Ornans

An epicurean afternoon in Ornans

Ornans along the Loue River Valley  in the Jura Mountains

Ornans along the Loue River Valley in the Jura Mountains

Even if time was short my stop over in Ornans birthplace of the realist painter Gustave Courbet was definitely worth it. A lovely place to browse through while discovering one of Loue Valley picturesque town with its unique houses built on stilts along the river. The Loue River Valley has several beautiful mountain villages worth a stop over, such as Mouthier-Haute-Pierre.

Scenic view of Mouthier-Haute-Pierre along the Loue River Valley

Scenic view of Mouthier-Haute-Pierre along the Loue River Valley

A lovely luncheon on the terrace of a historic house with a river view awaits for me, prior to immersing myself in Courbet’s home town. Le Courbet is indeed one of the best in town. An amuse-bouche of vegetable mousse is served, then the escalopes de foie gras fricassée de girolles et fèves to begin with. Next is the Filets de truite au Vin Jaune, a platter of regional cheeses, more amuse bouche to be followed by a crowning glory of delicious Sablés mousse chocolat blanc et pêches rôties.

A wonderful lunch at Le Courbet in the town of Ornans

A wonderful lunch at Le Courbet in the town of Ornans

After all that fabulous treat, time to browse around this charming town with a must visit to Gustave Courbet former home, today transformed into a museum. Opened in 2011, the Hôtel Hébert, houses a permanent collection of his early work inspired by the romantic landscape of Ornans and the surrounding Loue Valley. Contemporary architecture is shown through the entrance hall with its glass windows and transparent glass flooring which makes you feel as if you are walking on water while wooden flooring and paneling in the main house have been restored to its original nineteenth century style. The garden next to the museum too has been restored to its bygone charm.The family Courbet farm in Flagey just a few kilometres from Ornans, is another visit not to be missed. It was at this farm when Juliette, Courbet’s sister used to spend her memorable days. And so Courbet painted his famous Oak of Flagey.   Painted  in 1864, Oak of Flagey was formerly in the hands of a Japanese collector, repurchased through the initiative of The General Council of the Doubs, to be once again part of the museum collection. A temporary exhibition is also being held at the museum around his provocative work The Origin of the world.  Stay longer in Ornans and discover places painted by Courbet by following his path around Ornans, throughout the valley and the source of the Loue river as portrayed in his Grotto of the Loue.

At the Courbet musem

At the Courbet musem

The scenic River Valley is an enchantment to any visitor. A picturesque landscape of a river valley with its mountain villages and evergreen forest that has deeply charmed Courbet, who in turn immortalizes his home town into an impressive work of art. The sun is setting, so a last glimpse of this lovely river town …

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Before heading to Saint George’s chapel part of the ruins of a medieval castle perched on a rocky hill overlooking the town, and continuing my journey …

Saint George chapel in Ornans

Saint George chapel in Ornans

Categories: Ornans

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