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The Communal Heritage

Ovens

In the villages of Bugey it is not unusual to come across communal ovens, built of stone and often decked with traditional stone tiles. They are part of the rich architectural heritage of Bugey.

 

In the Middle Ages, these ovens were built and managed by the lords of the manor, to serve the people who lived on their lands. Each resident who used the oven was obliged to pay for its use. This fee was called the "banality", the origin of the term "four (oven) banal".

 

The oven was the villagers’ constant and daily companion. Nowadays, its use is occasional, and festive. The ovens on the Hauteville Plateau are used during local festivals, especially for baking traditional cakes and flans.

 

For more information: www.ledreffia.com

Les Bacs et Lavoirs

From earliest times, village communities used streams and springs to supply water for their personal needs, and those of their animals. 

 

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the supply of this sometimes rare and precious liquid was improved by the building of numerous stone basins and water troughs. Often beautifully constructed, they are found in abundance at different points throughout all the villages.

 

When water was relatively abundant, large communal water troughs were built to serve as laundries and facilitate the household work. But in the mid-twentieth century, home drinking water and the development of washing machines gave a fatal blow to all these edifices so beautifully carved in stone

 

For more information:  www.ledreffia.com

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