Tour de France 2022

Am 14. Oktober: Vorstellung der Strecke der Tour de France 2022


Population: 300,174
Prefecture: Bourges
Sub-prefecture: Saint-Amand-Montrond
Surface area: 7,235 km2
Specialities: Easter pâté, potato pancakes, donkey's neck eggs, green lentils from Berry, crottin de Chavignol, AOC wines from Sancerre, Menetou-Salon, Quincy, Reuilly, Châteaumeillant.
Festivals: Printemps de Bourges, Festival de l'Air du Temps (Lignières), Fêtes Franco-Écossaises (Aubigny-sur-Nère).
Tourist sites: Saint-Etienne Cathedral in Bourges, Jacques-Coeur Palace in Bourges, Noirlac Abbey, Château of the Stuarts in Aubigny-sur-Nère, Château de Maupas, Château des Senteurs in Blancafort, Gallo-Roman Amphitheatre in Drevant, Pyramid Barn in Vailly-sur-Sauldre, bastioned fortress in Montrond, belfry or Clock Gate in Dun-sur-Auron, Radio Astronomy Station in Nançay
Economy: industrial and military tradition (702 air base in Avord, MBDA -European missile group-, Nexter -land armament-), precision mechanics, services, tourism, luxury, food industry (Monin syrups, Rians/Triballat dairy, Mercier chocolate factory).
Sport: Tango Bourges basketball (women's league, 14 times French champions, 3 times Euroleague winners), Signature car team (2 victories in the 24 hours of Le Mans, 2016 world endurance champion)
Websites: /

Km 9

Mehun-sur-Yèvre (Pop: 6,600)
A medieval town and porcelain factory at the gateway to the Sologne forest and the Quincy and Reuilly AOC vineyards.
Porcelain was first produced in Berry at the end of the 18th century and in the second third of the 19th century in Mehun. Previously, the town was a cloth-making town. The town has the largest porcelain factory in France currently in operation. In terms of cycling, the town regularly hosted stages of the Trophée d'Or for women between 2006 and 2014.

Berry porcelain route
Berry, between Bourges and Vierzon, is the other French porcelain centre after Limousin. This land of forests, water and clay, rich in a tradition of stoneware pottery, had the assets. In 1818, Louis Pillivuyt, a Swiss hobber, transformed the brickworks on his farm in Foëcy into a porcelain factory. The Pillivuyt company, which is still in business and whose head office is located in Mehun-sur-Yèvre, has been awarded the Living Heritage label. In the town, the porcelain centre brings to life, thanks to an original scenography arranged around 600 pieces, the great hours of porcelain production in Berry from the beginning of the 19th century to the present day.

Castle of Mehun-sur-Yèvre
Foundation: 14th century
Style: Gothic
Characteristics: originally a defensive castle, its transformations in the 18th century made it one of the most curious Gothic castles. The ruins still show this architectural eccentricity, mixing elements of a fortress and a luxurious residence (sculptures, etc.)
A little history: King Charles VII made Mehun his family residence during his reign in Bourges. He welcomed, among others, his favourite Agnès Sorel and his Finance Minister Jacques Coeur. It was also in Mehun, in the castle chapel, that he gave his letters of nobility to Joan of Arc on 29 December 1429.
Current destination: fallen into ruin, the castle nevertheless houses a museum dedicated to the reign of Charles VII, and a medieval festival is held there in July.
Classification: Historical Monument in 1840.

Wines of Quincy
Located 18 km from Vierzon, Quincy is famous primarily for its vineyards. It covers an area of about 220 hectares, and is one of the first in France to have been awarded the Appellation d'origine contrôlée in 1936. Its dry and fruity white wine, made from Sauvignon grapes, has made Quincy famous. The opening in 2007 of the Villa Quincy, a modern and original interactive scenographic space, has strengthened the image of the vineyard and contributed to its reputation and dynamism. The Society of Saint Vincent, during the annual celebration of the patron saint of winegrowers, and the Confrérie des Compagnons du poinçon, through various events and inductions, are at the forefront of promoting the "Noble wine of Quincy".

