Centre d’art contemporain Les Tanneries

A strange encounter
in Gâtinais...

Across the dells and prairies of Gâtinais, discover for yourself how I came face to face with a rather striking contemporary art piece!

It all started over a stroll through the Gâtinais area. A land where water is everywhere... over the canals of Briare, Loing and Orléans... The area is crisscrossed by no less than fourteen rivers and scattered with marshes and ponds! It is a genuine islet of dells, fields, prairies and woodlands, the incarnation – to the east of Loiret and the south of Seine et Marne, of gentle country living.

Recharge your batteries...

Just an hour to the south east of Paris, off I set for a relaxing tour of the Gâtinais countryside. Step one: Montargis, the capital [lien vers incontournable Montargis], also known as the 'Venice of Gâtinais” with its 131 road and foot bridges! The Montargois area is just like Gâtinais; water is never far away. So my journey naturally began with a walk along the banks of the canals of Loing, Briare and Ouanne. [lien vers circuit de rando : http://loiret-balades.cirkwi.com/#!page=circuit&id=46952&langue=fr ].

Contemporary art, in the middle of nowhere!

In Amilly, in the heart of a natural area, I discovered an old industrial building - the former tanneries, recently transformed into a Contemporary Art Centre. A dynamic place where you can freely observe artists at work. At ground level, the immense exhibition area is a real surprise. It's the 'grand hall' where monumental pieces are displayed.

On the first floor, I wandered under the glass roof, an extremely bright area where art communicates with the outside world. Through the windows, I could see the tannery grounds, naturally bordered by two stretches of the Loing which form a tip where they join. After visiting the upper gallery, I took a stroll through the park, finding myself face to face with artwork; totally integrated within the landscape, fine pieces that are an invitation to reverie and contemplation. There's one visit I won't forget in a long time!

Centre d’art contemporain Les Tanneries

Centre d’art contemporain Les Tanneries

Centre d’art contemporain Les Tanneries

Centre d’art contemporain Les Tanneries

Centre d’art contemporain Les Tanneries

Centre d’art contemporain Les Tanneries

Centre d’art contemporain Les Tanneries

Centre d’art contemporain Les Tanneries

Make sure you don't miss...

L’arboretum des Barres © Arboretum des Barres
L’arboretum des Barres © Arboretum des Barres

The Arboretum des Barres

Created over a century ago by the Vilmorin family, the Arboretum National des Barres in Nogent-sur-Vernisson reunites a collection of 2,600 tree species from across the globe, some of which are as rare and original as they are magnificent. It is one of the largest arboretums in the world.

A garden, a park, a forest? In fact, a bit of each! The Arboretum National des Barres, which is managed by the Office National des Forêts (French Forestry Commission), is home to some 8,500 different trees which lend themselves not only to the pleasure of visitors to the site but also to the scientific curiosity of botanists from the world over. The site is organised over three collections.

Continentalis: a journey through space and time, with the Spanish fir, the Atlas cedar, the Asian ginkgo biloba, the Arizona cypress, etc... and some truly spectacular specimens (46 metre-high American redwoods, giant cedars...).

Classifica: odours, colours and shapes arouse the senses. In the springtime with the wisterias, the magnolias, the azaleas and the honeysuckle. In May as the handkerchief tree is transformed. In the autumn, over the fragrance of the caramel tree and the viburnum...

Bizarretum: an appropriately named collection! Here, everything is a surprise, from the weeping redwood, the '80-trunk tree' and the dwarf beeches to the creeping junipers, etc.

Over and above unaccompanied tours, the Arboretum, a certified 'Remarkable Garden', offers play and picnic areas, a boutique, a tearoom, a tree nursery and regular events throughout the year: workshops for children, parents and grandparents, exhibitions and open days at the nursery. In the summer, open-air theatre and concerts...

Montargis Forest

Montargis Forest covers a surface area of 4,000 hectares. Its afforestation is characteristic of the other Loiret forests: sessile oak, beech, hornbeam, Scots pine, European black pine. The mammals that thrive here are also those of neighbouring forests: boars, roe deer and the usual procession of forest birds.

History has left its mark on the site. Here, you can admire a dolmen, several burial mounds and, here and there, the odd fleur-de-lis engraved royal milestone, once used to mark former territories. Up to 1891, the arboretum was also a refuge for wolves, those quintessentially mysterious animals that have nourished the collective unconscious and whose name continues to haunt the Gâtinais area

over sites such as the 'chemin de la grotte-aux-loups' or the 'bois de Mardeleu'...

La forêt de Montargis ©B. Quintard - CRT CVDL
La forêt de Montargis ©B. Quintard - CRT CVDL
L’abbaye de Ferrière-en-Gâtinais © D. CHAUVEAU
L’abbaye de Ferrière-en-Gâtinais © D. CHAUVEAU

Ferrieres Abbey in Ferrières-en-Gâtinais

From its past as the religious capital of Gâtinais, Ferrières has preserved a number of edifices, including the abbey church of St. Peter and St. Paul, the former royal abbey founded by Clovis and whose influence stretched across entire Europe. One of four French churches built on a model of a Latin cross with an octagonal Carolingian rotunda, the edifice includes quite remarkable features such as a 'papal door' (walled after each papal visit) and dome, both dating from the 13th century, along with 14th, 15th and 16th century stained glass windows, a master altar and sculpted stalls.

The Notre-Dame de Bethléem (Our Lady of Bethlehem) chapel, located near the abbey church, boasts Romanesque vestiges, an altarpiece dating from 1650 and 18th century woodwork. The outside terrace leads to the former abbey ramparts.

The Maison des Métiers d'Art

The Maison des Métiers d'Art hosts several artists and craftworkers. All members of the 'L'Art et la Manière' association, they present their new creations and the secrets of their specific skills in the permanent exhibition gallery. Several events are also organised throughout the year: temporary exhibitions, demonstrations, encounters, educational workshops, etc.

La Maison des Métiers d’Art
La Maison des Métiers d’Art
Le centre d’art contemporain Les Tanneries
Le centre d’art contemporain Les Tanneries

Les Tanneries - Contemporary Art Centre

Inaugurated in September 2016 by the Amilly town council, the contemporary art centre, housed within the former tanneries, is a quite singular place. Driven by the desire to encourage artistic creation and to facilitate the encounter between the work of art and the public, the centre hosts an in-vivo creative programme including, among other initiatives, artist residencies.

Events around Montargis !

A PLACE TO SLEEP

A PLACE TO SLEEP ?

Hotels Campsites Chambres d’hôtes

What to bring home?

Miel du Gâtinais
Miel du Gâtinais

Gâtinais honey

The 'Gold of Gâtinais' is its honey - born from a land with an impressive diversity of flowers and crops that attract bees: colza and sunflowers. Several apiculturists continue to produce, according to traditional techniques, the honey that was once highly appreciated at royal tables. In Château-Renard, the apiculture museum exhibits several glass-covered hives and hive boxes for visitors to observe the bees at work.

Gâtinais saffron

A long time cherished, saffron is enjoying a new lease of life thanks to the 'Safraniers du Gâtinais' who resumed its production in 1987.  The stigmas of some 150,000 saffron crocuses are harvested manually to produce every kilo of this precious spice. The saffron museum in Boynes offers a presentation of six centuries of saffron production and tradition.

Pralines from Montargis

It was the Duke of Plessis-Praslin, minister under Louis XIII, who set the recipe for the pralines - sweets made of grilled and caramelised almonds - that have since become the speciality of Montargis. Since 1903, Mazet has resumed production of these sweets, based on the original recipe.