At the heart of the Bresse, Saint-Trivier-de-Courtes, is 30 km north of Bourg-en-Bresse and is the capital of Haute-Bresse. In the Middle Ages it was a powerful fortified town, ruled by the Lords of Bagé and then the Counts of Savoy.
The town was born from a legend. In the year 539, the King of Austrasia, Theuderic (Clovis’ grandson), was on his way back from an expedition to Italy and captured hostages on his way. Two young wealthy men from the Dombes region were taken and banished to the north of France. The Abbot of Wiserne, near Thérouanne in the French department of Pas-de-Calais, took pity on them and bought them to then send them back to their families with the monk Trivier. But on their way back to the Dombes region, the three men got lost in a vast forest, known as the “Forêt Memphique”, in the surrounding area of Courtes. The monk asked for help from God. A wolf appeared and led them onto the right path. As a token of gratitude, the families of the hostages gave the monk a plot of land where he lived alone and died in the year 550. That is how the town of Saint-Triver-de-Courtes came to be.
Brimming with treasures
A historic town centre
Today, the many treasures to see in this peaceful village are proof of its fascinating past: an octagonal tower, ruins of medieval walls, half-timbered houses, the 18th-century Hôtel de Ville, the ancient school, the 18th-century Maison de l’Arquebuse and an authentic motte-and-bailey castle.
Unveil all the village’s secrets on the self-guided sightseeing tour, the “Circuit de la Grenouille” (frog trail). This tour is marked out on the ground using nails, to show you which directions to follow and where the specific points of interest are. The tour is adapted for children with a treasure hunt, ‘pêche à la grenouille’ (fishing for frogs).
You can pick up a tour brochure free-of-charge from the Tourist Office.
Carronnière de Mollardoury
Don’t miss the Carronnière de Mollardoury. This vast construction was once devoted to manufacturing and firing ‘carrons’ (large bricks), and then for tiles. There are only two ‘carronnières’ left in Bresse today, so this is a rare and unmissable sight.