Monday, March 26, 2012

Clamecy, France - June 8, 2011

Still in the Burgundy region we had traveled into the Nièvre department to stop at a small campsite by the Canal de Nivernais a mile or so outside of Clamecy. Documents from 634 CE refer to the settlement of Clamiciacus which then belonged to the bishops of Auxerre.
During the Hundred Years War, Clamecy was sacked and then substantially rebuilt during the 14th century. In the 16th century it prospered as the origin of the 'Flottage du bois', by which lumber from the Morvan forests was floated down river to Paris, a process that continued until the 1923.
Clamecy underwent a typical concentric French development cycle beginning with the 13th to 16th century core of remarkably intact houses surrounded by 19th century houses and buildings and fringed with 20th century developments forming an outer ring. The principal downtown building is the church of St Martin which dates progressively from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries and was classified as a historic monument in 1840. The church was not open to the public.
Once the site of saw-mills, boot and shoes factories and chemical production, most of which vanished in the first decades of the 20th century, Clamecy is now largely dependent on tourism, agriculture and the output of a few industrial units on the edge of town. Many of the declining population of 4,500 people commute to larger cities such as Auxerre and Paris for employment. More views here.

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