Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 349 pages of information about Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland.

The Glaciere of Vaise had proved, as has been seen, to be a mare’s-nest; and yet, after all, it produced a foal; for while I was endeavouring to overcome the evening heat of Besancon in a specialite for ice, I found that the owner of the establishment was also the owner of the two glacieres of Vaise; and in the course of the conversation which followed, he told me of the existence of a natural glaciere near the village of Arc-sous-Cicon, twenty kilometres from Pontarlier, which he had himself seen.  As I had arranged to meet my sisters at Neufchatel, in two days’ time, for the purpose of visiting a glaciere in the Val de Travers, this piece of information came very opportunely, and I determined to attempt both glacieres with them.

Some of the trains from Besancon stop for an hour at Dole in passing towards Switzerland by way of Pontarlier, and anyone who is interested in the Burgundian and Spanish wars of France should take this opportunity of seeing what may be seen of the town of Dole and its massive church-tower.  The sieges of Dole made it very famous in the later middle ages, more especially the long siege under Charles d’Amboise, at the crisis of which that general recommended his soldiers to leave a few of the people for seed,[46] and the old sobriquet la Joyeuse was punningly changed to la Dolente.  It has had other claims upon fame; for if Besancon possessed one of the two most authentic Holy Shrouds, Dole was the resting-place of one of the undoubted miraculous Hosts, which had withstood the flames in the Abbey of Faverney.  It was for the reception of this Host that the advocates of the Brotherhood of Monseigneur Saint Yves built the Sainte Chapelle at Dole.[47]


[Footnote 38:  One of the rights of the sovereigns of Burgundy was known by this name.  The sovereign had the power of sending one soldier incapacitated by war to each abbey in the County, and the authorities of the abbey were bound to make him a prebendary for life.  In 1602, after the siege of Ostend, the Archduke Albert exercised this right in favour of his wounded soldiers, forcing lay-prebendaries upon almost all the abbeys of the County of Burgundy.  The Archduchess Isabella attempted to quarter such a prebendary upon the Abbey of Migette, a house of nuns, but the inmates successfully refused to receive the warrior among them (Dunod, Hist. de l’Eglise de Besancon, i. 367).  For the similar right in the kingdom of France, see Pasquier, Recherches de la France, l. xii. p. 37.  Louis XIV. did not exercise this right after his conquest of the Franche Comte, perhaps because the Hotel des Invalides, to which the Church was so large a contributor, met all his wants.]

[Footnote 39:  ‘Quand on veut du poisson, il se faut mouiller;’ referring probably to the method of taking trout practised in the Ormont valley, the habitat of the purest form of the patois.  A man wades in the Grand’ Eau, with a torch in one hand to draw the fish to the top, and a sword in the other to kill them when they arrive there; a second man wading behind with a bag, to pick up the pieces.]

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Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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