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Fontaines-en-Sologne

Town, village, neighbourhood in Fontaines-en-Sologne
  • Archaeology has provided no evidence of prehistoric or Celtic occupation. Roman presence has been confirmed by the discovery of coins, an oculist's seal and a potter's kiln.
    The first mention of Fontaines dates back to 939, when Hugues le Grand, father of Hugues Capet, granted a charter to the abbey of Saint Julien de Tours " in villa quae dicitur Fontanae, ubi residebat dominus Hugo, venerabilis comes" ("in the village called Fontaines, where the lord Hugues, venerable count,...
    Archaeology has provided no evidence of prehistoric or Celtic occupation. Roman presence has been confirmed by the discovery of coins, an oculist's seal and a potter's kiln.
    The first mention of Fontaines dates back to 939, when Hugues le Grand, father of Hugues Capet, granted a charter to the abbey of Saint Julien de Tours " in villa quae dicitur Fontanae, ubi residebat dominus Hugo, venerabilis comes" ("in the village called Fontaines, where the lord Hugues, venerable count, resided").
    Until the 14th century, the parish seems to have enjoyed a certain opulence. The Hundred Years' War, which ravaged the Sologne region, brought misfortune. Relative prosperity returned until the Wars of Religion. In 1568, according to La Saussaye, "all that remained of the destroyed village was the violated, pillaged and half-ruined church and three houses. "
    Fontaines then alternated between prosperous periods and demographic catastrophes, with famines and epidemics decimating the population (1693-94 or 1709-1710).
    The Revolution did not provoke any major events, but it was a time of great excitement. The cahiers de doléances drawn up on March 6, 1789 bear witness to local misery.
    The second half of the 19th century brought an improvement with the development of the Sologne and agricultural progress. In 1884, the Blois - Romorantin railroad was built and Fontaines was equipped with a station. The population exceeded 950 before the bloodletting of 14-18 (44 Fontenois killed). It declined until the early 2000s (around 500 inhabitants), only to rise again today (620 inhabitants).

    The church:
    N-D de Fontaines, a historic monument, dominates the whole area. All that remains of the Romanesque church is the base of the façade. The church was rebuilt in the 13th century in the Angevin Gothic style. The five bays feature rich sculptural decoration, including a recently restored painted wooden Virgin and Child and a pilgrim. A rare feature, the church was fortified. Six loopholes are still visible. After the Wars of Religion, restorations (including the bell tower) were financed by Dame Catherine de Rossignol, who is buried in the nave. On the southern flank, traces of a chapel destroyed in 1804 can be seen.
    The fountains:
    The village's name is no coincidence: water gushes out of the ground everywhere, including at the highest points (38 fountains).

    Small heritage:
    Fontaines boasts fine examples of traditional Sologne architecture, with three listed houses in the village.
    Many of the farms still feature brick barns, half-timbering, bread ovens and wells, all part of the local heritage that can be discovered on walks along the 120 km of rural paths that criss-cross the commune, among 2652 ha of forest and 378 ha of ponds.

    Astronomical observatory:
    Since 2005, an observatory has been set up near the village. An association of enthusiasts, Blois Sologne Astronomie, offers observation sessions of the night sky and organizes events such as the Nuit des étoiles.