Moret-sur-Loing once lay on the border between the Kingdom of France and the Duchy of Burgundy. For three centuries, it was a royal town, shaped and fortified by the Capetian kings Louis VI, Louis VII and Philip Augustus. The royal square, the ramparts and the twelfth-century keep are proud remnants of the Medieval period and structure the architecture of the old town. While the 1356 metres of ramparts and the twenty-or-so turrets no longer all remain, the two gates of Burgundy and Samois, as well as the layout of the town centre, are magnificent echoes of its medieval past. The majestic gates, the bridge and the banks of the Loing, as well as Notre Dame church, make Moret an essential place to visit for lovers of history and painting. A stroll through the town centre offers a chance to discover superb Renaissance façades, the Maison du Sucre d’Orge, a barley sugar speciality made by the nuns of Moret-sur-Loing since the seventeenth century, and the home and grave of Alfred Sisley, an impressionist painter who lived in Moret-sur-Loing and captured the splendour and light of the town.
Many tourists come to see the sites painted by Sisley, where the “spots” have been preserved, such as the bridge over the Loing, immortalised by the painter, Notre-Dame church, the keep and the towpaths.
An essential site
for lovers of history
The gates and ramparts (12th - 15th century)
At the end of the XIIth century, Moret-sur-Loing marked the border between the kingdom of France and Burgundy. King Philip Augustus made Moret-sur-Loing a fortified town, building ramparts and three gates. To the west, the Gate of Samois (formerly the Gate of Paris); to the east, the Gate of Burgundy and the Gate of Orléans, which was destroyed in the nineteenth century.
The square towers, flanked on the outside by two imposing buttresses, each topped by a corbelled turret, have two semicircular arches, between which the portcullis was raised and lowered.
The Gate of Burgundy is open to the public on European Heritage Days.
The Keep (12th - 19th century) listed as a historical monument in 1926.
Power of the king under Louis VI, this Norman-style Romanesque keep overlooks the town. It was a residence much frequented by the first Capetian monarchs and, later, by Jacqueline de Bueil, Countess of Moret and Henry IV’s mistress. In 1664, the Superintendent of Finances, Nicolas Fouquet, was locked up here under the guard of d’Artagnan. 15 rue du Donjon, Private property.
The Town Hall (1910-1913)
Bourgeois mansion, it was converted by Parisian architect Paul-Joseph Clément, an admirer of the neo-Gothic style, into a pastiche of a fifteenth-century townhouse. In 1948, the municipal authority acquired the building to house the Town Hall. 26 rue Grande
Francis I facade
This Renaissance gallery dating from 1527, known as the “Francis I façade”, is an imaginative piece of architecture created by Nicolas Chabouillé. It is decorated with carvings, which alternately represent flowers and scenes taken from the Labours of Hercules. Originally located on Rue Grande, it was bought by a cavalry colonel, dismantled and rebuilt in Paris, becoming the façade of a townhouse for his mistress, the actress Mademoiselle Mars. It was returned to Moret in 1955, following a 133-year exile. Courtyard of the Town Hall
Considered to be a major building in Gothic architecture in the north of the Loire, it features an apse without an ambulatory and a choir inspired by Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. It houses a Renaissance organ, which is among the oldest in France. It was listed as a historical monument in 1840. Place Royale
Open to the public 9am to 7 pm (subject to religious ceremonies)
The priory of Pont-Loup
This priory, of which only the church remains, was built in two stages. In 1165, it served as a refuge for 80 monks from Vézelay, following a dispute with the Count of Nevers. The name “ Pont Loup“ (bridge over the Loue, or Loing) appeared in 1175.
Located outside the walls of Moret, its buildings were partly destroyed during the wars of the sixteenth century. In April 1747, the Archbishop of Sens announced its abandonment.
In April 1791, what remained of the buildings was sold as national property. Throughout the nineteenth century, the church served as a barn to store bark for the bark mills. In 1964, it became the property of the town of Moret-sur-Loing, which began its restoration. The former priory is now used to host artistic meetings.
9 rue du Peintre Sisley,
Phone: +33 (0)1 60 73 51 59 Open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 2 to 6 pm (from March to April and September to December), and 2 to 7 pm (from May to August).
The bark mill and Graciot mill
Tanbark, a natural chemical material, was used to soften hides in the tannery. It was made by grinding oak bark from the forest of Fontainebleau. In front of the bridge of Moret-sur-Loing, two bark mills were built in the fifteenth century as upstream cutwaters to break the current. Downstream, on the other side of the bridge, the Graciot mill has foundations that date back to the fourteenth century. As their production capacity exceeded local needs, the region developed production until the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Located on an island in the Loing, the Graciot mill is now dedicated to sculpture. The bark mill regularly hosts exhibitions.
