Peck's personal Web site
in Switzerland: Romainmôtier
in June 2003
graduated from high school, soon to be off to Uni, Marlowe visits the Old Dad
tiny village of Romainmôtier
(400 inhabitants) lies in a hole, at 674m, a deep dip in the valley of the little
river Nozon which flows down out of the Swiss Jura at Vaulion, near the Col du
Mollendruz and the Vallée du Joux, as it continues past La Sarraz to reach
Lac de Neuchâtel at Yverdon. The nearest town, Juriens, a kilometre to the
west, is 120m higher up the hill (the village of Envy [!] is just a few hundred
meters up the hill but too small to call a town).
Au Lieutenant Ballival, a favorite with passing hikers.
abbey was established on this spot, traditionally and probably correctly, in 515,
and was turned over to the authority of the new reform-minded abbey of Cluny in
928, one of the first of what came to be a Cluniac franchise or monastery-chain
loosely within the Benedictine order. This is the center of the village (left),
just outside the abbey precincts gatehouse (right), with its 14th century tower
clock, in June 2003.
church was begun at the beginning of the 11th century, on the foundations of buildings
from the 7th and 8th centuries.
gatehouse to the abbey precinct (left), Marlowe looking for the tea room (right)
front of the church, and archaeologically the oldest part.
back side of the church, looking at the gatehouse and clock tower from the inside.
Alison's visit, October 2003
in April 2006
dreary, rainy day -- no one has the heart for hiking today, so we visit the Grottes
de Vallorbe and pass through Romainmôtier to
make sure everything's still okay, mid-April 2006. But something's wrong -- what
is it? The 10th century abbey church looks fine. What happened to the trees on
Baillival still fine as well, but we note the terrible parking job by the driver
of that blue car.
are all the trees on the hillside?
time we were in this courtyard, in 2003, the building on the right housed a fascinating
museum of Cluniac abbeys in Europe, but there seems to be an art gallery in there
now, the Gallerie de la Cour. Excellent stuff, but it would be good to know what
happened to that monastic exhibition.
stuff hanging off it everywhere -- this is said to be the oldest abbey church
village's Web site has some good material on the church, http://www.romainmotier.ch/abbatiale/.
14th century clock tower and gateway through the walls.
one sturdy old church. Let's hope all the trees come back.
Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 21 September 2003, revised 30 April 2012, 7 February 2014.