The villages

  • le lavoir à impluvium

ALIX

Running from north to south, through this village, is the little stream, the Chalieu, which turns the water wheel of the old mill (now a restaurant) and irrigates the surrounding fields. Don't miss the local gems; the ancient washouse fed by rainwater and the 17th century church with its Baroque facade, once home to canonesses. The village also boasts a former Benedictine Abbey dating from the 8th century a Monastic Chapel in the Neo Classical style dated 1768 and the Medieval castle of Marzé. Around the village are many pathways dotted with wayside crosses. You can also take a walk through the wood, the Bois d'Alix, scene of the massacre of the Muscadins (rebel soldiers from Lyon under the command of General Précy fighting against the French National Convention).


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AMBERIEUX-D'AZERGUES

Here the countryside looks more like that of the Dombes region; a patchwork of lakes and sweetcorn fields. Admire the facade of the 13th century church, meander along the lakeside or, if the fancy takes you, do a bit of fishing.

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ANSE

In Gallo-Roman times, Anse was an important staging post between Lugdunum (Lyon) and Matisco (Mâcon) this is why so many defensive buildings were built here, those remaining include the Château des Tours. Anse is also rare in that it retains its raised Gallo-Roman defences. The town is also very proud of its modern church spire, the fi rst of the millennium (2005). Stroll through the old town, both inside and outside the Gallo-Roman Castrum. Don't miss the Medieval town, parts of which are within the old Roman walls where you will see 15th century houses, the chapel of Saint Cyprien and a communal oven. Then why not take a trip on the narrow gauge railway, Le Petit Train, which will take you for a relaxing day out to the local lake, the Plan d'eau du Colombier.


  • Bagnols

BAGNOLS

Only the shape of the village is a reminder that it used to be fortifi ed. Stroll through the village and admire the 15th and 16th century Beaujolais houses with their typical porches, the panoramic views over the surrounding hills. You will also see: the 15th century church, the wash house named after St-Aigues, wells, a dovecote and 12 wayside crosses, the oldest of which (in front of the chapel Saint-Roch) dates back to 1607. Last but not least the magnifi cent château dating from the 15th century now converted into a luxury hotel and restaurant.

Guided visit of Bagnols.

An enthusiastic local historian will take you round the village and regale you with tales and anecdotes of its legends, history and heritage.
Open all year round by appointment. Free.

Association Mémoire et Patrimoine
Tél : 04 74 71 76 43
pierreguerrier,wanadoo,fr

  • Belmont

BELMONT-D'AZERGUES

Set on top of a little hillock this village clusters around its church and enjoys picturesque views over the surrounding countryside. In the 12th century its important strategic position lead to the construction of a fortified castle with one pepper pot and one octagonal tower. Other things to visit include the 11th-15th century church, the well, wash house and the leisure area.


  • Chamelet

CHAMELET

The birthplace of the 19th century scholar and engineer Baron de Prony, Chamelet is situated between two distinct areas of Beaujolais; the vineyards and the fields and forests. Take a look at the covered 16th century market, emblem of the village, the remarkable church and the former bastion of the Seigneurs of Beaujeu with its ramparts, tower and square dungeon.

Halles of Chamelet

Part of the wooden structure of the covered market dates from 1575. The building was mainly used for the sale of cloth and grain. In the past fraternities invited the paupers of the parish, every Whitsun, to enjoy a lavish meal set up on tables in the market hall.

  • Charnay

CHARNAY

Stroll through this village with houses huddled on a promontory around the church. With its dominant position at the crossroads of the valley, in the 12th century Belmont logically acquired a fortified château with an octagonal pepper pot-shaped tower.

Accompanied visit of Charnay.


An enthusiastic local historian will take you round the village and regale you with tales and anecdotes of its legends, history and heritage.
Open all year round by appointment. Free

Association Les Amis de Charnay
Tél : 04 78 43 90 69 (Mairie) - 06 81 14 07 49
m.vidal7,orange,fr

CHASSELAY

If you walk through the narrow streets and arched passage ways of this charming medieval village in the Monts d'Or, on the outskirts of Lyon, you will discover a past rich in 15th/16th century history. The village used to form part of the Archbishop of Lyon's estate and amongst its narrow vaulted passage ways you can still see ancient fortified doors, a 15th century house with double corbels and the southern entrance to the former 16th century fortress. Look out for the dry stone shelters which line the roadsides, all of which are diff erent and are locally known as 'Cabornes'. You'll also get a glimpse of grand châteaux, the former residences of wealthy Lyon families (Machy, Bellescize, Montluzin, Plantin).