Km 22

Saint-Doulchard (Pop: 9,550)
This suburb of Bourges is the birthplace of William Bonnet, a loyal team-mate of Thibaut Pinot at Groupama-FDJ, who took part in ten Tours de France between 2007 and 2020. The town is also home to footballers Bernard Diomède, world champion in 1998, Morgan Sanson, Baptiste Santamaria and Mathieu Cafaro.

Km 26

Bourges (Pop: 65,000)
Most populated town in the department and third most populated town in the region (behind Tour and Orléans).
Historic capital of the province of Berry during the Monarchy.
Surrounded by marshes, located south of the Loire on an axis conducive to trade, the town developed under the Romans and was equipped with a wall in the 4th century. In the Middle Ages, its bishops were primates of Aquitaine, which made it an important religious centre. Attached to the kingdom in 1100, its defences were strengthened against the Plantagenets.
Although Bourges has only welcomed the Tour de France for a stage start in 1973, the city has hosted Paris-Nice four times, the last in 2018 for a victory by Jonathan Hivert. The capital of the Berry region has been the finishing town of the Paris-Bourges race since 1947, which was won for the last time in 2019 by Marc Sarreau. Bourges is also the birthplace of Franck Pineau, who took part in the Tour de France twice before becoming sports director at FDJ. Another local rider is Albert Bourlon, who died in 2013 and is famous for having led the longest breakaway in the Tour de France: 253 km in 1947. Jean-Marie Cieleska, winner of the 1958 Bordeaux-Paris race and who took part in the Tour on four occasions between 1951 and 1955, is also worth mentioning.

Printemps de Bourges
Since 1977, the festival has been offering an annual week of concerts in a wide variety of musical genres in several venues in Bourges, mixing headliners and newcomers: 150 artists and groups in the seven festival halls, as well as numerous artists on the four free stages spread out from the banks of the Auron River to Place Séraucourt, and as many in the twenty or so bars in Bourges that take part in the Printemps in the city.

Saint-Etienne Cathedral
Foundation: construction began in 1195
Style: Gothic
Characteristics: when it was built, it was the largest cathedral south of the Loire, 120 m long and 41 m wide, with a 65 m high tower. It is also an exceptional case of a cathedral without a transept.
A little history: the cathedral is used as a set for the film about the fire at Notre-Dame de Paris, Notre-Dame brûle (Notre-Dame is burning) by Jean-Jacques Annaud, scheduled for 2022. It was chosen for its resemblance to Notre-Dame de Paris.
Classification: Historical Monument in 1862 / listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.

The gardens of the Archbishopric
Created in 1730 on the site of Philip Augustus's rampart. Legend has it that they were designed by a pupil of Le Nôtre.
Composed of two distinct parts: a French garden extending the former Archbishop's Palace with flowering plants, pruned curtains, boulingrins, and a very wooded area.
The bandstand, which dates from 1908, is decorated with four monumental bronze vases representing the four seasons.

Jacques Coeur Palace
Founded: between 1443 and 1451 by Jacques Coeur, merchant, trader and Grand Argentier (Finance Minister) to the King of France.
Style: private mansion, a masterpiece of civil architecture in the flamboyant Gothic style.
Characteristics: avant-garde for its time, the palace prefigures the Renaissance style private mansions that were to become more fashionable.
A little history: the person who commissioned the palace, Jacques Coeur, never lived there and was dispossessed of it by King Charles VII, once he fell into disgrace.
Current use: Town Hall in the 17th century, seat of the courts and finally courthouse from 1820, it is now managed by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux.
Classification: Historical Monument in 1840.

Km 73

Menetou-Couture (Pop: 370)
The 11th and 16th century church of Saint-Caprais was listed in 1926, while the former 12th century Cistercian abbey of Fontmorigny is also listed. Its monks worked in the steel industry. Today, it hosts cultural events such as the Music in Fontmorigny festival.

