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Charolles is located on the Centre-Europe-Atlantique road (N79). It can be reached via the A6 motorway as well, exit Mâcon Sud and Chalon-Sud.
The closest train stations are Le Creusot-Montchanin and Mâcon Loche.
The origin of Charolles dates back to the Gaul period. Celts gave it the name « Kadrigel » or Castro-Igel which means stronghold surrounded by water. Arconce and Semence rivers still surround the city. Numerous monuments from the 15th and 16th century are still standing.
Charolles became the capital of the hand crafted earthenware that was named after the city in 1844.
In Charolles, there are two museums to visit: “Musée municipal du Prieuré” with Charolles earthenware, paintings and sculptures by artists from Bourgogne region, and “Maison du Charolais” : this museum introduces to the visitors Beef Charolais, the qualities of the meat,the history of the Charolais breed, how farmers work with the land and maintain the landscape of hedged farmland.
The monuments of interests are numerous: Charles le Temeraire 15th century Tower, Benedictine priory church of Sainte Madeleine which was built in the 10th century and was a stage in the pilgrim’s journey to Santiago de Compostela. The Tour de Diamants is a vestige of the castle’s entrance. Also, there are the 17th century Clarisses and Visitandines convents, Chapel of Gros Bon Dieu, Chapel Saint Roch, Sacre Cœur church…
In Charolles surroundings, the traveller can follow the Charolais castles route and discover Digoine castle, Montessus, Rambuteau, Dree, La Clayette, or Chaumont castles…
Hiking, horse riding, cycle touring, fishing, hunting or water sports are available activities in Charolles.
Also, every summer, Charolles organise “les Nocturnes Médievales”: at night, the visitor will wander in the medieval streets of the city and meet people dressed in period costumes.
Food and Drink
Charolles beef, an AOC meat (a label that testifies of its origin and quality) is the main local product of Charolles. At first (and until the 18th century), Charolais beef was only bred for local consumption. However, during the 1867 Universal Exposition, Charolais was awarded as best meat and was then to be exported across the whole country.
In Charolles region, snails are cooked “a la Bourguignonne” which means with butter, garlic, shallots and parsley.
Finally, Bourgogne produces 33 high quality wines. Chablis, Grand Auxerrois, Côtes de Beaune, or Maconnais vineyards are some examples. Bourgogne grape varieties are Pinot Noir for red wines and Chardonnay for white wines.
MAISON DU CHAROLAIS, Route de Macon, 71120 Charolles. Tel : 03.85.24.00.46
AUBERGE LE VIEUX CHÊNE, le Bourg, 71120 Baron. Tel : 03.85.24.10.49
In the event that you fall in love with the region and intend to buy a property there, Sextant properties have bi-lingual estate agents in the area who known the available properties. They will be able to accompany you on visits, answer your queries and generally make finding and choosing your ideal property a pleasure – all of which will speed the day you walk into your new home in Charolles.