  • le village vu d'en bas

CHÂTILLON-D'AZERGUES

You can see this medieval village, dominated by its 11th-15th century castle, from afar. It is strategically placed at the beginning of the Azergues valley and has evolved through the ages. On the road to Alix you will see a well and its wash house. There are footpaths you can follow which will take you through the surrounding countryside on a tour of the wayside crosses some of which date back to 1621/22.

Accompanied visit of Châtillon d'Azergues.


A volunteer and local history buff gives visits of the chapel.
For groups of 10 or more.

Association La Licorne
Tél : 04 78 43 92 66 - 04 72 54 32 72

  • Chazay

CHAZAY-D'AZERGUES

Take this citadel on the edges of the Beaujolais area by storm! The town governs the access to the valley of Azergues and was once a fortress with three defensive walls that protected 3,000 people.

Accompanied visit of Chazay d'Azergues.


An enthusiastic local historian will take you round the village and regale you with tales and anecdotes of its legends, history and heritage.
Open all year by appointment.
3€ per person including visits to the village and museum.

Les Amis du Vieux Chazay
Tél : 04 78 43 68 19 - 04 78 43 67 52
amis.vieuxchazay,aliceadsl,fr

www.amis-vieuxchazay.chez-alice.fr

  • Chessy

CHESSY-LES-MINES

Chessy was a very heavily fortified town. Its castle still dominates today although it is now a private residence (not open to the public). You will find all sorts of historical gems in the village: a niche on the corner of a house containing a statue of St Barthélemy, a fountain with 2 spouts, dry stone walls, not forgetting the church with its porch which is typical of the architecture of the area. The former copper and iron pyrites mines, to which the town owes its name, are closed for safety reasons. It was
here that the rather extraordinary mineral, once called Chessylite now Azurite, was discovered at the beginning of the 19th century. The mines once belonged to Jacques Coeur.

Accompanied visit of Chessy les Mines.

An enthusiastic local historian will take you round the
village and regale you with tales and anecdotes of its
legends, history and heritage.
Open all year. Groups by appointment. Free.

Association La Vigneronne
Tél : 04 26 65 22 27
lavigneronne.chessy69,hotmail,fr

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CIVRIEUX-D'AZERGUES

If you arrive at Civrieux d'Azergues from the south you are, in fact, going through one of the first portals into the Pays du Beaujolais. The town of Civrieux is bordered by the river Azergues and lies half way between Lyon and Villefranche. Around 1080, it came under the auspices of the Abbey d'Ainay but today only one ruined observation tower on the top of Chemin de la Roche is testament to this part of the town's history. You'll catch sight of a manor house, at Drivet, which is still lived in today and at one time used to be the tithe collecting centre. Or you might see the Château de Civrieux (now a school, Notre Dame de Lourdes) which was built in medieval times and refashioned in the middle of the 19th century.


  • Frontenas

FRONTENAS

The 12th century church in Frontenas, with its magnificent door, was made a 'Temple of Reason' during the French Revolution. If you look up you will see that the cockerel on the church spire has a tastevin around its neck, an indispensable accoutrement in this wine producing area! When you enter the village you will see the wash house built in 1813 which was nicknamed the 'Temple of Slander'. Also take a look at the 15th century tabernacle and the various wayside crosses which adorn the surrounding paths.


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LACHASSAGNE

You'll be on top of the world here ! Lachassagne is magnificently situated on a ridge top overlooking the Saône valley. The castle, which was rebuilt on a medieval site in 1830, is the dominant feature of the village. If you climb the tower in the park you will enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding area. The Romanesque church of Saint Pierre was restored in the 19th century. Every year at Christmas time it is home to a large crib full of different characters which was made by the Abbot Jordan de Chassagny in 1931.


  • Le breuil

LE BREUIL

Take the time to explore this small fortifi ed village through which runs the river Azergues. You'll find a 15th century church with a stunning font dated 1550 and not far from the village is a ruined castle, the Château des Comtes de Cibeins. At the entrance to the village there is an interesting cross.


  • Lavoir legny

LÉGNY

Nestling on a hillside in the Azergues valley Legny is a discreet little village where great attention is paid to floral decoration. As you stroll round the village you will see a sculpted cross dated 1416 and the fully restored 19th century church. Then go down to Ponts-Tarrets to shop for local produce and to visit the art gallery before ending your visit with a relaxing tour of the forest, Forêt de la Flachère.


  • Les cheres

LES CHÈRES

This village, on the Azergues, lies amongst orchards, fields of cereal crops and vineyards.


  • clocher de Létra

LÉTRA

Follow the old Roman road to see vestiges of Létra's Gallo-Roman origins. The village's former name was Lestrada and it belonged to the Abbey of Savigny in the 13th century. Don't miss the church which was partly fortified by the inhabitants of the village in 1408, Not far away you'll fi nd a chapel, Chapelle Notre-Dame de la Salette from which there is a magnifi cent view.

