Flavigny-sur-Ozerain

Flavigny-sur-Ozerain is a commune in the Côte-d’Or department in the region of Burgundy in eastern France.The old village is a member of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (“The most beautiful villages of France”) association.

By the 10th century, the abbey had grown into a town, with a parish church dedicated to St Genest in addition to the abbey church (dedicated to St Peter). During the 12th and 13th centuries, extensive fortifications were raised around the town; large portions of the wall are visible to this day, including the Porte du Val (which includes both an inner gate dating to the 13th century and a sixteenth century outer gate), and the 15th century Porte du Bourg with its statue of the Virgin. In spite of these fortifications, Flavigny was occupied by the English during the Hundred Years’ War. In 1632 the Ursuline convent of Flavigny was founded and in the early 18th century a new residence for the Abbot of Flavigny was constructed; by that time the abbacy had become corrupt and was held by a layman who had little to do with the town. At the beginning of the French Revolution, there may have been as few as five monks in residence. The abbey church was probably already ruinous, although local tradition holds that it suffered damage at the hands of revolutionaries. The parish church was more or less unharmed. In the 21st century, Flavigny has something fewer than 400 year-round residents, although this number increases in the summer due to the foreigners (Swiss, American, Australian, German) who have summer homes in the village. The abbey now houses the factory which manufactures Les Anis de Flavigny, small aniseed flavored pastilles with a world wide popularity. Various artists an artisans make their homes in the village, and it has become a popular tourist destination.

Flavigny is the sole producer of the anise-flavored candy Anise of Flavigny, which was first manufactured by the monks.

The Jardin botanique textile is a botanical garden specializing in plants used for textiles, baskets, and rope.

The village of Flavigny is first mentioned, as Flaviniacum, in the cartulary (or charter) of the Benedictine Abbey founded on the site by a certain Widerard in 719. In the mid-9th century, in response to the increasing frequency of Viking raids, the relics of Ste Reine or Regina were removed from the nearby town of Alise to Flavigny in the hopes that they could be better protected in a more fortified setting. The relics remain in Flavigny to this day, although they travel back to Alise every fall for the celebration of the saint’s holy day in early September. The town was prosperous during the Middle Ages, catering to large numbers of pilgrims, both those who came to visit the local saint and those on their way to Compostella.

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