Santenay is a charming town of about one thousand inhabitants, bordered by mountains and overlooking south; it lives according to the rhythm of vineyards and wines. Santenay has been a hydrothermal and health resort since 1968.
Its beneficial waters- the most rich in lithium waters from Europe –and its wines create an atmosphere favorable to a certain gentleness of living.
Promenade lovers are enchanted by the beauty of the hillsides and the magnificent panorama from the top of Mont de Sène, also called the ‘Mountain of Three Crosses’.
Saint Jean de Narosse, a Romanesque church dating from the 13th century, attracts experts in Burgundian religious art.
Santenay’ s Casino and its slot machines attract gambling enthusiasts.
“By bringing together the healing waters with the cheerful wine, the sun and the games, Santenay can actually be considered today the ‘Nice of Côte d' Or” (Chanoine F. Kir).
The streets tell Santenay’s stories
Santenay-le-Bas (Upper Santenay), Santenay-le-Haut (Lower Santenay)
Santenay is divided into four inhabited areas.
Santenay-le-Haut (Upper Santenay) is the most ancient part, formerly called Narosse, but nowadays situated between Charrière and the thermal quarter.
Saint Jean located at the foot of the cliff dominated by Mont de Sène with its ancient church.
La Crée that separates these two latter urban districts from Santenay-le-Bas.
Santenay-le-Bas (Lower Santenay) developed all-around the castle and became a trade center especially after the appearance of the railroad and of the railway station, which houses nowadays the Office of Tourism.
> Santenay-le-Bas (Lower Santenay)
After leaving this place and going up again La Rue de la Gare you will discover the Jet d’ Eau Site (The Fountain’s Square). In the 17th century Denis Legoux de la Berchère, lord of Santenay, had set up here a market hall for fairs and exhibitions.
At the end of the 18th century, the market hall also housed an inn, which was demolished during the Revolution; it was here that the patriots used to hold their reunions. In 1848 this market was destroyed and replaced, in 1870, by a circular pond and a fountain.
The nice hotel with a terrace, situated on the north side of the market, had been built in 1837 by Duvault-Blochet, a wine merchant, who was the sole owner of Romanée-Conti at that time.
Going up the Grande Rue, you can see on the right side the Jonchapt House with its dovecote, built in 1650 by Denis Jonchapt, “ the lessor of the Marquisate of Santenay” (he was in charged with collecting and paying in the feudal dues).
In 1660 he ordered the statue of ‘Virgin Mary slaying the dragon’ for the Saint Jean Church. He passed away in 1674 and he was buried at the foot of the statue.
Passing by the Grande Rue, you go up the Bussière Street and turn left to the castle. Then you go down towards the Notre Dame du Rosaire Church. At the end of the 19th century the Church Saint Jean had a somehow remote location, far from
Santenay’ s modern center which developed around the little square of Jet d’ Eau.
Ladies Dupuis and Massin, the two daughters of the wealthy proprietor Jacques Duvault-Blochet, had decided to bequeath the necessary money in order to build a church in a better location.
It was Louis Lagoutte, an architect from Autun, who had drawn up the project plans in neo-gothic style. The new edifice was inaugurated on October 17, 1891.
The church was damaged by fire in 1988 and not reopened for religious ceremonies until March 25th, 1990.
During the restoration works a golden metal rooster was placed atop the church tower.
If you continue to descend the road, you will arrive at the Town Hall’ s Square from where you can notice the Sainte Agathe Chapel and its Belfry.
Built in 1590, it originally consisted of a simple bell tower above the chancel’s wall and its two bells.
The steeple, which replaced it, was in fact the belfry constructed during the Revolution with the purpose of receiving the municipal tocsin.
During the Terror regime, when it sheltered the group of the Constitution’s Supporters, it was used as a prison for suspects.
After being reopened for religious ceremonies with the occasion of the Concordat in 1801, the chapel was closed in 1891. Nowadays, it is used as a meeting hall and it also houses the municipal library.
After getting past the first half of the ascent to Charrière you can see, on your left, the Saint François Chapel, built in 1668 by the owner of the neighboring castle.
After becoming a national asset, it was sold in 1796 and has remained private property ever since. Nowadays, due to a recent restoration, it has regained its ancient appearance.
At the top of the ascent to Charrière, still on your left side, you can see the entrance to the Millard Castle built by François Millard around 1670. The castle is rectangular in shape and is flanked by two square towers with pyramidal rooftops.
IYou can also notice an imposing pigeon loft and a small square building, which was probably the former kitchen place.
This castle was owned by the Millards until 1902, then it was sold to Fleurot-Larose, a wine merchant.
For more details about the Sources Quarter please visit the ‘Thermal Springs’ section
For more details about the Casino please visit the ‘Tourism and Recreation’ section
At the foot of the cliff dominated by Mont de Sène, beneath Bois de la Fée (Fairy’s Woods) one can see the few houses of the hamlet surrounding Saint Jean de Narosse church.
Click here for more details about Saint Jean church