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LOZANNE

Being at the entrance to the Beaujolais region, the Azergues valley and the Abresle area made Lozanne an important staging post en route to Lyon. It's because of this crossroads of routes that Lozanne became an important commercial centre. The old village centre is on the hill above the church, while the business area and the railway station are on the south bank. But what would Lozanne be without its famous mills, whose history go back to 1050 ? One of these same mills is still in working order today. Don't miss the 11th/13th century Romanesque church which houses a rare 7th century piscina. Things to see outside the town include the wash house and the façade of a 15th/17th century manor house, the Manoir du Hameau de la Roue.


  • église de Lucenay

LUCENAY

Lucenay's white façades draw the eye in this countyside of golden stone constructions! The good quality white limestone around Lucenay is particularly easy to fashion and was much sought after for prestigious buildings (some of it was used in the construction of the cathedral St. Jean in Lyon). As you walk through the village you will be able to admire the decorated façades of stonecutters' and quarrymen's houses. A little way out of the village is a wash house, a cross dated 1777 and, up on the hill, a statue of the Virgin Mary.


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MARCILLY-D'AZERGUES

The origins of this charming village, lying admidst orchards, can be traced back a very long way; in 1979 a burial ground dating from the Burgundian and Merovingian periods was uncovered. Grape production was the principal occupation for many years in Marcilly until it was surpassed by fruit growing in 1900. The church is Romanesque in origin and still retains its original bell tower and capitals. The single nave, which was rebuilt in the 18th century, has 2 side chapels. As you wander through Marcilly you may catch sight of several châteaux, Varax, Janzé and Collonge all of which are private residences. If you have enough energy to climb to the highest point of the village (312m) you'll find a statue of the Madona which was erected as a vow of thanks.


  • Marcy

MARCY-SUR-ANSE

On the 'Route des Crêtes' Marcy overlooks the Saône valley and is said to owe its name to a Roman general, Marius. In the centre of the village stands the church, nearby on the Town Hall square is a mural depicting a lively village scene, there are also many wells which are typical of the area. As you climb the hill out of the village look out for the cross, the statue of the Virgin and above all the Chappe Telegraph Tower.

Télégraphe Chappe Tour


The Chappe Telegraph Tower is a 4m2 square tower built of the local stone, 7m high and topped with a working mechanism comprising 3 mobile arms which transmitted coded optical signals. This tower was put into service on 9th May 1807 and was the 55th in a line of 58 stretching from Paris to Lyon. This remarkable means of communication, invented by Claude Chappe in 1793, ceased functioning in 1852.

Open on Sundays from April to October 14h30 to 18h.
Open all year for groups by appointment.
Free on Sundays. 2€ per person for groups.

Association Côté Tour
Tél : 04 74 67 02 21 (Mairie) - 04 74 60 26 25 (Francine Michon)

michon.francine,orange,fr

  • Moire

MOIRÉ

Don't miss the smallest of our villages with its charming views. The old church with its interesting façade and 18th century cross has been converted into the village hall. Should you be in the vicinity during the weekend of St Peter's day (patron saint of the village) you can join in the Scarecrow Festival which happens every 2 years.


  • entrée église

MORANCÉ

The village of Morancé is built of two sorts of local limestone, the golden and the white from Lucenay. According to popular legend the village was founded by the Saracens at the beginning of the 13th century. The whole of the village winds round an irregular path. Along the main road you will be able to admire some fine old houses and the Romanesque church. If you follow the footpaths out of the village you will come across the 11th century Château du Pin, the Château de Beaulieu and the old leper hospital.


  • Pommiers

POMMIERS

The site of Pommiers, on the west and east slopes of the last hill in the Beaujolais area, is one of the most pleasant in the whole region and was settled as early as the 10th century. The visit takes in two parts of the commune; first of all start in the village and admire the 12th - 14th century church, the narrow streets and the old houses, then go up to Mont Buisante where you'll find a 19th century chapel decorated with paintings by Pierre Bruno. While you are on the top of the hill you will be able to drink in the fantastic view that sweeps across the Saône valley and the Monts du Beaujolais.


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POUILLY-LE-MONIAL

The only remaining evidence of the monks that gave their name to the village is the large presbytery. Start out from the square with the impressive 16th century cross, then have a look at the church and end your visit by climing the hill to Graves, a typical Beaujolais village which is worth the detour


  • Eglise St Jean des Vignes

SAINT-JEAN-DES-VIGNES

This village is situated on a promontory above a large meander in the river Azergues. You'll discover a carefully restored Romanesque chapel and splendid views. Don't leave the village without having visited the Geological Museum (Espace Pierres Folles) where you'll learn all there is to know about the geology of the local area and finally find out the answer to that tricky question:' Why is the stone here golden in colour?'


