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Le village de Fleurey-sur-Ouche recèle un patrimoine naturel, historique, archéologique et industriel de grande qualité.

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Communauté de Communes de la Vallée de l'Ouche

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Discover Fleurey-sur-Ouche :

from Prehistory to the Present Day

1 Prehistory to the Middle Ages 

 Scattered dwellings

Several stone shelters have been identified at Fleurey near the river, including Morcueil and Le Moulin.The Sphinx shelter shows traces of occupation from the Middle Stone Age (8000 BC – 5000 BC).

Groups of tumuli have been located on the limestone plateaux : Roches d'Orgères, Suzâne and Suzard plains (2300 BC – 400 BC). These traces of burial grounds confirm the existence of an ancient dwelling-place on high ground, away from the valley and the risk of flooding. Its elevated position also ensured that its occupants could keep watch on the communicaton axes. Two ancient pathways have been identified on the territory. One of them follows the streets of Velars and the Rue de Morcueil as far as Mâlain ; the other, leading from the line of hills ( Arrière Côte), crosses the Ouche river in the direction of the Seine.

II VIIth to XIIth Centuries

Various inhabited areas

Plaque 5 :

The parish church of St John the Baptist

Various inhabited areas

Merovingian graveyards and churches

Two Merovingian necropoleis are evidence of considerable human settlement close to an ancient secondary Roman way leading to Mâlain (Mediolanum). The church of St John the Baptist is built on one of them : several sarcophagi from the VIth and VIIth centuries have been excavated.

The other, situated to the west of Fleurey, probably formed part of Barges, an inhabited zone now lost.

Four churches are mentioned in archive documents. Two of them have come down to us today though the ages : the priory church of St Marcel end the parish church of St John the Baptist. The latter was possibly built on the site of a building dedicated to St George, as part of a VIIth century wall inside the nave would suggest. The church of St Peter may have been that of another parish, Hautevelle, which lies on the south side of the Cocheron.

Transitional styles

The discovery of a sculpture fragment dating from the IInd century close to the church, confirms Gallo-Roman occupation of the site. This parish church is one of the first buildings of the time of transition between the Romanesque and Gothic styles in the Dijon area. Its heavy style, with massive square pillars and round arches, are from the XIIth century. The trefoil decor of the doorway tympanum and the pointed arches belong in the next century.


III The Priory


Seigneury of Fleurey

Plaque 9 :

the former priory of St Marcel

Seigneury of Fleurey

“To the glory of God”

The church of St Marcel is the only significant building belonging to the old priory. Its oldest parts date from the late Xth century and the early XIth, as the triple arcade seen from the cul-de-sac shows. A simple, low rounded apse was probably the choir chancel of the primitive church. The present-day choir chancel was built in the XIIIth century. Its cross-vaulted interior is richly carved, and the capitals and bosses are particularly remarkable for the originality of their fine decorations.

Abbey lands

Fleurey became part of the history of the Abbey of St Marcel of Chalons in 586 through a gift from Gontran, king of Burgundy and grandson of Clovis. The mediaeval village probably grew up around the priory enclosure, controlled at that time by the Abbey of Cluny. The priors of St Marcel were also lords of the domain until the Revolution. They were paid in tithes, monopolies and owned lands, forests, markets, pigeon-lofts, wine presses, mills and communal ovens. In 1791, all the priory estate was sold as property of the nation, and the church was divided up into private dwellings.


IV Parliamentary control of the lands


Plaque 19 :

The Wall XVIth and VIIth centuries

Parliamentary control of the lands

The Wall : ephemeral protection

Parts of the old wall are still visible here and in places in the Rue Chanteronne. It was built in the XVIth century during the Wars of Religion and surrounds the whole southern part of the village, on the right bank of the Ouche : four gates, walls ten feet high (3m) and three and a half feet thick (1m10).

