In Macon, in the footsteps of Lamartine

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The museum of the Ursulines, Mâcon, had so far beautiful collections of Gallo-Roman objects and paintings. In July, he will be enriched by a permanent exhibition dedicated to the poet and the important moments of his life, explains Michèle Moyne-Charlet, the director.

2019, year Lamartine

At the entrance will be presented the old furniture of the castle of Saint-Point. Then will be mentioned Mary-Ann Birch, the English wife. The second section will present trips to Italy and the Orient. The third, the political action of the man of letters. The fourth, the last years of the poet. The fifth section will include the current temporary exhibition detailing all the steps – subscriptions, tugging between Paris and Mâcon, sculptors' competitions, various locations in Mâcon, etc. – until the installation of the monumental statue of the poet – made by Falguière – on the banks of the Saône, near the arch bridge that became emblematic of the city. The inauguration of the statue on August 18, 1878 on the quai Lamartine had given rise to enormous festivities.

A marked circuit

Since then, the poet has become a tourist asset of the city. A circuit, marked out thanks to small metal triangles encrusted in the ground, proposes to discover the Mâcon de Lamartine. He leaves the museum. The beautiful buildings XVIIe century of the former convent which sheltered it had been transformed into prison during the Revolution: Pierre, father of the poet and royalist, was locked there several years.

In the rue des Ursulines, indicates Adelaïde Garay, cultural mediator, stood also the family home where the future poet was born in 1790. It was destroyed in 1972 during the rehabilitation of the district. Not far from there, this artery crosses rue Bauderon de Sénecé where rose the house of the Roys, the family of Alix, the mother of Alphonse.

While traveling to places dear to the poet, this circuit in the city center can store a wealth of information on the life of the poet and admire some beautiful mansions. For example, rue Sigorne, Sénecé hotel, owned since 1896 by the Academy of Mâcon. It sheltered, a time, a museum Lamartine.

A typical Maconnais style

The walk also goes through the rue Lamartine inaugurated in 1842, during the lifetime of the poet. At 15, is the hotel Ozenay bought by the Lamartine in 1804.

Nearby, including rue de la Barre, are lined with beautiful stone houses with shutters and iron balconies. "A typical Mâconnais style", notes Adelaïde Garay. They speak of the prosperity of a Macon living on wine and commerce, favored by the Saone. By pushing street of May 8, 1945, it opens on the cathedral Saint-Vincent, built in 1808. A mass there was said in 1869 when the remains of the poet, died in Paris, arrived in Mâcon. Wishing it to be restored, Lamartine had opposed the construction, in the 1860s, of the very dark St. Peter's Church, located on the Place de l'Hotel de Ville. Bypassing this last building, we reach quai Lamartine. Nearby, on a facade of rue Gambetta, a monumental mosaic evokes the eminent role of the local child in 1848.

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