Vermenton - France

Vermenton is located in the Yonne department of Burgundy 12 miles south of Auxerre. It lies at the end of a branch canal of the Canal du Nivernais which follows the River Cure. The River Cure is one of the main tributaries of the Yonne and was used for timber flottage. Logs were floated freely as far as Arcy and then formed into rafts for their journey down the Yonne and Seine to Paris. Vermenton was an ancient settlement on the Roman route between Rome and Boulogne. Sights include the Notre Dame church, Meridien Tower and an old washouse. The remains of the former Cistercian Reigny Abbey are also situated in Vermenton. It was founded in 1104 and moved here in 1134 and at its peak numbered up to 300 monks. The precinct and surviving buildings, principally comprising the exceptional 14th century refectory, the 17th century dovecote and part of the south range of the conventual buildings restored in the 18th century, including the monks' parlour and dormitory, are now a conference centre. A system of nearby underground caverns (La Grand Grotte d'Arcy-sur-Cure) contain an underground lake and interesting geological formations.