4 October 2021

Phare in Verzenay (51), Marne (51)

In order to advertise his brand of champagne, in 1909 Joseph Goulet built a lighthouse on a hill in Verzenay, right in the centre of champagne vineyards. There was a restaurant and theatre in adjacent buildings, and the place became a meeting spot for Rémois (people from Reims) and Sparnaciens (people from Épernay): then, access was facilitated by the CBR (Compagnie des Chemins de Fer within the Reims community), a railway company which no longer exists. The lighthouse was used as an observation post during World War II, but for many years after was left to go to ruin. It was bought by the commune in 1987, and in 1994 steps were taken to create an écomusée which was opened in 1999. This is advertised on their website as open every day, although we saw no signs of life at the time of our visit. But the view! Who needs to climb the lighthouse?

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