-The Rock of Mariae -
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.
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.
Mariae lies on a small island in the middle of the Eyre River.
The entire Eyre valley is part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
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.
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.
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.
Next time...The Rock of Mariae pt.II