Access via the stairs on the bridge of Moret-sur-Loing.
Open on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 2 to 7 pm (from June to September).
The Provencher mill
This mill was originally used to tumble leather, which combined with animal oil, made it possible to produce very soft hides or chamois leather, used in glove-making for example.
In 1779, it was converted into a Dutch-designed mechanical sawmill. This business was not profitable for the owner, however, who replaced it with a wheat mill before the French Revolution.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, a time of rapid growth for the business, the mill was acquired by the Provencher family, after which it is now named.
In August 1944, in order to protect their retreat, the German army blew up the bridge. The destroyed mill was replaced by the current house. It now houses the Musée du Sucre d’Orge. Open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 3 to 6 pm (from March to April), and 3 to 7 pm (from May to August). Admission price €2. Guided tours for groups on Tuesday and Saturday, from March to October. Further information : Tourist Office. Moulin Provencher, Access via the footbridge on the bridge of Moret-sur-Loing,
Guided tours and routes
To discover the medieval city, you can take the historical route or follow one of the guided tours organised by the Moret Seine & Loing Tourist Office. The Heritage route winds along the narrow streets of the Medieval city and back through the history of Moret-sur-Loing and France. The thirty or so plaques along the route take visitors from Philip Augustus to Napoleon!
Themed guided tours are available for individual visitors on two Saturdays per month, from April to October.
For further information or to book a guided tour:
Moret Seine & Loing Tourist Office,
Phone: +33 (0)1 60 70 41 66
The programme of guided tours for individuals is available on the Tourist Office’s website and on request. For groups: tours are available all year round (reservation required).
Brochure and prices: please ask us
To be discovered in Moret-sur-Loing
Located on the site of the former workshops of the Prugnat factories, where the famous ” pinces parisiennes ” were manufactured, the Musée du Vélo looks back at the history of the bicycle, from 1817 to the present day : Draisienne, Vélo Michaux, Grand Bi, Hirondelle ...
Visitors can also learn about the very first years of the Tour de France, through the routes of great champions from Seine & Loing: René Pottier, winner of the 1906 race, and André Leducq, two-time winner in 1930 and 1932. The museum also runs a workshop on its premises that sells and repairs bicycle, along with the company Vello Bello.
The museum opens Tuesday to Friday from 2 to 7 pm, and Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Free entrance. Guided tours for groups are available all year round, and for individuals (programme available at the Tourist Office)
Prugnat Site, Route de St-Mammès in Moret-sur-Loing.
of Moret-sur-Loing offers an insight into the town’s history. It also hosts contemporary art exhibitions.
Open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 2 to 6 pm (from March to April and September to December), and 2 to 7 pm (from May to August).
4 bis Place de Samois, Moret-sur-Loing, Moret-Loing-et-Orvanne
Phone: +33 (0)1 60 70 32 30
In May, the commune, shops and exhibition organizers offer a festival of surprises
to celebrate the arrival
of spring. These will include numerous arts, music and dance events, tastings, games,
and a parade!
Relive the famous
“Belle Epoque” period
of history during
an immersion weekend
Moret will be travelling back to 1900 with free exhibitions and events. Among the high points, will be a 1900 wedding, school certificates, a bank robbery,
a costume parade and street theatre.
The "point Sisley"
Run by an association of enthusiasts and scholars, ” Point Sisley “ offers visitors a chance to discover some of the artist’s works through reproductions.
24 Rue Grande,
Phone: +33 (0)1 60 70 39 99 Free entrance.
Open Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, from 3 to 6 pm, April to September, or on request. www.alfred-sisley.com
Did you know? FLAGY
Just a few kilometres from Moret-sur-Loing lies a charming little medieval town: the ”Châtellenie Royale de Flagy”.
In the 12th century, King Louis VII, father of Philip Augustus, decided to build a new town in Flagy. The town was built according to a planning model based on parallel streets (seven in this case), each with its own well (making seven wells), stretching down to the river. The river was diverted from its course to power three mills. In the town centre stood a large hall, which did not survive the Hundred Years’War. It was protected by fortifications, walls and turrets, which were destroyed in the nineteenth century. Remaining from the period, the church, mill and medieval cellars are opened to visitors on European Heritage Days. The village hosts convivial evening events during the summer, known as ”apéros concerts”, and a cinema festival.