Le Mont de Sène
This site dominates the valley lying ‘at the end of the world’ where Saint-Jean hamlet is located. It forms a hillock having a length of about 100 meters and a height of 521 meters.
From the top, the walker discovers a circular panorama: on the northern side – the boundary of Côte de Beaune hills with their fertile vineyards; on the eastern side – the Saône Valley dominated on the horizon by the first foothills of Jura; on the southern side – the Clunisois dominated by Saint-Vincent Mountain and by the Morvan on the western side.
At the beginning of our era two temples were built on this place. One of them was dedicated to the Roman God Mercury and the other one, undoubtedly, to the guardian Goddess of the spring, which flows towards the bottom of the cliff, forming a small watercourse, originally called Narosse and renamed Terron in our time.
These temples were destroyed at the beginning of the 5th century. In 1872 some excavation works uncovered their substructures, namely, the priest’s house as well as a small edifice where visitors could obtain ex-votos. Currently the site is completely leveled.
In 1767, Pierre Millard, a leather salesman, originally from Santenay, constructed a Calvary atop the mountain. After numerous damages and renovations the Calvary continues to exist. That is why, the mountain is often called “ The three Crosses”.
The lower part of the cliff is covered by Bois de la Fée (The Fairy’s Woods). The legend says that one Sunday, a peasant accompanied by his wife, his two children and their dog came here to plough the soil, instead of respecting God’s Day of rest.
Revolted by such a blasphemy, the fairy turned the miscreants into stones.
Not long ago, in the middle of the forest, one could still distinguish clearly four stones that prevented the vegetation from growing and represented the oxen attached to the yoke.
The peasants (man and woman) turned into rocks that took a vague humanlike shape. Still visible today, they are called the Villains. Next to the wife’s stone, there are two small rocks embodying the children.
The mountain of the ‘Three Crosses’ became ‘Natural Park’ in 1993 and regained its environment of rustic plants and wild bushes.