Heritage from Gilly-lès-Cîteaux
During the VIth century, the immense territory of Gilly, crossed by the Roman road which linked Chalon-sur-Saône to Langres, belonged to Eleuther a rich Gallo-Romaine from Autun, whose son was none other Germain , bishop of Paris (the future Saint Germain). As such, when on the death of the latter the land which he had inherited was given to the Benedictine monastery, which thus became the powerful Saint Germain Abbey and which founded a priory in Gilly. Germain has remained ever since the patron Saint of the village and his name was given to the church.
In the XIIthe century, Gilly priory passed into the hands of the Cistercians. Not far from Gilly, the Abbey of Cîteaux, founded in 1098 by Robert de Molesnes expanded to such an extent that monks of Gilly found themselves encircled. Constant quarelling, the estrangement of the mother abbey of Saint Germain des Prés and the precarious situation obliged the benedictines to sell their priory to the monks of Cîteaux.
In the XVIth century, the priory becomes a fortress. During the « hundred years war », the eclesiasticals of Cîteaux built fortification around the priory of Gilly to protect their goods and themselves.
In the XVIth and XVth centuries, the village of Gilly has two equally important fortified châteaux : the cistercian fortress and another, just opposite, the Montbis château. As the relations were not the most cordial, the monks presented themselves as purchasers when Guillaume de Vienne put his château up for sale in 1469 and totally destroyed it immediately afterwards. Thus, the Cistercian château remained the only one in Gilly
In the XVIth century, the chateau was devasted, sacked, plundered and burnt. It was finally demolished in 1591 on the orders of the Duke of Nemours then razed to the foundations in 1595.
In the XVIIth century, the 51st abbot of Citeaux, Nicolas Boucherat, decided to resuscitate on the vestiges of the fortress a pleasant retreat for the abbots. He restored the moats and in place of ramparts built 7 square pavillions in the middle of which featured courtyards facing East, West and South. After his death in 1625, his successor Pierre de Nivelle finished the works. The château became a spacious, delicately decorated and precious household.
After the French Revolution, the properties of the cistercians monks were declared as national treasures. The 17th January 1971, the members of the local administration adjudicate to the citizen Foucard, wood salesman in Paris, the Castel of Gilly, the lands of Clos de Vougeot and the farm of Bretigny.
In XIX and XXth centuries, the proprietors follow one after another. Successive farmers exploit the 100 ha attached to the chateau’s farm. The monk communal dwellings are used as stables.
During the 70’s the ancient abbot’s residence became the property of the Côte d’Or. A Château-Theater was inaugurated on the 12th January 1978. After the theater, the county of the Côte d’Or sold the building to René Traversac, founder of the goup « Grandes Etapes Françaises » on December 1987. After gargantuan restorations and transformations, the hotel opened its doors in 1988.