IN 1864 the city of Paris bought the domain of Les Sources de la Seine in order that they could appropriate their will completely over the river that runs to the capitol.
A year later the sculptor, Jouffroy, carved the statue to the Goddess Sequana; a symbol of purity.
Les Sources de la Seine originate from the Gallic era, then the Gallo-Roman (Sequana is the latin name for the Seine) followed by the Christian era (Saint-Seine.) During excavation of the site evidence of pagan worship, that testified to the thanksgiving plaques of wood, were found in abundance.
Much revered, Les Sources de la Seine (Sequana), attracted many pilgrims as the area was renowned for miraculous and curative virtues.
One person who grew up with legends of the mystery of Sequana and Les Sources de la Seine is now sharing this with people who are eager to learn of the legends and immerse themselves in the mystery.
Marie-Jeanne Fournier-Lamarche was the daughter of the custodian of Les Sources de la Seine, Paul Lamarche, a position commissioned by the city of Paris. Her parents owned a café, frequented by tourists and she stamped the post cards they bought.
The second bridge of Les Sources de la Seine is named Pont Paul Lamarche after her father. The small, stone bridge was built in the 1970s to stop people getting wet feet whilst crossing the source.
Her parents felt privileged to live in such a special location and Marie-Jeanne learnt the legends of the Goddess from them. Her father has passed away and the café no longer exists but her mother still lives in the same house.
Marie-Jeanne Fournier-Lamarche was a French teacher in the Congo and she worked with young adults in the north east of France, she has also run writing workshops in Lorraine for the last 13 years.
This summer she has returned to her old home to run workshops in partnership with L'association des Sources de la Seine and l'Office de Tourisme du Pays d'Alésia who believe the region will be popular with an ever growing number of second home owners and tourists.
She has set up some interesting workshops which ask people to associate themselves with La Source and its history, and the pilgrims who would come to pay homage to the Goddess. The writers are encouraged to write from the heart, in whatever medium they prefer, then read out loud to the group.
Marie-Jeanne has also developed a walking workshop of the Seine. She leads a 10 kilometre walk to Saint-Germain and Blessey and during the walk people are given a scenario for their writing: that they imagine themselves as Sequana immersing herself in the beauty and wealth of the area.
Another workshop, Les Nuits d'encre, are evenings spent writing by candlelight around Sequana's statue.
The municipality of Saint-Germain Source Seine are enthusiastic about the workshops and encouraging tourism to Les Sources de la Seine.
Telephone for information: 03 80 35 82 95 or 03 80 96 89 13