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Gien town guide

Gien

Visitors arriving by hire car drivers will find this town on the River Loire about fifty miles south of Paris and thirty five miles south of Fontainebleu. The geology of the area and the water of the Loire have led to the development of a fine porcelain producing factory which makes Faience pottery.

There has been a lot of effort made to restore the town to its fifteenth century style after the damage caused by bombing. If you approach the town from the south in your hire car will get fine views of the medieval chateau as you cross the sixteenth century stone bridge. This building, of red and black brick was once a hiding place for the young Louis XIV and his mother. It is now a Musee International de la Chaisse. This fascinating museum contains some pretty grizzly exhibits showing the involvement of the French aristocracy in hunting and its development to the present day.

The other important museum is the Musee de la Faiencerie which is within the modern pottery factory. Visitors will find this on Place de la Victoire about half a mile west of the Chateau and Bridge. There is a fine exhibition dating from the nineteenth century and a video show demonstrating modern techniques.

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