La Puisaye and la Forterre

In Burgundy, la Puisaye-Forterre, land of Colette and Guédelon, is a haven of preserved nature with many surprises. This territory made of small winding roads, forests, ponds, hollow roads, and exceptional natural spaces classified under Natura 2000, is home to many places of memory.

Located in the north of Burgundy, one hundred and fifty kilometers southeast of Paris, the territory of Puisaye-Forterre is straddling two départements, Yonne and Nièvre. It is a place with preserved landscapes, iron, ochre and water. La Puisaye-Forterre is the birthplace of the writer Colette. This territory is entirely rural and is characterised by the diversity of its landscapes, its colours and the richness of its architecture. It is also a land of bocage and hilly landscapes.

You cannot remain indifferent to the bushy forests, to the majestic oaks and to the wild fauna. The shivering countryside in July, or fighting against the north wind. Listen to it being alive, this beautiful land of ours…

La Puisaye

The name “Puisaye” would have a Celtic origin (“Poy” meaning wet country and “saga” meaning forest). It then became “Poiseia” or “Puseio” in the 12th century  to evolve latter on into “Puisoye” and finally “Puisaye”. Thus, la Puisaye is a region with moist and verdant plateaus, with heavy and cold clay soils, and many hardwood forests that house large ponds. The landscape features are identity markers of the small region. Moreover, here water, groves and forests are ubiquitous providing a biodiversity haven. To cap it all, la Puisaye is ranked among the remarkable landscapes of the Yonne.

La Forterre

And then there’s la Forterre.  Originally, Forterre would designate a “strong Earth” (« forte terre ») in other words a difficult land. Delimited to the north by Lain and Treigny, to the south by Druyes-les-Belles-Fontaines and Etais-la-Sauvin, and  also by the Forêt de Frétoy. Thus, la Forterre, is a natural entity located between la Puisaye and l’ Auxerrois. La Forterre, with its slightly hilly landscapes as far as the eye can see, is a succession of vast plateaus conducive to cereal farming. It is richer than its neighbour and friend la Puisaye, and its limestone soils are suitable for cropping. It offers endless panoramas of bright lights, especially in the spring when its mosaics of cereal crops play with the sun.