To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Puisaye’s iconic author, Colette, come and find out about her heritage and history on a sightseeing tour in her hometown, Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye.
Set off in the footsteps of Sidonie Gabrielle Colette, one of the most famous authors of French literature, a feminist ahead of her time, and whose work was heavily influenced by her happy childhood spent in Puisaye. Come and visit her childhood home with everything laid out exactly as she would have left it, visit the museum, go along the sightseeing trails, etc. You'll soon know all there is to know about this writer and her homeland!
Person of the year: Colette
Sidonie Gabrielle Colette was born on 28 January 1873 in Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye in Yonne. She moved to Paris in 1906 and spent most of her life there, before she passed away on 3 August 1954.
La Maison and Musée Colette have come together to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Puisaye’s iconic author, Colette. This exhibition, which opens in summer 2023, will be presented across both locations. Entitled, ‘Passion Colette’, it will tell the author’s life story in a new light, supported by documents from private collections that have never before been shown in public.
Colette, writing inspired by Burgundy
She stood out from the crowd thanks to the topics she addressed, and her writing was produced in a simple yet sophisticated style. She was also considered a regionalist writer thanks to her descriptions of Burgundy, her cherished homeland.
Best-selling author and journalist
1900 was a significant year for Colette with the publication of the first book from her "Claudine" series, a novel in a new natural style that was seen as scandalous at that time.
The writer had an unwavering love for Burgundy, her homeland and her work always included references to the terroir, her mother's garden in Saint-Sauveur, and the bountiful natural environment of Burgundy.
Her home village of Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye
Step into Colette's childhood on this tour in the footsteps of Gabrielle in her home village of Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye. On this one-hour walking tour, you'll encounter the locals from her books. There will be some funny and moving anecdotes on this journey back in time.
Pass by the church without a bell tower, head down towards the Petit Saint-Jean washhouse and then venture into the surrounding countryside, into the woods where the leafy treetops seem to sweep away as far as the eye can see. A one-hour walk from Saint-Sauveur to Moutiers.
Did you know? In 1922, when The House of Claudine was published, Colette was about to turn 50 and decided to share around thirty chapters with her readers, about her own experience based on her childhood in Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye.Visit her home village
Musée and Maison Colette: 2 unmissable places in Saint-Sauveur
Colette's childhood home
Come and visit Colette's childhood home, to see what her childhood was like in this perfectly restored setting, with the wallpaper, vegetable garden and woodwork as it looked back then.
This house has been open to the public since 2016 and as well as guided tours, there are various cultural events held here, on the theme of Colette, or more generally on female writers.Visit
The Musée Colette
The Musée Colette was created in 1995 thanks to the GMF and the author's descendants. The museum can be found inside the Château de Saint-Sauveur, overlooking Colette's childhood home.
Even though she had never stayed at the Château, Colette paid tribute to it in her writing, especially in the Claudine series, with exact descriptions of the building.
The Museum invites visitors to come and (re)discover Colette's work through the various rooms and artistic installations based on her life's work.Visit
A precious medieval heritage site
The Tour Sarrasine is the last remaining ruin of the ancient medieval fortress. It has been abandoned for centuries now but it has resisted over time, as Colette mentions in "Claudine at school" (1895):
… the low-lying Sarrasine tower, surrounded by ivy, is crumbling away from the top, a little bit each day.