découvertedécouverte de la faïence de Meillonnas, village d’art et de caractère à visiter en famille. Ain
©découverte de la faïence de Meillonnas, village d’art et de caractère à visiter en famille. Ain |Morgane MONNERET


pottery village

Where the mountains begin

The village of Meillonnas is a symbol of the Revermont represented by the hills and ridges of the mountains, the vineyards, Comté and walks in the countryside. It is also a typical symbol of the pride that the ‘cavets’ (locals) of Revermont feel for their villages. In the first foothills of the Jura mountains, a part of the château and walls are still standing in this ancient, fortified town. It is well known thanks to the pottery that was produced here in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The story of a Baron

The château was built in around 1350. From the 15th to the 18th century it belonged to the La Cambre-Seyssel, a Savoyard family who then sold it to Nicolas de Marron in 1740, the uncle of the pottery factory founder. Since the Gallic era, Meillonnas had been associated with ceramic manufacture as the clay in the area was of excellent quality. This trade also flourished thanks to the proximity of the local stream, the Sevron. The Marron family were the owners of the château until 1839 and pottery production there stopped a few decades later. The most beautiful pieces are now on display at the Musée du Revermont in Cuisiat and at the Musée de Brou in Bourg-en-Bresse.

Medieval frescos

Most of the church of Saint-Oyen was rebuilt in the 17th and 19th centuries but the chapel of Notre-Dame still portrays its medieval past. It was founded by a local knight in 1382, as depicted by the inscription engraved into the keystone. He commissioned decorative frescos that can still be seen today and this collection is in fact the most extensive in the whole department. The artist remained anonymous and painted with Italian influence. There is evidence of influence from Giotto.

A trail indicated in pottery

There are a few beautiful ancient houses in Meillonnas, some of which are half-timbered, including the ancient presbytery opposite the church. There is even a ‘Rue des Colombages’ (Street of half-timbered houses) here. Follow the signs on each road, they are made from pottery!

The Parc Balland is near the château, with the Sevron stream passing through and is a romantic haven of peace. There are works of art here and there decorating the green spaces: creations from artist friends of Roger Vailland, whose house has been open to visitors on the street bearing his name since 1989.

To know more about Meillonnas earthenware

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