon.

Dating back to the start of the sixteenth century when the village was home to a Cistercian community at L'Abbaye de Citeaux, production died out during WW2 and was relaunched in 1956.

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