Summer School 2021

Waterways of France


Philip Scheiner, retired lecturer, Sorbonne University

Leaving Paris and following the waterways of France, it is possible to discover lesser-known treasures of the country and their place in French culture. This course takes participants to the coastline of Brittany, the islands of Belle-Île-en-Mer and Bréhat, the commune of Paimpol, Kerdalo, a coastal garden, and Pont Aven, best known for its association with Gauguin. The journey includes the Loire with its chateaux, Fontevraux monastery, as well as Lascaux and Rouffignac, cradles of human art which lie along the Vézère in Perigord. Proceeding east, the course discovers the lakes of Troyes, the iconic Marne river, Champagne country, Nancy, Metz (Europe’s most ‘German’ city) and Verdun. The course ends with the canal of Burgundy, France's most opulent and millenarian region, the monasteries at Cluny and Fontenay and the Côte d’Or, a forty-kilometre strip with the world’s greatest vineyards.



  1. The coastline of Brittany
  2. River valleys
  3. The lakes of Troyes: gems of the east
  4. The canal of Burgundy

This course will be offered on the Microsoft Teams platform. Participants will be sent a link.


Recommended reading

Michelin Green Guide to France. 2019. Paris: Michelin.

Goubert, P. 1988. The Course of French History. Routledge.

Robb, G. 2007. The Discovery of France. London: Picador.


Date: Monday 25–Thursday 28 January
Time:  11.15 am