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Family discovery trail

Hikes & walks in La Ferté-sous-Jouarre

Family discovery trail - Hikes & walks in La Ferté-sous-Jouarre
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This Discovery Trail, lasting about one hour, offers an entertaining approach to the history of millstones and is designed for families and invites visitors to look at the buildings, observe the street names and discover the curiosities and unusual details, as they enjoy a walk around the town.

Description sheet

DepartmentSeine-et-Marne
Departure municipalityLa Ferté-sous-Jouarre
Outing typeVillage visit
DifficultyEasy
Duration1h00
Recommended periodfrom january to december
EnvironmentCountryside
Kilometres2.5 mi

Access

Starting point: Place de l'hôtel de ville.

Itinerary

1/ Place de l'hôtel de ville: The Town Hall was built under the aegis of Simon Gueuvin, the then mayor of the town and a millstone maker. Take a close look at this building... In what year was it built? Descend Rue Goury and turn left on to Rue Saint-Nicolas.

2/ At 12 Rue Saint-Nicolas: On the verge, there is a guard stone. (On this circuit you will see two others at 45 Quai des Anglais and 45 Rue du Guet). It is a millstone, a specific feature of La Ferté-sous-Jouarre! What were these stones used for? Go to the end of Rue Saint Nicolas, as far as the crossroads.

3/ Rue de l'Hôpital: In this street, you can see a building in grindstone. What was its function? Help yourself by looking at the name of the street. Most of the stones quarried in La Ferté-sous-Jouarre were used to make millstones. They were only used very occasionally for building. Descend Rue de l'Hôpital and cross Boulevard du 8 mai 1945 on the Marne side.

4/ Boulevard du 8 mai 1945: Take a close look at the facades of the houses on this street. One of them has a balcony forming a panoramic viewpoint (small wooden bandstand dating from 1900-1910) comprising monolithic millstones piled up on top of one another. How many were needed for its construction? Take Boulevard du 8 mai 1945 towards Rue des Pelletiers. Cross Rue des Pelletiers then Place Regnard de l'Isle to access Rue Regnard de l'Isle. Go to the end of this street as far as the entrance to the garden of the Isle.

5/ Rue Regnard de l'Isle: What do you think was special about this place? Remember to look at the name of the street... Turn round on Rue Regnard de l'Isle, then turn right on to Rue des Pelletiers in order to cross Charles de Gaulle bridge. The bridge you are crossing connects Rue des Pelletiers and Rue du Faubourg. It was built by two millstone traders. Their project to turn it into a toll bridge caused a revolt among millstone workers who had to cross the Marne every day to get to the quarries and it would have cost them most of their salary... Continue straight ahead along Rue du Faubourg.

6/ Rue du Faubourg: The Faubourg neighbourhood is an old residential neighbourhood of millstone makers and trader assistants. It was built 200 years ago. Despite the many changes made, the state of conservation of these houses is quite outstanding and has been the subject of scientific research. Although workers were concentrated in Rue de Reuil, Rue du Faubourg was the street for sellers, Rue de Condé and Rue du Port-aux-Meules, the street for traders and workshop owners. Turn right on to Rue du Port-aux-Meules.

7/ Rue du Port-aux-Meules: Can you identify at least two traders' houses? Turn right on to Rue Guillemot, then left on to Quai des Anglais. Walk along the Marne.

8/ Quai des Anglais: Keep your eyes peeled: you will probably spot many swans... And, with a little luck, the black swan! On the way down the staircase leading to the quayside, you will see a wall made with 500 cast-off millstones piled up on top of one another. What do you think this site was used for? Don't forget: At No. 45, there is a guard stone! Behind the supermarket, you will see the buildings in grindstone surmounted by brick archways. They date from the 19th century and played a very important role in the history of millstones. What do you think these buildings were used for? At 57 Quai des Anglais, you will see the house of the old Gilquin firm (one of the leading millstone making families). What was the small spire or "berlinguette" decorating the roof used for? What does the weather vane on the right of the "berlinguette" depict? Turn around on Quai des Anglais, turn right on to Rue de l'Abreuvoir, then turn left on to Rue de Condé. Cross Rue de Condé at the 19 mars 1962 roundabout. Walk up Allée du Jumelage.

9/ Allée and Place du Jumelage: How many millstones can you count? What was the function of this monument? Continue to walk up Allée du Jumelage, then turn left on to Rue du Guet.

10/ At 45 Rue du Guet: Opposite the millstone on the lawn, you will see the old house of Henri-François-Dupety (millstone trader and founder of the workshops of the same name, located on the banks of the Marne). On the facade of this house, you will see a small sandstone millstone. You will also certainly see it on other facades... In 2010, the town carried out a project to identify the houses of millstone makers using this distinction! Do not forget, a guard stone is visible in this street! Descend Rue du Guet and return to the start of Rue de Condé.

11/ At 15 Rue de Condé: What animal decorates the facade of the Louis-Jean Bouchon townhouse (trader and founder of the millstone workshops located on Quai des Anglais)?

12/ At 30 Rue de Condé: What do you think this tall stone cylinder engraved with an order number and a lily represents?

13/ Pâtis de Condé: The monuments located on Pâtis de Condé, in the same way as the Town Hall, bear witness to the town's wealth during the golden age of the millstone industry. The theatre on your left, was built in 1892.

14/ What was the function of the monument in wrought iron and grindstone located on your right? Take Rue Guillemot, turn right on to Quai des Anglais, cross the bridge and go to Place de l'hôtel de ville via Rue des Pelletiers.

To reward your efforts, you will find several cake shops selling La Ferté-sous-Jouarre biscuits and millstone-shaped treats!

Answers:

1/ The inscriptions on the facade indicate that the Town Hall was built in 1884-1885.

2/ These stones were designed to keep cartwheels away from the walls in order to protect coach gates.

3/ This was the old hospital, which was a convent up until the end of the 18th century.

4/ Four millstones have been piled up.

5/ This site used to be an island. Up until 1865, the present-day Boulevard de Turenne was an arm of the Marne.

7/ At 15 Rue du Port-aux-Meules: Old Bouchon property. 22 rue du Port-aux-Meules: Old house of Henri Dupety.

8/ 1/ It was here that the millstones were loaded on the Marne and exported around the world. The workshops were located slightly further away. Today, all that remains is a stone wall on which a supermarket has been built. 2/ These were the old Gueuvin-Cardet-Bouchon-Dupey-Orsel workshops and the Gilquin workshops up until 1881. 3/ This bell set the pace of the day for workers: 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. 4/ It depicts a millstone maker carving a millstone.

9/ There are three millstones (two of which are hidden behind the main one). This monument commemorates the twinning of La Ferté-sous-Jouarre and the German town of Zuffenhausen.

11/ A horse's head decorates the facade.

12/ This is an 18th century royal milestone which used to serve as a marker when tens of thousands of millstones were transported by road.

14/ This is a bandstand inaugurated with great ceremony in 1903.

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