Stroll in the green country of Lamartine


It is a peaceful and bucolic landscape around Mâcon. The gentle and verdant hills are rolling as far as the eye can see. Planted with vines that give a wine sometimes white, sometimes red, they are, beyond the Col des Enceints, dedicated to the grove and pastures to cows. Their folds hide villages of ocher stone, pretty houses with open galleries, an incalculable number of Romanesque bell towers. And so many castles with sloping roofs in small tiles of Burgundy.

In Macon, in the footsteps of Lamartine

This is the country of Alphonse de Lamartine. This year, among other events to commemorate the 150 years of the death of this great romantic poet a little forgotten, guided walks of a day (by bus) will be organized. But the 70 km of the "Lamartine road", created in 1990, can also be enjoyed alone, with family or friends, by car, bike or even on foot, thanks to the many hiking routes. Be careful, the climbs are sometimes rough.

An open house "about others and about the world"

This journey allows to rediscover also this politician passed from royalism to republicanism and the universe of the country aristocrats of XIXe century. Indeed, in this territory that cultivates its memory – number of places, streets, roads and various establishments bear his name – the interlocutors do not pray to speak.

Born in Mâcon in 1790 in the provincial nobility, the future deputy spent part of his childhood in Milly, surrounded by a tender and caring mother, and his sisters. This village has attached Lamartine to his name and installed his statue in the town hall square.

A little further on, in Lamartine Street, the family home is visible behind an iron gate. It is with pain that Lamartine will sell it in 1860 to escape the ruin. She has since been in the Sornay family. "So far we have respected the commitment made by our ancestor, who has acquired, to maintain the family dimension of this property," says Philippe Sornay. "Faithful to the spirit of Lamartine", he ensures that the house remains open "on others and on the world".

The Guernsey of Victor Hugo, wild and laughing

Two kilometers before Milly is Bussières: the young Lamartine came on foot to take the lessons of Latin and Greek from Father Dumont. On a slope near this town, a sign indicates "Jocelyn's cave". It is better to wear shoes to reach, by a narrow and steep path, to the hiding place where the abbot Dumont, named Jocelyn, would have sheltered his loves in the troubled years of the Revolution. Lamartine will romance this story to write the 8,000 verses of his famous "Jocelyn" in 1836.

Grand turn

A little further south, in the direction of Mâcon, the valley of the little Grosne is dominated by the towers of Pierreclos Castle. Of "A grandiose twist", wrote Lamartine. The Michon de Pierreclos received Sunday, in the 1800s, their friends Lamartine. The building was then less proud than today: important work has been done recently. The current owners, Anne-Françoise and Jean-Marie Pidault, winemakers, offer pleasant guest rooms, visits and wine tastings.

If, on the other hand, since Milly, one crosses, to the west, the neck of Enceints, one arrives at the castle of Saint-Point. Lamartine inherited it from his father the day after the resounding success of meditations, who had propelled him socially and allowed him to marry Mary-Ann Birch in 1820. The arrangements made by the poet in this medieval building gave him the gothic troubadour look that she always has.

Lamartine did not live there permanently because he was elected deputy in 1832, on the return of a trip during which his daughter, Julia, will die. A hard blow for him because he had already lost a little boy. These children rest near the chapel below the park where Lamartine was buried later with his wife, his mother and his niece Valentine.

The essential role of the man of letters during the Revolution

"I like Lamartine, he was a respectable man who had values," proclaims Philippe Mignot, owner for fifteen years of the castle of Saint-Point. Is it objected that the poet was as great a seducer, an unrepentant gambler, and a great spender? " In his youth ", corrects the current squire who puts on the account of his generosity, rents paid to his sisters and a great way of life the financial difficulties that forced Lamartine to write "food" works.

Philippe Mignot prefers to emphasize the essential role of the man of letters during the Revolution of 1848, before driving his visitors in the wing added in 1856: on the ground floor, in the living room, showcases expose many objects having belonged to Lamartine. Upstairs is his room stretched leather Cordoba. The tile chimney was painted by Mrs. Lamartine.

A lover of nature

A time, Lamartine preferred the castle of Monceau, located in Prissé nearby, inherited from an aunt. "He received his political guests," note Claire Santoni-Magnien, head of communication at the Ursuline Museum in Mâcon. Transformed into a summer retreat by the Ozanam Foundation, this beautiful building can not be visited.

At the roadside, at the edge of the park, a small wooden pavilion has recently been renovated after a fire. In 1847, Lamartine would have written The history of the Girondins who had a crazy success. "During the grand banquet that will then be offered to Mâcon, this excellent speaker will prophesy a revolution if the government does not change the way it acts," continues Claire Santoni-Magnien.

"I am the color of those persecuted"

The following year, it will be over King Louis-Philippe. Lamartine will proclaim the second Republic but will oppose the adoption of the red flag and will sign the decree abolishing slavery. His calamitous presidential election of 1848 will end his political career.

At the twilight of his existence, riddled with debts, the poet will write that his true vocation would have been to be a winemaker. This lover of nature was, in any case, ensures Claire Santoni-Magnien, "Deeply rooted in this territory" that he has beautifully described, speaking for example of the Solutré and Vergisson rocks that block the horizon, as "Petrified ship bows".


in practice

Ask about : Tourism development agency of Saône-et-Loire

visit: Lamartine House in Milly. Visit from May to September, Sunday at 4 pm and by appointment. € 7. Castle of Saint-Point. Guided tours at 11 am, 3 pm, 4 pm and 5 pm on weekends and holidays from April 28 to June 24. Every day from July 7th to August 31st. € 8.50. Ursuline Museum. 5, rue de la Prefecture. Builder.

To stay, to eat: Pierreclos Castle. From 165 €.
Brasserie Le Lamartine, 259 quai Lamartine, Mâcon.
Restaurant Le Moustier, 5, rue d'Ausonia, Berze-la-Ville. 03 85 37 77 41.

See also: In Berze-la-ville, the paintings of the Romanesque chapel inspired by Cluny.
Solutre and Vergisson.

. (TagsToTranslate) tourism (t) Culture (t) Lamartine (t) Walk


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