Castle of Menetou-Couture
Foundation: 15th century
Style: seigniorial military castle
Characteristics: formerly surrounded by a moat which has been filled in, it was built according to the plans commonly used in the Bourbonnais region, with a 38-metre-high keep overlooking the Germigny valley.
A little history: King Louis XI stayed in Menetou-Couture in March 1482 on a pilgrimage to Saint-Claude.
Current destination: after restoration, the keep has been open to the public since 1995.
Classification: listed as a Historic Monument in 1917.

Population: 201,518, spread over 17 cantons and 309 communes.
Prefecture: Nevers (Pop: 32,990).
Sub-prefectures: Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire, Clamecy, Château-Chinon
Specialities: earthenware. Stoneware. Nougatines. Pavés de la route bleue. Pouilly Fumé (AOC), Coteaux du Giennois, Charolais meat, andouillette of Clamecy, Ham of Morvan, Nivernais cow's cheese, Le Cosne goat's cheese, traditional breweries...
Festivals/Culture: museum city under construction which includes the Museum of Costume and the Museum of the Seven Years in Château-Chinon, La Machine Museum, Grasset Museum, Royal Forges Museum in Guérigny, Bibracte. Djazz, Luzy accordion festival.
Tourist sites: Nevers-Magny-Cours automobile circuit, Saint Cyr Sainte Julitte cathedral (2 crypts), Saint Etienne Romanesque church, Sainte Bernadette church, Sainte Bernadette, Morvan Regional Natural Park, Bec d'Allier panorama, Bibracte orientation table, sensitive natural areas, César sculpture (Clamecy)...
Economy: agriculture, Magny-Cours technology park, textiles, crafts...
Sport: Uson rugby (pro D2), Nevers-Magny-Cours car circuit, ESL Canoeing.

Km 88

Fourchambault (Pop: 4,150)
The town was created in 1855 following the establishment of a metallurgical factory by Louis Boigues, known as Société Boigues & Cie. A town with an important industrial past, the commune also hosted the Ateliers de construction de motocycles et d'automobiles (ACMA) from 1949 to 1962. The company was responsible for the manufacture of Vespa (Piaggio) scooters.
Winner of the polka dot jersey in the 1978 Tour de France and of a stage in 1980, Mariano Martinez settled in Fouchambault at the end of his professional career, where he opened a cycle shop. This is where his two sons Miguel, world champion and Olympic mountain bike champion in 2000, who took part in the Tour de France in 2002, and Yannick, also a professional cyclist, were born.

Km 92

Nevers (Pop: 33,200)
Labelled as a town of Art and History. Capital of the Nièvre department, Nevers is the fifth largest city in Burgundy, after Dijon, Châlons-sur-Saône, Auxerre and Macon. Capital of the Nivernais province under the Monarchy, the city is located at the confluence of the Nièvre and Loire rivers.
Populated since Gallo-Roman times, the town of Nevers was named capital of the hereditary County of Nevers in the 10th century. A former fortified town, it owes its fame to its internationally renowned earthenware factory. The specificity of its products is based on the famous Nevers blue, a colour that can only be found on these works of art.
Nevers has hosted the Tour de France on four occasions and has been a favourite with Italian sprinters, who have won three times (the last of which was Alessandro Petacchi in 2003). The city is also a loyal supporter of Paris-Nice, which it has hosted 19 times (Tom-Jelte Slagter's last victory in 2014). Among the riders born in Nevers are Frédéric Finot, who took part in the 2003 and 2004 Tours, and Julien Bernard, who will be mentioned later. Nevers is also home to one of France's largest cycling companies, Look Cycle, known primarily for the manufacture of carbon bicycle frames, carbon accessories, mounted bikes and automatic pedals, equipment that has won many, many stages of the Tour de France.