In September 1589, Fleurey, then occupied by forces loyal to the King, in spite of being well fortified, fell into the hands of the Catholic League whose arms had been supplied by the city of Dijon. The monumental gates were destroyed and the now useless walls fell into ruin. The inhabitants, who had contracted huge debts to build them, were forced to sell common property to rich Parliamentarians from Dijon. For this reason, many “maisons de maîtres” (manor houses of the wealthy) were built in Fleurey-sur- Ouche.

This elegant pavilion is a typical garden feature of the XVIIth century. It belonged to the Mollerat estate and faces a rockwork feature which can be seen from the canal.


Plaque 10 :

Les Charmilles ( Hornbeams)

Parliamentary control of the lands

Manor House

This country residence was endowed with a garden in the French style similar to that of Le Notre, King Louis XVI's garden designer. Beehives were sheltered under two arches in a south-facing wall of the courtyard. The magnificent dovecote is a sign of the social status of the owner at the time of building. Its potence, ladder rest and nesting-places can still be seen.

The regular façade and raised lofts are typical of the XVIIth century. On the east side, the dormer windows are supported by scrolled jambs ; their lintels are topped by pediments which are alternately triangular or semi-circular. On the south façade, some dormers are probably XVIIth century additions. Their pediments have been replaced by rounded lintels to let in more light.

Private and public life

In the XVIIIth century, the property belonged to Marc Antoine Denizot, a president of the request court, then to Simon Virelay, a barrister, and later, from 1803 to 1811, to Henri-Louis-Filzjean, a magistrate.

In 1927, Bernard Poupon, a mustard magnate, acquired the property for his summer residence. From 1959, it was used as a summer leisure camp and later a children's home.


Plaque 11 :

Les Tilleuls (Lime Trees)

Parliamentary control of the lands

Water, water …..

The Ouche flowed alongside this property on the outskirts of the village, until the canal was built ; it then became necessary to redirect the river. An avenue of limes which gave the place its name are a reminder of the former magnificent park. An ornamental garden feature is still clearly visible below a now vanished green amphitheatre. A garden and orchards lined the river banks. The loft of an outbuilding attached to the manor-house was used for drying flax. A more recent installation of a well equipped with a motorised pump brought a water supply before the days of mains water.

A narrow escape !

In the XVIIth century, Pierre Bouchu, lord of Pluvier, King's councillor, first president of the parliament of Burgundy, was the landlord. In the XVIIIth century, Claude Louis Delaloge, lord of Fontenelle, president of the parliament of Burgundy, made it his main home. During the Revolution, the property escaped being auctioned off. In 1936 it became a boarding-house run by Mesdames Ducret ; it was later turned into a nursing home in 1994. The park was divided into building plots in 2012.


Plaque 14 :

In The Great Courtyard

Parliamentary control of the lands

A mysterious coat of arms

The east façade has large mullioned windows topped by horizontal beams, and small openings. To the west, a hexagonal tower with a slate roof encloses a stone spiral staircase. All that can be seen over the entrance is the date, 1563, since the coat of arms was doubtless defaced during the Revolution.

A former “hospital”

In the XVIth century, this house was built outside the wall surrounding the village, which seems to confirm the popular belief that it was a “hospital” or lodging-house. In the XVIIIth century, among successive landlords were André Lebelin, senior councillor at the Burgundy treasury chamber, and Jeanne Gauthier of Leuzeu. From the XIXth century, the property was divided up because of various legacies and sales.


Plaque 15 :

the Perard Domain

Parliamentary control of the lands

Up to the drawing-room...... on horseback !

This building today shows a consistent XVIIIth century façade with its large windows and dormer windows with délardé lintels. Towards 1890, an extension included an ajoining barn. A neogothic finial adorns the ridge of the Mansard-style roof.

Between 1862 and 1865, the park was landscaped in the English style, in vogue at that time, at the initiative of Alfred de Girval.

A ramp allows horsemen to ride up to the first floor rooms and to the terrace bordered with lime-trees.

Today we see the place where a wolf-trap was set up; a battery of guns placed in a wall fired automatically when marauding animals seized the bait.

