The Town of St Germain du Bois
St Germain du Bois dates back to 1155 AD and the population today is about 1900 inhabitants. This Burgundian Bresse town has a wealth of facilities not normally associated with a town of this size. This is why we are perfectly situated for people who want to enjoy the tranquil rural life but want quick and easy access to cities, wine areas or the mountains.
Facilities in St Germain du Bois
There is a wide selection of shops, bars, restaurants etc.
Some shops close from Monday noon, as they are open all Saturday.
Most of them except the supermarkets close from noon - 2 pm.
Easy parking even on market days.
A few food and drink specialties of Burgundy
Grenouilles - frog legs
Escargots - snails
Tête de veau - calf's head
Fromage blanc - a special cheese served with salt or sugar and cream
Moutarde de Dijon - Dijon mustard
Miel - honey
Fromages - cheese (Epoisse, Ami du Chambertin, Aisy, Cendre) - to name a few
Poulet de Bresse - a specially fed chicken (white with black legs)
Marc de Bourgogne - a type of brandy
Vin jaune du Jura - Aligoté white wine with Crème du Cassis (fermented blackcurrant juice)
Local wine areas of Burgundy
Wine is France's biggest export and vineyards are in abundance, some of which sell directly to the public at greatly reduced prices. The best part is the "try before you buy" but do keep in mind that the drink and drive laws in France are very strict.
There are six main wine producing areas:
Côte dOr - 1 hour 15 minutes
Côte du Beaune - 45 minutes
Côte Châlonnaise - 60 minutes
Maconnaise - 1 hour 10 minutes
Beaujolais - 1 hour
Jura - 40 minutes
On the wine track (appr. 60 minutes from St Germain du Bois)
Aloxe-Corton, Mersault, Pommard, Montrachet, Nuits St Georges, Gevrey Chambertin, Moulin-à-Vent, Beaujolais Morgan,
Beaujolais Brouilly, Beaujolais Fleurie, Mercurey, Rully, Pouilly Fuissé
The above mentioned wines are just a small cross section of what is available in the area.
Wine tasting is available at nearly all vineyards in the area.
Things to do ...
- Sports facilities -
Outdoor swimming pool - open in June, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, noon - 7 pm, July and August every day from noon - 7 pm
Tennis courts - two outdoor courts are available on reservation
Volley and basket ball in the park
Pétanque - bowls
Equestrian - Centre Hippique de la Chenerai, Villarot, Bosjean, Tel : 03 85 74 76 41, trainings, riding lessons, excursion
- Bird watching -
The region contains a wealth of wildlife birds and animals which include peasant, partridge (grey and red legged), hoopies, woodpeckers, lapwings, ducks and every conceivable type of hawk (buzzards, kestrels, hen harriers).
Wildlife includes foxes, roe deer, badgers, red squirrels, butterflies etc.
- Fishing -
Fishing in the area is course fishing. There are two lakes, the Titard and la Tuilerie. Three local rivers are la Seille, la Brenne, la Guyotte. These contain perch, carp, black bass, pike and the renowned silurid (Welsh catfish). Fishing at night is not allowed. Fishing permits required. These permits can be obtained at the tabac/newsagent in the main street in St Germain. With prior notice game fishing (trout) can be arranged (Flies dry and wet available here).
The Seille river, navigable along 39 km, offers a cruise in the heart of the Bresse grove. The fishing is from the bank of a river, a pond or in small boat. Many rivers and lakes will satisfy your passion.
- Walking -
Bresse is crossed by a network of marked paths (more than 850 km). The French love to walk and cycle and ever since the French Revolution have enjoyed 'the right to roam'. A book sold in the tourist offices called "Randonnées en Bresse Bourguignonne" lists many local walks plus others.
- Museums -
St Germain has an Ecomusee, which is open from the 15 May till 30th September. Daily opening hours are 3.00 - 7.00 pm.
St Germain. The Bresse agriculture - Maison Collinet, Route de Chalon
Farming activities in Bresse from the 19th century to nowadays. Agricultural equipment from carriages to the first tractors.
Pierre de Bresse. Burgundian Bresse Ecomuseum, Chateau (www.pierredebresse.fr)
Castle of the 17th century, seat of the Ecomuseum with 3000 m2 of exhibition about the natural environment, the history, the crafts of the past, the economic life of nowadays, audiovisual room and temporary exhibitions.
Louhans, Hotel-Dieu, 3, rue du capitaine Vic (www.louhans.fr)
Completed in 1767, the General Hospital welcomed patients during more than three centuries. The furniture is representative of the diversity of every era.
Both patients rooms are still furnished with enclosed wood and cast iron beds. In its amazing Apothecary's you will discover a rare collection of Hispano-Moresque china pots dating back from the 15th and 16th centuries. Guided tours only, but definitely worth seeing.
Louhans museum is a printing museum, which is part of the Ecomusee de Bresse Bourguignon. The theme here is the history of newsprint.
Chalon, Nicephore Niepee Museum, 28, Quai des Messageries (www.chalon.fr)
First camera in the world. Here the history of photography is presented from the invention of the first camera by Nicephore Niepee to our times.
Chalon. Denon Museum, 3, rue Boichot
Archaeological collection showing man's presence in the Saône Valley since prehistoric times.
Also fine collection of paintings, furniture of the region and temporary exhibitions all year round.
- Market days in the area -
Monday - Louhans, Pierre de Bresse
Tuesday - Cuisery
Wednesday - Saint Martin en Bresse, Simandre
Thursday - Saint Germain du Plain, Varennes St Sauveur, Verdun sur le Doubs
Friday - Bellevesvre, Mervans, Romenay
Saturday - Saint Germain du Bois, Tournus
Sunday - Changy
Things to see
Louhans/the town with 157 medieval arcades. Once a settlement in old Burgundy, then a rural village of Tournus' Abbey, Louhans became the seat of a Lord's estate within the duchy of Burgundy in the 13th century. Merchants benefiting from the proximity of main commercial routes from the Jura and Italy beyond and from Chalon's fair made the town prosperous. Louhans received a franchise charter in 1269 and during the Middle Ages and the 19th century, Louhans became the most active place for trade in the region. The site surrounding the main street was developed at this time, leaving the church in an unusual place, but included in the urbanism during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Louhans market is well worth a visit. Here you can buy virtually anything from wine to live animals, to pajamas. There are several stalls to look for. One sells herbs and spices some of which are difficult to find in the UK. Other stalls include dried fruit and olives, smoked wild boar fillet and sausages (salami type) and of course cheese stalls. The market shuts about noon so an early start is advisable, also parking can be difficult if you arrive late.
Louhans has many very good restaurants including a Chinese. The majority of shops are in the Grand Rue. These include books, fishing tackle, cake, cheese, chocolate, baker, wine merchants and estate agents. There are two newspaper shops in the Grand Rue that sell English and German newspapers.
Jura between Switzerland and Burgundy
Plains, lakes and mountains, the Jura offers the visitor a variety of landscapes all year round. Documentary evidence of vines existing in the Jura dates back to the 10 century, but probably as old as the 3rd century. In the 13th century the wines of Arbois were mentioned as some of the most prestigious along with the wines of Beaune, Bordeaux and Epernay.
Skiing more your thing? We are just 3 hours drive from www.thechaletexperience.com.
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