Nevers earthenware
In the Nevers region, ceramic production developed strongly from the end of the 16th century when Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers, brought in earthenware makers from Italy. At its peak in the 17th and 18th centuries, Nevers earthenware had the characteristic of excluding retouching: the decoration and the tin glaze of the support were vitrified at the same time. Initially made in an Italian style, the styles evolved during the 17th century (French tradition, Persian, Flemish and Chinese iconography). In decline, following competition from English earthenware and porcelain, Nevers earthenware was revived in the 19th century.

Saint-Cyr and Sainte-Julitte Cathedral
Foundation: 10th century
Style: Romanesque cathedral with a replacement of its choir in a Gothic style after several fires in the 13th century
Characteristics: juxtaposition of two opposing choirs, one Romanesque (west), the other Gothic (east)
The story: following the destruction of almost all the windows during the aerial bombardment of 16 July 1944, the creation and installation of contemporary stained-glass windows began in 1977 and was completed in 2011. This ensemble is the largest in Europe with 130 bays and 1,052 m2 of stained glass.
Classification: listed as a Historic Monument in 1862.

Ducal Palace
Foundation: 15th century, at the request of Count Jean de Clamecy, son of Philippe de Bourgogne.
Style: medieval, then Renaissance with the embellishments made by Louis de Gonzaga, Duke from 1565 to 1595.
Characteristics: 53-metres long and 11-metres wide, it offers a unique architectural composition.
Current use: restored at the initiative of mayor and Prime minister Pierre Bérégovoy in the 1980s, the palace now houses the town hall.
Classification: listed as a Historic Monument in 1862.

Km 115.4

Saint-Benin-d'Azy (Pop: 1,270)
Its 19th century Saint-Bénigne church. Rosa Bonheur lived in Saint-Benin-d'Azy, where a park bears her name. A 19th century French painter and sculptor, she specialised in animal representations. Because of the very free life she led, some biographers associate her with the beginnings of feminism. Her name is associated with three Parisian guinguettes, known to the inhabitants of the capital.
It was in Saint-Benin-d'Azy that Richard Marillier, coach of the French cycling teams during the Poulidor and Hinault years, grew up at his grandmother's house before becoming deputy director of the Tour de France from 1981 to 1990. This former special forces colonel and resistance fighter, a prominent figure in French cycling until his death in 2017, also directed the Tour Nivernais Morvan and the Route Nivernaise.

Km 137

Châtillon-en-Bazois (Pop: 900)
Its castle is the most popular tourist site in the village. Built on a rocky outcrop, it has been inhabited since the early 10th century. Located on a former stronghold, the castle still reveals a defence tower, a cellar and underground rooms dating from the 13th century. It can be visited, as can its gardens, which have been awarded the "Remarkable Garden" label.
The most famous inhabitant of the area - he lives in the neighbouring commune of Alluy - is well known to Tour de France followers: third in the 1987 edition and winner of three stages, Jean-François Bernard is one of the riders who have won at least one stage in each major Tour. He also won Paris-Nice in 1992. He is still very present in the races as a consultant for Radio France and his son Julien is a pillar of the Trek-Segafredo team, with whom he has competed in all three Grand Tours.

Km 148

Saint-Péreuse (Pop: 240)

Besne Castle
Foundation: end of the 15th century, by Guillaume de Grandrye at the end of the 15th century after the destruction of the feudal castle during the clashes between Charles the Bold and Louis XI
Style: medieval seigneurial residence
Characteristics: the castle consists of two main buildings built at right angles to each other, flanked by four watchtowers.
History: the penultimate owner, Colonel Pierre Tassin de Saint-Péreuse (1910-1995), was made a Companion of the Liberation on 26 June 1941 by General de Gaulle (1890-1970).
Current use: open to the public in July and August.
Classification: listed as a historical monument in 1975.

Morvan Regional Nature Park
Over an area of 2,990 km2. One of the oldest natural parks created in France, like the Vercors or Camargue parks. Along with the Ballons-des-Vosges and Haut-Jura regional nature parks, it is one of the three parks in Burgundy-Franche-Comté.
It currently includes 117 communes, spread over the departments of Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire, Yonne and Côte-d'Or. Its population is over 71,372 inhabitants, including partner towns.

