The Jean Racine path in the Chevreuse valley.

The Jean Racine path is a 5 km walk between the Château de la Madeleine and the Abbey of Port-Royal in the Regional Natural Park of the Haute Vallée de Chevreuse.

The Jean Racine path is a marked trail, it is not a loop, so you have to come back on your steps at the end of the path. The path winds between the forest, the houses and the valley. It is of a rather average interest but it makes it possible to discover two places charged with history: the castle of the Madeleine and the abbey of Port-Royal.

By entering the castle of the Madeleine you can have a magnificent view of the surrounding area. The visit takes a few minutes and is free.

The abbey of Port-Royal allows you to discover the history of Jansenism. To summarize, Jansenism is a branch of Catholicism. This doctrine advocates the return to religious austerity to get closer to God, it is quite close to the current created by Calvin.

This new school of thought displeased the king and then the pope who had the abbey destroyed. Today there are only ruins.

Nevertheless, the school inspired great men like Pascal and Racine.

Today the debate on the predestination of man seems a bit outdated but you can still visit the abbey and its museum to discover this school of thought.

The visit of the abbey and the museum is paying except the first Sunday in month. The museum being small, this option is to be considered. In any case the visit on the weekend is strongly advised.

Interest: ratinggood (1 user)
Difficulty: difficulty
Duration: 4 h.

Departure

You can easily park next to the castle in a car park surrounded by a low wall. The hike begins on the road to the left of the parking lot (opposite the castle).

The interior of the castle

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The interior of the castle
The castle, whose construction began in the 11th century, is in a good state of preservation. A map of the Racine trail is available at the entrance.

The view from the castle

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The view from the castle
At the age of 22 Racine supervised the work at the Madeleine. During his stay at the castle, Racine was bored and frequented the cabarets.

The path runs along the road

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The path runs along the road
This is the most difficult part of the route, the path runs along the road for quite a long distance. The entrance to the forest is indicated by markers (you have to be careful). The markers with Racine's quotations can be found all along the route.

The forest

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The forest
In the forest the path is straight. To note on the course a rather steep slope on a path a little broken.

The path passes through fields

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The path passes through fields
The path Jean Racine is called like this because it recalls the journeys that the author made in his youth from Port-Royal to Chevreuse.

The mill of Fauveau

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The mill of Fauveau
The mill that used the Rhodon's waters no longer exists.

La Lorioterie

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La Lorioterie
The path goes along a small hamlet.

The cloister

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The cloister
Only the ruins of the abbey remain. It is therefore necessary to have a lot of imagination to reconstitute the buildings. Here the lime trees mark the location of the cloister.

The remains of the abbey

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The remains of the abbey
The few remains of the abbey destroyed in 1709 can be seen. The small chapel (oratory) on the site was built later (1789). Access to the ruins is free.

The purpose of the walk

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The purpose of the walk
A monument representing the tomb of Jean Racine, this is not the real tomb he was only buried here for 11 years.

The 100 steps

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The 100 steps
The door leading to these steps is only open on the first Sunday of the month. Otherwise you have to make a small detour to the side. The steps lead to the museum which is at the top of the hill.

The Port Royal Museum

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The Port Royal Museum
The museum traces the life of the site and the history of Jansenism. A dusty old model shows the site in its splendour. The visit is rather reserved for history lovers. To be seen the first Sunday of the month (free).
Departure point (Google Maps)

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