The incredible history of one of the oldest farms in Bresse
Mangettes Farm was built in 1465 under the reign of Louis XI in a nearby hamlet, and was saved from demolition in 1983. The same year, it was entirely dismantled and rebuilt exactly as it was on the site where it is now! Three other farmhouse buildings were added to the site in the same way.
Bresse houses, once considered movable property, used to be relocated from one village to another after being bought, seized or inherited. Documents found in the archives show that over one hundred farms were moved just like this one!
Mysterious Saracen chimneys and their large, open hearths
A great Bresse mystery lives on top of its roofs – more precisely on the roofs of its beautiful traditional farms!
Built from material found in the region, such as cobs and rammed earth made from soil, oak and bricks, these chimneys are characterised by a small openwork bell tower or cowl. With Roman, Gothic and Oriental influences, they were called “Saracen” chimneys, from the old French word sarrasin meaning ‘foreign’, as their intriguing appearance stood out from the region’s typical architecture.
They appeared from the 13th century onwards and there are only around 30 left today – see how many you can spot!