Heritage preserved

In the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries, the Pérard family whose successive heirs were councillors at the parliament of Burgundy, owned the domain. In the Revolution, Etienne Bernard Pérard, procurator general, was imprisoned for immigration but soon proved he had permanently resided in Dijon. The sale of the domain as property of the nation was thus avoided. The Girval family have owned it, and handed it down from father to son since the XIXth century. During World War II, it was requisitioned by the area Kommandatur.


Plaque 17 :

the Old Lodge

Parliamentary control of the lands

Changes in appearance

This building has been redesigned over different periods, from a building dating from the Middle Ages, as is shown by the interior architecture of a window and the vaulted construction of the ground floor.

The tower on the Grande Rue du Haut was added in the XVIIth century, in harmony with the entire façade which is balanced around a central door window. The roof of the whole building was of slate until 1990. A rock-work feature enhances the end of the garden. From the other side of the street, a wrought-iron XVIIIth century gate opened into the park.

Legacies....... divisions.......

In the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries, the premises of the “Old Lodge and the Small Lodge” belonged successively to several councillors and treasurers at the court of Burgundy : André Lebelin, lord of Urcy, Claude Seguin and later Nicolas Morizot, president of the criminal court of Côte d'Or. One street bears the name of his son-in-law, Henry-Catherine Brenet, member of parliament, renowned physician and benefactor of the village. At the beginning of the XXth century, the property was divided up, and after 1945, the house was used as a marriage venue. In 1954, the Barbié family brought the propery back together. In the XXIst century, the buildings were sold separately to private owners, the barn was converted for housing and the park urbanised.


Plaque 18 :

the Mollerat Domain

Parliamentary control of the lands

This property spread over the whole area between the Ouche, the Rue Chanteronne, the Rue Truchetet and the (lower) Grande Rue du Bas.

A scene from antiquity

The oldest part is still visible from the Cazotte courtyard. The spiral staircase, the traces of mullioned windows date from the XVIth century. Of the XVIIth century extension, a reception hall with decorative plasterwork was preserved until 2012. Each corner of the ceiling carried the initials of the Mollerat family. The painting over the fireplace represented a scene from mythology. The adjoining great hall still has a perfect example of a French-style ceiling.

Occasional residence of the Princes of Condé

Oral tradition has it that the Princes of Condé, Governors of Burgundy, resided here when they were travelling through.

In the XVIIIth century, the property belonged successively to André Mollerat, master of the forge at Moloy, to his brother Jean, controller at the parliament of Burgundy, to his son, and then to the Cazotte family. When Fleurey became the administrative centre of the canton, a gaol was established in the domain by by-law on 26th May, 1796. In the XIXth century, an inn adjoined the Mollerats' house. The latter housed a private cinema in the following century and a theatre which was in use until 1960.


V - Redistribution of the lands in the Revolution


Plaque 6 :

Chateau de la Velotte

Redistribution of the lands in the Revolution

The demolished tower

In 1769, the building was extended and the tower, which housed the original staircase, was pulled down and an entrance hall with an elegant indoor staircase was built. The façade with wide windows was completed with three dormers topped with rounded lintels. The upper storey was underlined with a stone string course and the base of the roof with a cornice.

Strength in numbers

In the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries, the property belonged to members of the parliament of Dijon, among them the Arlay family, then Jean Vivant Micault de Corbeton at the time of the Revolution.

He was guillotined in Dijon in 1794. The domain was declared national property, and acquired by adjudication in commonhold by a large number of inhabitants of Fleurey, who opposed the bids of a wealthy timber merchant, an outsider to the village.


VI – Moving forwards


Plaque 2 :

The canal, village hall, school and War Memorial

Moving forwards

The great upheaval

From the early XIXth century, the lay-out of the village was modified by the building of the Burgundy Canal which did away with a mill-reach of the Ouche river. The new waterway, which enabled stone to be transported, encouraged the development of quarries. At the end of the XIXth century, their increasing activity resulted in substantial building works. Two quays were constructed, one near the school, the other on mill-reach 43. Upstream and downstream from the village, two half-moons enlarge the canal to enable barges to turn. The “Maison Commune”, the first secular hall, was built in 1833 on an embankment between the river and the canal. Thus the area of mudflats, where the “Borbeteils” used to cross, was cleared. This nickname (Mudlarks), used for the locals , is derived from patois “borbe”, meaning “mud”.

