Lormes.net in the Morvan

Lormes is a little town of 1297 inhabitants located at an elevation of 420 m (1300 ft) in the Massif Morvan in the center of France in Burgundy - Franche-Comté Region and Nièvre department.

The subject of this site is to present you this little town I love. It’s not the official site of Lormes Town.

A walk in Lormes

When you arrive at Lormes, you first see the church. It dominates the town and was built a century ago in the neo-roman style. A bit below, Les Promenades who are called November 11th Walk. It’s a large square surrounded by limes where stands the war memorial.

If you come from the freeway, you arrive at Lormes by Avallon Road, a large avenue which leads you to the Grand’rue (Mainstreet) and downtown. François Mitterrand Square is the economic center of the town where stands once a week the market. You’ll find the City Hall and many shops.

In the Old Castle district, the very small Old Castle Chapel is the older monument of the town.

Making your way towards Château-Chinon you arrive at the Goulot Pond. It’s a very beautiful water plan which attracts tourists. It’s also the town’s symbol. The municipal camping is located besides, the reception-house is the old railway station of the "tacot", the narrow railroad line which linked Corbigny to Saulieu before last war.


Lormes is known since the Middle Ages with the latin name Ulmus. Its name means "the elm" because of elms which were standing on Les Promenades. At that time, there were two castles, belonging one to Nevers and the other one to Château-Chinon. In 1591, the Lormes’s Ladies bravely defended the town against soldiers from Clamecy.

Many inhabitants of Lormes died during World War I. All through the last war, members of the Resistance movement, forming Maquis, fought against Germans who occupied the town. On June 12th, 1944, they attacked german soldiers on the City Hall Square, eight men were shot.

Marshal Vauban was born close to Lormes. He lived under the reign of Louis XIV and modernized almost three hundred fortified places and fitted the Bazoches castle. The world famous painter Camille Corot stayed several times in Lormes at the end of 19th Century. The writer Henri Bachelin and the minister Daniel Vaillant were born in Lormes.

The Morvan

The Morvan is a region of hills situated in the heart of France. It’s a breeding region and a forest area with an harsh climate. It spreads over a part of Burgundy Region in Nièvre, Yonne, Saône et Loire and Côte d’Or departments. The Yonne, main tributary of the Seine (which runs through Paris), and also many others rivers like the Cure have their sources in the Morvan.

For several centuries, floating permitted to deliver wood to Paris for heating. The wood cut in the Morvan was thrown in the rivers up to Clamecy or Vermenton. Then, it was joined up in trains, this means that they were tied up in rafts escorted by a raftsman. It went to Paris by the Yonne and the Seine. This activity lasted from the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century.

Although he was born in Jarnac on the atlantic coast in 1916, the most famous politician of the Morvan is François Mitterrand. He was first mayor of Montsauche then of Château-Chinon, Member of parliament and senator of Nièvre department before becoming in 1981 President of the French Republic. Reelected in 1988, he installed in Château-Chinon the Musée du Septennat where are the gifts he received during his two terms. He died in Paris in 1996.

The surroundings

At thirty kilometers (19 miles) away from Lormes stands the famous basilica of Vézelay. Place of veneration of St. Magdalene’s relics, Vézelay was the point of departure of one of the roads to Santiago de Compostela. St. Bernard preached the Second Crusade and the kings of France, Philippe Auguste and England Richard the Lionheart, met there for the departure of the Third Crusade. The basilica, which has a roman nave and a gothic choir, was restored in the 19th century by the french architect Viollet-le-Duc.

In Château-Chinon, town of President Mitterand, you may visit the Musée du Septennat. You will see there many objects, medals, "cities’ keys" and also several rooms with African gifts.

Morvan’s landscapes are also very beautiful. From Lormes, Château-Chinon or Banquet Chapel, you can discover the most famous ones. Several artificial lakes surround Lormes. The most famous is Les Settons, the dam was built in 1861 on the Cure for floating. It is very frequented by tourists and you can practice many sport activities. Pannecière dam built on the Yonne is the most recent, it permits to regulate the flow of the Yonne river and to product electricity.

Translation : Aurélie Lecomte, Marius Lewin