The Suize River’s clear water flows in the valley which has taken its name. Sometimes surrounded by meadows, sometimes bordered by cliffs reaching up to 20m high, this peaceful river has its source in Courcelles-en-Montagne, about 16kms from Faverolles, at an altitude of 440m. It then crosses 11 villages, winding slowly in the heart of the pastoral landscapes of the plateau of Langres, to finally end its course in the Marne, near Chaumont, in Condes, a village situated at an altitude of 250m. In total, the length of its watercourse reaches 40kms. Often borded by pastures, the water of the Suize serves as drinking water for the herds and welcomes all trout anglers. We also find loaches and sculpins. This river vanishes in many areas, the water reappearing further on, in the limestone cracks. At the Suize sources, the dry grass and marshes constitute a natural protected area, of high ecological value. In the heart of this valley, flora amateurs are seduced each year by the different varietes of orchids that can be observed. Take a moment to appreciate the landscape of this charming valley and its flora. The forest called “ripisylve” which we discover is also typical of river borders. Its tree species are composed of willows, ashes and alders.
Be patient, look carefully, you might be lucky to see close to the river, water fowls such as the kingfisher or the water blackbird also called diving bird. Beware not to disturb the ringed grass snake who lingers in the sun by the dry-stones walls.
In Faverolles, on the right of the bridge which spans the Suize, a “bourgeois” house, called “le château” was built in 1872. A first mill was built in 1805. Unfortunately, it burnt and then, a more important one with 5 sets of millstones replaced it. Unfortunately, this one was also destroyed by fire in 1871. That’s where the “château” now stands. Near the bridge, have a look at the old hydraulic system which enabled the mill to work before.
In the castle’s park, the area protected by the cliffs have been exploited by man for a very long time. In 1912, a 12m cave was also explored. The discoveries, particularly of flint, remind us of a rock shelter which could have been used in ancient times. Apart from this site, the territory of Faverolles has delivered many flint objects from neolithic times, scrapers or arrow tips...
You are now going to regain the archaeological workshop, by taking the small path which winds in the direction of the church. On the way, you will notice the tidy work of our elders, who patiently put up walls in dry stones, to outline the plots. The most common type of wall realised consists of building two sides simultaneously, with nice stones at its base and filling the centre with smaller stones. By experience, the mason knew how to choose each stone and place them correctly. Many construction rules insure the solidity of the wall. For example, we placed at mid-height, “headers”, quite large stones, which linked all the depth of the wall. On top, a layer of flat stones served as a cover. These traditional constructions can last centuries, providing that they are regularly maintained.