Km 160

Saint-Péreuse (Pop: 240)

Besne Castle
Foundation: end of the 15th century, by Guillaume de Grandrye at the end of the 15th century after the destruction of the feudal castle during the clashes between Charles the Bold and Louis XI
Style: medieval seigneurial residence
Characteristics: the castle consists of two main buildings built at right angles to each other, flanked by four watchtowers.
History: the penultimate owner, Colonel Pierre Tassin de Saint-Péreuse (1910-1995), was made a Companion of the Liberation on 26 June 1941 by General de Gaulle (1890-1970).
Current use: open to the public in July and August.
Classification: listed as a historical monument in 1975.

Morvan Regional Nature Park
Over an area of 2,990 km2. One of the oldest natural parks created in France, like the Vercors or Camargue parks. Along with the Ballons-des-Vosges and Haut-Jura regional nature parks, it is one of the three parks in Burgundy-Franche-Comté.
It currently includes 117 communes, spread over the departments of Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire, Yonne and Côte-d'Or. Its population is over 71,372 inhabitants, including partner towns.

Population: 553,595, spread over 29 cantons and 565 communes.
Prefecture: Mâcon (33,638 inhabitants).
Sub-prefectures: Chalon-sur-Saône, Charolles, Autun, Louhans
Specialities: PDO Charolais beef, PDO Bresse poultry (chicken, poularde, capon and Bresse turkey), PDO Bresse cream and butter, 2 PDO goat's cheese (Charolais and Mâconnais), 30 PDO wines (including 5 UNESCO designations), Pôchouse, matelote of river fish, Corniottes (shortcrust pastry base covered with choux pastry, Burgundy snails, Jambon persillé (parsley ham), Gougères.
Festivals: Chalon dans la rue (Chalon-sur-Saône), Musicaves (Givry), Les Montgolfiades (Chalon), les Ligériades (Digoin), Festival Saint Rock (La Clayette), Nuits Bressanes (Louhans), Augustodunum (Autun), Musicales en Côte Chalonnaise, Jazz campus en Clunisois, Jazz in Couches, Fête de la Vielle (Anost), Grandes Heures de Cluny, Beef Festival (Charolles), les Glorieuses de Bresse (Louhans, medieval market), Tango Swing et Bretelles (Montceau).
Tourist sites: Touroparc and Hameau Duboeuf (Romanèche-Thorins), Parc des Combes (Le Cerusot), Diverti'Parc (Toulon-sur-Arroux), Celt'Ô and the thermal baths of Bourbon-Lancy.
Economy: industrial development in the 19th century with, in particular, the Schneider et Cie company in Le Creusot and mining in the Montceau-les-Mines region. Activity is concentrated in the Chalonnais and in the mining basin with companies such as Alstom in Le Creusot, Areva in Montchanin, Arcelor Mittal and Michelin in Montceau-les-Mines or Aperam in Gueugnon. Other industry stalwarts have also chosen Saône-et-Loire to locate their factories: DIM in Autun and Fiat Powertrain in Gueugnon and Bourbon-Lancy.
Sport: Élan Chalon basketball, Charnay Basket Bourgogne Sud, Montceau gym. Mâcon regattas: Frédéric Perrier (selected for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens), Paul Tixier (bronze at the 2020 European Championships and world silver-medallist). Chalon-sur-Saône rowing club Adrien Hardy (Olympic champion in Athens in 2004, world champion in 2003 in Milan and 2006 in Eton)

Km 189

Saint-Léger-sous-Beuvray (Pop: 380)
A native of Saint-Léger-sous-Beuvray, Ernest Goujon, took part in the Tour de France in 1908 (one stage) and 1909 (53rd).

