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Gassian - The Wine town - The Rock of Mariae - pt.I

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Gassian

-The Rock of Mariae -

Part I

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Father of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, François of Clairvoux signed and sealed in 1157 a deed of gift by Prince Henri of Bordeaux. He lived in a small castle on the Eyre River. The romanesque building in the basement of the house Clairvoux are still preserved. The castle was built in a strategic location. Surrounded on three sides by the Eyre River, stands out the fortress. The builders were based on the architecture of the natural conditions.

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The castle was expanded further and further. By brisk trade in wines and skillful diplomacy led to the imposing castle. This is also the birthplace of Saint Bernard of Clairvoux.

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Mariae lies on a small island in the middle of the Eyre River.

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The entire Eyre valley is part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

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The name "Mariae" is based on a legend of the daughter of Bernard's XI. of Clairvoux. Mariae should be drowned at age of 16 in the wake of Eyre River and her body remained missing(in~1568). It has spread the legend that she was banished to the depths and may only appear as a mermaid.

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Mariae should have been spotted on a nearby rock. She was sitting on the rock and was combing her long golden hair and lured unwary sailors with her songs and her beauty.

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The Parisian sculptor Claude Erik (1876-1959) created in 1913 the sculpture of "Little Mermaid", which became a landmark of Rondnoir. Today the legend is told of the "Little Mermaid Mariae". A popular destination for tourists and romantic place for weddings.

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Next time...The Rock of Mariae pt.II

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