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Wednesday, 29 October 2003
La gris rose d’Alsace


About 45 km east of Haguenau, by car, is the village of Marmoutier, which seems to be a stop-off point for a number of coach tours of Alsace, particularly in the summertime.  It has an abbey-church containing a famous Sibermann organ, built in 1710, and considered one of the finest in Alsace

Traces of a Meringovian church have been found beneath the transcept (which is also well worth a squiz). The Meringovian Kingdom of Northern France was around in the 6 Century, and its symbol was a frog. The abbey itself was founded by St Columba (an Irish monk who arrived in France in 590 with 12 companions). Later he lectured the Duke of Burgundy about morals, and as a result was expelled from France.  He moved to Bobbio, in Italy.  Around the abbey, craftsmen and farmers settled and a town flourished in the middle ages. Marmoutier had one of the oldest Jewish communities in Alsace. We can assume that this community was invited there by the abbots to handle their trading activities.  In 1792, during the French revolution, the abbey was abolished and the monks dispersed.

The church is a striking sight, constructed of red sandstone (or gris rose d’Alsace  as it is known in these parts).

Posted by bigblue on 29/10/2003 at 02:31 PM
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I recommend leaving Marmoutier via the old Saverne road. After 1,5 km you can turn left into a minor, poorly surfaced, road and follow this up a hill through

Posted by  on  29/10/2003  at  01:15 AM

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