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The half-timbered churches of Pays du Der

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in Great East

The half-timbered churches of Pays du Der - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in Great East
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The peaceful and green region of Champagne's great lakes, near the borders of Aube, Marne and Haute-Marne, holds a real architectural treasure: charming half-timbered churches whose ancient façades line the scenic country roads. At the heart of Pays du Der, near Lake Der-Chantecoq, there are ten or so churches and a chapel, all half-timbered. The vast majority are listed or registered as historic monuments under France's Monuments Historiques scheme. They were built between the 15th and 18th centuries. These structures show the ingenuity of builders at that time. They could not afford freestone to build their structures, so rural architectural materials were used instead, in particular wood and cob.

The best way to see these architectural gems is to take the Champagne Half-Timbered Church Route, a wonderful itinerary between Der and the Orient Forest, dotted with lakes and ponds. It will take you to the picturesque religious buildings of Lentilles, Drosnay, Bailly-le-Franc, Outines, Châtillon-sur-Broué, Longsols, Mathaux, Morembert, Saint-Léger-sous-Margerie, Sainte-Marie-du-Lac-Nuisement and Soulaines-Dhuys. You can look forward to a wonderful tour!

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