THE GRAND ROYE AREA EXTENDS TO THE COMMUNES OF ROYE AND MONTDIDIER, AND IT’S LOCATED EAST OF THE SOMME DEPARTMENT. PAYS DE PARMENTIER IS FULL OF BEAUTIFUL PASTURES WHERE WALKING AROUND IS A REAL PLEASURE.
Select the territory to discover its riches
Discover the Mountain of Fignières, a remarkable 4-hectare unoccupied area of land on the doorstep of Montdidier, managed by Picardie natural site conservators. This rural countryside dotted with trees, hedges, pastures and farmed lands is home to a gorgeous 3km marked walking route, perfect for a family walk.
A variety of flora and fauna from the south of France reside on its chalky hillsides. In springtime fields are covered in blankets of yellow flowers, and you can also find a wide variety of wild orchids such as the Lady Orchid and the Dark-Red Helleborine.
The trail starts in Fignières, near the church. This city stroll will take you along to the entrance of a small wood, before taking you through a small clearing to follow a path beside the pastures. When you exit the undergrowth, you can look out over a beautiful viewpoint over the dry valley of Fignières and the conservation area.
The surprising statue of Parmentier in Montdidier
Don’t miss out on this immense 800 kg, 2.5 m high bronze effigy of Parmentier in Montdidier, the glorious person responsible for popularising the use of potatoes. This starch, which became the base of our diets, owes its acclaim to Antoine Augustin Parmentier.
This military pharmacist, nutritionist, and tireless experimenter was born on the 12th of August 1737 in Montdidier, in a house on Rue de la Mercerie (now called Rue Parmentier) where his parents ran a laundry company. In 1766, he became a “gagnant-maîtrise” apothecary at the Hôtel Royal des Invalides. He studied the chemical composition of potatoes.
In 1786, Parmentier presented potatoes to King Louis XVI. The following year, this tuber was served at the royal table. Today, it’s the most eaten vegetable in France!
The current statue, by Albert Roze (constructed after the former was destroyed during the Great War) was offered by the committee of pharmacists. Inaugurated in 1931 during the city’s Feast of the Resurrection, it escaped destruction during World War 2 after it was hidden in an abattoir by the mayor of the time. The commemorative plaque, which is more discreet, is found at the location of the house where Antoine Augustin Parmentier was born in 1737.
Roye, an ancient fortified city
Roye, as a frontier city found on every route through Europe, has been pillaged, burnt down, and devastated on numerous occasions. In the 11th century, defensive walls were built to help protect it. However, these fortifications didn’t prevent it from being besieged by the Spanish in 1636 and 1653.
Originally, there were seven towers and five doors, which have since been lost to time. Only the Saint-Laurent tower has stood the test of time. It dates back to the 15th century and marks the south-western point of the defensive walls. This tower, and the remnants of the compound, have been on the French Supplementary Historic Monument List since 1992.