Culture and heritage
Located in Brienne la Vieille
Guardian of Men's memories and their tradition, the Ecomuseum of the Forêt d'Orient was created in order to offer the inhabitants of the Park and visitors from other regions of France and abroad, a place of welcome, information and reflection concerning the rich regional heritage.
- The " Maison des jours et des champs " houses a remarkable collection of tools and farm equipment, witness of the stubborn quest by men to improve farming techniques, from the ancient swing plough to the modern tractor. An audiovisual display evokes the cultural, economic and environmental heritage of the Park.
-The " cartwright's shop " presents you with the workshop of a cartwright and a forge installed in 1900, which has been restored to its original state.
Close by, you can see a former mill from the C16th with its stables, barn, main building as well as machinery such as the sluice gates and dam, in the majestic country landscape of the former lumber floating port.
Further information : Ecomusée de la Forêt d'Orient, F-10500 Brienne-la-Vieille, Tél +33 3 25 92 95 84, email@example.com
40 km from Troyes
50 km from St Dizier
70 km from Châlons-en-Champagne
Opening times :
opened from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 12 and 2pm to 6pm, opened from 2pm to 6pm on Sundays and bank holidays
Closed on Monday
Closed between 1st December to 28 February.
Wheelchair access .
Children under 12 free
Adult : 1 site : 5 euros – 2 sites : 7euros
Group : 1 site 4 euros – 2 sites 6 euros
Primary school :
-1 site : 1 € - 2 sites : 1,50 €
High school and college :
-1 site : 2 € - 2 sites : 3 €
Special fare is you visit the Ecomuseum, Napoleon Museum, and Treasures from the churches : information in any of those museum.
Further information, click here.
To understand the territory and its inhabitants better, here is a brief summary of the key periods in its history :
- On the border between the two Gallic tribes,the Lingons and Tricasses, the territory of the Park had an important Roman colonization from the village of Brienne-la-Vielle, a port on the river Aube crossed by the Roman strategic way from Milan to Boulogne called the Agrippan Way.
(see the: column of " Taranis " in the church of Brienne la vielle.)
- From the C9th, religious establishments installed in the Park, cleared the forest and created the first ponds.
- One of the cradles of the crusades, the territory gave birth to the knight and historian Geoffrey de Villehardouin. Upon their return from the Holy Land, the Templars (in Forêt du Temple),the Knights Hospitaler and Teutonic Knights settled on the territory.
- Ravaged during the Hundred Years War during the fight between the Duke of Burgundy and Louis XI, the territory was born again at the beginning of the Renaissance, the churches were restored or rebuilt and decorated with the famous stained glass windows and statues from the Troyes schools of artists. ( see the: interior of the church of Géraudot).
- The Dukes of Luxembourg in exile in the territory of the Park created a virtual Duchy of Luxembourg in Piney, whose size was practically the same as the territory of the present Park. The last duke, fled during the revolution after having founded the French Masonic order of the Grand Orient de France ( Therefore giving its name to the forest)
- The C19th saw the extension of industries linked to the land, among others, the famous statue-making factory of Saint Sulpiciennes, in Vendeuvre, where its products are found in churches throughout France.
-Finally, the second half of the C20th saw the creation of the large reservoirs (1967-1990), soon followed by the classification of the territory as a regional natural Park (1970).
For further information, click on the links below
If groves are typical in the Champagne wetlands, so are the half timbered buildings which provide an essential part of the quality of the landscape in the Park and attract tourists. These traditional structures were made with local materials . So the architecture shares an identity with the landscape.
See below for further information
Centuries after centuries, people who were settling in the territory had different religions and rituals. From The Taranis pillar in the heart of Brienne-la-Vieille church to the Templars Lodges, the territory of the park is marked by its religious past. This past has been preserved and restored so we can remember its sacred and misterious side.
Paintings in Vendeuvre-sur-Barse, Saint Mary-Magdalene in Magny Fouchard, The pietà in Brévonnes, Altarpiece (retable) in Géraudot, and many more… all of these churches treasures are « in situ » in some of the Park churches.