FRANCE BURGUNDY FRANCE BURGUNDY Fosse DionneSleepy Tonnerre (pop 5 500) lies on the Canal de Bourgogne and is best known for its Hôtel Dieu [ Place Marguerite de Bourgogne, +33 386551448, ad/ch €4.50/2.50]- a 13th century charity hospital that was founded by Marguerite de Bourgogne, St Louis’ sister-in-law. This impressive complex was one of the largest buildings in France at that time and still continues to amaze visitors with its size. Inside, the building houses a museum; as well as old rooms such as the patients’ hall, a chapel, Marguerite’s tomb and a beautiful stone sculpture of the Entombment of Christ that was carved from a single stone. The museum houses a variety of artefacts; from the old hospital possessions, to the founders’ royal belongings. You can soak in the sights this ancient building via a guided tour that is organised for a group of twenty visitors.

Take the road west of Hôtel Dieu, along rue François Miterrand, and you will arrive at the Fosse Dionne (see photo)- a mysterious-looking, natural spring that produces some 200 litres of water per second. The seductive green-blue waters (indicative of the spring’s depth) were once considered to be sacred to the Celts and legend has it, that a serpent resides at the bottom of the spring. This natural spring lies on a forested slope and was made into a pool, which is enclosed by an 18th century wash house and a collection rustic houses. If you head further uphill, you will arrive at the Église St-Pierre that predominantly dates back to the 16th century. You might only be able to sight some of church’s Baroque-style exterior, as it remains closed most of the time, except for the first Wednesday of every month. You can arrive at Tonnerre via trains (running from Djion) that stop at the station northwest of Hôtel Dieu.



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TONNERRE:   1. Tourist office  2. Train station (north of map limits) 3. Hôtel de Ville  4. Hôtel Dieu  5. Fosse Dionne