In 1921, the War Memorial, whose plinth was sculpted by Paul Chary and Auguste Gourdon, craftsmen from Fleurey, was inaugurated. It represents a “poilu” (French soldier) at rest. The stone required for this work was quarried in the village.

During this time, the Roches Mill followed the evolution of the emerging industrial society. From milling grain, threshing flax and extracting oil, it went to breaking stone and then to producing electricity. This last, first devoted to public lighting from 1911 to 1930, was supplied by the national grid in 1968.


Plaque 3 :

The Wash-House

Moving forwards

With the current

The wash-house, built in 1877, is supplied with water only from the Ouche, and owes its originality to the fact that it is possible to use four washtubs of different depths. It opens on one side with ten arches in Fleurey stone. The scissor-trusses of the roof-beams are typical of the XIXth century. Form-ties were later installed to compensate lateral pressure on the walls. The original roof was covered with “violin” tiles from Sombernon.

Meetings, more meetings

The women would boil their laundry at home, then take it through the village on a barrow to be rinsed at the wash-house, wrung and hung out to dry. The wash-house was also a place to catch up on the latest news. The canal water was cleaner than the Ouche when the river was very low, but the administration charged for the places. From the middle of the XXth century, when mains water was brought to the village, the activity around the wash-house gradually ceased. In 1961, the municipal council converted the building into a village hall. The arches were fitted with glass doors, and over the washtubs a wooden floor was installed, which tended to warp in times of flooding. In 2000, windows were added on the north side, the roof was rebuilt, sound-proofed and insulated.


Plaque 4 :

A fickle river

Moving forwards

Crossing dry-shod

The bridge has always been an important crossing-place over the Ouche on the old road linking up the Saône and the Seine. It is humpbacked with XIXth century embankments at either end, having seven rounded arches whose spans decrease from the middle to the banks. Its pillars, noses and surrounds of the arches are in stone. It is approximately 44m long and 6.50m wide. In the mid XVIIth century, after long periods of wars, famine and diseases, the bridge was broken. It was completely restored in 1673. Later, after much damage caused by timber-rafting, flooding and even ice carried by the current, it continues to maintain the link between the Velle and the Velotte.

Variable openings

The wall evacuating flood-water from the Ouche was built alongside a low-lying meadow which is often submerged at times of high water. Sixteen openings in the construction allow the flood-water to escape. Ten of them consist of two blocks, one forming a lintel and the other a moveable barrier. The six others are covered by a vault. Stone butresses counteract the considerable strength of the current.


Plaque 7 :

Le Castel

Moving forwards

Perfume of Asia

In the XVIIIth century this house was the summer residence of the Delaloge family, and it later belonged to the Courtot de Cissey family. In the XIXth century, there were a number of successive owners. From 1908, Leonard Fontaine, the manager of the Indochina Distilleries in Saigon, made it his summer residence for about 40 years.

A harmonious mix

Height was added to this neogothic villa at the beginning of the XXth century. The small windows with lintels suggesting ogee arches are reminiscent of the XVth century. Those on the ground floor have been redesigned. The north-east tower encloses a magnificent stone spiral staircase. The roofs are covered in different coloured glazed tiles, and finials adorn the ridges. This type of roofing, very much in fashion from the XIVth to the XVIIIth centuries, reappeared between 1860 and 1920.


Plaque 8 :

Villa Augusta

Moving forwards

Brick by brick

This building, dating from 1890, is a fine example of XIXth century architecture. Brick has been prominently used for the highlights : cornices, gable ends, windows and chimney stacks. It is also in evidence in the bands showing the different storeys, in the pediments over the doors and windows, and diagonal crosses reminiscent of timber-frames. On the roof, crow steps make the chimney-sweeps' work easier.

