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A little history…
View from the Faubourg St Jacques.....(AD 1991©)
The fortified medieval town of Flavigny rises up from the rocks overlooking three valleys in which three lively streams run, the Recluse, the Ozerain and the Verpant, watering the plateau called “the Mountain.” Vinyards clothe the hillsides. Once a great fiefdom of the Auxois in Burgundy, the town wears its glorious past with pride. redolent with history and the scent of anise which tickles the nose from the very moment one enters the city walls. This is, after all, the center of the world when it comes to anise flavoured candies.

Flavigny as it appears if you approach from the “mountain.
Perhaps the best way to enter the town is through the Porte du Bourg, which dates from the fourteenth century, and then to walk along the walls of what was once the private dwelling place of Coutier de Souhey. It is a fine eighteenth century building which now houses the l'Abbaye Bénédictine St Joseph de Clairval. Since the very beginning, Flavigny has been a town peculiarly devoted to divine worship.

To walk through Flavigny is to take a step into the past. Parish records from 1784 tell us that the town once counted 1311 inhabitants; nowadays, there are scarecely 400, and in those houses which are empty or ruined, you can see just how quickly time does its work. In spite of this diminshment, the town is full of charm, a delightful place to live, to explore, to visit, perhaps even to stay a while. . .
. . . which is exactly what Julius Caesar, the town’s first famous visitor did. He settled in with his siege engines and his men in 52 BCE in order to put down once and for all the rebellion of Vercingetorix. Caesar built three camps and extensive fortifications in the form of circumvallations and contrevallations in order to besiege the Gaulish oppidum of Alésia, on the other side of the Ozerain.

During the Gallo-Roman period, the place called Flaviniacum began to make itself known. It was named for a land-owner named Flavinius, presumably the builder of a villa, an extensive agricultural and artisanal complex, a sort of Roman plantation; this community was complemented by a castrum, a military post of which no traces remain. These will have been the first permanent buildings on the site of the present village. In 719, the land came under the control of burgundian chieftains, and the Benedictine Abbey of St Pierre de Flavigny was founded.
Rue du Bourg ........(AD 1991©)
In 755, when Manasses the Great was appointed abbot, he brought with him to his new community the body of St Prix, a seventh century martyr and bishop of Clermont. Manasses expanded the abbey church to honour the famous relic. Since the practice of the time was to house the bodies of the saints in crypts beneath the church itself, it seems likely that the first of a series of crypts may have been built at this period

The abbey flourished under the reign of Manasses. As at Luxueil, Agaune and St Benigne of Dijon, the monks performed continuous offices of praise. Charlemagne, who wrote to Manasses from Thionville, congratulated him on his accomplishments.
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