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Beaulieu-en-Argonne, Floral village

 

The flowery village of Beaulieu in Argonne is located on a promontory offering a beautiful view on the Meuse and the forests of the Argonne massif. Typical of Argonne’s architecture are the charming half-timbered houses.

 

Over time, the eleventh century abbey of Beaulieu, the very same that originated the village, left traces that are still perceptible. For example, after its demolition in 1790 its stones were reused to build other houses. Another example are the remaining few walls of the abbey, that form distinct traces of its past. Nowadays a historic monument, an impressive thirteenth-century oak wine press is accessible for the public, one that was used to squeeze the grapes from vineyards on the surrounding hills. Made out of a tree trunk and a counterweight, the whole weighs about 30 tons and could once crush up to 3000 kg of grapes. Beaulieu’s wine press remained in use until the end of the nineteenth century.

 

Hikers can extend their visit by following a marked trail from the village of Beaulieu up to the chapel of Saint-Rouin, nevertheless accessible by a road as well. It concerns a contemporary chapel made of cubic and irregular concrete blocks that are resting on piles, built by father Rayssiguier, disciple of Le Corbusier and collaborator of Matisse in Vence. The windows are designed by the young Japanese artist Kimié Bando.

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