A twenty five metre high sequoia (Californian redwood) confirms the craze for exotic trees at that time.

From masculine to feminin

In 1890, this villa was erected by Pierre Boudrot, a builder from Fleurey, and later passed to a public works contractor from Dijon. It took its name after 1901when it became the property of the Jacob family, one of whose members was named Auguste. In 2004, the secular education association of Côte d'Or set up a educational therapy unit for adolescents.


Plaque 12 :

Sainte Chantal

Moving forwards

A mixture of styles

This manor-house was built in the XVIIth century on a small property “bordered by four streets”. It was entirely redesigned architecturally in 1862. The upper windows date from this time. Those of the south side, in neogothic style, reproduce the trefoil décor of the XIIIth century. Those on the north side are dormers with triangular pediments, in the XVIIth century style.

The passage of time

At the beginning of the XVIIth century, the domain became the property of Bénigne Frémiot, president of the parliament of Burgundy, and later of the Bretagne family, originally from Saulieu. In the XIXth century it passed to Nicolas Morizot, president of the criminal court, who also owned the Old Lodge. In the following century, the farm was sold. In 2007, the remaining lands were divided up : the manor-house on the one hand, the stables converted into housing on the other hand, and a building plot on which a new construction is implanted.

Saint Jeanne de Chantal

An inscription inside the house reminds the visitor that François de Sales and Jeanne Françoise Frémiot, the daughter of Bénigne Frémiot and widow of Christophe de Rabutin, baron Chantal, stayed here in 1604. From 1610, she who was to become Saint Jeanne Chantal, devoted her life to God and founded the Order of the Visitation. She was the grandmother of the Marquise de Sévigné.


Plaque 13 :

the Winegrower's House

Moving forwards

Barrels of it !

The considerable importance of wine-producing can be seen in the architecture of some village houses, those of winegrowers. They can be recognised by outside steps over the entrance to the cellar leading to the modest house itself. The vat where the grapes are crushed is placed in the outhouse on the ground floor, next to the wine-press.

Away with the vines !

Archive documents tell us of vineyards in Fleurey in the XVth century. At the start of the XIXth century, about a hundred vintners were growing vines on the well exposed south slopes of the Cocheron. In the village, every house had a vine growing table grapes over their doors. Even the vilage school had one.

Before 1880, the variety grown was gamay. After the devastation caused by phylloxera after 1890, mostly oberlin was planted, especially for home consumption. Disease, plus the drift from the land because of two world wars, and later the redistribution of land, all led to the gradual decline of the vineyards.


Plaque 20 :

the Château known as the “Priory”

Moving forwards

A pattern of patterned roofs

This manor-house was built in the early XVIIth century on the estate of a Cluniac priory. It has been restored over time : a fine Mansard-style roof, glazed coloured tiles and crockets, XIXth century finials, wooden dormers and double windows in the XVIIth century. Fleurey stone has been used extensively. The outhouses adjoin an old square dovecote. The neogothic renovations date from the late XIXth century.

A local personality

The Chifflot family owned the property until the Revolution, when the buildings were confiscated on grounds of emigration. Several proprietors were members of the Dijon bourgeoisie, including Paul Jobard, printer and director of the Bien Public newspaper, who was also passionately interested in archaeology.


VII – Developing the village centre


Plaque 16 :

Sophora Close

Developing the village centre

Silent witnesses

The wrought iron XVIIIth century gate and the weeping sophora (pagoda tree) are the only witnesses left of the former park surrounding the Old Lodge. Today the box-edged carpet-bedding has vanished, and only the old sophora remains as a reminder of the period when exotic trees were all the rage. The tower, seen from the Petite Rue de Collonges, was a garden pavilion.

In 2010, traces of the old walls which crossed the Close were uncovered during road works.

The creation of building plots in the park shows how the solidarity (SRU) town planning law on economical use of urban renewal sites has been applied. The development of large estates has changed the face of the historic village centre for good.


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