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Accueil > Visites > Did you know ?

Did you know ?

“Did you know?”
Moulin de Touvoie, Rochecorbon stands on the banks of the Rochecorbon stream on the Parçay-Meslay road. It is an elegant 15th-century building that replaced an earlier 13th-century mill known as “Molendinus de Tevoie” in 1225. Nearby is a fountain whose waters were supposed to have medicinal properties and which is the subject of numerous legends:
Joan of Arc watered her horse there, the beautiful Gabrielle d'Estrée, Henri IV’s mistress, frequently bathed there, and it was also supposedly the famous Fountain of Youth whose waters Louis XI drank, although it seems that this actually happened in Semblançay.
After the Second World War, it served as a location for Jean Cocteau’s film “La Belle et la Bête” (Beauty and the Beast), starring Josette Day and Jean Marais.
Private property. No visits. 
Silk and lace, Rochecorbon:Silk plays an essential part in Touraine’s heritage. Ever since the set-up of the first silk mill in Tours in 1470, it has greatly contributed to the province’s renown both in France and worldwide.
Silkworm breeding was at its height in Touraine from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The region’s troglodytic dwellings had a major advantage – the constant temperature, which stands at between 12 and 14°C throughout the year, provided ideal conditions for Bombyx mori silkworms.
The Touraine embroidery industry enabled winegrowers’ wives – particularly around Vouvray and Rochecorbon – to make money during the philoxera crisis that decimated the vineyards.
The “Lanterne”, Rochecorbon:
In the 10th century, the medieval Château des Roches overlooking the Loire belonged to the Lord of Corbon. Invaded by The English in 1424, Rochecorbon lands passed through the hands of a number of overlords. Today, only a single remnant of the château remains to keep watch over the town – the Lanterne. Built in the 15th century, this 10-metre high square tower most probably served as a watchtower or as a “lighthouse” guiding boats along the Loire.
The influence of Marmoutier Abbey
It was on the banks of the Loire, a few kilometres upstream of Tours, that Saint Martin and his disciples took up residence in caves hewn out of the hillside rock.
In 372, he founded an abbey that rapidly gained fame and wealth – it is known to have numbered as many as 80 monks not long after its creation. In 853, the abbey was pillaged and destroyed by the Normans, who killed over a hundred members of its religious community. Soon after the year One Thousand, under the impetus of Abbot Bernier, the abbey underwent considerable development and became one of the richest in Europe. It fell under the influence of the Counts of Blois and, during the feudal struggles that marked the second half of the 11th century, was seriously damaged by the Count of Anjou, Geoffroy le Barbu. On 1 March 1096, Pope Urban II came to consecrate the new church.
No longer being of adequate size, the monastery was completely rebuilt in the early 13th century by Abbot Hugues des Roches. During this period, over a hundred priories were dependent on the abbey, which was extremely wealthy. In 1562, at the beginning of the Wars of Religion, Marmoutier Abbey was pillaged by the Protestants and never really recovered from the event.
The abbey was sold as a national property in 1799, during the French Revolution, and most of its buildings, the church and the monks’ cells were demolished some twenty years later. All that remains is the Portail de la Crosse, two turrets on the west façade and a tower standing against the hillside.
It has acted as an educational establishment for over a century now.
Extract from the “France balade” website:

abbaye Marmoutier patrimoine

New for 2010 ! 

You can visit the site in July and in August :
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Guided visits, 1h30.
€ 4.60 per person.
On registration near the Tourist Office of Tours :
Phone number : +33 (0)2 47 70 37 37 


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