We learned a lot more about the heritage of the local area when we participated in a 12km walk around part of the ban sacré between Cortambert and Donzy le Pertuis.
In 1095, when the third stage of the building of the Abbey was well advanced, the rapidly increasing numbers of monks found themselves in need of protection from attack and robbery. Hugues de Semur, the Abbot under Pope Urbain II, decreed that there should be a line drawn around Cluny within which nobody could carry arms. The penalty was excommunication from the church. The boundary followed existing paths and was about 40km in circumference, waymarked by stones carved with the sign of the crossed keys and the arms of the Abbey.
At Notre Dame des Roches
Good views although a bit hazy
It wasn’t just a walk this afternoon. Along the way we had questions to answer about the features we saw. Our score was rather low but we couldn’t compete with the local knowledge (Who built the lavoir? “Oh, that my was grandfather’s brother in law”……).
We looked at the land in a different way. In Roman times (before 550) there were thousands of soldiers camped in Cluny due to its good supply of fresh water. There used to be a dam in the fields above the Chemin du Clou to make a reservoir from which the water was piped to Cluny. The large stones from the dam can still be seen in hedgerows and walls. Water was also run down to the forest between Varanges and Cluny which was divided into plots of 9 square metres. Each soldier was given a plot where they could build a hut.
In sight of Cortambert
Anyway having exercised both the legs and the brain we came back to the foyer rural in Cortambert to have our papers marked and to chat over new wine and cakes.
Very welcome at the end of the afternoon
Many thanks to Cortambert, Donzy and the local Heritage Society for a most interesting afternoon.