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SAINT-VÉRAND

This village boasts lovely floral displays and a surprising number of squares, each with its own special feel:one bustling with shops, one shady and relaxed, and one in front of the church. After visiting the church you could take a walk in the Forêt de la Flachère or go wine tasting in the local cooperative winery.


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SAINTE-PAULE

The village snuggles around its 12th century hilltop church (worth visiting). Not far from the church you'll see a 16th century cross depicting the Virgin Mary crowned by angels and St James of Compostella baptising a pilgrim. Why not take one of the footpaths which lead to the top of the Col du Chatoux and try a Beaujolais speciality, a 'mâchon' (snack composed of charcuterie and served with Beaujolais wine).


  • Ternand

TERNAND

A fortified medieval village built on a rocky promontory, Ternand has managed to keep all of its old world charm. There are two parts to the village: the modern part, Les Grandes Planches, down in the valley and the Vieux Bourg, the medieval part up on the rocky spur; a themed trail will show you how to get there. Once there you will go back in time as you wander through narrow cobbled streets, see the ruins of the the former castle and its dugeon, the church of St-John the Baptist, magnificent houses with 14th/15th century façades, mullioned windows, iron work, 14th century doors. Of particular interest are La Brèche and La Maison du Tailleur (the tailor's house). Exhibition Centre (Maison des
Expositions) open weekends from May to October with local artists' work on show. If you've been taken with this journey back in time make a date to come and see the Medieval Festival during the first weekend of July.

Accompanied visit of Ternand.


An enthusiastic local historian will take you round the village and regale you with tales and anecdotes of its legends, history and heritage.
Open all year round, groups by appointment.
Tarifs : 15€ per group.

Association des Amis du Vieux Ternand
Tél : 04 74 71 33 98 - 04 74 71 33 43 (Mairie)

  • Theizee

THEIZÉ

Perched on the hillside of Mont Bansillon, the village of Theizé seems to sparkle like a jewel in the sun in the middle of its vine covered italianate landscape. The village has a wealth of stones of all ages: neolithic people left fl ints, the Romans paving stones, the Medieval population left castles, chapels and sculpted crosses. In the centre of the village you will see the famous Stonemasons' Guild Cross and the Gothic church. Then if you wander through the narrow streets you will reach the old church and the Château de Rochebonne with its attractive façade. Several footpaths take you through areas rich in Theizé's heritage: 16th century Chapelle St Hippolyte, the hamlet 'Hameau du Boitier', Clos de la Platière ( where Jean-Marie Roland, Minister of the Interior, lived with his wife Manon. He was guillotined with his Girondin friends in 1793). There are 'cadoles' which are small dry stone shelters, a wash house, and a section of the old railway line, Voie du Tacot, which used to link Villefranche to Tarare. Furthermore, don't forget to visit the Château de Rapetour.


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  • Les Plus Beaux Villages de France
  • Oingt

OINGT

Oingt is the only village in the county to have been awarded the French accolade 'Most Beautiful Village'. Dating from the middle ages this fortifi ed hilltop settlement takes the visitor back in time. You can wander through narrow medieval streets and fall under the charm of its classifi ed and beautifully restored monuments. If you go through the gate, Porte de Nizy, you'll discover streets with romantic sounding names lined with sumptuous golden stone dwellings. Artists and craftspeople abound and there is an Exhibition Centre in the village to showcase their works. Be sure not to miss the tower, the church dedicated to St Matthew and the Mechanical Music Centre. Make a note in your diary of these annual events: Mechanical Music Festival the first weekend in September, Christmas Cribs on display throughout the village from 8th December, temporary exhibitions in the Maison de la Commune (a 15th century grand residence).

Accompanied visit of Oingt


An enthusiastic local historian will take you round the village and regale you with tales and anecdotes of its legends, history and heritage.
Open all year by appointment.
Guided tour of the village (1h30) = 50€
Guided tour of the museum = 70€
Guided tour of the village and the museum = 120€

Les Amis du Vieux Village d'Oingt
Tél : 04 74 71 21 24
amis-oingt,orange,fr

www.oingt.com


Destination Beaujolais pierres dorées 04 74 60 26 16

Official website of the Tourist Office of Beaujolais des Pierres Dorées.


OPENING HOURS :

ANSE: May to the end of September, Monday to Saturday 10AM to 12:30PM and 2PM to 6PM. October to late April, Monday to Saturday 9:30AM to 12:30PM and 2PM to 5:30PM.

OINGT: during the Organ Festival (1st WE of September), the European Heritage Days (2nd WE of September), the Christmas Cribs Festival (in December).