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Tucked away in the south-east corner of Burgundy, this delightful town on the River Saône has a wealth of old buildings, alleyways, antique shops, cafes and restaurants. This is an ideal base for exploring the southern tip of Burgundy, the rolling Mâconnais hills and wine country.
Tournus is one of the oldest and most important monastic centres in Burgundy with a superb abbey, St-Philibert, parts of which date back to the 10th C. Classed as one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture, it is worth lingering and exploring the crypt, chancel, and of course the magnificent nave. It was only in 2002 when the abbey was undergoing extensive renovation work that the electricians uncovered a mosaic, 30cm under the floor covering. The images show a sort of calendar of the rhythms of the year with the month of June and the zodiac sign of Cancer magnificently displayed. More.
In the little squares surrounding the abbey there are arts and crafts shops and visit too Chocolatier Lathuilière in Rue du Docteur-Privey, famous for Délices de Tournus and Greuze Emotion. A few doors along the same street there is Crémerie de Tournus, offering the best of the region’s cheeses. For wine tasting, La Cave des Vignerons de l'Abbaye is open seven days a week. Closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Also worth visiting is the Hôtel Dieu, the old hospital with apothecary, and Musée Greuze in the same building at 21 Rue de l’Hôpital. This museum, is dedicated to the work of painter Jean-Baptiste Greuze who was born in Tournus.
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Pam Elson ©burgundytoday.com