A large part of the Burgundy Landscape is covered with meadows, wooded banks and deciduous and coniferous forests. Flowers include buttercups, white and blue pansies, columbines, cuckoo flowers, daisies, field horn flower, clover, wild daffodil, wood anemone, dotter, primrose, celandine, forget-me-not, blue cornflower, cow parsley, wild orchids and slopes full of yellow broom. Many mushrooms also grow: oyster mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, chanterelles and morel.
The most common tree species are beech, oak, hornbeam and (silver) birch, sugar maple and acasia.
There are mammals such as roe deer, wild boar, badgers, foxes, wild cats, hares and rabbits, bunzings, martens and weasels, squirrels, bisamrat, various types of mice, and the lesser-known riot mouse (a combination of a mouse and a squirrel) anything but rare. At twilight the bats become massively active.
Many species of fish swim in the lakes and rivers: brook and rainbow trout, carp, pike-perch, zabal (freshwater variant of cod), white mullet, shad, lamprey, barbel, tench and roach.
The river landscape is also the habitat for the ring snake. Some special amphibians are tree frog, yellow-bellied toad, crested newt, viper aspis, aesculapian snake and emerald lizard.
Well-known birds of prey are sparrowhawks, red and black kites, comedians, hawks, harriers, buzzards, snake eagles, dwarf eagles, osprey, kestrels and peregrine falcons. All sorts of owl species, including the barn owl, the Eagle Owl, the Long-eared Owl and the Little Owl. Other birds are kingfisher, bee-eater, shore swallow, water starling and the great yellow wagtail.
The insect world is very rich due to the varied landscape and the many plant and flower species. Some exceptional species are the cockchafer, the flying deer, the mantis and the green ros chafer, and furthermore butterflies such as the chalkhill blue, the Hummingbird hawk-moth, the Old World swallowtail, heliconians or longwings and in some places the Large copper and hundreds of moths, such as the oak beauty, the shoulder stripe, the twin-spotted Quaker, the Rannoch sprawler, the chestnut, the yellow horned, the Jersey tiger and the giant peacock moth.
The heritage in Bazois Loire Morvan is very varied: Romanesque churches, castles, burial columns, public wash houses and other historical places. Everything bears witness to a rich past that is not well known, but is well worth exploring.
At half an hour’s drive is Mont Beuvray, with its 821 metres one of the highest mountain of the Morvan. The mountain is situated in the municipalities of Saint-Léger-sous-Beuvray (Saône-et-Loire), Glux-en-Glenne and Larochemillay (Nièvre), near Autun. At the top of this mountain was Bibracte, a Gallic fortified city (Oppidum) which was the capital of the mighty tribe of the Haedui. It is France’s largest archaeological site. You can take a beautiful walk and see the excavations. On the flank of the mountain, a museum for Celtic civilization has been established since 1996 and this is definitely worth a visit. At the top of the mountain you have a truly panoramic view.
Autun is 30 kilometres away, located at the gates of the Movan. It is the 10th largest town of Burgundy, after the regional capital Dijon, Chalon-sur-Saône, Nevers, Auxerre, Macon, Sens, Le Creusot, Beaune and Montceau-les-Mines.
It was founded by the Romans as Augustodunum, sister and rival of Rome at the beginning of the ruling period of emperor Augustus as Gallo-Roman capitol of Aedui to replace Bibracte. It was a prosperous city and influential cultural centre up to the late 15th century.
The region has many more surprising sights, a beautiful combination for an introduction with the rich historical heritage amidst green nature. Roman abbeys, ducal cities, castles with glazed roofs and charming village make this a really fascinating area.
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