Looking for an unusual way of finding out about the trades and crafts of Lorraine in the 19th century ?
The Village of Old Trades (Village des Vieux Métiers) in Azannes and Soumazannes, between Verdun and Damvillers, opens a window onto history every Sunday in May.
The village was completely built by 400 volunteer tradesmen and now they bring a slice of Meuse history to life in more than 80 trades and crafts of days gone by.
Put on your walking shoes and climb the hill to meet the tradespeople of yesteryear – washerwomen, blacksmiths, sawyers, bakers etc. This is a village unlike any other in which rural traditions have pride of place. Watch the horse on the treadmill, operating the threshing machine as it walks. See the magic of the lacemakers producing magnificent pieces of work with bobbins or hooks. Experience the warmth and simplicity of the miller’s house. On the way, men and women in old-fashioned dress speak passionately about their knowledge and expertise. They’re sure to fascinate the younger members of the family and arouse memories in the more elderly.
This is a living, convivial re-enactment of days gone by, in an area of 17 hectares dotted with 25 traditional houses and cottages rebuilt stone by stone. The movements of the craftsmen, repeated countless times during the day by the clogmaker, baker, oil producer, sawyer and wickerwork maker will take you back in time and your visit will pass in a flash.
We strongly advise you to arrive in the morning to leave yourself time to visit all there is to see and take advantage of the workshops that are set up early in the afternoon. There are plenty of places in the village providing food and refreshments.
A great idea for a family day out. It’s as different as it is instructive.