Arnay-le-Duc and the Regional House of tableware
Saint Peter’s Hospice
A bit of history…. That of the Regional House.
Former hospice of Arnay-le-Duc, called ‘Domus Dei Arneti’ is reported from the thirteenth century. A judgement of the court of parliament, dated June 15, 1599, take note of the existence of this hospital then implanted along the Arroux right below the bridge Saint Jacques which crosses the river. This hospital comprised eight beds for the poor people and was originally served by two secular women, then by three religious sisters of the Beaune hospital. At 100 metres from its original location on the other riverside of the Arroux, it erected in 1693 to 1695 the present building of St. Peter’s Hospital, according to the plans and under the direction of Claude and François Boituzet, architects in Autun.
The first stone was laid by Emiland Bonnard, the king’s secretary and mayor of Arnay in 1681. The current buildings were built in 1693 for the price of 6000 pounds. Twelve patients’ beds were installed there and entrusted to four nuns from Sainte Marthe de Beaune. For three centuries, nuns assured the working of this institution. The rotunda of the chapel was added in 1873. In the choir are buried hospital chaplains and in the chapel, the superiors. In 1977 the last patients were transferred to the new hospital of Arnay-le-Duc, hence the idea of creating the Regional House of tableware in the former hospice. The entrance portal, the inner gates, facades and roofs of the pavilion guards, of the hospice building and of the dovecote were classified 8 December 1981.
Originality of this historic site: this house periodically hosts exceptional exhibitions.
Arnay-le-Duc is a charming medieval city in the heart of Burgundy between Paris and Lyon, with a rich historic past and a renowned gastronomy. The geographical location argues in favour of the Regional House. Arnay-le-Duc, is halfway the wine slop and Morvan. The nearest towns are Dijon at 55 km, Beaune at 35 km, and Autun at 27 km. There are 17 km to the A6 at Pouilly-en-Auxois.
This is a unique achievement in France, the first museum devoted entirely to our food, both everyday and for special occasions. The Maison Régionale des Arts de la Table offers to all, Burgundians and visiting friends, a discovery or a rediscovery of this art of the table that the permanent rush does not allow us to enjoy as it should. Since 1981, the Maison Régionale des Arts de la Table has been opening its doors for an exhibition lasting more than 7 months and organised around the essential elements of the art of living: food, gastronomy, gourmet food … and above all the art of the table.
It all started with the meeting of two men: Pierre Meunier and Henry Moisand.
Henry Moisand was mayor of Longchamp after the death of his father Gaëtan (who died in 1945).
He was elected five times from 1947 to 1977. At that time, he left Longchamp so as not to interfere with the new officials, either at the Mairie or at the Faïenceries, and lived in Fontaine-lès-Dijon until his death in 1982.
Age (one year apart), studies (law) and above all their respective commitment to the development of Burgundy are the elements that brought Pierre Meunier and Henry Moisand together.
Very early on, Henry Moisand sought to decompartmentalise the trades and, as early as January 1966, he created the French Tableware Committee. He thus brought together crystal makers, goldsmiths, porcelain makers, earthenware makers, etc., but also the food trades that he used to frequent, both at the gastronomic fair and at the Commanderie des Cordons Bleus, of which he was president, succeeding the founder Gaston Gérard, or at the Confrérie du Tastevin, whose development he followed under the leadership of his friend Jacques Chevignard.
He shared this very Burgundian mixture of joie de vivre and professionalism with his illustrious members of the Confrérie du Tastevin, M. Barbier, a senator, Gérard Curie, an accomplished artist who directed the fine arts in Beaune and Jacques Chevignard.
It is in the context of this very warm relationship that we must place his meeting with Pierre Meunier, in 1974, during a dinner at the ‘Terminus’ restaurant in Arnay-le-Duc with the Confrérie des Cordons Bleus.
Pierre Meunier wanted to save the magnificent building that now houses the Maison régionale des Arts de table and Henry Moisand gave him his support.
Why not Longchamp? Henry Moisand had fought for 30 years of his life to establish a vocational school in Longchamp and his efforts were finally crowned with success.
Of course, he thought that the earthenware factories would continue to develop and, one year before his retirement, he did not imagine launching a new project there.
For, to bring a project to fruition, you need a tenacious and capable leader and Pierre Meunier proved to be that man.