Fécamp (Normandy)

Fécamp. Not far from Vulles-les-Roses is Fécamp (Fecamp), associated with Guy de Maupassant himself. According to legend, some mysterious fig tree trunk got stuck at the mouth of the Fécamp River almost two thousand years ago. A lead chest was hidden in the trunk, in which Joseph of Arimathea enclosed a few drops of the holy Blood of Christ. Soon a spring gushed out of the earth. Since then, the sacred spring, now located at 12 Rue de l’Aumont, has become a place of pilgrimage. A community and a monastery arose. The city is predominantly inhabited by fishermen and is considered the fourth fishing port in the country and the main supplier of cod. It is known that in the XI century. the monks here caught and salted herring, and in the 16th century they supplied smoked fish to the whole country. In the 10th century, Duke William Longsword began building a fortified castle. The French Revolution abolished the ancient abbey, traces of which are now preserved in the form of the ruins of the ducal castle. The Trinity Church of the old architecture of the 18th century in the style of Louis XV has been preserved.
Fécamp and winemaking. The monks of the Benedictine order created the famous Benedictine liqueur, based on the tincture of three herbs growing on the local rocks: lemon balm, angelica and hyssom. This recipe was invented in 1510 by the monk-herbalist Vincelli as an elixir of health. But during the French Revolution, the crowds did not think about health, but about drinking something and beheading someone, as a result of which the secret of the liquor was lost. Half a century later, one businessman, Monsieur Alexander Legrand, found some records with recipes from archival papers and began to experiment. He mixed the resulting elixir with cognac and armagnac, distilled many local herbs and spices into the drink, including vanilla, cardamom, aloe, juniper berries, pine buds and more. Legrand called the drink Benedictine, which became a famous liquor. At the same time, Monsieur Legrand built a huge “abbey palace” and founded the Museum of Liquor Production in it with interesting samples of technological equipment and the elixirs themselves. And of course, a liquor tasting room. In the city park there is the Sasto Castle Hotel, which was once the residence of the Austrian Empress. The beaches on the Alabaster Coast are pebbly, light stone. Here you can also choose a beautiful place during the tour by car and cool off in the water, especially on a hot day and after tasting herbal liquor. Sorry, medieval “health elixir” on medicinal herbs 🙂