Saturday, October 18, 2008

La Saline Royale

We drove north toward Dijon, stopping in at la Saline Royale (the Royal Saltworks). I had searched the UNESCO website looking for World Heritage Sites, and this was the closest one.

We found a well-preserved set of buildings where they used to process water from nearby sources to get salt. It turns out that there are much better ways to get salt around the world (salt mines, e.g.) so this factory didn’t last too long. But the idea behind la Saline Royale was to create a little city around the factory and provide everything the workers needed. Saving gas the old fashioned way, I guess. It was funded by Louis XVI so it had to look nice as well.

We enjoyed roaming the gardens, with their whimsical themes:

An early bowling alley:

And the buildings (designed by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux) were nice too:

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