l’amour du chocolat

beynac-et-cazenac (from wikipedia commons)

i saw the movie chocolat years ago and found johnny depp to be simply delightful in it. but reading the novel by the same name, i became completely enamored with the stubborn, proud roux. i was not prepared for the ending, which left me less fulfilled and more wistful than anything else. art imitating life, i suppose.

i loved the idea of visiting lansquenet-sous-tannes, the city in which the book takes place. but as it is completely fictional, i found it necessary to dig a little deeper. the film was shot in a variety of locations. the river and indoor scenes were all filmed in england, but since france is our destination, we shall overlook this fact. the remaining portions of the film were apparently shot in flavigny-sur-ozerain (in burgundy) and in beynac-et-cazenac (see above).

flavigny-sur-ozerain is (was?) home to a benedictine abbey in the 700s. in the 800s, after france experienced viking raids, st. regina’s (a martyr who wouldn’t renounce her faith to marry her betrothed) remains found their way there. pilgrims came to visit the remains and a town developed around the abbey. less than 350 people (the size of my graduating high school class) live in flavigny year round. today they are, appropriately enough (considering our book), known for the little pastilles they sell around the world.

beynac-et-cazenac is slightly larger with just over 500 residents. i don’t know much about the area save that the communes of beynac and cazenac combined to form this commune (just a municipality in the government). but the château de beynac is a well-preserved castle there. it is the highest building in the picture above. in 1962, lucien grosso bought and restored the château. since then, quite a number of films such as les visiteurs, ever after, jeanne d’arc (not to mention chocolat using the village below!) have been filmed there.

since travel is our aim, i located these cities on a map. since i don’t know the exact route we hope to take, i’m crossing my fingers that we can at least fit one of these into our travels! on to the next book, count of monte cristo!

One comment

  1. Coco Draws · November 29, 2012

    Loved this post. 🙂

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