Mont Beuvray, oppidum and museum of Bibracte
Gallic town founded in the 2nd century B.C. Listed as a historical monument in 1988. Labelled Grand Site de France since 2008. At the top of Mount Beuvray.
Remains of a Gallic town founded at the end of the 2nd century BC by the Aeduan people who made it their capital. Occupied for a century, this Gallic fortified town - called an oppidum by Caesar - is one of the most characteristic and best preserved, with its ramparts and quarters extending over 200 hectares. From the time of its foundation, Bibracte was surrounded by a continuous fortification of 7 km, which was soon tightened to 5 km. Bibracte was an important place for crafts and trade, where miners, blacksmiths and coin miners worked together. It was at Bibracte that Vercingetorix gathered the Gallic tribes and that Caesar frequently stayed there during the writing of the Gallic War.
At the foot of the archaeological site, a museum presents the history of Bibracte, the Gallic capital, and current archaeological research. The upper gallery, which forms the first part of the permanent exhibition, presents the two hundred or so oppida (vast fortified sites) that suddenly took over the Celtic world towards the end of the 2nd century BC.

Km 206

Autun (Pop: 13,150)
In the south of the Morvan Massif on the edge of the Arroux valley, Autun was born during the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus (27 BC-14 AD): its ancient name was Augustodunum. Sister and emulator of Rome, Autun very quickly became the relay of the eternal city north of the Loire.
In the 20th century, the town experienced a revival of dynamism which made it the headquarters of several national companies (DIM, Nexans) and one of the six military high schools in France. Autun has hosted two stages of the Tour de France, in 1998 (Magnus Backstedt) and 2007 (Filippo Pozzato), but also stages of Paris-Nice, the Dauphiné and the Tour de l'Avenir. Louis Gauthier (second in Paris-Roubaix in 1946) was born in Autun and took part in the 1947 Tour de France.

Temple of Janus
Listed as a historical monument in 1840. Temple of Gallic origin (fanum), the only surviving elevated remains of a cult quarter located outside the town.
It consists of a square "cella" (worship room), largely preserved today, 23.75 m high and 16 m wide. It was covered by a framework. The name Janus comes from the deformation of the name of the district "La Genetoye", a place where brooms grew.

Saint-Andréou Gate or Porte de Langres (Gate of Langres)
Listed as a historical monument in 1846. Built in the 1st century.
Partially rebuilt in the 19th century under the direction of Eugène Viollet-Leduc. Like the other three main gates, it was once surrounded by two semi-circular towers, one of which is still preserved and houses the Protestant temple of Saint-Andréou. It is surmounted by a gallery of ten sandstone arcades dating from late antiquity

Theatre of Augostodunum
Listed as a historical monument in 1840. Built around 70 A.D. and located to the east of the ancient city. Intended for performances, it appears with its 148-m diameter, as one of the largest in the Roman world (with the theatre of Pompey in Rome). It could accommodate between 14,000 and 20,000 spectators. Built on the natural slope of the land, the theatre is in the classical style with tiers of seats arranged in three semicircular rows, intersected by stairs. An imposing wall closed the theatre behind the stage, supposedly 30m high. In July, a sound and light show retraces the firsts of Burgundy with 300 volunteer and professional extras.

Saint-Lazare Cathedral
Foundation: 12th century
Style: major work of Cluniac art
Characteristics: the spire, which reaches a height of about 80 m, was erected on the transept crossing in the 15th century in place of a Romanesque bell tower. The tympanum of the Last Judgement, the biblical scenes on the capitals and the famous Eve were sculpted by Gislebertus.
Classification: listed as a Historical Monument in 1840.

Km 231

Signal d'Uchon (second category hill)
The Signal d'Uchon, the "pearl of the Morvan", is a tourist site renowned for its granite chaos and exceptional panoramas. It has many curiosities: the crumbling stone, the devil's claw, the wood chamber, the carnival. The Carnival Rocks site is one of the eight natural sites managed in Saône-et-Loire by the Burgundy Conservatory of Natural Areas. This site is characterised by the presence of numerous granite chaotic rocks and offers a remarkable panorama over the Arroux valley and the Morvan. Beech forests, moors and acidic grasslands are the main natural environments that develop on these rocks.

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