We found the French village of Chablis was arguably one of the prettiest villages we called into on our travels.
Located in the northern Burgundy region, the small village has a history dating back to 867. Renowned for its vineyards and winemaking, you will also find interesting features around every corner. It is certainly worth exploring the medieval village on the River Serein.
The two round towers of the “Porte Noel” originally controlled access to the medieval village. Today the “Christmas doors” remain the “doorway” to Chablis.
Roman relics in Chablis
Exploring Chablis, we found many of the village’s Roman origins remaining, including the communal public baths.
These looked quite uninviting, more like a green cesspool. However they are an interesting remnant of the village’s Roman origins.
Here you will also find the old half-timbered buildings we discovered in nearby Noyers sur Serein.
Wandering along canals and ancient streets, rustic buildings line the riverside. Some significant, some quaint. But they do make a picturesque scene.
Parks and gardens are filled with rose gardens. The fragrant arches invite you to meander through and stop a whille. Vibrant flower boxes bedeck the bridges over the rivers and canals, lined with quaint old buildings.
The old communal Roman Bath is more of a cesspool
Riverside buildings at Chablis
St Martins Collegiate Chablis
The Collegiate of St Martin’s was originally built in the 9th Century, then rebuilt on numerous occasions over the years. Fires, wars and revolutions saw much of the building destroyed, however it has maintained its Gothic architecture. Parts of the current church date from the 13th century.
Horseshoes left on the church door by pilgrims en route to Vezelay remain today.
Chablis is of course the perfect place to sample the local Chablis wines. Local monks first produced Chablis wine in 1854 and the tradition remains today.
The famous vineyards were decimated by disease and loss of man power during World War II. Since the 1950’s the vineyards have been rebuilt and are once again flourishing.
The most outstanding feature for me however was the patisserie…..so many baked goods, so little time!
Read also: Exploring French Villages