Beaujolais UNESCO Global Geopark
Très Beaujolais

The memory of the Earth today

Located on the edge of the Massif Central, North-West of Lyon within direct view of the Alps, the Beaujolais region has a complex and varied geological heritage. The diversity of its soil and its landscapes springs from the convergence of a great number of phenomena and geological structures. This geology has greatly influenced the inhabitants' way of life.

Its story, dating back several hundreds of millions of years, culminates in what you see here today, in the activities of Man, in the history, heritage, culture and life of the region.

A large part of the region's identity, its past and its future, springs from the rocks that shape the landscape: golden, red, green, grey or black rocks and stones, which have been put to remarkably good use in traditional architecture. The geological resources and water resources determine what use is made of each type of soil; these natural resources have driven the region's industry and craft from time immemorial to the present day. With granite, shale, limestone and clay under its vineyards, siliceous volcanic rocks under the pastures and forests, and fertile alluvium feeding the cultivated plains, it's clear that life in the Beaujolais region is well and truly rooted in the earth.


A new way of development

The 'Syndicat Mixte du Beaujolais', a joint association, took on the Geopark-UNESCO project at the turn of the year in 2012.

A Geopark is a geographical area with outstanding geological heritage of scientific, aesthetic and educational value. A Geopark project is about much more than geology.

It also encompasses past and present social practices, the traditional skillsets that shape our land, and the cultural, social and economic context. Additionally, the project puts into play a whole array of other elements related to the region's heritage or sites of archeaological, ecological, historical and cultural value. A Geopark is thus a truly broad territorial endeavour.

The benefits of a Geopark for the Beaujolais region:

  • Implementation of a unifying and innovative project that opens up new avenues of development;
  • Promotion and conservation of geological diversity;
  • Showcasing the region's geoheritage for the public.
Geopark Beaujolais

Famous throughout the world for its wines and vineyards, the Beaujolais is also a region shaped by man, who has reaped the benefits of the soil's diversity. Its past is literally written in stone: in the golden, red, white, grey or black rocks and stones that have visibly been put to good use in local construction. This remarkable geology has given rise to great diversity, not only in the landscapes and heritage, but also in terms of human activity, in the culture and traditions that form the identity of the Beaujolais region.

© 2016 - Syndicat mixte du Beaujolais