A Land of history
To understand the territory and its inhabitants better, here is a brief summary of the key periods in its history :
- On the border between the two Gallic tribes,the Lingons and Tricasses, the territory of the Park had an important Roman colonization from the village of Brienne-la-Vielle, a port on the river Aube crossed by the Roman strategic way from Milan to Boulogne called the Agrippan Way.
(see the: column of " Taranis " in the church of Brienne la vielle.)
- From the C9th, religious establishments installed in the Park, cleared the forest and created the first ponds.
- One of the cradles of the crusades, the territory gave birth to the knight and historian Geoffrey de Villehardouin. Upon their return from the Holy Land, the Templars (in Forêt du Temple),the Knights Hospitaler and Teutonic Knights settled on the territory.
- Ravaged during the Hundred Years War during the fight between the Duke of Burgundy and Louis XI, the territory was born again at the beginning of the Renaissance, the churches were restored or rebuilt and decorated with the famous stained glass windows and statues from the Troyes schools of artists. ( see the: interior of the church of Géraudot).
- The Dukes of Luxembourg in exile in the territory of the Park created a virtual Duchy of Luxembourg in Piney, whose size was practically the same as the territory of the present Park. The last duke, fled during the revolution after having founded the French Masonic order of the Grand Orient de France ( Therefore giving its name to the forest)
- The C19th saw the extension of industries linked to the land, among others, the famous statue-making factory of Saint Sulpiciennes, in Vendeuvre, where its products are found in churches throughout France.
-Finally, the second half of the C20th saw the creation of the large reservoirs (1967-1990), soon followed by the classification of the territory as a regional natural Park (1970).
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